ZTE Axon 10 Pro - Unofficial Upgrade Guide to Android 11 for US Model

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bgroins

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2010
62
5
Los Angeles, CA
DISCLAIMER: Modifying a device may void the warranty on the device. It may also make the device unstable or may completely brick the device. The author does not take any responsibility for your device. Proceed at your own risk and only if you understand what you are doing! Do not attempt if you are inexperienced in flashing Android ROMs or other device modifications.

What this does:

1. Flashes your US-model Axon 10 pro to the official European A11 release which works except in the US except for the modem
2. Flashes the US-model modem after the Europe ROM is installed to bring back cell service and make the phone work with the ROM

What you will need:


Make sure every download completes successfully before continuing.

Steps:

1. Make sure all files unpack successfully
2. Make sure you have the Google USB driver installed
3. Back up anything you need from the phone. Factory reset/wipe your phone, then reboot.
4. Reboot into EDL mode (power on with both volume buttons pressed).
5. Nothing will display on screen in this mode, but if you connect to your PC and run MiFlash (XiaoMiFlash.exe), then refesh, it should show a COM port connection.
6. Using MiFlash, select the "Full EDL image for A2020G" folder, then flash
7. After a successful flash, your phone will boot into the A2020G image. Wait at least 10 minutes. If it gets stuck on the logo screen like mine did, power off and boot into recovery (power plus volume down), factory reset/wipe your phone, then reboot.
8. Connect to Wifi, if you are prompted to install an update, go ahead and do it (I was not).
9. Extract the ZTE SD card update to android 11 for A2020G file on your PC.
10. Connect your phone to your PC as a media device, and copy the extracted update.zip to the root folder of your phone.
11. Go into Settings->System_>Updates and scan for an update. It should be found now and apply the update.
12. After reboot you should now see the "MYOS" logo. You now have Android 11 but need to flash the US modem for it to complete.
13. Unlock developer mode in settings and turn on USB debugging
14. Extract the Axon 10 Pro \\(Non-5G\\) EDL Tool on your PC
15. Extract the Full EDL image for A2020U file and find the modem.bin file.
16. Copy the modem.bin file to \Axon10_EDL_TOOL_v3.2.5\flash\modem.
17. Make a second copy of modem.bin in the same location
18. Name one file "NON-HLOS.bin" and another file "NON-HLOS_b.bin"
19. Run the EDL too "Axon10_EDL_Tool.bat" and connect your phone. Follow the instructions to reboot your phone into EDL mode, or do it manually (power plus both volume buttons)
20. Select the option to flash and then flash only the modem. It should work fine if your file names are correct.
21. Reboot, run through setup, and make sure you turn off automatic updates in settings
22. Enjoy Android 11 and curse ZTE for never releasing a promised update in the US

Full credit to le011

Edit: Fixed wrong URL on full EDL.
 
Last edited:
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MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
Thanks so much for this! Looking forward to trying it when I can set aside some time. Anyone have experience with A11 on the 10 Pro? GPS on mine got so bad after the update to Android 10 that I've been considering rolling back to 9. I'm basically just wondering whether ZTE fixed it in the A11 update. Cheers!
 

bgroins

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2010
62
5
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks so much for this! Looking forward to trying it when I can set aside some time. Anyone have experience with A11 on the 10 Pro? GPS on mine got so bad after the update to Android 10 that I've been considering rolling back to 9. I'm basically just wondering whether ZTE fixed it in the A11 update. Cheers!
I had the GPS problem too. So far it locks immediately, but haven't tried it in the car yet.
 
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MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
My GPS is working 100% now, and f- ZTE for never fixing this since it was a software bug all along.
That's awesome. I'm both thrilled and infuriated 🤬 I've long thought that the 10Pro was an excellent piece of hardware crippled by deficient software. Add you said: eff ZTE! Thanks again for streamlining and verifying the whole process 👏
 

bgroins

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2010
62
5
Los Angeles, CA
That's awesome. I'm both thrilled and infuriated 🤬 I've long thought that the 10Pro was an excellent piece of hardware crippled by deficient software. Add you said: eff ZTE! Thanks again for streamlining and verifying the whole process 👏
My sentiments exactly. Quality, solid piece of hardware crippled by a lack of support. I've had to shelve it all this time and buy a Samsung because of the GPS bug. Really frustrating. Live and learn I guess. Long-term support matters.
 

brian117

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2011
769
333
Cleveland, OH
Awesome write up. I still need to get around to attempting this soon. Do you have any info on getting root/Magisk running on Android 11 on this device?
 

MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
My sentiments exactly. Quality, solid piece of hardware crippled by a lack of support. I've had to shelve it all this time and buy a Samsung because of the GPS bug. Really frustrating. Live and learn I guess. Long-term support matters.
It seems like my GPS issue may have been hardware-related after all. I completed the upgrade to Android 11 but subsequently had multiple GPS signal losses during a drive of less than half an hour. The compass also fails to maintain a proper heading even after calibration. Since the upgrade, I've also apparently lost VoLTE and VoWiFi. Bizarrely, there's now a new idle battery drain situation and the phone repeatedly stops and restarts charging when using a QC charger. I'll probably go back to Android 10 (or maybe even 9?) and see how the phone behaves. Either way, thanks again for your efforts!
 

brian117

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2011
769
333
Cleveland, OH
So my experience with running Android 11 on the U variant is starting to be a hit or miss. Flashed everything correctly and did the correct modem procedure and I have a semi-working T-Mobile connection. However the modem does not always stay connected even though it shows I have signal. Couple times throughout the day I have to enable airplane mode and disable it to have random text messages start coming through and for my mobile data to actually stay connected. Friends have told me they tried calling me and their calls go straight to voice mail. When I go to check my voicemail I get a pop-up message that says I'm not connected to mobile data even though all settings are enabled correctly. Even made a new APN profile using settings straight from T-Mobiles website and still the same issues occur.

I'm going to reflash the modem when I get a chance and see if that fixes anything. I'm just posting this to see if anybody else using the U variant is having the same problems or similar. Otherwise I'm loving the rest of the features and UI on this device. This connectivity problem is a huge pain though.
 

MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
So my experience with running Android 11 on the U variant is starting to be a hit or miss. Flashed everything correctly and did the correct modem procedure and I have a semi-working T-Mobile connection. However the modem does not always stay connected even though it shows I have signal. Couple times throughout the day I have to enable airplane mode and disable it to have random text messages start coming through and for my mobile data to actually stay connected. Friends have told me they tried calling me and their calls go straight to voice mail. When I go to check my voicemail I get a pop-up message that says I'm not connected to mobile data even though all settings are enabled correctly. Even made a new APN profile using settings straight from T-Mobiles website and still the same issues occur.

I'm going to reflash the modem when I get a chance and see if that fixes anything. I'm just posting this to see if anybody else using the U variant is having the same problems or similar. Otherwise I'm loving the rest of the features and UI on this device. This connectivity problem is a huge pain though.
Did you happen to notice whether VoLTE was working? It wasn't for me, which is a deal breaker since my T-Mobile MVNO requires it to maintain service. Cheers!
 

ccraze

Member
Dec 19, 2020
27
1
Thanks @bgroins for the excellent hack. I followed the procedure yesterday and so far everything is working fine on T-mobile. Used GPS for more than 4 hrs today, didn't see any drop. The only difference I see in GPS is it takes long to fix after clear and update AGPS data through GPS Test. It used to fix to position faster while on A9 after clear AGPS. As this is one time activity, not something to worry as after it fixes, it doesn't drop connection, shows the right location while moving. If you don't clear, it shows the location immediately within 3-4 sec
 

MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
Thanks @bgroins for the excellent hack. I followed the procedure yesterday and so far everything is working fine on T-mobile. Used GPS for more than 4 hrs today, didn't see any drop. The only difference I see in GPS is it takes long to fix after clear and update AGPS data through GPS Test. It used to fix to position faster while on A9 after clear AGPS. As this is one time activity, not something to worry as after it fixes, it doesn't drop connection, shows the right location while moving. If you don't clear, it shows the location immediately within 3-4 sec
Is VoLTE working for you on T-Mobile? Was fine for me on Android 10 so I'm not sure what I could've done wrong in this update to kill it. Thanks!
 

brian117

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2011
769
333
Cleveland, OH
Did you happen to notice whether VoLTE was working? It wasn't for me, which is a deal breaker since my T-Mobile MVNO requires it to maintain service. Cheers!

