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Marshall London - Root, recovery and system images. - KB-1501 - Megathread

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By twelfth, Senior Member on 13th June 2017, 06:50 AM
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The Marshall London is no longer supported by Zound Industries and has been discontinued. As such, this means the latest software update (R412) is also the last. Anything further will have to be done by developers and that seems unlikely. This thread and the files linked in this thread will remain online for those who have a Marshall London phone and need to restore and/or root their device.

---

Why this thread?

I have finally made enough progress with the Marshall London to where I feel comfortable enough posting a thread for this device. I doubt this device will ever get its own section considering how niche and relatively unknown it is... Aside from a couple of questions about root for this device, there's basically next to zero support on XDA (or anywhere else)... and I hope to change that. Hopefully people will be able to find this thread.

Some notes:

Extra special thanks to Dees_Troy for getting a working TWRP recovery for me to test out and use. Also extra thanks to autoprime. This basically wouldn't have happened without either of you two putting up with me on IRC.

Also thanks to Zound Industries for providing the stock fastboot flashable images for those who would be unable to take OTAs, as I wasn't able to for some reason.

I'm not a developer, just the one who managed to find the awesome folks to help me with all of this.

What is the Marshall London?

The Marshall London is a phone designed by Zound Industries with design elements licensed from Marshall. There was an emphasis put on sound quality and to be able to use the phone as a multi function media device. Two headphone jacks, front facing speakers that actually sound pretty good and are loud, Cirrus Logic Wolfson DAC, the ability to control volume levels for each headphone jack independently, the ability to use both headphone jacks as stereo INPUTS and to do 4 track recording on the device... It's a nifty little device hampered by poor performance from the Snapdragon 410 SOC in it. The phone is actually pretty awesome... and most of the issues go away once you make some tweaks.

Unfortunately, likely due to out of the box performance issues and cost... the phone never really took off. Even just using the phone as a high quality mp3 player resulted in issues (mostly lag) until I was able to find a way to pare down the system to only what I needed. My aim is to give people access to the tools they will need to be able to do this for themselves as well... but also to help people fix their device should something have been done that necessitates a return to stock.

Some reviews about the device to digest:One of the best things about the device is its near completely stock Android software. Aside from visual tweaks (wallpapers, icons, word clock) the software is largely as you would find it from Google. As far as I know, the only real proprietary aspect of the phone is the audio DAC and "M-Button."

Specs:

Snapdragon 410 SOC in 64 Bit Mode (MSM8916)
2GB Ram
16GB Storage/NAND
Nano Sim Slot
MicroSD Slot that supports 128+GB cards
1280x720 Screen at 320 DPI
Cirrus Logic Wolfson DAC Hub
Dual Front Facing Speakers
Dual Headphones/Input Jacks
Programmable Shortcut "M-Button"
Volume Wheel
Removable Battery
8MP Rear Camera, 1080p Video recording mode
1.9MP Front/Selfie Camera, 720p Video recording mode

So yes, low average specs, even for when it was announced in 2015.

Where is it available?

Europe, mostly. It appears (in internal software memos) the device was tentatively planned for release in the US as an AT&T exclusive and it just never happened. If you're in the States like I am, you will have to import it or buy it used. Some ... ahem ... opportunistic people thought the relative scarcity of the product meant they could just buy one and try to resell it for double. You can easily import order (on eBay or Amazon) this device, brand new, for about $400 USD. I got mine from a store in Italy called E-Commerce World/Ghz Wireless and it arrived in 5 days. They were nice enough to include an EU to US power adapter in the package. Wherever you do find one, don't pay more than $500 for it. Marshall still has it for sale on their own site.

Where is it compatible?

Europe, mostly.
  • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
  • WCDMA Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
  • LTE Bands: 1/3/4/7/17/38/40
You might have some luck in the US with AT&T (bands 2, 4, 12, 17 for LTE) and AT&T based MVNOs or T-Mobile (bands 2, 4 and 12 for LTE) but I wouldn't count on it. Trying the phone in Colorado on an AT&T MVNO left me with only 2G service. I am unsure if additional bands are supported by the hardware but locked/limited in software. Hopefully this thread will spur some development and we can find out.

http://www.androidguys.com/2016/07/1...-and-networks/

Accessories?

