Asus is not usually considered among the most recognized or popular smartphone brands. Nevertheless, the Taiwanese OEM offers some of the most powerful and innovative hardware at compelling prices, such as the recently launched Zenfone 9. The compact flagship is powered by advanced internals such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC and features a miniature gimbal stabilization system for the primary camera.
While the Asus Zenfone 9 comes with an almost stock Android shell, you can use the excellent hardware with the help of custom ROMs or other mods. To enable it, the company has released the kernel source code as well as a dedicated bootloader unlocking tool.
Just like other Asus devices, you need to get hold of a model-specific app to unlock the bootloader of the Zenfone 9. This comes in the form of an APK, which needs to be sideloaded onto the smartphone. Keep in mind that Asus will void your smartphone’s warranty if you unlock the bootloader, which is a good enough reason to proceed with caution.
Asus Zenfone 9
The Asus Zenfone 9 is a small phone that packs a powerful flagship chip and a gimbal camera system that works.
The unlocking process automatically performs a factory reset, so it is highly recommended that you back up your data before proceeding. You won’t receive any future updates over-the-air from Asus when you unlock the bootloader, but the local upgrade option remains unaffected. Due to the fact that Asus also hosts factory images on its download portal, one can easily install all future software updates manually.
Furthermore, the company has released the kernel sources for the Zenfone 9. Now third-party developers can work on custom kernels and recoveries with much easier. This should really help kick-start aftermarket development for the device and make it much more attractive to modders, and in turn to users. We hope to see the development forums fill with a lot more activity in the near future, with perhaps better options for users looking to migrate away from Asus’ ZenUI.
Asus Zenfone 9 Download Portal for Bootloader Unlock Tool and Kernel Sources
Are you dying to install a custom ROM or kernel on your Asus Zenfone 9? Is there a particular ROM you want to try on your device? Let us know in the comments section below.