In a surprising announcement, OnePlus has stated that Android P will be coming to the 2016 OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T phones. The company has said that in order to do this, they will be abandoning efforts to get Android Oreo 8.1 to these phones and will focus on Android P instead.
After internal discussions and evaluation, we have decided to focus our development resources on the Android P project instead of upgrading the device to Android 8.1, so that we can offer more exciting features and improvements for our OnePlus 3 and 3T users.
The news is surprising in that most 2016 will likely not see the next generation of Android, slated for release as some point in August.
Speculating on the announcement, I suspect that because OnePlus has their latest generation of phone, the OnePlus 6, in the Android Beta Program for Android P, the company has been able to work more closely with Google and has been able to determine just how viable Android v9 is on the OnePlus 3 and 3T. It seems they are confident it will work and work well.
If there is a bit of water thrown on the fire here it is that the OnePlus 3/3T lineup is going to be the last of the OnePlus phones to see the update. The company indicated that the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 5/5T will get the update before the 3/3T devices. That’s not really surprising but just be aware of it. As for timelines, that is very unclear. The announcement only indicated “in the coming months”. Given that the OnePlus 6 is in the beta program, it will likely get updated pretty quickly – as in before the end of 2018. Then it will just be a waiting game for the 5/5T and the 3/3T models.