VoLTE does not even seem to be an option in Android 11 for some reason unless I skipped a specific setting for it. My assumption was Android 11 had it baked into the framework by default. But yeah Android 11 on the U variant is unfortunately a deal breaker for me as well as my service is very spotty and loses frequent connection even though it shows I have signal bars and am connected to the network under SIM settings. I have to do an occasional airplane mode switch to on and off and I notice I get text messages flooding in.

I had hopes for this as the modem was so easily flashable and we are able to get a semi functional connection but just no VoLTE. And since I don't think there's a way to get root on this version yet it's hard to look at the system files to get further in depth. Noticed this version doesn't have WiFi Calling either which isn't a priority but something I find strange doesn't come built into Android 11 and I thought even for other countries it would still be a selectable option.

Android 11 otherwise runs beautiful on this device aside from the needed services for some MNVOs.
 
Last edited:

ccraze

Member
Dec 19, 2020
27
1
I am also seeing "cell network not available" issue even when network shows full bars. I am also using T-mobile 4G LTE mini tower and while sitting next to it I see that issue. After toggling airplane mode it started working. Should we try modem.bin from A10 image instead of A9. or they would probably be same?
If I just flash modem.bin again, @bgroins, do I need to factory reset the phone?
 

MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
My sentiments exactly. Quality, solid piece of hardware crippled by a lack of support. I've had to shelve it all this time and buy a Samsung because of the GPS bug. Really frustrating. Live and learn I guess. Long-term support matters.
I'm trying to go back to A9 using the instructions here


and getting stuck at an error [see attached image]. The phone is in EDL mode but I may well be missing something obvious. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Cheers!
 

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brian117

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2011
769
333
Cleveland, OH
I am also seeing "cell network not available" issue even when network shows full bars. I am also using T-mobile 4G LTE mini tower and while sitting next to it I see that issue. After toggling airplane mode it started working. Should we try modem.bin from A10 image instead of A9. or they would probably be same?
If I just flash modem.bin again, @bgroins, do I need to factory reset the phone?

I have personally tried modems from A9 and A10 and can safely say it makes no difference in compatibility. I believe the A9 modem did not even search for a network due to incompatibility, and the A10 modem from different versions just did the same thing as it does now. ZTE basically only designed this A11 to work on overseas networks. I don't see us USA users having any luck with it. I'm just going to have to go back to Lineage unfortunately. As far as I know, you don't need to do a factory reset as the modem gets flashed to a different part of the phone and factory resetting doesn't reset anything relating to the modem.

I'm trying to go back to A9 using the instructions here


and getting stuck at an error [see attached image]. The phone is in EDL mode but I may well be missing something obvious. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Cheers!

Try either different USB ports, or another USB cable. Also you may have to flash an A10 image first and then the A9. Have you tried using the other EDL Tool app by Unjustified Dev? Might have better luck. I'm going to be flashing my phone back to A9 later this week so I'll report back with any steps if I run into issues.
 

MarcelWhy

Member
Jan 6, 2022
23
0
I have personally tried modems from A9 and A10 and can safely say it makes no difference in compatibility. I believe the A9 modem did not even search for a network due to incompatibility, and the A10 modem from different versions just did the same thing as it does now. ZTE basically only designed this A11 to work on overseas networks. I don't see us USA users having any luck with it. I'm just going to have to go back to Lineage unfortunately.



Try either different USB ports, or another USB cable. Also you may have to flash an A10 image first and then the A9. Have you tried using the other EDL Tool app by Unjustified Dev? Might have better luck. I'm going to be flashing my phone back to A9 later this week so I'll report back with any steps if I run into issues.
Appreciate the response. I tried two different computers but I'll give your other suggestions a shot. Looking forward to a report on your A9 flash experience. Thanks!
 

ccraze

Member
Dec 19, 2020
27
1
I have personally tried modems from A9 and A10 and can safely say it makes no difference in compatibility. I believe the A9 modem did not even search for a network due to incompatibility, and the A10 modem from different versions just did the same thing as it does now. ZTE basically only designed this A11 to work on overseas networks. I don't see us USA users having any luck with it. I'm just going to have to go back to Lineage unfortunately. As far as I know, you don't need to do a factory reset as the modem gets flashed to a different part of the phone and factory resetting doesn't reset anything relating to the modem.