Sadly, next to none. There's a nice leather flip case with a red velvet interior that was made for the phone (you don't slip it in, but rather another battery cover is stitched into the wallet itself)... but good luck finding one. Headphones, like the one that was boxed in with the phone itself, are available separately through Marshall's site.

What then?

Due to the lack of support, ANYWHERE, for this device, I enlisted the help of some folks to try to remedy that.

Here's what I know about the device:
  • It is not bootloader locked.
  • Fastboot is 100% standard. It shows up as a Google device and all commands are supported.
  • It is rootable. (I used Kingoroot initially, not recommended because it brought the system down to its knees with its bundled crapware)
  • A working custom recovery now exists for the device. As a result, this means you can root it from within recovery instead of relying on shady root tools.
  • This also means you can now use XPosed.
Goals for this device:
  • Stock images for flashing device back to 100% stock
  • Rooted images for flashing (though may break OTA)
  • 100% working TWRP Recovery for backing up, flashing other roms, rooting the device with Magisk. (Magisk, since it modifies boot.img, also may break OTA) It will be mentioned several times, because it's that important, DO NOT use the TWRP built-in root/SuperSU installer. There is a reason the instructions say to use Magisk instead.
  • Enough resources to allow for people to start developing custom roms for this device should anyone feel inclined.

All goals met.

Known issues:
  • Changing the DPI with build.prop editors won't work.
  • Changing the DPI using ADB (adb shell wm density ### && adb reboot) works but will break all Marshall apps: The onscreen buttons render right but cannot be activated. This means that if you want to use the device for music, you'll have to replace the stock music app (and freeze it to keep it from hijacking audio playback) for another one if you change the DPI to show more on the screen. I find 260 or 280 to be a reasonably good DPI value for both size and density of information. Default is 320.
  • This device cannot be rooted using the internal tool in TWRP Recovery. It will cause the device to hang on boot. Use Magisk instead.
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13th June 2017, 06:50 AM |#2  
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To flash these images, you will need to use Fastboot. If you don't already have Fastboot installed, you can install Minimal ADB and Fastboot from this thread: https://forum.xda-developers.com/sho....php?t=2317790

System Images

These are raw, stock, flashable in Fastboot only images. If you already have a custom recovery installed, then you can use that to flash these images instead. Bear in mind that flashing recovery.img while in recovery will replace your custom recovery with stock recovery.

The device ships with version R313.
Version R403:
Version R412 is currently the latest version for the device:
How to flash:

1) Download all of the files for the version you want to flash.
2) Power off the device completely.
3) Enter fastboot mode by holding down the M-Button top of the phone and then holding down power until "FASTBOOT MODE" screen shows up.
4) Connect your phone to your computer. (This assumes you already have Fastboot and ADB installed and generally know how these tools work)
5) Use fastboot to flash each of the images to the correct partition: eg,
Code:
fastboot flash persist KB15_3_R403_160608_persist.img
fastboot flash splash KB15_3_R403_160608_splash.img
fastboot flash boot KB15_3_R403_160608_boot.img
fastboot flash recovery KB15_3_R403_160608_recovery.img
fastboot flash system KB15_3_R403_160608_system.img
6) Reboot.

First boot after flashing the system images will take some time as "Android is upgrading..." If you flashed version R412, you will be on the latest version. The older versions are provided for those who may have preferred them.

Custom Recovery

Before you install this recovery, it is very important to know that you MUST NOT let TWRP install SuperSU.

Download the latest TWRP from here: https://twrp.me/devices/marshalllondon.html

Older/Test build:

TWRP v3.1.1-0 : https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=745425885120740158
TWRP v3.1.1-0 : md5 : 05e61cbeb1afbc479d85f260acf52d3e

1) Download the TWRP image linked above.
2) Power off the device completely.
3) Enter fastboot mode by holding down the M-Button top of the phone and then holding down power until "FASTBOOT MODE" screen shows up.
4) Connect your phone to your computer. (This assumes you already have Fastboot and ADB installed and generally know how these tools work)
5) Use fastboot to flash:
Code:
fastboot flash recovery Marshall_London_TWRP_3_1_1-0.img
6) When fastboot is done, DO NOT reboot. Doing a fastboot reboot or fastboot reboot-bootloader will cause the system to overwrite TWRP with stock recovery. Pop the battery out instead.
7) Feel free to boot into recovery at this point to root or make backups. (Volume Wheel + Power for 4 seconds after you feel the power on buzz)

Rooting

Whatever you do, DO NOT allow TWRP to install SuperSU/Superuser/Root. Your device will fail to boot.

