There are definitely times when root is still needed in the Android world, especially for features that use hardware that is already there but have been disabled by the manufacturers for one reason or another. The fingerprint sensors in Sony Xperias come to mind, and so does call recording on recent OnePlus devices. The latter is a feature that is only enabled in some variants of the OnePlus 3T. Fortunately, you can also get the same functionality in other models as well. The only catch is that you need to be rooted.
Why would you need record calls anyway? Legal gray areas aside, such functionality is essential in some lines of work or even education, being able to record interviews, conference calls, instructions, and whatnot. Regardless of the reason, the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and OnePlus 5 apparently do have that functionality available, except it is disabled on almost all of them. Fortunately it’s possible to flip the switch, provided you have rooted or are willing to root your phone.
Another fortunately is that OnePlus is actually one of the more modding-friendly companies in the smartphone market, so there is really very few drawbacks to trying it out. Other than the potential data loss if you forgot to backup important data first. We recently went through the basic steps on how to root the OnePlus 5, which is far easier than trying to root a Galaxy S8, for example.
Once the OnePlus 3, 3T, or 5 has been rooted, enabling call recording is as easy as installing an APK. A word of caution: since you are installing an unverified package on a rooted phone, be extra careful and know that such packages could have some rather disastrous effects on your phone. Only download from the XDA link below but, when in doubt, don’t.
What the APK does is to modify the system’s build.prop to enable call recording. It’s really as simple as that. Older versions of the app had the limitation that you needed to manually enable the feature after every boot. Now, however, it has been updated to make it all automatic. If, for some reason, you still want to do that, you can install a different APK for the OnePlus 5. Unfortunately, OnePlus 3/3T users don’t have such an option.
So the next time you get or make a call, simply tap on the record button (the one that looks like a casette tape, if you still remember what that is) and talk like nothing happened. Your recordings can be found at the
storage/emulated/0/Record/PhoneRecord directory. Do be aware, however, that different countries have different laws about recording calls, so best be aware of them before you use it.