OnePlus has now released the seventh iteration of its open beta OxygenOS build for its OnePlus 6, delivering quite a few new features including something new called OnePlus Roaming, according to the latest announcement in the related forums. That feature essentially lets the device act as though it has a virtual SIM card embedded and enables users to access mobile data connections even when they don't have a local SIM card inserted. OnePlus says it works in most countries or regions but that it is limited to data. So, outside of web-based chat clients or messaging services, users shouldn't expect to be able to use text messages or make phone calls with it activated. It also isn't free to use but will supply users with options across various packages available in the area they happen to be in. Bearing that in mind, it is fairly simple to activate, through the Settings application and underneath the 'Wi-Fi & Internet' subcategory.
Of course, noteworthy features added this build also includes a wealth of smaller improvements. For starters, a Video Enhancer that 'enhances' colors during playback has been added as well as unspecified new launcher options and drawer settings. It also turns on the ability to assign contacts to a specific SIM in dual-SIM situations. For example, users with a business and personal SIM inserted into the same device can now effectively assign business contacts to the one SIM, using that by default for those contacts, and their personal contacts to the other. Beyond that, OnePlus has added vibration that comes through when a user hangs up from a call. Finally, general bug fixes, stability improvements, and performance enhancements are included under the hood too.
Background: Prior to this update, the changes brought to the OnePlus 6 were primarily those intended to bring the device more in line with its more recently launched top-tier counterpart, the OnePlus 6T. That chiefly focused on camera-based options such as Studio Lighting and Nightscape. In short, those allowed for better contouring and clearer, more detailed low-light shots, respectively. The OnePlus 6 was introduced less than a half-year in advance of the OnePlus 6T and is, for clarity, a kind of "Plus" version of that device. So both handsets have largely the same specifications aside from design and the inclusion of an in-display fingerprint scanner found on the newer handset. Both are also, following recent updates, now running a OnePlus-built Android iteration that's closely based on Android 9 Pie.
Impact: However, it's not immediately apparent when the new OnePlus Roaming feature might make its way over to its larger sibling. Virtual SIM cards aren't necessarily a new concept and may be one of the most useful features for those who travel. Moreover, taken in combination with the ability to set specific contacts to a specific SIM but very few devices actually include any kind of virtual SIM features. So that's something that will almost certainly help set the device apart and it would make sense for it to be included on the OnePlus 6T as well since so many aspects of the devices are shared. There's also no indication as to when this may make its way over to the stable channel of the OS for users who aren't quite ready to take on the possible and likely risks of beta firmware. The previous update only remained in beta for a few days before moving over but it can also take several weeks or longer for that to happen.