Developers bring Project Treble support to several Samsung Galaxy phones with the Exynos 7870
The Exynos 7870 is one of the most widely used SoCs by Samsung. The OEM had been using this octa-core (8x ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz) system-on-chip in its phones since 2016 and even released the Galaxy M10 in 2019 with the same 14nm processor. Interestingly, some of the newer Exynos 7870-powered devices were launched with Android Oreo onboard, which made them compatible with Project Treble. While Samsung didn’t officially backport Treble support to legacy Exynos 7870 smartphones, XDA’s developer community has managed to do it anyway.
Based on the contributions of XDA Recognized Developer ananjaser1211, XDA Member SPARTANICUS, and XDA Senior Member Valera1978, XDA Recognized Developer Astrako has created an automated partitioning tool and a unified vendor-kernel combo targeting the Exynos 7870 platform. The custom kernel (H-Kernel) is based on the Android 10 kernel source for the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018), whereas the bits and pieces of the homebrew vendor partition named “H-Vendor” were ported from the Android 10 firmware for the Samsung Galaxy J6, Galaxy A7 (2018), and the Galaxy S20. The mod enables a total of seven legacy Exynos 7870-powered smartphones to boot existing Android 10 Generic System Images (GSI) and prepares them for Android 11-based GSIs.
It is worth mentioning that offline charging and Bluetooth calls are broken in the initial version of H-vendor. Moreover, SELinux is set to permissive on H-Kernel, which is unfortunately a major security issue that we hope to see resolved soon. The device-specific known issues are listed below:
|Device and XDA Forum Link||Model Number||Known Bugs|
|Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)||A320X||Echo in calls|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 Core||G610X||Screen delay when coming on, Camera flash|
|Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018)||J530X||–|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro||J600X||NFC could be broken for some variants|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)||J701X||Front camera flash|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime||J710X||NFC could be broken for some variants, Delayed audio|
|Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro||J730X||–|
An updated custom recovery is required to carry out the vendor partition creation step, which is handled by Exynos7870_CreateVendor_XX.zip. Despite the fact that none of the aforementioned Samsung phones feature an A/B dual partition scheme, users need to flash an A/B ARM64 system GSI image before flashing the H-Vendor zip. Those coming from stock Samsung firmware have to format the data partition (which will delete the contents of the internal storage) before flashing this mod, so do perform a complete backup.