How to Install TWRP and Root Essential PH-1

Designed from scratch by one of Android co-founders, Andy Rubin, the Essential PH-1 device is surely a newcomer that has given much attention to. Not only its overall design but also its monster hardware specification make people getting amazed. The device sports Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz & 4×1.9 GHz) Kryo 280 processors, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and Gorilla Glass 5. The first device with codename PH-1 comes with product dimensions of 141.5mm x 71.1mm x 7.8mm and it boasts a sleek screen of 5.71″ with radiused corners and 2560 x 1312 QHD display with 19:10 aspect ratio.

This article shows you an alternate method, which you may try, to flash TWRP custom recovery and gain root access on the Essential PH-1 phone. Getting root access is the ultimate ability that every Android user really loves to. Of course, the feeling of fully control the device is the main reason behind rooting. However, there are tons of other benefits that a rooted device can offer its user.


  1. The Essential PH-1 device (codename Mata).
  2. Make sure you have unlocked the phone bootloader.
  3. A proper USB data cable is necessary, and make sure it is not a charging-only cable.
  4. A Windows-based laptop running Windows 8/8.1/10.
  5. Download the Minimal Fastboot and ADB Drivers and install it on your computer.
  6. Download TWRP Recovery for PH-1 Mata. The flash-able .img file is compressed into a zip file. Extract its content.
  7. Download latest version of either SuperSU or Magisk. Use Magisk if your want systemless rooting mechanism.
  8. Download stock boot image file suitable for which Android build your phone is running.

Please be understand that flashing a custom recovery and rooting your Android device will void your phone warranty. Moreover, since it needs to put your device into Fastboot mode, there might be possibilities to be stuck at bootloop or to be ended up in a bricked state. Please create a full backup of your necessary data and files including contacts, messages, photos, videos, apps, and so on. We hold no responsibility for any damage that happens with your device caused by following this tutorial.

Flash Custom Recovery

Step 1 –  Since you have unlocked the phone bootloader, we assume that you have enabled Developer Options and USB Debugging. Otherwise, please firstly enable both settings.

Step 2 – Install the Minimal Fastboot and ADB Drivers into your computer. You will then have a new folder located at C:\adb.

Step 3 – Now extract both TWRP and PH-1 Stock Boot image .img files. Copy the .img files into ADB folder at C:\adb. Rename the TWRP .img file into recovery.img for easy usage. Additionally, you need to copy the zip file of either SuperSU or Magisk.

A little note about this part:

  • If your phone runs Ambient OS based on Android 7.x Nougat with build number NMJ88C, please download appropriate boot image file. You may also need to download TWRP v7 for in case if v11 would not work (download links are in above part).
  • If your phone still running Nougat other that NMJ88C, you do not need to download stock boot image.
  • PH-1 devices running the Beta version of Ambient OS based on Android 8 Oreo also need to download appropriate boot image.

Step 4 – Now turn off your phone completely. Next, press and hold the Power button and Volume Down (-) button together simultaneously until you see the Essential boot logo. Watch the video below to get a better understanding:

Step 5 – Now connect your phone to your computer using its USB cable.

Step 6 – Open up Windows Explorer exactly at the ADB folder (C:\adb). Now hold down the “Shift” button and right-click on anywhere inside that folder, then click the “Open command prompt window from here” or “Open PowerShell window here“.

Step 7 – You then need to transfer some files to your phone by issuing the command below (type and hit Enter to execute):

Transfering Magisk (if you want to use Magisk instead of SuperSU):

adb push /sdcard/

Transfering SuperSU (if you want to use SuperSU instead of Magisk):

adb push /sdcard/

Transferring PH-1 stock boot image. Replace the name of NMJ88CC-STOCK.img with the one you use.

adb push NMJ88C-STOCK.img /sdcard/

Step 8 – Next, issue the command below (type it and hit Enter to execute):

fastboot devices
fastboot flash boot recovery.img

Step 9 – Your computer will install TWRP on your phone which will be accomplished within few seconds. Once done, issue this command to reboot your phone into recovery.

adb reboot recovery

Step 10 – When prompted, enter your pattern/passcode/password to decrypt your data in order to gain access to your internal storage.

Root The Phone

Step 1 – In TWRP main menu, choose “Install“.

Step 2 – Then locate the stock boot image (.img) file you have copied, and choose it/tap on it.

Step 3 – Do the “Swipe to confirm flash” action to start flashing. Wait until the flashing process complete.

Step 4 – Next, go back to the main menu of TWRP, choose “Install” again.

Step 5 – This time you need to locate either Magisk or SuperSU .zip file. Tap/choose it.

Step 6 – Again, do the “Swipe to confirm flash” action to start flashing. Wait for the flashing process. Once done, tap the reboot button.

Step 7 – If you use Magisk, you will also need to install Magisk Manager app which can be downloaded from the same page.

That’s it and enjoy.

Source & credits: bmg1001 at XDA.

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