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Update Motorola Moto G3 to Android 8.1 Oreo via Pixel Experience ROM

Motorola stopped the official support for the Moto G3. Currently, the smartphone is running on Android Nougat and will no longer receive further OTAs or similar updates – mainly due to hardware limitations, but that doesn’t mean that the Oreo software will not smoothly run on your device. But, is that possible – to use the Android 8.1 Oreo firmware on your Motorola Moto G3? Yes, that can happen if you are ready to complete a custom ROM installation process.

So, during this tutorial we will check how to install the new Pixel Experience custom ROM firmware on the Motorola Moto G3. As the name suggest, the software is based on the Google Pixel stock OS and is bringing the Android 8.1 Oreo platform on your device. The software is light, fast and without bloatware or other features and apps that can slow things down. Unfortunately, Pixel Experience for Moto G3 is not yet fully stable – the update is still under development stage but it can already be flashed through the steps from below.

Since it’s not yet fully stable, Pixel Experience will run on the Moto G3 without major problems so you can use this Android 8.1 Oreo firmware on a daily basis. However, you might still experience some minor bugs and issues – don’t worry, everything will be soon fixed by the devs (those of xda-developers are responsible with this custom Oreo release so all the credits for this tutorial should go to them – we are here only to detail the actual flashing process).

So, the best will be to make a Nandroid backup on your Motorola Moto G3 before going any further – a Nandroid backup will save the current Android OS that runs on your smartphone. So, if the Pixel Experience custom ROM will not run as you expected, you will be able to restore the stock Android firmware by flashing the Nandroid backup package.

You can install the Pixel Experience custom ROM firmware on your Motorola Moto G3 only if some additional operations are first ensured:

  • You need to unlock the bootlaoder of your phone – that’s the first unlocking process that must be initiated because the new ROM will have to access and modify built-in apps, features and processes.
  • You must root your Motorola branded device – with root ensured the unlocking process will be successfully achieved.
  • A custom recovery image must be running on your smartphone – the update operation can be completed only if a custom recovery image can be used. In that respect I recommend you to install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery.

Backup your Motorola Moto G3 – it’s important to save your personal data because the actual flashing process can be completed only if a hard reset is initiated first (clearing app data cache will be also required). So, if you have important files stored on your phone, take a few minutes and secure everything that wasn’t there from day one – like contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info and so on. A general backup can be easily completed as you can already use built-in cloud storage services, you can go to Google Play and download dedicated and compatible backup and restore apps or you can just sync your files with your own Google Account.

This is going to be a manual update operation so a computer is required. On that computer you are going to save the files which will be then flashed on your Moto G3. By the way, your smartphone and its USB cable are both required. On your phone you have to enable Developer Options, a process which can be completed by tapping repeatedly (for 7 or 10 times) on Built Number (just until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message). Afterwards, from Developer Options (it will be displayed under menu – > settings) you will have to check the USB Debugging field.

If required, a charging process should be completed first – you should charge your Motorola Moto G3 before updating to Android 8.1 Oreo via Pixel Experience custom ROM. If the charging process isn’t considered your smartphone might remain without power right in the middle of the flashing operation situation during which its Android OS might get soft bricked (different malfunctions might be caused within the Android core system). So, as a general rule, you should complete this task if the power left on your handset is currently lower than 50%.

How to Update Motorola Moto G3 to Android 8.1 Oreo via Pixel Experience ROM firmware

  1. Download the Pixel Experience ROM for your Moto G3 from here. Don’t worry, the update package contains Google Apps so you don’t have to flash this package separately.
  2. Save the update file on desktop.
  3. Switch off your smartphone and wait while the shut down process is completed.
  4. Reboot recovery mode on your Android device and from recovery initiate a full wipe: select ‘wipe data factory reset’ followed by ‘wipe cache partition’ and ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
  5. When done, return to main menu of recovery and choose ‘reboot’.
  6. Now, power on your device and connect it with your computer via USB cable.
  7. Transfer the Android 8.1 Oreo custom ROM file from desktop to your smartphone.
  8. Remove the USB cord and power off your handset.
  9. Again, reboot recovery mode on your Moto G3.
  10. From recovery tap on Install and load the Pixel Experience custom ROM file.
  11. Swipe in order to begin the flashing operation – if you’re not using TWRP recovery select ‘install zip from SD card’ followed by ‘choose zip from SD card.
  12. Wait while the update operation is completed and when done return to main menu of recovery.
  13. From there tap on Reboot.
  14. That’s it.

There you go. You can now enjoy the Android 8.1 Oreo firmware on your own Motorola Moto G3. Of course, start testing the Pixel Experience custom ROM software and share your experience with us – tell us what’s working and what need to be fixed by using the comments field from down below. If you need our further assistance we will try to assist you as soon as possible. That should be all; enjoy.