Essential Phone just received its second Oreo beta update and you can follow these steps to manually sideload to it from Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
A few weeks ago Essential released their first beta of Android 8.0 Oreo and it was pretty well received. It fixed a number of issues that had been reported by the community but it wasn’t quite at the level that I was wanting it to be. Since the team indicated that they would be releasing a second Oreo beta, I held off and have now just updated my device to the second Android Oreo beta. The process to try out this new beta of Oreo is simple, and you’ll even receive an OTA update to the final version when it’s ready.
Different OEMs handle different Android beta tests differently. Google has their own Android Beta Program that you sign up for on their website. OnePlus has a version that you can flash to but has special instructions if you ever decide you want to go back to the stable version. It’s unclear if the Essential Phone will have to go through similar steps to go back to Nougat (right now), but it’s something that I will be looking into.
The process is very easy and you’ll be able to keep all of your data if you follow these steps detailed below.
In order to complete the tutorial below, you're going to need some things setup ahead of time. Please follow the how to install ADB and Fastboot tools guide if you haven't done so already. You're also going to need to start the ADB service by executing the "adb devices" command (no quotes) in the Command Prompt. Lastly, you'll need to follow the how to enable Developer Mode guide, as well as the how to enable USB Debugging Mode guide, and make sure to grant USB Debugging access from the PC to your device.
Sideloading Android Oreo on the Essential Phone
- Download and install the USB drivers from Essential
- Download the Oreo Beta ZIP file from Essential
- Rename the ZIP file to something like. . .
- . . .and move/copy it to the same folder as your ADB and Fastboot tools
- Boot the Essential Phone into Fastboot Mode
- Boot the Essential Phone into Recovery Mode
- Press the Volume Down button until the Sideload from ADB option is highlighted
- Press the Power button to select this option
- Connect the Essential Phone to the PC with a USB cable
- Launch a Command Prompt or PowerShell within the same directory as your ADB and Fastboot tools
- Type out the following command. . .
- adb sideload ota.zip
- Wait for the PC to send the Oreo beta to the Essential Phone
- Wait for the Essential Phone to install the Oreo beta
- Unplug the USB cable from the Essential Phone when it reboots
If you have ever sideloaded an OTA update in the past then you will feel right at home with this process. Since that is all we are doing here, the whole tutorial is rather easy. It may seem complex to those who haven’t ever done this in the past though. So just be sure to follow each of these steps and you can even reference them to the embedded video above if you’re still confused. To start, we’ll first need to make sure the USB drivers are installed on the PC.
This is because the Essential Phone requires special drivers for it to be detected by ADB and Fastboot commands. Once that has been installed, you can them start downloading the Oreo beta ZIP file. With that downloaded, we want to rename this to something like ota.zip and then move or copy it to the same folder that you have your ADB and Fastboot tools in. Then we can boot the Essential Phone into Fastboot Mode so that we can boot over into Recovery Mode.
Once you are in Recovery Mode, we can go ahead and connect the USB cable from the PC to the device. Then you want to look at the menu and press the Volume Up or Volume Down buttons until you highlight the Sideload from ADB option and then press the Power button to select it. With that done, go ahead and launch a Command Prompt (or PowerShell) in the same directory as your ADB and Fastboot tools and then type out the adb sideload ota.zip command.
Once executed you should see a progress percentage number in the Command Prompt (or PowerShell) as it goes through the whole sideload process. On the Essential Phone you’ll see this process going through step 1/2 and then step 2/2 before it automatically reboots when it is finished. The process will take a few minutes to complete and I only saw the progress percentage get stuck at the 94% mark as it was finishing up the installation.
As mentioned, the Essential Phone will reboot on its own and you’ll be taken right back into the Android lock screen with all of your data intact.
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