After the makers of the Essential Phone decided to slash USD$200 from its asking price, Andy Rubin’s new smartphone suddenly became a legitimate option for people. The lower price point also means that more aftermarket developers will most likely get their hands on one of these, opening the doors to more custom software. That starts today, with an unofficial build of LineageOS 14.1 released for the Essential Phone.

This is probably the first custom ROM for the Essential Phone (codename “mata”), and it just had to be LineageOS. In our heads, we’re nodding in agreement, because you couldn’t get any better with a custom ROM like LineageOS 14.1. The developer – XDA developer “invisible” – found it a bit difficult to build this ROM since the Essential Phone uses the A/B partitioning system that we first saw in Google’s Pixel phones.

These challenges meant that the custom ROM has to be installed in an unconventional way, and with G-apps baked into the ROM. That said, this build makes sure that all the major essentials are working – WiFi, cellular radio, camera, among others. While you can use the stock camera app that comes with the Essential Phone even within LineageOS, it is still recommended that you use the Google HDR+ camera port for vastly improved quality.

You can check the official XDA thread for the download links and complete instructions. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter, at the risk of bricking your expensive Essential Phone.



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