Armor 7 (Ulefone) TWRP and ROMs

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tomatoten

Member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
Oh I went to https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1S3HM9OhPl9p8AYGB7QUq5dSdih02o7eE just now and there's an official Android 10.0 download there (with a warning that it's not for phones that shipped with Android 9... but, worth at try!). Is this something new? Was there a thread about it?

I tried to update in numerous ways, all failed (im no expert at this). Finally I contacted Ulefone and asked about this.
“I am sorry that the Android 10 version is for the newest Armor 7 (2020 version) , which is produced in 2020, the old Armor 7 (2019 version) cannot upgrade to Android 10. Since the factory preset version cannot be changed and upgraded. It is Google certification issues, GMS does not allow forced upgrade.”
I have very little idea what they mean by that. How could it be a certification issue and what is a forced upgrade?

I like the stock firmware ok.
Hate the fingerprint sensor (Too many attempts. Try again later.)
The insanely overly aggressive thread serial killer/murderer! that I have not found the process name of.
And the phone just sees 5ghz wifi, but cannot connect to any 5ghz wifi network.
 

balrog-kun

Member
Jun 10, 2020
17
4
I tried to update in numerous ways, all failed (im no expert at this). Finally I contacted Ulefone and asked about this.
“I am sorry that the Android 10 version is for the newest Armor 7 (2020 version) , which is produced in 2020, the old Armor 7 (2019 version) cannot upgrade to Android 10. Since the factory preset version cannot be changed and upgraded. It is Google certification issues, GMS does not allow forced upgrade.”
I have very little idea what they mean by that. How could it be a certification issue and what is a forced upgrade?

No idea, but the other day I was pointed to this thread:
Sounds like at least 1 person managed to solve this.

I like the stock firmware ok.
Hate the fingerprint sensor (Too many attempts. Try again later.)

Yep, same here. I initially wanted to cut a tiny metal frame to attach around the fingerprint reader (to make it less exposed) and another around the cameras (to protect the lenses from scratches), never got around to do it and my lens has minor scratches now so probably not worth it anymore.

The insanely overly aggressive thread serial killer/murderer! that I have not found the process name of.

For some reason I never hit this issue yet, been using it for ~8 months. When I look at the active apps, I sometimes see apps that I'd used weeks earlier, still sitting there.
 

tamamk

Member
Jan 11, 2021
8
1
I tried to update in numerous ways, all failed (im no expert at this). Finally, I contacted Ulefone and asked about this.

I have very little idea what they mean by that. How could it be a certification issue and what is a forced upgrade?

I like the stock firmware ok.
Hate the fingerprint sensor (Too many attempts. Try again later.)
The insanely overly aggressive thread serial killer/murderer! that I have not found the process name of.
And the phone just sees 5ghz wifi, but cannot connect to any 5ghz wifi network.

  • Like the stock firmware OK too
  • Hate the fingerprint sensor more - I wish there was a way to only enable the fingerprint after pressing the power button.
  • Haven't experienced the thread killer - but what I DO suffer from (and maybe it is what you are referring to) is the notifications not showing up for many of the apps. And not just any app: Outlook, my bank, security cameras, amazon, telegram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, to name a few...
  • Knock on wood, the phone does see and connects to the 5ghz wifi
  • Tried Lineage 17.1, 18.1 and experienced two challenges:
    • Flickering of the screen, which can be managed by turning off the overlays but you got to do this every time you restart the phone, and sometimes even without restarting
    • The camera just wouldn't take pictures - oddly, I can record and save, but for pictures, it takes a picture but then the apps (and I say apps because I tried several camera apps), just hang.
  • Now I'm back to stock firmware (Android 9 :confused:) and in touch with Ulefone to see if they can help with the notification issues
 

tomatoten

Member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
No idea, but the other day I was pointed to this thread:
Sounds like at least 1 person managed to solve this.
I might try this, but if v10 is as non-customizable and locked down as v9 there is no purpose I guess.

Just tested, connected to a 5GHz-only network now and I seem to have good connectivity... not sure where your issue could be coming from.
Thank you for testing it for me. It must be an issue with my phone's wifi hardware. I have only tried it on UNIFI APs, but its the same on all of them, over 50 of them.
 

tomatoten

Member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
Hate the fingerprint sensor more - I wish there was a way to only enable the fingerprint after pressing the power button.
Or if they would allow more attempts, or use a time limit instead of an attempts counter.
Haven't experienced the thread killer - but what I DO suffer from (and maybe it is what you are referring to) is the notifications not showing up for many of the apps. And not just any app: Outlook, my bank, security cameras, amazon, telegram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, to name a few...

