Android One devices were released on September 2014 and they’ve been around for a while now. These devices were meant to provide a stock software experience on a pocket-friendly budget. The idea was that the local manufacturers make the phone and let Google handle the software side. Today, we’ve seen a number of Android One devices in the market with respectable performance for their price range.
Installing a custom recovery opens up a whole range of possibilities. We can easily flash a new ROM of our choice, flash modifications, perform full blown backups and have a fallback file manager in case something goes south.
This tutorial is applicable for all Android One devices. Do not attempt this method for any other devices as it may not work. You are responsible for your device’s consequences.
- Minimal ADB & Fastboot
- A Windows PC
- USB Cable (double check for cable faults)
- At least 60% battery remaining on your device
STEP 1: Connecting your device to the PC
On your Android One device, go to Settings->Developer Options and make sure you’ve enabled USB Debugging
Note: If you do not see the Developer Options menu, it can unlocked by going to About Phone->tapping build number a few times.
Now connect the phone to your PC and open Minimal ADB & Fastboot. To check if your device has been successfully connected, type:
This should show the Android devices currently connected to your PC. Make sure you accept the confirmation on the phone too. It is advised to disconnect any other Android devices.
STEP 2: Rebooting to Bootloader
Once you’ve successfully connected the device, we need to boot to the bootloader to proceed. To do this, shut down the phone completely. Once the phone is turned off, press and hold the Power + Volume down button together for about 5 seconds. Release the buttons together and you should now be looking at the bootloader.
Alternative method: On the Minimal ADB, simply type:
adb reboot bootloader
This should immediately switch the phone off and reboot to bootloader.
STEP 3: Unlocking the bootloader
Note: Skip this step if you’ve already unlocked your bootloader
Once you’ve successfully connected your device, we can move on to unlocking the bootloader. Unlocking the bootloader allows us to write into different storage partitions of our phones which would otherwise be blocked.
First, let’s make sure the phone is successfully connected to the PC. To check this, enter:
Once confirmed, we can unlock the bootloader. To unlock the bootloader, simply enter the following:
fastboot oem unlock
Warning: This will FACTORY RESET the device. All data will be lost. Make sure you take a backup before entering this.
Once this is done, the device is successfully unlocked and we can proceed to flash TWRP.
STEP 4: Flashing TWRP
We now need to download the TWRP file for proceeding. Follow the links to download twrp for your respective device
First Generation (Sparkle V, Canvas A1, Dream UNO, Roar A50)
Second Generation with MediaTek chipset (Lava Pixel X1, Bq Aquaris A4.5, Infinix Hot 2)
Second Generation with Qualcomm chipset (Cherry Mobile One, General Mobile 4G)
Once downloaded, rename the file to “twrp.img” (no quotes) and place on the folder where the Minimal ADB is installed. For most people, it is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot.
Once the file is in the folder, we can now go back to Minimal ADB and type in the command:
fastboot flash recovery twrp.img
This will replace the stock recovery to TWRP.
STEP 5: Booting to Recovery
After flashing to recovery, you can use the Volume Down button to navigate the bootloader and Volume Up to select. Select the “Recovery” option and you should start booting to TWRP.
After you’ve successfully flashed TWRP, you can enter the following command on your PC while in the bootloader menu:
fastboot reboot recovery
Note: Many devices will replace the custom recovery automatically after the first boot. To prevent this, boot into TWRP once you’re done flashing it. This will patch up the Stock ROM to prevent any further problems. If you do not follow this step, you will have to repeat the above procedure.
Success! We have now installed TWRP on our Android One devices.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below.