You must use Magisk. Magisk is systemless root and does not result in files being installed in /system, preventing the hang on boot.

1) Download both the Flashable ZIP and Magisk Manager APK from this thread: https://forum.xda-developers.com/app...mless-t3473445
2) Put both the ZIP and APK on a MicroSD card.
3) Turn off the phone, put the MicroSD card in.
4) Boot into TWRP Recovery by holding volume wheel down and power button down for about 4 seconds after you feel the power on vibration. Release the buttons.
5) TWRP Splash screen should pop up. Swipe to allow write.
6) Press "Install", "Select Storage", "Micro SDCard", "OK", scroll down to find "Magisk-v12.0.zip" (or any newer version since this post), press the file name and them Swipe to confirm Flash.
7) Reboot.
8) Once booted, you will need to use a file browser app, like Explorer by Speed Software, to find *************.apk on your MicroSD and install it. (Why? Cause it was removed from the Play Store.) This will require that Unknown Sources is enabled under Settings/Security.
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13th June 2017, 06:50 AM |#3  
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Success!!

13th June 2017, 06:51 AM |#4  
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Reserved.
14th June 2017, 01:10 PM |#5  
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Thanks!
I own a london and I just want to thank you for putting this all together. I love the device, and use it as an audio player. I was also lucky enough to find one that came with the leather flip case.
There's an update availiable, and I'm assuming that it would prevent me from attempting the above modifications. Am I correct to hold off on "KB15_3_R412_170324"?
14th June 2017, 07:21 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltemus

I own a london and I just want to thank you for putting this all together. I love the device, and use it as an audio player. I was also lucky enough to find one that came with the leather flip case.
There's an update availiable, and I'm assuming that it would prevent me from attempting the above modifications. Am I correct to hold off on "KB15_3_R412_170324"?

The R412 update will not prevent you from being able to flash in Fastboot. They, thankfully, have not locked down the device. Some people had better luck with an older version and held off on updates but you now are able to revert to an older version if you feel like an update you took introduced issues. (eg, Lag)

If you need to up or downgrade, just use Fastboot to flash system.img and boot.img and reboot. I've been able to 'dirty flash' between system versions without having to wipe data.
27th June 2017, 05:51 PM |#7  
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Hello !

I am looking forward to root my Marshall London but I'm pretty new to android programmation & stuff
Is TWRP installed by default or do I need to install it myself ? Because when I hold the volume wheel and the power button, I get on "Android system recovery" and not TWRP.

If I have to install TWRP by myself, can someone send me a link for a tutorial or something ?
That's been more than a year I'm trying to root my phone, that'd be very kind of you if you can help me.

Lastly, I'd like to apologize if I made some mistakes as English isn't my native langage.

Thanks for anyone that is willing to help me !

Update : I have sucessfully rooted my London, any ideas where I can find custom ROMs for it ?
29th June 2017, 01:41 AM |#8  
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Can the 410 be over clocked and is anyone doing that?

Also, anyone installing apps on the microSD successfully?

Thanks!

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4th July 2017, 10:09 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancora

Update : I have sucessfully rooted my London, any ideas where I can find custom ROMs for it ?

There aren't any. This thread is the first to provide anything for this device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eKeith

Can the 410 be over clocked and is anyone doing that?

Not without a custom kernel. There isn't one due to the lack of kernel source from Zound.
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5th August 2017, 04:21 AM |#10  
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Thanks for the sharing. Your posting is very useful.
6th August 2017, 09:16 PM |#11  
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This is great, i did try to get hold of initial rom from the support, because with every update my phone broke more and more, but according to them they did not save old roms.

But for some reason i cant flash the files, only get "error: cannot load 'KB15_3_R403_160608_persist.img'" and the same for the other files.

Did forget that there is usually problem with long names, fixed by renaming.
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