With the recent launch of the OnePlus 6T, the company continues to impress us with some of the best phones when it comes to the rooting and modding. OnePlus has made it easy enough to get up and running with the rooting process as fast as possible. The OnePlus devices follow the same core principles Google uses for their Pixels, which is excellent news for both the user and the development side of things.
If you have ever wanted to mod your Android device, your new best friend is easily going to be Team Win's TWRP custom recovery. This gives you access to file flashing on the fly, which can include such things as Magisk for root access, or even a custom ROM to replace the stock firmware that came with the device.
Before you can dive into customizing your OnePlus 6T, you must take the initial step of unlocking the bootloader to gain the ability to install TWRP, Magisk, custom ROMs, and other mods.
Rooting usually means sacrifice. With most root methods, you lose access to apps like Netflix and Android Pay when SafetyNet gets tripped. More importantly, you lose the ability to accept OTA updates, forcing you to manually flash new Android versions. But there's a way around all of this if you root the right way.
The main draw for Google's Pixel series is the software. It rocks a clean version of stock Android instead of a heavy OEM skin like TouchWiz, it gets frequent prompt OS updates, the camera software is downright amazing, and it has perhaps the most fluid UI of any phone. But an understated advantage of the software is how dead-simple it is to modify with root-level tweaks.
So, you rooted your Pixel 2 or 2 XL and everything seems to be working quite well. However, a month passes, and you get a notification to install the monthly security update. Like clockwork, Google has been pushing out OTA security patches every single month for a while, but there is a new problem for you at this point — as a rooted user, you are unable to apply the update correctly.
Perhaps you've thought about rooting your OnePlus 5, but thought again when you heard SafetyNet would prevent you from using apps like Google Pay, Pokémon GO, or Netflix. Those are valid struggles when you root using traditional methods. There are no such worries when using Magisk, as it masks the fact that your device has been modified.
One of the issues with rooting your device is the inability to update your phone via OTA. Any security patches or software updates pushed out by the OEM are lost because your bootloader is unlocked. However, you still can update your device, it just a take a bit more effort.
One of the biggest downsides to rooting is that it can be a pain to update every month with each new security patch. With other phones, you might have had to fully unroot the device, maybe flash a stock recovery, or potentially even flash all the factory images to get a new update. Thankfully, OnePlus has made this process super simple for us modders.
When flashing files through TWRP, ADB, or Fastboot, there's a slight chance for things to go wrong. Whether it's user error related or something else entirely, it's always good to have a backup plan. In most cases, you'll be dealing with a semi-brick or soft-brick, which can usually be solved by wiping the data of the device using TWRP. However, it can be more severe than that in some cases.
Living in this age of smartphones and always being connected can sometimes have us getting carried away with our devices. Whether it's an addiction to our phone or if we just feel like cutting back on some daily screen time, there's a great tool that can help with that — Google's official Digital Wellbeing app puts you in control by laying out all the stats you need to help curb your daily smartphone habits.
It's the icing on top of your cake (or whipped cream on top of your Android Pie) of despair. You may have not had the easiest time rooting your device, but you feel like you overcame all of the obstacles. Only now to discover that those very apps and mods you were rooting for still won't work — and the signs point to a lack of root access. Don't lose hope, because we have some tricks up our sleeve.
After you unlock the bootloader, install TWRP custom recovery, and flash Magisk to gain root access, what might be the next step of your modding adventure? A custom kernel, of course! Flashing a custom kernel onto your device gives you a whole new level of tweaks and customizations, and it allows you to have full control over how your system performs.
Despite its rocky start, the Essential PH-1 has a lot going for it. Not only does it get consistent security patches and system updates hours after the Pixels, but like the Google-developed lineup, it's also great for rooting. Not only is your warranty not void with rooting, but the process is pretty straightforward.
When you unlock the bootloader on your Essential PH-1, you open your device to a host of new possible tweaks. One popular modification is a custom kernel, which can not only speed up your phone, but give you new features that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
For modders, there are few tools more important than TWRP. TeamWin's custom recovery makes flashing mods like Magisk, Xposed, and custom ROMs incredibly easy, and it lets you root your phone at the press of a button. On top of that, it can make complete backups of your phone in case you mess up. That's why, for Essential users, this should be the first mod you add.
Although the Essential PH-1 got off to a rocky start, thanks to steady updates, it has slowly become one of the best Android phones to come out in recent years. For $499, the Essential Phone is a cheaper Pixel, receiving updates almost as soon as the Pixel lineup does. What's more, you get a phone with an easily unlockable bootloader, which is the first step to rooting.
Year in and year out, OnePlus flagships top our list of the best phones for rooting. Why? Primarily because rooting does not void your warranty, and OnePlus goes out of their way to make the whole process as easy as possible.
Despite concerns with SafetyNet, Google actually cares about root. Every phone they sell has an unlockable bootloader, so you can toggle a setting and send a Fastboot command, then start flashing custom firmware right away. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL continue this tradition, and now they have an official root method.
There are a few different ways to install Magisk. If you're already rooted and you just want access to Magisk modules, you can use Magisk Manager to install the Magisk framework. Or, if you want to pass SafetyNet on a rooted device, you can switch from SuperSU to Magisk SU. But the best way to do it is to start fresh by installing Magisk on a non-rooted phone using TWRP.