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Redmi 9a flashed with Treble GSI (stock android ROM) - just saying thanks

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s_code

New member
Jul 11, 2021
3
3
Hi everyone,

I've been away from the ROM scene for a few years and was pleasantly surprised to find out that even a MediaTek phone these days can be flashed with a ROM different from its original. With a lot of bumps and information from this thread and others, I was able to test the Lineage, Havoc, and Treble ROMs, flashing through adb commands on fastbootd on unsigned xiaomi drivers. The one with the best compatibility so far is an older ROM, the Treble 10 GSI bundled with go gapps. Treble 11, the latest, doesn't have a working "recent apps" button (multitasker/app switcher). I'm not using this phone as a camera phone, but I did install an older Gcam (Gcam 2.3, I think) by googling the phone's mediatek processor, Helio G25.

On stock android, I do feel like the phone is much improved from the MIUI OS's bloat. I feel that Xiaomi as of late is putting too much adware, a far cry from when I bought my first phone from them (A Redmi 1S).

I would like to thank everyone here for the recovery files, twrp, etc.
 
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s_code

New member
Jul 11, 2021
3
3
I'd love to know how you accomplished this, as an otherwise decent phone is, I feel, crippled by MIUI's ridiculous bloat.
Hi @Bludwurst ... I'll see if I can write something semi-coherent about it. Please give me a few days. But the general method was pretty similar to flashing other treble-based ROMs, the important thing is that the phone boots into FASTBOOTD ("elevated" fastboot) and the rom you're flashing is the correct architecture with some Google Go apps (if you want it to be easier to set up). They update every few weeks, so depending on the progress, it may even be feasible to try out the other more popular ROMs. Lineage was 2nd best in my experience, and Android 11 to boot with its own recovery, but it doesn't come bundled with Google Go apps, you'll have to flash the Google apps yourself.

Major caveat about the treble GSI i'm using though -- the Gcam with HDR on has a chance of shutting down (exiting). It's less of an issue when the setting is off. I do have a separate primary camera phone so that wasn't an issue to me.

I've had the phone for about 3 weeks now. I think the biggest difference between this ROM and the MIUI OS is that the MIUI OS is very aggressive about killing my VPN (Ad blocker) and other background apps. With this Treble GSI (Android 10, not 11), I won't claim that my mediatek phone suddenly became a snapdragon, but there's no unexpected app-killing, which is very important for Blokada to stay alive.

**Has any other app crapped out (crashed/exited) since I changed ROMs?**

I don't run games on this phone, so I can't say if there's a difference between MIUI and Treble, but most of the productivity stuff is running okay (time tracker, markdown editor, pdf viewer, etc.) there IS some slowdown when running mobile youtube on my browser (yes, i don't run the youtube app... there may be an improvement if you're using a dedicated app.

I bought this phone as my work tracker phone. Before, with the MIUI stuff, it would stutter after a few apps were loaded. This is improved, but under heavy loads (10+ tabs, video playing), the phone is likely to complain.

**How's the battery life**

I bought this phone for the battery life, so I'd say I'm pretty satisfied on that front. The difference between the MIUI and the Treble GSI.... there's some small improvement with the Treble GSI. But it is (after a few weeks of use) not as much of a "battery boost" as I initially thought. Maybe this is because MIUI keeps killing background apps that now stay on? Can't tell.

**Any other issues**

I had to fix brightness and I think the headphone bug. I still have the commands somewhere, I'll dig it up.

Next, I am not sure if this phone will get security issues moving forward, or if i'll have to keep reflashing to a later GSI. I haven't checked if there's a way to sideload kernel security patches.

**Worth it to switch?**
Yeah, absolutely. Not having to reload apps is a huge deal, and not losing working data while typing helps. Tradeoff is camera hdr and security.
 
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Bludwurst

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2016
532
466
Moto G
Redmi 9A
This all sounds very interesting.
I've admittedly not kept up with the Android scene (to call it something), so I'm a bit lost regarding Treble ROMs and such; I'll try to catch up a bit.
Take your time, I can wait.

