Although the Essential PH-1 had a difficult start due to constant updates, it has slowly become one of the best Android phones of recent years. For $ 499, the Essential Phone is a cheaper pixel that receives updates almost as fast as the Pixel series does. Plus, you get a phone with an easy-to-unlock bootloader, which is the first step in thinning.
If you're new, you know it's intimidating, but relatively easy. 1 compared to other devices. And that's one of the best aspects of the phone, because before you can use Magisk, Xposed, or your first custom ROM, you must first unlock the bootloader.
What you need:
- Windows, Mac or Linux computer
- OEM USB cable
Before you do anything, make sure you Save your data. Unlocking the bootloader will erase your device so you can ensure that you can retrieve all your data later. While Android automatically backs up most of your personal information in Google Drive, including your call history, Wi-Fi passwords, apps, contacts and more, you should back up your own copies if Google can not recover your recent actions
We recommend using Third party apps like SMS Backup & Restore to back up your call log and text messages for the most recent list. More information can be found in our guide below.
Step 2: Downloading Drivers (Windows Only)
If you are using a Windows-based computer, you need drivers to let your computer recognize (and interact with) the correct ID of your phone when connected via USB , Go to to download the Essential Drivers to your computer. Double-click the downloaded file, and then follow the instructions to install the drivers.
Step 3: Install ADB & Fastboot on your computer
Fastboot must be used to unlock the bootloader. You need the appropriate software, which can vary depending on the operating system of your computer.
To download the software, you must execute ADB and fastboot commands. We have integrated several methods with different advantages. For the simplest method, we recommend using Method 2. However, for the best results, we recommend staying with Method 1.
To unlock the boot loader, you need to send commands from your computer to your phone. This means that you need to enable two settings on your phone: "USB debugging", which allows you to receive instructions from the computer, and "OEM unlock," which unlocks the bootloader.
To enable these settings, you must unlock the hidden Developer Options menu. Use this link for detailed instructions, but the short version is this: Go to Settings -> System -> Over Phone, then tap "Build Number" 7 times. Go back to the previous page and choose Advanced to see Developer Options.
Select "Developer Options" and enable the "Unlock OEM" setting may need to enter your PIN for the lock screen. Then use the OEM cable to connect your Essential PH-1 to your computer. Scroll down the Developer Options on your phone to search for "USB Debugging". Activate the Shift key and select "OK" in the popup.
Step 5: Open the Command Prompt or Terminal
On your computer, you must open the Command window in the correct directory. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to first open the platform-tools folder in your computer's file browser. For Windows users, this is usually found at C: Program Files (x86) Android android-sdk platform-tools . For Linux and Mac users, the location of the folder is different, so use the search function of your operating system to find the folder.
After the find, copy the full location (including the Platform Tools ) address bar at the top of your file browser. Then open a command prompt or a terminal window. On Windows, press the Windows key on your keyboard, type "cmd" and press Enter. On Linux or Mac, open "Terminal" in your application folder.
Once the command window is open, you must change the directories to folder platform-tools before you can send the fastboot command to unlock your bootloader. Enter "cd" (without the quotation marks) followed by a space and insert the location for your platform-tools folder:
With the phone connected, type the following at the command prompt:
This should be displayed Similar to the screenshot below with the phrase "List of connected devices" followed by a series of numbers and letters and the word "Device".
This information indicates that your device has been properly connected to your computer and USB debugging has been authorized. If you see "Unauthorized" instead of "device", disconnect and reconnect the USB cable and make sure you select "OK" at the "Allow USB debugging" prompt.
Since we need to use fastboot, we need to boot our device to the bootloader. Type the following command at the command prompt or the terminal window and press Enter:
adb reboot boolloader
Your phone restarts on a new screen with multiple lines of text. Next, type the following code to unlock your boot loader:
Fastboot flashes Unlock
Use the volume controls on your phone to navigate to "Yes," and then press the power button to confirm
After selecting "Yes" your phone will restart. A new page will appear, indicating that your bootloader is no longer locked, and you can press the power button to pause the reboot. That is completely normal. Do not press the power button to restart the phone. After the startup animation appears, a layered circle with the text "Delete" appears at the bottom of the page.
At this point, the phone is returning the device to factory settings. Once this is done, it will start you back to the operating system. Since your data is deleted, you will be greeted by the first splash screen that you first met when you first opened the phone. Log in from there and complete the setup like the first time, then restore your data and SMS history.
Unlike many other Android phones, unlocking the bootloader does not invalidate the warranty on your PH-1. The warranty does not extend to defects that occur in abnormal use, such as. Roots and custom ROMs. Note that every time you restart the device, you will see a warning that you have an unlocked bootloader. This is normal and does not affect operation.