Try either different USB ports, or another USB cable. Also you may have to flash an A10 image first and then the A9. Have you tried using the other EDL Tool app by Unjustified Dev? Might have better luck. I'm going to be flashing my phone back to A9 later this week so I'll report back with any steps if I run into issues.
Thanks for the response. I was on stock A9 due to GPS issues and while flashing A11, following first post, I took A9 modem. Will see few more days and then move to A9 if it shows too many issues.
 

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  • 1
    That's a great idea. Were you able to fix build.prop? We can find that from A9 installation and fill the missing pieces.

    I have not tried that since I was pressed for time on trying to get my phone back to A9 but that is a good idea. When I have time tomorrow I'll compare both A9 build.prop to A11 and add in the values and repack everything for someone else to test out.
  • 1
    DISCLAIMER: Modifying a device may void the warranty on the device. It may also make the device unstable or may completely brick the device. The author does not take any responsibility for your device. Proceed at your own risk and only if you understand what you are doing! Do not attempt if you are inexperienced in flashing Android ROMs or other device modifications.

    What this does:

    1. Flashes your US-model Axon 10 pro to the official European A11 release which works except in the US except for the modem
    2. Flashes the US-model modem after the Europe ROM is installed to bring back cell service and make the phone work with the ROM

    What you will need:


    Make sure every download completes successfully before continuing.

    Steps:

    1. Make sure all files unpack successfully
    2. Make sure you have the Google USB driver installed
    3. Back up anything you need from the phone. Factory reset/wipe your phone, then reboot.
    4. Reboot into EDL mode (power on with both volume buttons pressed).
    5. Nothing will display on screen in this mode, but if you connect to your PC and run MiFlash (XiaoMiFlash.exe), then refesh, it should show a COM port connection.
    6. Using MiFlash, select the "Full EDL image for A2020G" folder, then flash
    7. After a successful flash, your phone will boot into the A2020G image. Wait at least 10 minutes. If it gets stuck on the logo screen like mine did, power off and boot into recovery (power plus volume down), factory reset/wipe your phone, then reboot.
    8. Connect to Wifi, if you are prompted to install an update, go ahead and do it (I was not).
    9. Extract the ZTE SD card update to android 11 for A2020G file on your PC.
    10. Connect your phone to your PC as a media device, and copy the extracted update.zip to the root folder of your phone.
    11. Go into Settings->System_>Updates and scan for an update. It should be found now and apply the update.
    12. After reboot you should now see the "MYOS" logo. You now have Android 11 but need to flash the US modem for it to complete.
    13. Unlock developer mode in settings and turn on USB debugging
    14. Extract the Axon 10 Pro \\(Non-5G\\) EDL Tool on your PC
    15. Extract the Full EDL image for A2020U file and find the modem.bin file.
    16. Copy the modem.bin file to \Axon10_EDL_TOOL_v3.2.5\flash\modem.
    17. Make a second copy of modem.bin in the same location
    18. Name one file "NON-HLOS.bin" and another file "NON-HLOS_b.bin"
    19. Run the EDL too "Axon10_EDL_Tool.bat" and connect your phone. Follow the instructions to reboot your phone into EDL mode, or do it manually (power plus both volume buttons)
    20. Select the option to flash and then flash only the modem. It should work fine if your file names are correct.
    21. Reboot, run through setup, and make sure you turn off automatic updates in settings
    22. Enjoy Android 11 and curse ZTE for never releasing a promised update in the US

    Full credit to le011

    Edit: Fixed wrong URL on full EDL.
    1
    Thanks so much for this! Looking forward to trying it when I can set aside some time. Anyone have experience with A11 on the 10 Pro? GPS on mine got so bad after the update to Android 10 that I've been considering rolling back to 9. I'm basically just wondering whether ZTE fixed it in the A11 update. Cheers!
    I had the GPS problem too. So far it locks immediately, but haven't tried it in the car yet.
    1
    That's a great idea. Were you able to fix build.prop? We can find that from A9 installation and fill the missing pieces.

    I have not tried that since I was pressed for time on trying to get my phone back to A9 but that is a good idea. When I have time tomorrow I'll compare both A9 build.prop to A11 and add in the values and repack everything for someone else to test out.