That's precisely the problem. I mostly see this on YouTube Vanced, this thread killer closes the app every time. However, many other apps never show notifications.
Tried Lineage 17.1, 18.1 and experienced two challenges:

Flickering of the screen, which can be managed by turning off the overlays but you got to do this every time you restart the phone, and sometimes even without restarting

The camera just wouldn't take pictures - oddly, I can record and save, but for pictures, it takes a picture but then the apps (and I say apps because I tried several camera apps), just hang.

Now I'm back to stock firmware (Android 9 :confused:) and in touch with Ulefone to see if they can help with the notification issues
I miss the good old days when small manufacturers would ship their software rooted.
Odd that Lineage has those bugs with the hardware drivers for display and camera, think Ulefone has moded the hardware in some way?
 

grenskul

Member
Aug 27, 2017
5
0
I gave up on twrp and lineage. I just use magisk props config and the new magisk hide module and then just modifify stuff manually with root. The phone is very unstable on android 10 for some reason too btw.
 

tamamk

Member
Jan 11, 2021
8
1
That's precisely the problem. I mostly see this on YouTube Vanced, this thread killer closes the app every time. However, many other apps never show notifications.

It seems I finally got around this - I contacted their support and apparently all I had to do is go to Settings -> DuraSpeed, and turn on Allow the Applications to run in the background from there...

Seriously...*sigh*...months spent on this...anyway, so far things seem to be working. Will update if anything further is still broken...
 
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tomatoten

Member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
It seems I finally got around this - I contacted their support and apparently all I had to do is go to Settings -> DuraSpeed, and turn on Allow the Applications to run in the background from there...

Seriously...*sigh*...months spent on this...anyway, so far things seem to be working. Will update if anything further is still broken...
I cannot find the setting, there is an APP called Dura Speed that I can hopefully disable when I re-root my phone.
 

clewis.it

Senior Member
Nov 1, 2006
335
172
Not really, I roughly followed https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1943625 and one or two other places. I used the omni "minimal" manifest which includes TWRP:
Code:
repo init -u git://github.com/minimal-manifest-twrp/platform_manifest_twrp_omni.git -b twrp-9.0
(the branch "twrp-9.0" is because the stock kernel is for Android 9, if Armor 3 comes with Android 8, use twrp-8.0)
Then I needed to create the "device tree" (apparently not related to Linux device trees...), I started with https://github.com/TeamWin/android_device_ulefone_Armor_6 and went about renaming files and updating all the values in all the files based on the values in build.prop / default.prop in the stock system.img. Also replaced prebuilt/kernel with the kernel from stock boot.img. Apparently using a prebuilt kernel is deprecated but it worked and I guess the build is faster.

I also replaced the init.*.rc files with the ones from the stock recovery.img but honestly I can't tell you exactly which files to use. I didn't exactly know what needs to go in which init.*.rc file and when they're called, and I didn't bother looking for documentation for that, but I did have to move some fragment between files to make adb work.
Another caveat was making sure the build system uses python 2 because apparently most scripts are not python 3-compatible.
Thanks again for these instructions. I *finally* got around to building this. Now I need to figure out why system is missing from the image install list, and figure out how to get the touchscreen working. Otherwise, it built successfully, so thanks for your help.
 

tamamk

Member
Jan 11, 2021
8
1
I cannot find the setting, there is an APP called Dura Speed that I can hopefully disable when I re-root my phone.

You need to be on the Stock ROM from Ulefone's site. Once you are back on the stock ROM, you should see the DuraSpeed setting towards the bottom (under More settings)

1611888951185.png


Good luck.
 

tomatoten

Member
Jan 19, 2021
7
0
You need to be on the Stock ROM from Ulefone's site. Once you are back on the stock ROM, you should see the DuraSpeed setting towards the bottom (under More settings)

View attachment 5202121

Good luck.
Thank you, amazing I did not see that o_O
So I tried to turn it off, but then the phone eats battery like crazy and sometimes the screen does not sleep.

And after I updated the firmware I cannot root the phone.
Think im not going with Ulefone again, they have a real problem with software (like so many Chinese phones do).
 

