The first version of the Samsung Galaxy Note will no longer receive official Android updates due to hardware limitations. But, even though this device might be considered outdated by some, in fact it can still provide enough power even for the most demanding Android processes that are running on the market nowadays. So, if you are still using the Galaxy Note as your main device then maybe you will want to test the latest Android 7.0 Nougat system on your own smartphone.
Since the Android Nougat firmware is currently available only for Nexus branded devices you cannot use a fully stable ROM so far. But, what you can flash is the unofficial built of the new CyanogenMod platform: the CM 14 custom ROM software. This custom ROM is developed by those of xda-developers so we must thank them for this software release. Moreover, the present update isn’t related with Google or with Samsung and should be applied only by advanced or experimented users who are used with tweaking procedures.
Right from the start you must know that CM 14 for Samsung Galaxy Note can’t be yet used on a daily basis. There are still various issues running so you can’t enjoy a stable and smooth Android 7.0 Nougat experience. However, through this custom ROM you can check what’s new in the Android system and you can see how the Nougat firmware is running on the first gen. of Samsung Galaxy Note. You can then port CM14 features and settings in order to customize and optimize your device for improving its general performance.
But, once more, this step by step guide isn’t recommended for newbies. The update operation isn’t official so you will lose your Note warranty. Moreover, if you somehow manage to mess things up, in the end you can notice that something isn’t running as it should - thus, you can end up in experiencing various software related issues such as boot loops, lags, bugs, force close errors, battery drain, heating issues, screen freeze, total blackouts, signal strength problems, and so on. In those situations you will have to learn how to manually address all the implied issues – you can do so by using our dedicated Android troubleshoot guide.
You can use this tutorial for installing Android 7.0 Nougat on the Galaxy Note only if your smartphone is rooted and running on a custom recovery image. With root ensured you will be able to unlock the internal Android system of your phone – then the Android 7.0 Nougat firmware will modify, customize and optimize this system. And, of course, through the custom recovery image you will then complete the flashing process – in order to make everything work without problems I recommend you to use TWRP or CWM recovery.
When dealing with custom updates you must first make a proper backup as during the installation process your personal data, info and accounts will be wiped out. You should therefore start by saving everything that’s important: contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, the EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data, calendar info, saved passwords and so on. The data can be saved if you choose to sync it with your Google account, if you use Samsung built-in cloud storage platforms or if you download compatible backup and restore apps from Google Play.
In addition to the general backup you should also complete a Nandroid one. This operation will save the current Android firmware that runs on your Samsung Galaxy Note. Thus, in the end, after completing this Nougat update tutorial you will be able to go back to stock by using the same Nandroid file.
You can install the CM 14 OS only if you first make sure that: a computer or notebook is near you along with your Note and with your phone’s USB cable; on the computer temporarily deactivate the antivirus protection if you cannot download the required files; on your Galaxy Note become a developed: go to Menu, tap on Settings and from About Phone tap 7 times repeatedly on Built Number until you get the ‘you are a developer’ message; next, on your smartphone, go to Menu, access Settings and under Developer Options check the USB Debugging field.
Just before starting the steps from below charge your handset if that’s required – usually, if the power is lower than 50% you have to plug in the charger: otherwise your Note might get turned off and bricked while you try to update its Android system with the CM 14 Nougat custom ROM firmware.
How to Install Unofficial CM14 Android 7.0 Nougat custom ROM firmware on Samsung Galaxy Note
- From your computer navigate towards this page.
- From there download the CM 14 ROM file.
- Also, from here download compatible Google Apps – you have to flash Google Apps separately as the package isn’t included in the Android 7.0 software.
- Save both files on desktop and then connect your device with your computer via USB cable – your smartphone must be turned on.
- Transfer the downloaded files from your computer, to your device and when you are done unplug the USB cable.
- You now need to go into recovery mode – for doing so, first power off your Galaxy Note and then press and hold the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons for a short while.
- From recovery, before doing anything else, make a hard reset and clear app data cache; you can complete these options by selecting “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- You now have to return to main menu of recovery. This time select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick up the CM 14custom ROM file and install the Android 7.0 Nougat ROM on your Galaxy Note.
- Repeat the last step and flash Google Apps.
- In the end, from recovery select “reboot system now” and enjoy.
Do test how CM14 is running on your Samsung Galaxy Note. Check all the new Android 7.0 Nougat features and then return here and share your experience with us and with other users who might want to use this step by step guide.