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Solved: How do I unlock Bootloader and critical partition on Nothing Phone 1

In this guide, I will show you the steps to unlock the bootloader on your Nothing Phone 1. It isn’t any exaggeration of any sort when I say the OnePlus went into a downward spiral ever since its co-founder Carl Pei left the company. However, he soon announced his own venture and everyone was busy anticipating what would he have to offer. One thing was sure- he already had the tricks up its sleeves to hype its product launches, the users were instead waiting for whether its offering would live up to this hype.

Well, so far things seem to be on the right track. And it’s not only for the general users, but the devices seem to be performing quite decent in the custom development as well. Within days of the smartphone launch, the company already released the kernel sources and the device tree, so a custom ROM might be around the corner [in the meantime, why not give a GSI ROM a try!].

Along the same lines, you could gain administrative access by rooting the device via Magisk. This will then allow you to welcome a plethora of mods onto your device. But before you could carry out any of these tweaks, you will have to checkmark an important prerequisite off the list- the bootloader on your Nothing Phone 1 should be unlocked. And in this guide, we will show you how to do just that. Follow along.

Content Summary

Benefits and Risks of Bootloader Unlocking
How to Unlock Bootloader on Nothing Phone 1
How to Unlock Critical Partitions in Nothing Phone 1

Benefits and Risks of Bootloader Unlocking

Unlocking the bootloader is the gateway to extracting the maximum benefits of Android’s open-source ecosystem. For example, you will be able to install a custom ROM or flash a custom recovery like TWRP. Likewise, you will also be able to get access to the system partition as well as administrative privileges by rooting your device via Magisk. This will then allow you to flash Magisk Modules, Xposed Framework, Substratum Themes, and Viper4Android among others. Likewise, you will also be able to flash OxygenOS on top of ColorOS.

However, carrying out these tweaks brings in a few uninvited risks as well. To begin with, it will wipe off all the data and could nullify the device’s warranty as well. Along the same lines, it will degrade the Widevine L1 certification to L3, thereby preventing you from streaming content in HD [FIXED]. The SafetyNet will be triggered as well [FIXED], thereby preventing you from using banking apps [FIXED]. So if that’s well and good then let’s get started with the steps to unlock the bootloader on Nothing Phone 1.

How to Unlock Bootloader on Nothing Phone 1

The below process will wipe off all the data from your device and “might” nullify its warranty. So please take a complete device backup beforehand. I wouldn’t be held responsible in case of a thermonuclear war, your alarm doesn’t wake you up, or if anything happens to your device and data by performing the below steps.

Install Android SDK Platform Tools

Step 1: Install the Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC. Download the official ADB and Fastboot binary provided by Google, then extract it to any convenient location on your PC. Doing so will give you the platform-tools folder, which will be used throughout this guide.

Install Android SDK Platform Tools

Reference: SDK Platform Tools release notes 

Enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking

USB debugging function will make your device recognizable by the PC in ADB mode and then allow you to boot your device into Fastboot Mode. On the other hand, the OEM unlocking function is required to carry out the bootloader unlocking process.

Step 2: Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap on Build Number for 7 times.

Step 3: Go back to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options > Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking.

Go back to Settings/> System > Advanced > Developer Options

Enable OEM unlocking

Enable USB Debugging

Boot Nothing Phone 1 to Fastboot Mode

Step 4: Connect your device to the PC via USB cable.

Step 5: Go to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in the address bar, and press Enter key. This will launch the Command Prompt.

Go to the platform-tools folder, type in CMD in the address bar, and press Enter key. This will launch the Command Prompt.

Step 6: Type in the following command in the CMD window to boot your device to Fastboot Mode:

adb reboot bootloader

Type in the following command in the CMD window to boot your device to Fastboot Mode: adb reboot bootloader

Step 7: Type in the below command to verify the Fastboot Connection:

fastboot devices

Step 8: If you get a device ID followed by the fastboot keyword, then the connection stands successful.

If you get a device ID followed by the fastboot keyword, then the connection stands successful.

Unlock the Bootloader on Nothing Phone 1

Step 9: Type in the below command in the CMD window that is opened inside the platform-tools:

fastboot flashing unlock

Type in the below command in the CMD window that is opened inside the platform-tools.

Step 10: You will get a confirmation message on your device. Use the Volume keys to select the Unlock the Bootloader option and press the Power key to confirm it.

You will get a confirmation message on your device. Use the Volume keys to select the Unlock the Bootloader option and press the Power key to confirm it.

Step 11: The device will reset and then the bootloader will be unlocked. Do keep in mind that the first boot might take up to a minute, this is completely normal.

Step 12: You will have to log in to Google ID and set up your device from scratch since a wipe has taken place.

That’s it. These were the steps to unlock the bootloader on Nothing Phone 1.

How to Unlock Critical Partitions in Nothing Phone 1

While unlocking the bootloader will open the gateway for flashing custom ROMs, however, if you ever plan on flashing individual partition files via Fastboot Commands [such as flashing the boot.img], then you will have to unlock the device’s critical partition as well. As before, the process will reset your device and might nullify the warranty, so exercise caution.

Step 1: Boot your device to Fastboot Mode, as explained above.

Step 2: Execute the below command to unlock the critical partitions on your device:

fastboot flashing unlock_critical

Step 3: You might now get a confirmation message on your device. Use the Volume keys to select the Unlock the Bootloader option and press the Power key to confirm it.

Step 4: Execute the below command to boot your device to the OS

fastboot reboot

That’s it. The bootloader as well as the critical partitions on your Nothing Phone 1 is now unlocked.

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