Essential PH-1 is a new smartphone manufactured and developed by Andy Rubin, the actual father of Android. The phone, as you might know, can easily compete with other consecrated brands (yes, it can be compared with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus, or with the LG V30) so if you want to choose something different, the Essential PH-1might be the perfect choice for you. And, since Android runs by default, you can also choose to tweak everything by applying dedicated custom operations.

So, if you are currently using the Essential PH-1 and want to tweak its Android system, we are going to assist you. And, the first custom operation that will be detailed is discussing about the bootloader that runs by default on your phone.

Therefore, by using the guidelines from below we will see how the Essential PH-1 bootloader can be unlocked. As you will see, this operation can be easily completed even by a newbie, so from this perspective you have nothing to worry about. But, since we discuss about a custom process, there are a few risks implied, so before resuming the actual unlock steps make sure you review all the lines from this guide.

The bootloader is a small code, or program which will be initiated on your Essential PH-1 each time a boot or reboot process is started. The bootoader is there to load the Android OS and essential start-up programs and features from the ROM partition into the RAM memory. Without this program your Essential PH-1 cannot run. However, by default, the bootloader is locked meaning that is features a set of restrictions which are there to prevent further tweaking initiatives.

So, if you want to customize, optimize and personalize the Android system that runs on your Essential PH-1 first you will have to unlock your phone’s bootloader. Once this process is completed you will be able to apply further custom operations such as: gaining root access, removing bloatware, installing custom recovery images, adding custom kernels, flashing custom MODs, updating with custom ROM firmware, overclocking / undervolting CPU frequencies and more.

Unlocking the bootloader is not an operation supported by Essential so mainly you are about to complete an unofficial process. Shortly, you will lose the warranty of your Essential PH-1. So, if something bad happens you will have to pay for the technical assistance or you will have to find a way for manually fixing your Android device. Anyway, the warranty can be restored by relocking the bootloader – usually, reinstalling the stock Android OS might be required too.

Your personal data might get corrupted while the bootloader is unlocked. So, as a general precaution measure you need to secure your files before doing anything else. That can be done by syncing your files with your Google Account, by using built-in cloud storage platforms or by using other similar backup and restore apps from Google Play. In that manner you can save your contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, the EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and so on.

A computer is required for this process. On your computer you have to install Android SDK – learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux. Also, on the same PC install the Essential PH-1 drivers.

On your phone, enable Developer Options – tap repeatedly on Built Number until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message (usually you will get this message after 7 or 10 taps). Next, access Developer Options (from ‘menu - > settings’) and check the USB Debugging option and the OEM Unlock feature.

Verify the power that’s left on your Essential PH-1. If the battery power is lower than 50% you have to plug in the charger before unlocking the bootloader. If your phone will remain without power, the Android OS will initiate a shut down process. And if that happens while you apply the steps from below, you might end up in experiencing different software related problems.

Of course, apply the steps from below only if you own the Essential PH-1. Try not to mess things up and stick to the guidelines explained in this tutorial.

How to Unlock the Essential PH-1 Bootloader

  1. On your computer access the Android SDK folder.
  2. From there open a command prompt window: press and hold the Shift keyboard key and right-click on any blank space; then choose ‘open command prompt window here’.
  3. Power on your smartphone and afterwards connect it with your computer – use your phone’s USB cable in that respect.
  4. In the cmd window type: adb reboot bootloader.
  5. Bootloader mode will be automatically rebooted on your handset.
  6. Return to the cmd window end execute: fastboot devices – your device number must be listed; if not, reinstall its drivers and repeat the steps from above.
  7. In the same cmd window enter: fastboot oem unlock.
  8. That’s it; the bootloader will be now unlocked on your Essential PH-1.
  9. Remove the USB connection when done and also reboot your smartphone.

Good work; your Essential PH-1 device runs on an unlocked bootloader now. Therefore, you can start other tweaking operations such as installing a custom recovery image or gaining root access. Stay close for further tutorials and don’t forget to share your experience with us through the comments field from below.

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