How to Root the Razer Phone and Install Magisk

There’s been a growing number of Razer Phone fans brewing within the developer community since it was launched. The device has a number of standout features and the software developers behind the phone have been open to the developer community as well. If you have purchased the device and have yet to root it with Magisk, then XDA Member nikitis has a great guide for you.

Whether you’re new to the root scene or have experienced issues (such as WiFi not working after flashing Magisk), then this new and in-depth guide from nikitis will walk you through the entire process from start to finish. After you’ve unlocked your device and installed Magisk, you can start taking advantage of many Magisk Modules available on our forums. You can also optionally flash the Xposed Framework and install modules such as GravityBox, which should give you all of the customization you would ever need without needing a custom ROM.

Guide to Root the Razer Phone and Install Magisk

Razer will skip Android 8.0 Oreo and jump straight Android 8.1

Razer announced their first entry into the smartphone market with the impressive Razer Phone, touting some serious hardware and a silky smooth 120hz display. It features a ton of RAM, a huge, responsive screen, expandable storage, and a humongous battery. Outside of the lack of a headphone jack, there wasn’t much to dislike.  However, the […]

Come comment on this article: Razer will skip Android 8.0 Oreo and jump straight Android 8.1

Razer Phone likely skipping Android 8.0 Oreo and going straight to Android 8.1 Oreo

The not-gaming-but-marketed-at-gamers smartphone from gaming hardware company Razer Inc. was announced back in November. Called the Razer Phone, it hits most of the right marks when it comes to hardware specifications with its large 5.7″ 1440p 120Hz LCD panel (the first of its kind in western markets), the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 8GBs of RAM, 64GBs of internal storage expandable via a microSD card, and a 4,000 mAh battery. One of its biggest shortcomings is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, though its best-in-class speakers may somewhat make up for that. Software-wise, the phone launched with a near-stock build of Android 7.1.1 Nougat, but many owners have been wondering where in the world the Android 8.0 Oreo (or even Android 8.1 Oreo) update is.

The Razer Phone’s support page states that the phone will receive an update to Android Oreo in Q1 2018, which means the company plans to release an update by the end of March. It’s entirely possible that the first Android P Developer Preview may land on the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 before Razer releases Android Oreo, but if it’s any consolation it appears that the Razer Phone’s Android Oreo update may be based on the Android 8.1 Oreo release rather than Android 8.0.

While we don’t have direct evidence for this (à la firmware files such as in our recent leaks), the evidence that we have is pretty strong since it is based off of code submissions from Razer engineers.

Razer Phone Android Oreo Razer Phone Android 8.0 Oreo Razer Phone Android 8.1 Oreo

These three code submissions all come from Razer engineers, but it’s not the code itself that is interesting here. In fact, they’re not something that the vast majority of you will care about—they’re just routine bug fixes for Google’s Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), the tool that Google uses to certify that a particular Android device is compliant with the Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for a particular Android version.

What is interesting is the version of CTS that these Razer engineers state they are testing the Razer Phone against. The branch of the CTS that the engineers submitted bug fixes for is “oreo-mr1-cts-dev.” In other words, this is the Android 8.1 Oreo CTS. What this means is that the Razer engineers, presumably while testing Android 8.1 Oreo on the Razer Phone, encountered bugs that caused their devices to fail CTS.

This is significant because it signals that the Razer Phone will indeed likely jump straight to Android 8.1 Oreo rather than Android 8.0. Engineers from Razer likely wouldn’t be testing Android Oreo Maintenance Release 1 (Android 8.1) CTS if they weren’t planning on having their device pass CTS for this version of Android. Considering the fact that the device hasn’t even received 8.0 yet, that means 8.1 is the update that’ll likely be coming soon.

This wouldn’t be the first device to skip 8.0 in favor of 8.1. On the contrary, this actually seems to be a growing trend among manufacturers. Nokia skipped 8.0 with the Nokia 8 and plans to do the same with the Nokia 2, Essential skipped 8.0 for the Essential Phone after encountering unspecified issues, and the BQ Aquaris X/X Pro also seem to be going straight to 8.1 Oreo.

