As far as kernels go, the forums of the OnePlus 3 duo have been flooded with great projects and splendid breakthroughs, making it too difficult to make your choice amongst the available kernels. Here I shall cover some of the ultimate kernel options I have been personally using for a long while, and hopefully that makes choosing between them less baffling.
Heavily focused on bringing the bleeding edge experience to your beloved metal clad, RenderKernel goes well beyond what’s deemed challenging and futuristic nowadays. Featuring the all-new Energy Aware Scheduling (EAS) that some of you have spotted via XDA’s own feat here, Render Kernel serves you a 100% identical experience to what you find in the latest Pixel duo from Google! Not to mention that it has been based on the latest CAF LA.UM 1.5.5 branch and built with the latest and greatest toolchain from Linaro for optimum performance. It still features the saner nifty features you may find in other choices like full color control, gestures support and Adrenoboost to aid with heavy gaming. So if you are aiming performance and stability, this shouldn’t fail you.
Note: the EAS variant works ONLY with ROMs supporting EAS from the ROM’s side. OOS will work, but not as seamlessly as other non-OOS ROMs.
Xceed Kernel [LOS/OOS]
If you are in search for the absolute sheerest power on demand, then look no further. Featuring overclocking up to 1.86 GHz for the little cluster and a massive 2.30 GHz for the big cluster, this kernel undoubtedly has the most brutal power under your command. Overclocking extends to the GPU as well, bumping up the max frequency considerably to 670 MHz (681 MHz in the case of the 3T). And don’t worry, your phone will still last to the end of the day because Xceed Kernel features a new idling technique aiming at reducing idle drain as much as possible. Power users will definitely not be let down by their choice of Xceed.
ElementalX Kernel [LOS/OOS]
Those who care about stability more than anything else will find solace in ElementalX Kernel.
This kernel boasts a handful of nifty features without straying away from providing the most stable experience possible. You get the usual features like color calibration control, should you feel uncomfortable with the default screen color setting, Adrenoboost for hardcore gamers, gesture control and slight overclocking support. It’s been stable enough to be forked by other kernel solutions like NewEraElementalX and KronicCore, with the former featuring more up-to-date security patches and the latter bearing some CAF patches to improve performance on CAF-based ROMs. So far, EX kernel has proven itself to be a staple of the Android community.
Franco Kernel [OOS Only]
If you supremely care about how much your phone can hold its charge without a cuddle with the wall (well, OnePlus 3(T) users do not hug the wall that much), Franco kernel got your back. With the developer’s full dedication towards cutting down the wakelocks and ensuring maximum efficiency, this kernel should be capable of effectively extending your charge cycle duration, decreasing battery drain when idling and being actively used to squeeze out more hours of usage from your phone’s battery. What’s more impressive is that you won’t be sacrificing any performance while enjoying such a reasonable improvement in battery life.
Note: the process of battery life prolonging does include slight underclocking to more efficient maximum frequency steps. No worries though, your phone will still perform as fast as desired.
White Wolf Kernel [LOS/OOS]
If you are all about breaking out all the hammers and experimenting with the available settings, then White Wolf kernel will be one of the dearest to your heart. From multiple hotplug drivers to loads of CPU governors, this kernel is filled to the brim with every choice you would think of. The list goes on to various I/O schedulers as well as the usual features usually obtained from other kernels. However, fiddling with all those features does not guarantee you a stable experience and may introduce slight inconveniences. Thankfully, those quite experimental features are turned off by default. So if you know what you do quite well, you will greatly appreciate this kernel.
Blu_spark Kernel [LOS/OOS]
Blu_spark kernel offers an optimal balance between performance and efficiency, which involves slight overclocking support to the CPU and some flags optimization, while basing off OnePlus’s own kernel source for maximum stability. One of the key features of this kernel is a new CPU governor created by the developer himself, named blu_active, which features an extra fastlane setting where the CPU scales to the max frequency directly depending on a user configurable load threshold, in an attempt to provide a roadrunner mode to speed things up on high workloads, should the user ever feel such need for speed. Other than that, the governor retains Qualcomm’s own interactive settings and tunings. Naturally the kernel does come with the usual simple features out of the box like color calibration and the like. People searching for some little fun while maintaining maximum stability will admire such a kernel. However, it is most advisable to couple blu_spark kernel with the latest available blu_spark recovery for maximum compatibility, especially if a move to the arguably faster F2FS filesystem is considered, though official TWRP recovery have been proven to work quite as well on the more abundant EXT4 filesystem.
Boeffla Kernel [LOS/OOS]
It is one of the unique options available for the OnePlus 3 duo, more specifically distinguished by its utmost stability, thanks to the developer’s serious attention to its reliability across day-to-day usage. It gets even better when you know the fact that this kernel has its own companion app that solely works with this kernel to ensure that everything in this kernel is 100% functional and not interfered by any other apps or mods. Speaking of which, this kernel is not all gloomy and dull and indeed it does come with a handful of nifty features like a complete color control module, a haptic feedback control module, extensive control over your notification LED, and – rather interestingly – supporting a host of hardware via external modules. And it doesn’t stop at that either, thanks to ZaneZam’s custom building service where he hooks up the kernel with a custom toolchain to flex its muscles, as well as providing a Kali Nethunter add-on to spice things up even more. A lot of fun indeed with minimal risk of damage control – what a recipe that is.
It is worth mentioning that all mentioned kernels fully support Nougat, be it via LineageOS based ROMs, CAF based ROMs or OxygenOS based ROMs. However, if you are still using any Marshmallow based ROMs for any reason, it is worth mentioning arter97’s kernel and Sultanxda’s kernel as great choices for (the Late) CM13, with the latter being provided by default in Sultanxda’s own custom CM13 builds. It is also worth noting that none of the above kernels support the recently released AOSPA Nougat except White Wolf Kernel, albeit being a bit experimental.
What kernel do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!