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OnePlus 9RT OxygenOS 13 Open Beta 1 is released

The 9RT. (Source: OnePlus)
The 9RT. (Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus has announced that its 2021 flagship-alternative smartphone can now upgrade to OxygenOS 13 based on Android 13 - well, technically, anyway. This initial update is a public Open Beta, which might entail the risk of more bugs and the need to move into a whole different 'channel' for OTA updates. Then again, the device's Indian owners can enjoy the very latest UI for their 9RT in this way.

OnePlus has announced a new Open Beta (OB) program for its customers interested in getting a sneak peek at how the latest versions of the OxygenOS (OOS) skin for Android that runs on their smartphones. This one is for the 9RT, a more affordable variant of the flagship 9 series that only came to India in January 2022.

The new OB program allows the Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone to upgrade from its current OOS 12-based software version (C.07 at the latest, which is required for this undertaking) to OOS 13, and, thus, OnePlus' latest Aquamorphic Design UI, security/productivity features and always-on display options.

Then again, switching to the OB 'arm' of development is slightly less straightforward than the average OTA process.

It requires that a user downloads a .zip file containing the update and saves it to their 9RT, then goes to 'Up to date' under Settings > About device, presses a graphic found in the top right corner of the screen, selects the resulting 'Local install' option, then the aforementioned file, choose 'Extract', then 'Upgrade', then waits until the display reads 'System upgrade completed to 100%' - essentially, it's an OEM-sanctioned form of side-loading.

These instructions apply to units of the 9RT sold in India only. Those in China, meanwhile, have progressed to a corresponding version of ColorOS 3 days ago (on October 12, 2022).

Therefore, while this new avenue to OOS 13 might only be available in one market, it is still a potentially encouraging step in the right direction in terms of keeping the approximately year-old OnePlus 9 series up to date for the rest of its life-cycle.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-10-15 (Update: 2022-10-15)