In the wild world of Android custom ROMs, putting too much faith in a manufacturer can see you forced mostly out of the scene. While many people flash ROMs on phones that aren't their daily driver, or use them for development, most users simply throw the old device in a drawer or give it to somebody. Manufacturers can easily lock a phone down to the extent that owners are stuck either giving up the device for something else, or simply accepting the stock software. This trend can even manifest in cases involving public outcry, such as with the locked bootloaders on the US variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but some manufacturers do things the opposite way entirely. One of those manufacturers is OnePlus, and they've proven that to the community time and time again. OnePlus has released the full device tree and kernel source for the OnePlus 3T ahead of its November 22nd launch, following the official announcement of the device which occurred yesterday.
To put it quite simply, the kernel source is the core of the OnePlus 3T's interface between its software and its hardware, laid bare for developers to plunder, fork, and otherwise use as they please. The device tree is somewhat related, being the blueprint for how the hardware is laid out on a software level, giving the drivers running atop the kernel something to hook into. Without either of these crucial components, custom ROMs can either end up a buggy mess, as seen on some older devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and LG G2X, or may not come at all.
OnePlus is releasing the device tree and kernel source for the OnePlus 3T a full week before the device becomes available for purchase, which would theoretically allow developers with somewhat powerful hardware to not only develop for the phone, but also to use the values contained in those two file sets to construct a virtual OnePlus 3T for ROM and app testing. Those looking to buy the OnePlus 3T can expect some serious community efforts, and on the hardware front, they can expect a more powerful Daydream-compatible Qualcomm Snapragon 821 processor, a beefier selfie camera, and a bigger battery, among other highlights. The phone drops into its first markets, the United States included, on November 22, with pricing set at $439 for the 64GB version of the phone, while the 128GB version will run you a cool $479, still a far cry less than competitors.