Sadly, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will never officially receive Android 12 from Google. However, thanks to the wild world of custom ROM development, you’re now able to get the very latest OS update on 2017’s premier Pixel.

The last official version of Google’s mobile OS available for Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners is Android 11 — which was released in late 2020. That means you’ll miss out on the vast overhaul that arrived as part of the Android 12 update — Material You, color-based theming, Privacy Dashboard, enhanced widgets, and more. While the phone is capable, hardware holdouts will undoubtedly hope to get at least a little longer before thinking about upgrading to a new device.

An unofficial build of the popular ProtonAOSP ROM now gives you an avenue to explore Android 12 on your Pixel 2 XL. A build for the smaller Pixel 2 will be coming soon according to the team behind this iofficial ROM effort making this a great news tidbit for people still wanting to hold onto their device (via Android Police).

Should you want to try it for yourself, you’ll get all of the core features added in Android 12 with some added tweaks and features to ensure it runs smoothly on, what is, quite outdated hardware. This unofficial version of ProtonAOSP is actually available as a factory image, meaning that you can just flash this unique build of Android 12 on your Pixel 2 XL in the very same way you would flash a stock factory image. Should you encounter problems or flashing fails, then you may need to upgrade your on-device system partition. A dedicated guide on the XDA Forums will talk you through the process step-by-step.

This custom ROM should hopefully give your Pixel 2 XL a new lease of life with the dedicated one-handed mode, full Material You with Dynamic Color tweaks, and much more under the hood:

However, it’s worth noting that as this is a custom ROM, you may encounter some bugs and experience issues. Given that the stable Android 12 update on eligible Pixel devices is quite buggy, this should come as no great shock. That said, for Pixel 2 XL owners, this is currently the only way to get Android 12 on your smartphone.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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