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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Install a Custom Kernel on the Essential PH-1 «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Install a Custom Kernel on the Essential PH-1 «Android :: Gadget Hacks



Unlocking the bootloader on your Essential PH-1 opens up your device to a host of new optimizations. A popular modification is a custom kernel that not only speeds up your phone but also gives you new features that you would not otherwise be able to do.

The kernel controls the communication between the software and the hardware. A custom kernel gives you unprecedented hardware access. At the time, this was limited to the ability to overclock (or undercut) the CPU and apply custom performance profiles. However, new custom kernels now offer even more features, including support for new software, adjustment of vibration, and increased GPU for better performance.

Step 1
: Unlock the Boot Loader

As with virtually all the changes you refer to your Essential PH-1, you must first unlock the bootloader. Only when the bootloader is unlocked can you flash unofficial firmware files like custom kernels. Since this process may be difficult for new users, we've created a complete tutorial that you can find at the following link:

Step 2: Install TWRP Custom Recovery

If you mod your Essential Phone, you virtually need TWRP custom recovery. With this custom recovery, you can make further changes and save device status if you mess up the phone or cause trouble for the phone. The installation of TWRP is a little different with Essential as it supports seamless updates. That's why we've created a guide to help you. For more information, visit the following link:

Step 3: Download the kernel to your device

Once your boot loader is unlocked and the TWRP custom recovery is installed, you can install the first custom kernel Continue. The first thing you need to do is load a kernel onto the internal memory of your Essential PH-1.

In our example we will use ElementalX. ElementalX is manufactured by flar2, AKA Aaron Segaert. We know various other work by this developer, including the App Button Mapper, and had no problems. Its kernel is rated very well for the Essential and comes along with the CPU frequency speed with many features.

This kernel was tested only for the standard ROM. Therefore, users using custom ROMs should use their own discretion. Use the following link to download the correct kernel based on the version of Android you are running.

Step 4: Install the kernel

Turn off your device with the power menu. When the power is off, press and hold the power button and the volume down button at the same time (as in a screenshot). Keep these buttons pressed until you see a menu with the word "Start" in green letters. Navigate the menu with the volume rocker until you see "Recovery Mode" in red letters. Press the power key to confirm and return to TWRP Custom Recovery.

Enter the lock screen PIN or password to decrypt your hard drive and access the TWRP main menu. Select "Install" and then "Download" from the list of folders. Select the ElementalX ZIP file and swipe with the slider to confirm your selection.

A new page appears with some options that you can configure with the new kernel. After selecting "Next" a few times, you will see your first configurable options, the frequency of the LITTLE cores on your device.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the SoC of the PH-1, is arranged in two groups: or gold) cores and LITTLE (or Silver) cores. Each cluster consists of four cores, and both clusters operate at different frequencies.

Silver cores are used for less demanding tasks, such as surfing the web and checking emails. Since these activities cover most applications, overclocking this frequency can improve the overall performance of your device. However, you can also bypass this option to save battery life.

The gold cores are used for more demanding activities such as games. If you want the best performance during the game, overclock that frequency at the expense of battery life. However, if you barely play, you can beat this to get the battery life.

After selecting the frequency of these two clusters, select Install ElementalX. Once the installation is complete, select "Restart System" to return to the lock screen.

Step 5: Check if it works

Once you have returned to the lock screen, you can now confirm the installation. Open Settings and select "System". Select "About phone" and choose "Android version". In the pop-up window you will see a list of information including "kernel version". Under "kernel version" should be the text "ElementalX-PH-1" or the kernel you have chosen. If you see this, it indicates that your device is now using the custom kernel.

Step 6: Download the EX Kernel Manager (optional)

Typically, you need a dedicated app to help you optimize kernel-specific settings , With ElementalX, flar2 has created an app called EX Kernel Manager, which is available in the Play Store and gives you access to the full list of features included in the ElementalX kernel, along with frequency tuning.

The app costs $ 4.49, but it's well worth it for the amount of control it offers. In addition, Mr. Segaert has in addition to the Essential Kernel for a variety of different phones, so you can buy this app for more than just a device.

Check Out The following is a sneak peek of the extra features you can control with the EX Kernel Manager on the Essential Phone.

  • Advanced color control
  • Adjust vibration
  • Adrenoboost
  • Sweep2sleep
  • Wakelock blocking options [19659028] Backlight Dimmer Option
  • I / O Scheduler: CFQ, FIOPS, Deadline, Maple, Zen, Noop, SIO
  • NTFS support
  • WireGuard support
  • Option to disable fsync

The app requires root access for most features. For a detailed guide on how to root the Essential PH-1, visit the following link:

Cover image and screenshots of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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