Installing Pixel Experience on a Redmi 4 #lockdown #exploringtime
My mom uses a Redmi 4, a phone from 2017. The phone got slow due to multiple updates and a lot of pre-installed apps. It was taking a few seconds just to load any app, she refused to upgrade.
The storage on the phone was full, after all, it was a 16GB variant. I thought of formatting the device, thinking that it would solve the problem. After a factory reset, the device wasn’t any better.
I looked up what can be done with the device, and read about Pixel Experience. Pixel Experience is basically an aftermarket ROM that brings the UI close to a Pixel Device. With this, I could get rid of the bloatware MIUI has.
I started my Installation by unlocking the bootloader and installing a Custom Recovery. With a Custom Recovery, I would be able to flash my phone with the ROM of my choice.
I downloaded the Pixel Experience for my device from their website, placed the zip file in a microSD card. After inserting the microSD in the phone and wiping the device, I started to install the ROM. It wasn’t installed for some reason, even though I had the right version for my device.
At this point, I thought of installing MIUI once again, just to check if there was a problem with the Custom Recovery. I downloaded MIUI 10 for Redmi 4, flashed it, and went to reboot the device. It won’t turn on! There was no MI logo, I couldn’t enter the fast-boot mode or the recovery menu.
Seeing this, I quickly started to Google what would have resulted in my device being Hard Bricked. I later found the culprit, it was Xiaomi’s Anti-Rollback protection. Basically, what I understood was that I had a phone running MIUI 11, and when I flashed an older version it bricked my device.
The only way to get out of this was to use the EDL Test Point mode. EDL stands for Emergency Download Mode. What I had to do was to open the phone, short-circuit the test points on the motherboard, plug in the phone, and use the MiFlash tool for Windows to flash the device with the latest version of MIUI.
Thanks to iFixit for gifting me their Pro Tech Toolkit, Using that I was able to open the phone in no time. I quickly unplugged the battery, short-circuited the test points, and connected the phone to my PC. Flashing MIUI was quite easy, and once it was done, I reinstalled the Custom Recovery. This time I used OrangeFox over TWRP which I was using earlier.
When I flashed the Pixel Experience with OrangeFox, it worked like a charm!
I quickly went through the setup, and the phone felt nothing like before! It was fast, smooth and best of all, it didn’t have bloatware that came with MIUI. I installed the GCam Mod for the device, and the camera improved drastically too! And to top it all off, I installed a 32GB microSD card, which would act as internal storage, bringing the total to 48 GB from 16 GB.