Artzert

Member
Feb 9, 2019
8
7
Any update on twrp for android 10 on armor 7? I've managed to upgrade my phone to android 10 and resign it. Also managed to install /e/ os android 10 on it (still maintained) works very nicely. I'm just trying to get gapps installed rn and I'd need a custom recovery.
 

ronrong

Member
Aug 15, 2022
8
4
I have the same problem, but your solutions don't work for me.

I've installed successfully TWRP recovery, but after installing Magick, in order to root it, I have a bootloop, with this message:

Your device has been unlocked and can’t be trusted. Your device will boot in 5 seconds​


I cannot enter recovery mode any more.
Only I can enter in fastboot mode, and issue fastboot commands.

I've downloaded the stock ROM for my Armor 8 Pro, but the SPMultiPortDownloadProject doesn't recognize my phone, when I hit the Scan button. It does recognize the scatter file from the stock ROM.

I've tried unsuccessfully other tools like mtpclient, and SP Flash Tool.

Please, any help will be grealty appreciated.
 

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    Hola! There's little information or resources for this phone so far so I'm gonna give a summary of the ways to get root and install ROMs on the phone with a lot of links.

    First you can install Magisk on the stock ROM using the Armor 6 method as described in this thread (via this post).

    Secondly I built latest TWRP, download it here. I included my sloppy build for the Armor 7, and also the more proper Oppo RenoZ build that I slimmed down to fit into the 32MB recovery partition and confirmed it works. I don't know who made the Oppo ReonZ build, it's more complete but you have to switch from Chinese to English on init. I had to remove the SuperSU and unroot zips to slim it down. You might be able to remove some unused flash partitions and load bigger recovery images.

    Via TWRP you can sideload magisk, SuperSU, gapps and whatever you wish on custom ROMs.

    Thirdly you can load Phhusson's Quack Treble ROM (AOSP) or LineageOS, possibly many other custom GSIs too. Here's a list of known GSIs assembled by user phusson. These all come with the su binary pre-installed. The Android 9 (Pie) versions seem to work out of the box. The Android 10 (R) versions currently require that you run the following command from a PC during boot, otherwise bootup never finishes:
    Code:
    adb shell setprop debug.stagefright.ccodec 0
    I'm told this has been fixed in the upstream code but it's not in the R releases yet. Additionally there are some screen artefacts on those builds which can be worked around by disabling the HW compositing feature in:
    System -> Developer -> HW Accelerated Rendering -> Disable HW overlays
    You may also want to disable the annoying "Wake-on-lift" feature in Display settings.
    Pretty much everything works in those ROMs, battery life seems good, but the Armor 7 Camera features are not enabled in the stock Camera apps. I'm going to try to get the Camera app from the stock ROM copied and update this post with instructions.

    The default firmware has the downside that it runs a service that basically kills all background processes and there are reports that it's hard to disable -- there's no such problem in the custom ROMs.

    For the record, the official stock ROM is downloadable here (click EU or non-EU), for whenever you want to go back to the factory system or factory recovery (to remove TWRP). Remember you need to enable or disable dm-verity in the vbmeta partition, depending on which firmware you want to run. This is done by extracting the vbmeta.img file from the stock ROM linked above, rebooting into fastboot and running one of the following commands:
    Code:
    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta vbmeta.img
    or
    Code:
    fastboot --disable-verification flash vbmeta vbmeta.img

    Also remember after flashing LineageOS (fastboot flash system lineage-17.1-20200607-UNOFFICIAL-treble_arm64_bvN.img), if you want GApps on the system, you should boot into TWRP and use ADB sideload to load the .zip downloaded from opengapps.org before doing the setup wizard on LineageOS for the first time.

    Post here aboue whatever new ROMs and solutions you find for this phone.
    1
    Also quick info on how to modify the boot logo partition from Linux, there are already Windows tools for that (probably works for the Armor 7) but no info on how to do this from under Linux so here's how I flashed my own logo from my Ubuntu pc. Requires mono and Imagemagick installed.

