The Razer Phone’s Kernel Source Code has been Released

The Razer Phone is the first Android smartphone sold in western markets with a 120Hz display. Although marketed at gamers, its technical specifications should excite any Android enthusiast. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 8GBs of RAM and a beefy 4,000 mAh battery which, according to the CEO, is possible due to the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. It went on sale last month in the United States for $700, and most early adopters have had positive things to say about the device save for maybe its camera quality which the company promises to address in future updates. The kernel source code for this device was released 2 days ago (scroll to the bottom), which means that developers can now start working on porting TWRP onto the device.

With TWRP set up, that opens up the possibility for users to flash custom ROMs such as LineageOS or to root their device to enable modifications such as the Xposed Framework. That assumes that there are enough developers interested in this device to work on it, though there are bound to at least be a few. At this time, however, development on TWRP has to be delayed because there are no factory images for the device.

This is because the device does not have a dedicated recovery partition, and thus the boot partition must be modified in order to install TWRP. Without a factory image, it’s risky to test TWRP since there would be no way to boot the device if something went wrong. I was told that factory images for the Razer Phone should be released sometime soon, so hopefully development can pick up on the device once those images are made available to users.

Unfortunately, one issue with pursuing custom development on the Razer Phone is the warranty. Razer voids the manufacturer warranty if the user unlocks the bootloader of the device. Although this clause cannot be enforced in the European Union as the EU requires the manufacturer to prove that the device modification caused the malfunction, the clause can be enforced in the United States. If you’re worried about some kind of hardware malfunction within the first year of purchase, you may want to reconsider unlocking the bootloader if you reside in the United States.