The past year or so hasn’t felt like the smoothest sailing for smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. Take away the problems that are mostly the company’s issues —which includes a bout of stolen credit card information, potential backdoors that could allow hackers to access almost every OnePlus device, and privacy issues surrounding its smartphones’ data collection capabilities—and you’re left with the smartphones themselves, which have some pecularities of their own.
If you’re the proud owner of a OnePlus 5 or OnePlus 5T, you’ve probably felt a little frustrated that your device can’t stream HD content. Pick a service—Netflix, Google Play, Amazon Prime, etc.—and roll the dice. If the service uses the Widevine Level 1 DRM to protect its content, that won’t jive with either smartphone, which only supports Widevine Level 3 for SD content.
OnePlus now has a fix to enable HD streaming, but there’s a bit of a catch. You can’t upgrade your device or otherwise install this fix yourself. OnePlus has to do it for you.
“We have good news for you on this, we’ve just rolled out a program to update OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T handsets. Due to the security processes involved with updating the devices, we can only deliver the update via a physical connection from an authenticated PC. If you are interested in this update, please contact our CS team for more information,” writes a OnePlus community manager on the company’s forums.
“We’re covering the courier costs for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T customers who would like the update, as you will need to send your device to us to update. We have a process in place which means we’ll have your handset back to you in no more than five working days from when we receive it. We’ve worked hard to streamline this process as much as possible, and because of this we’re unable to cover the courier costs for customers outside of our service regions, which are North America, Europe, India, and China.”
As you might expect, not every OnePlus customer is taking the news well.
“Oneplus being oneplus. This is my first oneplus and my impression [sic] are very poor this moment. You did the mistake and now the user pay for that. I deserve the capability to watch HD content, but I don’t have a spare phone to use while you are fixing the problem that you create. At least for the trouble created, you should reward the user,” one commenter writes.
OnePlus owners who want to start the update process will first need to contact the company’s Customer Support team. And if you’re holding out in the hope that OnePlus might consider a different method, you’re only wasting your time. The secure components for the missing Wildvine DRM can only be installed at a manufacturer’s factory. In this case, a simple over-the-air software update isn’t enough.