If your old phone still works, then why should you upgrade? That’s the question a lot of people ask themselves every month. Sometimes, you’ll be forced to upgrade when your carrier makes changes to their network, but if you have an older phone that can still make calls, texts, and use mobile data, then you can keep using it for as long as the hardware lasts. The biggest problem with using outdated hardware is getting up-to-date software to make your apps keep working and keep your device safe from security exploits. Fortunately, if you still use the OnePlus One, the Google Nexus 5, or the Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, or V, you can upgrade your software to the latest Android 11 release, albeit unofficially, thanks to custom Android 11 ROMs on our forums.
Each of these phones was released when Android was still in its 4.X release stage. The OnePlus One and Google Nexus 5 were released at around the same time, both with Android 4.4 KitKat on board. OnePlus and Google both offered upgrades to Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but no further OS updates were offered. The Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, and V were all released around 8 years ago and stopped receiving updates after their respective Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. These devices are ancient and definitely don’t have the hardware to run Android 11 very well, but that doesn’t mean developers are ready to give up on them. Despite the many hacks needed to port the latest Android release, developers have managed to port Android 11 to each of these devices.
These Android 11 ROMs are clearly not for the faint of heart as they are still being beta tested by their developers. The build for the OnePlus One, for example, originally had an issue with the lockscreen PIN, while the builds for the Google Nexus 5, Sony Xperia SP, and Sony Xperia T/TX/V have SELinux set to permissive, which is a no-no when it comes to security. Furthermore, vendor support for these devices ended years ago, so there’s no telling what chipset-related bugs and security exploits are still exploitable on these devices. Still, flashing one of these Android 11 ROMs will get you the latest OS release with all the security patches to the Android framework that have accumulated over the last few years, give you access to new security and privacy features to protect your data from malicious apps, and of course, let you enjoy many of the latest Android OS features.
If you’re interested in any of these Android 11 ROMs, you can download them from their respective forum threads linked below. If you have another device and are interested in seeing if there’s an Android 11 ROM available for it, then check out our article that lists all the Android 11 ROMs we’ve spotted on our forums.