The arrival of the OnePlus 5 was a bittersweet moment for the company’s fans. On the one hand, it meant a great new and somewhat still affordable flagship smartphone. On the other hand, given recent events, it might be a death sentence for the somewhat young OnePlus 3T. The startup did promise that Android 8.0 would come to last year’s flagship before the year ends, fingers crossed, but owners need not wait that long to get at least one new feature for their device. Apparently, some OnePlus 3T models and the OnePlus 5 use the exact same display panel, which meant that the latter’s wider color gamut is also available on the older smartphone.
First a bit of background. There was already some theories that OnePlus didn’t change its screen that much in between the two models, but it wasn’t until the OnePlus 5 launched that the details came to light. Apparently, the OnePlus 5 uses a Samsung S6E3FA5 screen, the exact same screen found on some, but not all, OnePlus 3T units. Since the OnePlus 5 boasted of a wider DCI-P3 color gamut support, it didn’t take long for modders to check whether it was possible to bring that to the OnePlus 3T as well.
The good news is that it is, but there are some very important considerations. First is that this doesn’t apply to all OnePlus 3T models. Some use the aforementioned S6E3FA5 panel but others use a different S6E3FA3 component, which doesn’t have the hardware to support that feature. Equally important is the fact that your device needs to be rooted to enable this hidden mode. While OnePlus is relatively more friendly to unlocking and rooting devices, the gains from the DCI-P3 mode might not outweigh the hassle of going through the rooting process for some users.
If you do have your heart set on this process, then carry on. You will want to first check if your OnePlus 3T is even the correct model. You can download the free AIDA64 diagnostics app and check if the display ID has the correct S6E3FA5 model. If that is a yes, then you’ll want to root your OnePlus 3T if it isn’t yet. Then using your Terminal Emulator app of choice, enter these two commands to enable DCI-P3 mode on the OnePlus 3T:
echo 1 > /sys/devices/virtual/graphics/fb0/DCI_P3
Conversely, to disable it, use these commands:
echo 0 > /sys/devices/virtual/graphics/fb0/DCI_P3
The changes take effect immediately and you’ll notice an immediate shift in colors. However, the changes aren’t permanent and goes back to being disabled every time the device is restarted. You’ll need a different set of tools, like automation or Magisk, to make the setting stick.
So does it work? It does, but the difference in the range of colors might be lost on majority of users. It remains a mystery why OnePlus didn’t enable the feature on the OnePlus 3T in the first place. Perhaps it didn’t know back then how to best utilize the feature and waited for a time when they’d be more familiar with it. Either way, the feature is there, waiting to be enabled by those willing to go through the hoops to do it.