(It goes without saying that, should I not like the results, I can always bail and reinstall an official Xiaomi ROM for this device, no?)

Yes, MIUI is extremely aggressive killing apps, and getting it to stop is rather confusing (it's not enough to turn off battery optimizations... You need to dig into Settings).

I managed to stop it from killing Netguard, at least...

I also don't play games or otherwise make extremely heavy use of the phone; I also don't care much for camera apps, so such disadvantages aren't dealbreakers for me.

Thank you for your reply ☺️
 

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    Hi everyone,

    I've been away from the ROM scene for a few years and was pleasantly surprised to find out that even a MediaTek phone these days can be flashed with a ROM different from its original. With a lot of bumps and information from this thread and others, I was able to test the Lineage, Havoc, and Treble ROMs, flashing through adb commands on fastbootd on unsigned xiaomi drivers. The one with the best compatibility so far is an older ROM, the Treble 10 GSI bundled with go gapps. Treble 11, the latest, doesn't have a working "recent apps" button (multitasker/app switcher). I'm not using this phone as a camera phone, but I did install an older Gcam (Gcam 2.3, I think) by googling the phone's mediatek processor, Helio G25.

    On stock android, I do feel like the phone is much improved from the MIUI OS's bloat. I feel that Xiaomi as of late is putting too much adware, a far cry from when I bought my first phone from them (A Redmi 1S).

    I would like to thank everyone here for the recovery files, twrp, etc.
    1
    I'd love to know how you accomplished this, as an otherwise decent phone is, I feel, crippled by MIUI's ridiculous bloat.
    Hi @Bludwurst ... I'll see if I can write something semi-coherent about it. Please give me a few days. But the general method was pretty similar to flashing other treble-based ROMs, the important thing is that the phone boots into FASTBOOTD ("elevated" fastboot) and the rom you're flashing is the correct architecture with some Google Go apps (if you want it to be easier to set up). They update every few weeks, so depending on the progress, it may even be feasible to try out the other more popular ROMs. Lineage was 2nd best in my experience, and Android 11 to boot with its own recovery, but it doesn't come bundled with Google Go apps, you'll have to flash the Google apps yourself.

    Major caveat about the treble GSI i'm using though -- the Gcam with HDR on has a chance of shutting down (exiting). It's less of an issue when the setting is off. I do have a separate primary camera phone so that wasn't an issue to me.

    I've had the phone for about 3 weeks now. I think the biggest difference between this ROM and the MIUI OS is that the MIUI OS is very aggressive about killing my VPN (Ad blocker) and other background apps. With this Treble GSI (Android 10, not 11), I won't claim that my mediatek phone suddenly became a snapdragon, but there's no unexpected app-killing, which is very important for Blokada to stay alive.

    **Has any other app crapped out (crashed/exited) since I changed ROMs?**

    I don't run games on this phone, so I can't say if there's a difference between MIUI and Treble, but most of the productivity stuff is running okay (time tracker, markdown editor, pdf viewer, etc.) there IS some slowdown when running mobile youtube on my browser (yes, i don't run the youtube app... there may be an improvement if you're using a dedicated app.

    I bought this phone as my work tracker phone. Before, with the MIUI stuff, it would stutter after a few apps were loaded. This is improved, but under heavy loads (10+ tabs, video playing), the phone is likely to complain.

    **How's the battery life**

    I bought this phone for the battery life, so I'd say I'm pretty satisfied on that front. The difference between the MIUI and the Treble GSI.... there's some small improvement with the Treble GSI. But it is (after a few weeks of use) not as much of a "battery boost" as I initially thought. Maybe this is because MIUI keeps killing background apps that now stay on? Can't tell.

    **Any other issues**

    I had to fix brightness and I think the headphone bug. I still have the commands somewhere, I'll dig it up.

    Next, I am not sure if this phone will get security issues moving forward, or if i'll have to keep reflashing to a later GSI. I haven't checked if there's a way to sideload kernel security patches.

    **Worth it to switch?**
    Yeah, absolutely. Not having to reload apps is a huge deal, and not losing working data while typing helps. Tradeoff is camera hdr and security.