The Nexus line of devices were supposed to showcase Google’s vision for the Android smartphone. If that’s the case, then the Nexus 6P and 5X, coincidentally the last Nexus smartphones so far, doesn’t exactly give off a reassuring image of Android. These two devices have been notorious for turning into paperweights because of bootloop bugs. In fact, both are the subject of class action lawsuits against Google, Huawei, and LG. Fortunately for Nexus 6P owners, there is a way out for them, even while Google and Huawei remain mostly silent on the matter. It will make the Nexus 6P run slower, however, which is probably better than not running at all.
The Nexus 6P is Huawei’s first Nexus device and probably its last. For one, the Nexus line has practically ended. For another, the list of hardware bugs for the device is short but grievous. Never mind the bug that significantly reduces the Nexus 6P’s battery life. Compared to not being able to use the phone at all because it keeps on rebooting even before it reaches the lock screen, that’s peanuts.
Google has more or less acknowledged that the bug does exist and affects quite a number of owners. But all it has to offer in way of a solution is to have owners bring in the Nexus 6P for repairs or replacement. More zealous users have tried to investigate the root of the problem to no success. At least until now.
Actually, it’s not yet certain why or how it happens, but it seems that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 is to blame. Yes, the same Snapdragon that has caused many a smartphone, particularly Sony’s to overheat. It is supposedly tied to the use of the processor’s four Cortex-A57 performance cores. So the temporary fix is to disable those and use only the power-efficient and slower Cortex-A53 cores.
Fortunately, doing so is relatively simple, as all the software bits can now be downloaded and flashing is a walk in the park, relatively speaking. Here’s how:
1. Download the following and put them all in one folder: ADB and Fastboot binaries, Google USB Driver (for Windows users only), N2G48B_4Cores.img boot image.
Optional: modified TWRP image
2. Open a command prompt/terminal where the ADB and Fastboot binaries have been downloaded
3. Connect your Nexus 6P via USB and run
fastboot devices to check if it’s detected. If yes, it would show the phone’s serial number. If not, try reinstalling the USB driver.
4. Unlock the phone’s bootloader if it hasn’t been unlocked before. This will wipe the phone’s internal storage. Run
fastboot flashing unlock
5. Flash the new boot image with
fastboot flash boot N2G48B_4Cores.img
Optional: Flash modified TWRP:
fastboot flash recovery twrp3_1_1_4Cores.img
6. Reboot using fastboot:
It might take more than a few minutes, but your Nexus 6P should be up and running eventually. Well, more like walking rather than running. Because you are relying on four weak cores only, performance will be significantly slower. You can try flashing a custom kernel that overclocks those poor processors, but you will never be able to reach the original levels of performance. At least not until Google and Huawei come out with an official fix, if they ever do so at all.