The Pixel phones have replaced the Nexus line and while the former may have more exclusive features than the latter, that doesn’t always make them less open. In fact, just a few days after the Pixel 3 finally became available, it has already been rooted. Not the usual SuperSU root method, mind, but with the more modern modular Magisk framework. Suffice it to say, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are about to become even more interesting in the hands of modders and hackers.
Rooting has largely fallen out of fashion, though are still some pros and cons to it. Most users have lost interest in rooting their phones because they already have the features they need on un-rooted devices. But perhaps the biggest cause for loss of interest is with how harder it has become to root newer phones.
The Pixel phones are, of course, one of the few exceptions (along with Sony’s). They’re dead easy to root and simply involve enabling Developer Options and USB Debugging, unlocking the bootloader, and the flashing images. And unlike other OEM phones, those don’t constitute voiding warranties or counting against the user, making them feel guilty.
While rooting with Magisk is relatively easy, the current preliminary way doesn’t yet have the advantage of flashing through TWRP recovery. That will come later on when TWRP does become available for the Pixel 3. And right now the number of mods available specifically for the Pixel 3 phones are few but give it a few more days and watch it explode.
Of course, there are also cons to the whole rooting business. The first one is that the process will wipe out all your data, including your personal files, photos, and videos so be sure to back those up. And rooting requires you to be in charge of your own security, as it mostly bypasses Google’s automated and convenient frameworks in exchange for more power and flexibility.