When an OTA Android Update Bricks your Phone
I have a OnePlus 8 Pro which I have very much enjoyed. It hasn’t been without it’s occasional teething issues, but overall an excellent design, even if it is “past peak OnePlus” if you ask Daniel Smith. Two days ago I got an OTA updated to the STABLE
IN2025_11.F.13 / OxygenOS / Android 13 ROM.
What do you do as someone who (occasionally) writes for a Tech blog and works in IT as a DevOps/SRE/Platform Engineer? You install it looking forward to seeing the new smashup of
OxygenOS, and Stock Android of course. Well, after a reboot my problems began. No Voice or Mobile Data Service. But SMS continues to work.
Reboot, Reseat the SIM, reboot again. Try turning 5G off. Finally get on With VZW tech support, which means stumping the stupid chatbot. Spent exactly 60 minutes talking to them, though the only thing they had me try that might have worked was NUKING the Netowrk Settings, which would have left a more pleasant taste in my mouth if they had told me this would also kill all BT and Wifi saved connections. But what happens after exactly 60minutes?
I call this “tech support go *poof*”
Thankfully there is Reddit’s r/oneplus where I found comradery and the suggestion that “old” SIM cards are not working with OnePlus Phones on OxygenOS 13 (OOS13 in the parlance). I scheduled a slot at the local VZW store and worked with Keith. I put as much as possible in the 200 characters you can enter about your appointment/ Why 200 characters by the way, it is support not a tweet, AmIRight? Anyway, Keith told me they don’t sell, so thus don’t support the OnePlus line, but as I knew the shibboleth and all the correct things to say, he would provision me a new SIM card if the IMEI would let him. Why wouldn’t it I thought scratching the exposed part of my beard around my mask…. this phone worked two days ago on your network, but an OTA update broke data and voice.
Less than 10 minutes in the VZW store a couple of magic codes from the manager (Keith really was great, wasn’t trying to sell me or BS me, just a tech guy talking to a tech guy). I have a shiny new 5G SIM for my phone, and Keith says it could take 10 to 15 minutes to provision. About 30 seconds later I have Verizon Service, data and voice working again.
So if you are on Verizon (or another carrier) and a major OS update breaks your data and voice, it might be the SIM card’s age. It was for me and a handful of other Redditors.