So what difference does going straight to Android 8.1 make for Razer Phone owners, exactly? Admittedly, there aren’t many new user-facing features in 8.1 compared to 8.0 to get all that excited about. Sure, there’s a fancy new power menu, the ability to hide that annoying persistent notification without a third-party app, Bluetooth battery level indicators, and some under-the-hood tweaks, but the main benefits such as notification channels, picture-in-picture mode, the Autofill API, and more are staples of Android 8.0.

Ultimately, though, having the phone be updated to the latest SDK level is still a plus. It means that Razer may have a bit less work to do when they eventually re-base on Android P, though the question of whether or not the Razer Phone is Project Treble-compatible is still up in the air. Regardless, with the availability of kernel sources (which we hope are updated for the Oreo release!), official TWRP, and factory images, the phone is likely to have a long life ahead of it.

Razer has released the factory images for its Razer Phone

Razer has rolled out the factory images for its Razer Phone. The news was posted on a dedicated page on Razer’s developer site (via Android Police), where the company posted the November, December and January firmware releases.

There have been guides on how to unlock the Razer Phone bootloader since shortly after its release, so some users are likely to have flashed alternative firmware. Getting the device back to its factory state later, however, is tricky without the original system images at hand. Razer has now made this easier for device owners to get back to the default state, and delivered instructions on how to do so.

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The company does highlight that doing so will void your warranty (because it involves unlocking the bootloader) and, in an FAQ section, clearly indicates that no help will be provided should you encounter problems. Razer also advises against using its own cable when flashing the images, stating that this is intended for high power transfer rather than data transfer (use a USB 3 Type-A to Type-C instead).

With that in mind, it’s always good to see a manufacturer support this option for those who wish to try out other ROMs. If you want to get the device up and running with the stock firmware again, visit the Razer website here.

Razer Phone Factory Images Published on the Developer Portal

Razer is known for their console and PC devices that focus on gaming, but it was surprising when they announced their very first Android smartphone. This was the result of the company acquiring the talent behind the Nextbit Robin, and with the two forces teaming together they released the first Android smartphone sold in western markets with a 120Hz display. While the device has been marketed toward gamers, it has been able to grab the attention of many Android enthusiasts thanks to its powerful specifications and today they have began publishing factory images for the Razer Phone up on their developer portal.

The Razer Phone has hit a lot of checkboxes when it comes to key features that Android enthusiasts want. It runs a near-stock Android OEM ROM so it isn’t bloated by excessive and barely used software features. (The stock launcher is actually a customized version of Nova Launcher Prime to boot!) It has two front-facing speakers with each of them being powered by their own dedicated amp. The 120Hz display allows for an incredibly smooth user experience that many have been looking for since the original Google Pixel. And similar to Nextbit, the team behind the Razer Phone is quite open to the developer community.

One of the first things developers look for when a new smartphone is released is the kernel source code. The kernel source code for the Razer Phone was released two months ago and by the end of December we had an official release of TWRP ready to go for the public. This allows for enthusiasts to flash a custom ROM, gain root access, and even install other Android modifications such as the Xposed Framework. With this level of access though, there are times when we need to start fresh.

Google has been publishing factory images for their Android releases for years, and others including Essential and OnePlus are open to hosting the same on their websites. So it was no surprise when today we learned that there is a developer portal for the Razer Phone up on the OEM’s website. Here, you’ll find links to the kernel source code archive as well as factory images (which come with instructions on how to restore your Razer Phone’s original factory firmware). With factory images, you no longer have to worry about messing something up so badly that you can’t get your phone back to a working state.

It should be noted that, just like with Google’s devices, your bootloader needs to be unlocked in order to flash the factory images. This sounds silly at first, but it’s actually done for security purposes. Having this requirement will prevent a hypothetical malicious actor from downgrading the bootloader to exploit an older, already-patched vulnerability. Android Oreo introduced rollback protection, but the Razer Phone hasn’t yet updated to this release. Hopefully it will, soon, as companies like Essential and HMD Global have each released Android 8.1 to their flagship devices.

Download Factory Images and Kernel Source for the Razer Phone