How to install TWRP on Essential phone PH-1

Essential Phone PH-1

Essential Phone PH-1 redefined the Android Flagship device with its flagship specs and killer pricing. This is the first to have a notch and offered full screen display to the users. Both of this feature later adopted by most of the leading manufacturers including Apple. Now, Finally Essential Phone PH-1 gets TWRP support officially. So now you can take a complete backup of your device and restore it at anytime, root your device and side load any apps at ease with this custom recovery. Let us see how to install TWRP on Essential Phone PH-1.

Prerequisites:

  1. Make sure your battery is more than 65%
  2. Remove any lock screen security set up like finger print authorization or pass code.
  3. A PC and a standard USB cable.
  4. Install ADB and fastboot in your PC ( Here is the simple guide to install ADB and fastboot)
  5. Download the TWRP image and move it to the same folder where you have installed ADB. UnZip the file and rename the img file as twrp.img for easier access

How to install

Please note that The Essential Phone uses the newer AB partition scheme which was first introduced on the Pixel 1. Unlike the Pixel or any Android devices, Essential has disabled fastboot boot and so there is no way to temporarily boot TWRP using ADB to perform an installation.

So here we are going to use the alternative boot slot to flash the initial copy of TWRP and boot TWRP. Let us see how to install TWRP on Essential Phone PH-1 now.

We have to enable “USB debugging” and “Unlock OEM” first to install twrp recovery. You may have to re-enable them again after unlocking bootloader.

How to enable USB Debugging:

  • In your device, go to About phone and tap on Build number for few time. This will enable Developer options.
  • Go to settings–> developer option in your device and enable OEM unlocking and USB debugging. Below are the sample images where you can find both options. Below are the screenshots for reference.
USb Debugging
OEM Unlock sample. Click to enlarge

Unlocking bootloader

Once you are done with the above steps, let us proceed to unlock bootloader and install TWRP recovery.

  • Connect your smartphone to the pc with a standard USB cable and wait till your phone is detected.
  • Move the downloaded TWRP recovery image in the same folder where you’ve installed ADB and fastboot.
  • Rename the recover image file to twrp.img for easier access
  • Now press SHIFT key and right-click on an empty space inside the folder and Select ‘Open PowerShell window here’ from the right-click menu that appears. If your PC running on windows 10 the option will “Open command window here”
  • A command prompt window shall open on your PC now.
  • Now type the below command in your command prompt.
Command
fastboot devices
  • Now type the below command in the command prompt to boot your device into fastboot mode
Command
adb reboot bootloader
  • Now type the below command in the prompt to unlock your devices’s bootloader.
Command
fastboot flashing unlock
  • Now you’ll see a pop up in your device. Confirm the action on your phone. Use volume up to navigate to yes and power button to confirm the selection
  • You can use below command to confirm whether you have unlocked your bootloader successfully.
Command
fastboot oem device-info

If you see true for “device unlocked” row in the command prompt , then congratulations you’ve successfully unlocked your bootloader :)

Video Tutorial

Please note that after unlocking the bootloader, the PH-1 was not recongized via fastboot. If yours also is not being recognized before or after unlocking bootloader, you can use the below commands which worked for us. we use 0x2e17 in the commands which is the vendor ID. It is needed ,as some fastboot binaries may not be recognized by Essential’s vendor ID. It will allow fastboot to recognize the device

To recognize your device

Command
fastboot devices -i 0x2e17

To unlock bootloader:

Use below command to unlock your bootloader

Command
fastboot -i 0x2e17 flashing unlock

How to install TWRP Recovery

Now we are all set to install TWRP recovery to your device. Please follow the below steps in order.

  • Enter the below command in adb your command prompt
Command
adb shell getprop ro.boot.slot_suffix
  • You’ll see any one of the below messages which shows the active slot of your device.

[ro.boot.slot_suffix]: [_a]

or

[ro.boot.slot_suffix]: [_b]

  • Make note of your active slot from the message.
  • Now power off the device and connrct it to your PC using the standard usb cable.
  • Now press and hold power and volume down for 5-7 seconds till your phone boot into fastboot mode
  • You want to switch to the alternate boot slot. If you are currently on slot A, type this: fastboot --set-active=_b Or on slot B type this: fastboot --set-active=_a

You will see the below message after executing the above command

 Setting current slot to 'a'... OKAY [ 0.042s] finished. total time: 0.042s

  • Make sure you have move the downloaded twrp image to the same folder where you have placed adb files. Also rename the image file to twrp.img.
  • Now run the below command to flash the twrp image.
Command
fastboot flash boot twrp.img && fastboot reboot

Your device should now boot into TWRP.

  • Now You want to switch back to the old boot slot. If you made slot A as active, type this command: fastboot --set-active=_b Or type this: fastboot --set-active=_a
  • Now move the downloaded zip file to your phone using PC.
  • In TWRP home page, tap on Install and browse the downloaded zip and swipe to confirm flash.

 

TWRP will now be installed to both slots.  Finally you can reboot and use your device.

Struck? Let us know on comments :)