ASUS releases bootloader unlock tool, firmware, and kernel sources for the Zenfone 9
Asus is not usually counted among the most reputed or popular smartphone brands. Nonetheless, the Taiwanese OEM offers some of the most powerful and innovative pieces of hardware at compelling prices, like the recently launched Zenfone 9. The compact flagship is powered by high-end internals such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC and features a miniature gimbal stabilization system for its primary camera.
While the Asus Zenfone 9 comes with a near-stock Android skin, you can utilize the excellent hardware with the help of custom ROMs or other mods. To enable that, the company has released the kernel source code as well as a dedicated tool for bootloader unlocking.
Just like other Asus devices, you must get your hands on a model-specific app to unlock the bootloader of the Zenfone 9. This comes in the form of an APK, which will have to be sideloaded on the smartphone. Remember that Asus will void the warranty of your smartphone if you unlock the bootloader, which is a reason good enough to proceed with caution.
The unlocking process automatically performs a factory reset, so it is highly recommended that you back up your data before proceeding. You will not receive any future updates over the air from Asus once 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 the future software updates manually.
Further, the company has posted the kernel sources for the Zenfone 9. Now, third-party developers can work on custom kernels and recoveries with much more ease. This should really help kickstart 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 populated with much more activity in the near future, with perhaps better alternatives for users who want to migrate away from Asus’ ZenUI.
Are you looking forward to installing a custom ROM or kernel on your Asus Zenfone 9? Is there a particular ROM you wish to try on the device? Let us know in the comments section below.