The Honor Play might not be the most powerful Android based devices that was released this year, but you can still enjoy a great Android experience especially if you choose to apply a few tweaks. Don’t get me wrong, the phone is powerful enough for handling most of the operations that might be performed by an average user. However, if you feel the need of extra power and speed, don’t panic as you can easily improve the general performance with some dedicated optimizations and customizations. But, first, you will have to unlock your Honor Play bootloader as that’s how you can prepare the Android system for custom operations.

The bootloader is running with restrictions which will prevent processes that aren’t supported by your OEM or by Google. Shortly, you cannot tweak the Honor Play unless you first unlock its bootloader. Shortly, that’s why you have to follow this step by step guide – as you can already notice this is an operation recommended for advanced and experienced users who are used with third party programs and tweaking initiatives.

The bootloader is a small script or program that runs by default on your device and more important, your phone cannot run without the bootloader program. The script will be initiated each time a boot or reboot process will be completed – so, each time you will power on, off, or restart your Honor Play. During these processes the bootloader will load the Android OS and other start-up programs and features from the ROM memory into the RAM partition. As you can notice, we don’t want to modify this program, but we want to remove its factory restrictions so that we can, in the end, gain further control over the Android internal system.

In that regard, once the Honor Play bootloader will be unlocked you will be able to apply different tweaks including the following custom operations: you can gain root access on your Huawei powered smartphone, you can set up a custom recovery image like TWRP recovery, you can install custom kernels and MODs, you can update your smartphone with custom ROMs (such as Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android), you can remove bloatware, you can flash third party apps from other sources than Google Play, you can make Nandroid backups, you can overclock or undervolt CPU frequencies and so much more.

Of course, achieving an unlocked bootloader isn’t an official operation. And, unfortunately Huawei isn’t currently offering unlocking codes for the Honor Play. Thus, first of all you need to know that your phone’s warranty will get void once you will start to complete the steps that are explained below. And, second of all, you will have to buy the unlock code for your Honor Play from third party developers – in that respect you can choose from different online options. So, get the code and after that return here and follow the steps that are detailed below.

Make a backup on your Honor Play before unlocking the bootloader. It’s important to protect your personal data as some files might get corrupted or even wiped out during the custom operation that’s described during this step by step guide. Therefore, take care of stuffs like contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and similar other packages – you can save everything in different ways: you can choose to use Huawei’s built-in cloud storage solutions, you can sync the files with your Google Account, you can use an external storage device or you can go to Google Play and download compatible backup and restore tools.

As you will see, a computer is required. There, the Honor Play drivers must be installed as otherwise you won’t be able to unlock your phone’s bootloader. Moreover, the Android SDK toolkit must be set up on your PC, so learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux. By the way, your smartphone and its USB cable will be required too as a connection between your handset and your computer is also needed.

On your handset you will have to gain Developer Options which can be done easily by tapping repeatedly on Built Number – as you will observe, after 7 or 10 repeated taps you will be prompted with the ‘you are a developer’ message. Well, after doing so, access Developer Options by accessing Menu - > Settings and check the USB Debugging feature.

It’s recommended to verify the power left on your Honor Play before starting the unlocking procedure from below. If the power is low your device might get turned off in the middle of the tweaking operation. Well, a sudden shut down can cause severe Android malfunctions so if you’re not careful enough you can end up in soft-bricking your Android device. That’s why you should charge your smartphone if its power is currently lower than 50%.

How to Unlock the Honor Play Bootloader

  1. Get the unlock code for your Honor Play.
  2. Then, access the Android SDK folder on your computer.
  3. From the same path open a command prompt window: press and hold the Shift keyboard key and right click on any blank space; then select ‘open command prompt window here’.
  4. Power on your phone and connect it with your computer – do it via USB cable.
  5. In the cmd window first type ‘adb devices’ and press enter. The IMEI number for your Honor Play should be returned; if it isn’t it means that your phone hasn’t been recognized by your computer situation during which you will have to reinstall its drivers before repeating this step.
  6. Next, in the same cmd window execute ‘adb reboot bootloader’ – fastboot mode will be now automatically entered on your Huawei branded device.
  7. Unlock your phone’s bootloader by executing in cmd: fastboot oem unlock yourunlockey. Note: replace the ‘yourunlockey’ with the actual unlocking code compatible with your Honor Play.
  8. When done, in cmd type ‘fastboot reboot’ as that should be all.

So now your Huawei Honor Play runs on an unlocked bootloader. That’s important as you can choose to set up TWRP recovery and gain root access – stay close as we will soon show you how to complete these procedures, or just search through our ‘how to’ page for more tweaks, tricks and tutorials compatible with your Honor Play. Also, let us know how everything worked for you and in that regard don’t hesitate and use the comments field from below. Enjoy.

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