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Ok so I have Android 7.0 and I'm trying to upgrade it to Android 8 or 9 because some apps require that as the minimum version.

The problem now is I feel like my phone has stopped receiving updates from the manufacturer so I want to know if it is possible to manually upgrade it through ADB (or something) with my laptop.

When I check the phone's software updater it says there are no upgrades and it's the latest version but we both know that isn't true, so I'm trying to forcefully upgrade it.

My phone is T-Mobile and the model is 5049W

Edit: It doesn't even seem like there's a custom ROM/recovery for this particular model of T-Mobile.

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  • According to quick research, this is T-Mobile Revvl (Alcatel 5049W) and it only gets Android 7.0 (no official update). Thus, the only way to upgrade is to find custom ROM that has newer version and for this specific model, if available... or if it's even possible to flash image/unlock the bootloader. Note that unlike PC, there's no generic ROM that can be flashed on any Android device.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 10:30
  • There's a hint on XDA Forum in 2018 and in 2022 about unlocking the bootloader.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 10:55
  • @AndrewT. how would I know if the custom ROM supports my phone model?
    – drvnprgrmr
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 11:02
  • Also would updating it make me lose all the files on my phone?
    – drvnprgrmr
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 11:06
  • @BlindSpots it doesn't even seem like there's a custom ROM for T-Mobile. :(
    – drvnprgrmr
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:46

1 Answer 1

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Unlocked Bootloader

I rooted early on, and then didn't for a long time. Being a computer power user, it is hard to wrap my head around all the restrictions I have to endure on my miniature computer phone. The effort to root, for the average person, is generally not worth it, however there is often one critical thing that pushes someone down that road.

Extending the life of a device by installing a custom ROM is one of those. I was able to do that for a friend on a Moto-Z XT1650 who couldn't afford a new phone. The well supported Lineage OS officially supported that device up to version 17.1 (Android 10).

In order to go down this path, you need a lot of motivation. Also, certain types of people are able to navigate the information and process it much better than others as there is a lot of noise and extracting accurate and relevant information is challenging. The lion's share of quality info comes from developers and IT enthusiasts and without that background it can be hard to follow even if you can identify the pearls.

Also, your device needs to be a good fit. Some devices are easier than others to unlock. Within a device model, there are variants by country and often by Telco that can have minor differences that impact ease of rooting if not eliminating it entirely (practically speaking). For example, I had a Samsung Galaxy S8 and, while S8's with the Exynos chipset could have their bootloaders unlocked, the variant sold to by my Telco had a Snapdragon chipset, which could not. To my knowledge no one ever figured out how to unlock that particular bootloader though many tried as the device was widely circulated. Eventually, there was an exploit released that worked around the bootloader by injected another ROM during the boot process. This was better than nothing but not ideal as the layering was resource intensive during use and created some peculiarities.

To do well, it is best to be part of a large group of similar users. As many shared features as possible: common device, common OS, common locale, etc. Ideally you want solutions to exist before you even realize you have a problem.

To this end, prior to buying my next phone, I started investigating what hardware was best suited to a white label Android experience, what devices could have their bootloaders unlocked, and what devices were officially supported by alternate OS' such as Lineage OS.

This was a few years ago and while I shortlisted some Google phones, I ultimately settled on the OnePlus 7 Pro (GM1917). I have had a multi-year honeymoon. The specs of the device are impressive and what I originally bought for the ability to run alternate OS' has been very well maintained by the manufacturer. It originally shipped with OxygenOS 9 (Android 9) and is currently running OxygenOS 12 (Android 12).

Should 'you' do it?

I don't necessarily encourage you to do what I am doing, rather I am sharing that it can work if one is willing to invest untold hours over months and years researching with many Depends moments endnote along the way and more to come. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. People DIY a lot of things without understanding the ongoing overhead required to maintain them. There are many variables in play. Outside of your specific device and your skillset, what works one day won't necessarily work the next, and every OS upgrade is a potential problem. Over the years, I have introduced as many problems as I have solved.

I and lots of others started off without a clue, ignored everyone's dire warnings, slogged through it, and am happy I did. For every success story there are other users with bricked devices.

My Recommendations

Your phone was released over 5 years ago, and doesn't seem to be a popular model amongst enthusiasts. The writing is on the wall and even if you manage to extend its life the process of getting there will render it largely unusable temporarily (potentially permanently). Troubleshooting aside, installing a custom ROM will necessitate wiping your device. Therefore I recommend:

  • buy another used device that is reasonably priced, has better hardware, and an updated OS.
  • ideally buy from a user who has cared for since new, rather than a bulk online seller who refurbishes.
  • if interested, with a new device in hand, pursue extending the life of your old device.

Extending the Life

This forum is not the place to continue this particular journey. You will need to familiarize yourself with sites that better cater to this, and are structured as discussion forums.

A great example is XDA Developers
Founded in 2003 by developers. Originally focused on issues and features for Windows Mobile its focus shifted to Android in 2010. It is a great resource for info and links for custom ROMs and help rooting.

Some links to get you started:
General Development > Android Development and Hacking > Android Q&A, Help & Troubleshooting:

Good luck!


Depends Moment: Period of extreme stress where one risks soiling oneself.

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