Xiaomi Mi A1 gets Android 8.1 Oreo unofficially via LineageOS 15.1
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is different from other Xiaomi devices in many ways. It is Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, which means that it’s powered by nearly stock Android instead of MIUI. The phone was launched in September with a decent list of specifications including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip, 4GB of RAM paired with 64GB of storage, 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS display, 12MP+12MP wide-angle + “telephoto” rear cameras, 5MP front camera, and a 3080mAh battery. It shipped with Android Nougat, and it received an update to Android Oreo in January.
The development story for the Mi A1 experienced a slow start. The phone supported Android Nougat’s A/B partition system, which presented a problem for development. The major issue, however, was that despite launching the phone in September, Xiaomi took an extremely long time to release its kernel sources. The kernel source code for Android Nougat was finally released at the end of January.
In December, we saw a semi-functional port of LineageOS 14.1 be released for the Xiaomi Mi A1, which ported the Redmi Note 4’s kernel. At that time, the Mi A1’s kernel sources weren’t released, which meant that a substantial amount of things didn’t work in the unofficial ROM. This was definitely disappointing to see when considering the fact that both the Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi Note 4 had fully functional official LineageOS ROMs.
This changes now, as XDA Senior Member abhishek987 has released an unofficial build of LineageOS 15.1 (based on Android 8.1 Oreo) for the Xiaomi Mi A1 (the device’s codename is tissot). The first official builds of LineageOS 15.1 began to roll-out to supported devices this week, and although the build for the Mi A1 isn’t official yet, it’s nearly fully stable.
To be precise, the developer has given a list of hardware which works, which includes important things such as the RIL, fingerprint sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, video recording, VoLTE, and more. This means that almost everything works, although some users are reporting that things such as double tap to wake and Live Display currently don’t work.
The instructions to install the unofficial LineageOS 15.1 are a bit complicated because of the device’s A/B partition system:
- Unlock the bootloader of your device.
- Download the latest build and GApps.
- Flash TWRP.
- Reboot to recovery, wipe data and cache.
- Flash ROM zip. Go to TWRP reboot options and switch to other slot (for example, if you are on slot_a, then you need to switch to slot_b). Do not reboot.
- Flash TWRP installer.
- Reboot into TWRP recovery.
- Flash GApps and Magisk, and reboot to system.
It’s great to see that development for the Mi A1 is slowly but steadily overcoming the odds. Users of the phone can now use Android 8.1 Oreo by installing this build, and we expect any minor bugs to be resolved in the coming weeks. If the ROM works well, it may even get official status in the future, which will mean that the Mi A1 has a bright future in terms of development after all.