    1. Download and unzip that same Windows LogoBuilder utility for mediatek phones,
    Code:
    $ unzip ~/Downloads/LogoBuilder_v1.6.1.zip
    $ cd LogoBuilder_v1.6

    2. Extract the logo partition image from the phone or from the Armor 7 stock ROM package, in my case:
    Code:
    $ unzip ~/Downloads/GQ3083TF1_KSX90T_ulefone_EEA_20200327_V02\(EU\).zip X90T88C.GQU.Ulefone.EEA.HB.FHD.AYAZ.1225.V3.02/logo-verified.bin

    3. Unpack the 40+ individual images from the logo partition using Windows/C# utility under mono:
    Code:
    $ mkdir unpacked
    $ mono logo.exe unpack X90T88C.GQU.Ulefone.EEA.HB.FHD.AYAZ.1225.V3.02/logo-verified.bin unpacked

    3. The bootloader splashscreen/bootlogo is now in unpacked/block1.dat and we need to convert it to a format that you can edit in Gimp or any other editor:
    Code:
    $ cp unpacked/block1.dat logo.rgba
    $ convert -size 1080x2340 -depth 8 logo.rgba logo.png

    4. Edit logo.png or replace it with a new PNG file. The file *must* be 1080x2340px in size and be a 24-bit RGB colors with alpha (transparency.)

    5. Convert new logo back to .rgba. Use the command below and then check the size of the resulting new logo.rgba -- it must be exactly 10108800 bytes which is 1080 * 2340 * 4. If it's 7581600, or 1080 * 2340 * 3, that will mean you forgot to add the alpha channel to your png file (in Gimp, it's in Layer -> Transparency -> Add Alpha Channel).
    Code:
    $ convert logo.png logo.rgba
    If the new file size is 10109312 instead, strip the 512 header using dd:
    Code:
    $ dd if=logo.rgba of=logo2.rgba bs=512 skip=1 # only if the file size was 10109312 instead of 10108800

    6. re-pack the logo partition image:
    Code:
    $ cp logo.rgba unpacked/block1.dat # or logo2.rgba...
    $ mono logo.exe pack unpacked logo-new.bin
    The new img size is not exactly as the original img but it works nevertheless.

    7. flash it over the logo partition, as root:
    Code:
    # fastboot flash logo logo-new.bin
    1
    Do you have any instructions on how to build TWRP for the armor phones? I would like try building one for the Armor 3W.

    Not really, I roughly followed https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1943625 and one or two other places. I used the omni "minimal" manifest which includes TWRP:
    Code:
    repo init -u git://github.com/minimal-manifest-twrp/platform_manifest_twrp_omni.git -b twrp-9.0
    (the branch "twrp-9.0" is because the stock kernel is for Android 9, if Armor 3 comes with Android 8, use twrp-8.0)
    Then I needed to create the "device tree" (apparently not related to Linux device trees...), I started with https://github.com/TeamWin/android_device_ulefone_Armor_6 and went about renaming files and updating all the values in all the files based on the values in build.prop / default.prop in the stock system.img. Also replaced prebuilt/kernel with the kernel from stock boot.img. Apparently using a prebuilt kernel is deprecated but it worked and I guess the build is faster.

    I also replaced the init.*.rc files with the ones from the stock recovery.img but honestly I can't tell you exactly which files to use. I didn't exactly know what needs to go in which init.*.rc file and when they're called, and I didn't bother looking for documentation for that, but I did have to move some fragment between files to make adb work.
    Another caveat was making sure the build system uses python 2 because apparently most scripts are not python 3-compatible.
    1
    Do you never get the "can't connect to camera" errors?

    The main thing about the stock camera app is that you can be almost sure that you're getting the max available performance from the camera in terms of zoom, color, etc. I.e. it probably automatically switches to the 2x camera when you zoom in (no idea), there's the fast HDR mode, UHD mode, slow motion, etc.

    With any 3rd party app my guess it's only using one of the rear cameras. With the stock app honestly I can't know for sure if/when it ever uses the aux rear cameras, I hope it does though. Honestly the 3-camera setup on this phone doesn't seem very useful but hopefully there's some logic behind it...

    And BTW even on the stock ROM I'm unable to record in more than 30fps using HedgeCam 2 (OpenCamera). It looks like it detects the frame rates supported by the hardware (30, 60, 120) but it crashes when I start recording.

    I do get those errors, more so after trying different camera apps. The GSI camera implementation on this phone certainly needs more work. I notified the phh GSI group on Telegram and hopeful newer GSI versions will begin to fix the issue but as you say, getting the full camera functions equivalent to the stock ROM camera may be a long stretch.
    1
    That's precisely the problem. I mostly see this on YouTube Vanced, this thread killer closes the app every time. However, many other apps never show notifications.

    It seems I finally got around this - I contacted their support and apparently all I had to do is go to Settings -> DuraSpeed, and turn on Allow the Applications to run in the background from there...

    Seriously...*sigh*...months spent on this...anyway, so far things seem to be working. Will update if anything further is still broken...