Huawei Honor 7 is one great Chinese phone, on design and performance side I might say that one of the best. But then, like most of branded phones, it comes with its own UI, precisely Emotions 3.1. As this UI might have a few useful options, it is generally (as many others) unwanted modification of AOSP. Most of adaptions and additional applications are adapted to the Chinese taste and feels strange to westerners.
Therefore I suggest potential buyers from the West to wait for European model which is expected to be available in early September. It may come without additional Chinese applications though it keeps Emotions UI for sure. The only way to change this at least partially is to root the phone.
In the beginning I had replaced the most inconvenient essential applications like dialer, messenger and calendar with Google’s ones and had removed all Chinese apps. But later, due to really frequently OTA updates I got tired of reverting system applications, returned all Chinese, froze them and kept only 3 additional Google apps, which I removed from the system before every update and pushed them back after.
I advise you to push desired system apps as apk files with the appropriate explorer (i.e. Root Explorer) rather than flash zip. Flashing zip according to my experience might cause bootloop (allegedly due to the inappropriate graphic parameters).
How to root Honor 7?
In the beginning I must warn you that rooting your device might be risky, especially if you don’t follow instructions. Hence, do your homework first, read everything carefully and make a nandroid after every new alternation of the system.
I’m not taking any responsibility for your device. You should be aware that it is your device and your own responsibility. I’m not a developer and therefore I might not be able to advice you if something goes wrong. I’ve just used the method described below and succeed without any issues or damage. I strongly believe that you’ll benefit from this method too If followed correctly. Do not improvise or omit any instruction.
I must apologize to not insert pictures into text, I was to short to do it in reasonable amount of time with my current knowledge. Pictures are numbered and attached.
Part 1: Unlock your bootloader
In order to root your phone, you have to unlock the bootloader first. Surprisingly, unlike in my previous cases, unlocking Honor 7 bootloader doesn’t factory reset the phone. Anyway, like always, I do not take credit for any of this material or information, so backup your contacts, texts, pictures, etc. to the computer before unlocking.
Unlocking (and relocking) procedure
Register to Huawei and obtain an unique unlock code here:
Unlock your bootloader following this procedure (Google translate from Huawei web instructions):
Step 1: Preparation Work
1. Install the phone driver is properly on a PC, driver download Huawei Terminal official website.
2. Download the ADB toolkit provided by Google and installed on your PC, such as the installation to D: \ adb_tools-2.0 directory, make sure the directory with fastboot.exe file.
Step 2: Unlock Operation
1. Put the phone into fastboot mode:
First phone off (note need to be in the setup menu, close the "Quick Start" feature, or unplug the battery after shutdown, more than two seconds and then re-inserted), and then press the power button and the volume down key (flat simultaneously Press the volume keys and power button), and maintain more than 10 seconds, you can enter the fastboot mode.
If this does not enter fastboot mode, try the following steps:
Phone off (note need to be in the setup menu, close the "Quick Start" feature, or unplug the battery after shutdown, more than two seconds and then re-insert), then insert the USB cable, followed by pressing the volume down and power button key, holding more than 10 seconds, you can enter the fastboot mode.
2. Connect your phone and a PC:
Use USB cable to connect your phone and PC, open the PC command line window, enter the ADB installation directory, make sure your phone and PC is connected, confirm method in the command line window, type fastboot devices, you can see the normal connection information, such as: 9e42530e fastboot.
3. Perform the unlock command:
Enter the PC command line window fastboot oem unlock ****************, * No. 16 unlock code, for example: fastboot oem unlock 1234567812345678.
4. Wait for the phone to unlock:
After entering the unlock code, the phone will automatically restart, if you enter the correct password, the phone will enter restore factory settings mode. Restoring the factory setup is complete, the phone automatically restart, enter the standby interface, complete the unlocking operation. If the user enters the password information is incorrect, the phone will prompt an error message, and enters the standby interface.
5. Test if the phone is unlocked sucesfully:
Repeat steps 1 and 2, and then enter the fastboot oem get-bootinfo, phone bootloader will display the current status information, such as the PC command line window "Bootloader Lock State: LOCKED", indicates bootloader is still locked, please re-unlock operation or confirm the password is correct and then conduct; If "Bootloader Lock State: UNLOCKED", means that the phone has been unlocked, you can brush machine operation.
Note: After unlocking success, if you want to re-lock the phone, follow these steps: First, upgrade via SD card, will be restored to Huawei mobile version of the official release version; then, enter fastboot mode, the command line at PC Enter the command fastboot oem relock ****************, * No. 16 unlock code. The phone will automatically reboot, bootloader converted to "RELOCKED" state.
Part 2: Install custom recovery
All credits go to Chinese developer Wang Hao, who invented this procedure, I’m only the interpreter.
Go to the site: http://pan.baidu.com/share/link?shar...&uk=3020839592, use password: nwae and download the file. Extract and open the map: 荣耀7root工具包. Make sure that you have proper USB driver installed and ADB debugging enabled. Start command line in map 荣耀7root工具包(shift + right click of mouse simultaneously): Power off the phone and connect it with USB to the computer. On the phone pres volume down + power simultaneously. It will boot to the fastboot. Then type in the command line on the computer:
if your device is recognized, type in the command line:
fastboot flash recovery TWRP.img
when process is finished, type:
You’ll boot the system. You’ll have installed TWRP recovery in CHINESE LANGUAGE and you won’t understand anything. Luckily there is not much to understand. Configuration of the recovery is the same as in English:
Find an English description of TWRP if you want to use more functions. For the beginning we want to root the phone so the instructions is be only about installing the SU.
Part 3: Root your phone
Copy zip file BETA-SuperSU-v2.49 from the map荣耀7root工具包 to the phone internal memory or sdcard if you have one (wherever, just remember, where it is copied) and boot to recovery: turn down your phone, wait a few secs, simultaneously press volume up and power buttons. If you can’t do it, turn phone off, wait a few secs, connect it to the computer with USB cable and press simultaneously volume up and power.
In TWRP press install (first button up and left), select zip file, where you put BETA-SuperSU-v2.49 and press the only button for installing. Then go back to the main TWRP screen, find reboot (lower right button) and boot the system (upper left button).
That’ll be all. Install Play Store from web if you don’t have it already, Busybox and one explorer with root capability (i.e. Root Explorer) for desired modification of the system. And most importantly: ALWAYS MAINTAIN AN ESCAPE LINE. DO NANDROID BEFORE ANY MODIFICATION OF THE SYSTEM.
Accepting OTA requires restoration of the original system and flashing stock recovery. Stock recovery could be flashed following procedure for TWRP flashing and could be obtained from ROM for your respective phone from the site: http://www.needrom.com/?s=honor+7&sa=search&scat=0, following procedure described in http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2433454 thanks to the developer worstenbrood.
Serious advice: Don’t try to accept OTA with modified system or custom recovery installed. In first case OTA will be refused, in second case you might experience TWRP bootloop.