2021-08-17 17:52 GMT:
Added EU downgrade links for 8-series & 8T — OnePlus made them available in the respective forum threads — although they mistakenly swapped 8-series links, as spotted by community members.
While this article concerns only 8-series & 8T users, we decided to publish it for all devices, as the early shutdown of Open Beta for these devices may serve as a hint for what could happen with the beta programs for other devices. At this time, it appears that all other devices may also receive the same treatment, e.g. it's been 3 full months since Nord's OB5 was released, and there's no newer beta build yet (their release cycle promises 1 OB every month).
It's well-known that the Open Beta (OB) release cycle for a device ends about a year before it reaches its End-of-Life (EOL; which is also when it receives the last stable build). However we just got an odd news today: the OxygenOS 11 Open Beta track for 8-series & 8T has ended today (27th July 2021). That's far before the general expectation of Q3/Q4. Previously, OnePlus used to announce the end of an OB update track after a new flagship launch, probably because they intended to focus more on newer devices. However, this time there was no new flagship announced — only the "budget" Nord 2.
So Open Beta 12 is the last one for 8-series devices, and Open Beta 7 is the last one for 8T. What's noteworthy is that global & EU 8-series devices have not received Open Beta 12 yet (they're still on OB11!), even though devices in the Indian region received it on 23rd July 2021. Did OnePlus forget?
At this time we're not sure if this is the end of Open Beta completely, or just for OxygenOS 11 (source post's wording isn't crystal clear, but we hope it's the latter). Open Beta builds were a great way for enthusiasts to try new features and get up-to-date security patches every month. Their justification for shutting down OB early is the recent Oppo-OnePlus merger — they cite "stronger R&D resources that can better test" builds on the stable track. To us, that is merely an excuse. After all, they haven't adjusted the release cycle for stable builds — it's still at 1 build every 2 months, which is hilariously slow compared to other companies. The only commitment they've made is that newer flagships would receive 3 major upgrades and an additional year of security patches, which also applies to 8-series & 8T.
What does this mean for you if you are on the Open Beta track?
There are two options:
1. Switch back to the stable branch (recommended)
Moving from beta back to the stable branch requires a full data wipe, so make sure to backup all important stuff before your proceed! (this is standard for a OnePlus device). You can use OnePlus Switch (recently renamed to "Clone Phone") for backup purposes (remember to copy the "opbackup" folder somewhere else, like a PC, so that you can restore it after the rollback process). If you're familiar with installing updates via Local Upgrade (you should be, since you've been using Oxygen Updater already), here are the respective rollback packages for each device (8-series packages will take you back to 184.108.40.206, while for 8T it'll take you back to 220.127.116.11/14):
EU links aren't available because OnePlus didn't provide them yet — we'll update the article when they do, so check back later. OnePlus finally provided EU rollback links on 17th August 2021, and we've added them above.
If you're not familiar with the process, we recommend you to refer to the source posts for detailed instructions: 8-series; 8T. Note that OnePlus recommends that you flash the rollback build twice for stability reasons (so you should save a copy of the rollback ZIP somewhere else to avoid re-downloading it).
Once you're back on the stable branch, you'll continue to receive stable updates both via the system OTA, as well as via Oxygen Updater itself — make sure you select one of the stable update methods in the app's settings: "Stable (full)" or "Stable (incremental)" (depending on whether you have an unlocked bootloader or not).
2. Remain on the Open Beta track, even though you won't receive any more betas
Keep in mind that you won't receive new features, security patches, or bug-fixes anymore. We do not recommend this at all — you really should opt for the previous option.