Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are now officially supported by TWRP
Google spent part of their big keynote event at I/O 2019 to unveil their first-ever mid-range Pixel smartphones: the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Both smartphones have features that are typical of 2019 mid-range devices like FHD+ OLED panels, 3.5mm headphone jacks, 4GB RAM, 64GB of non-expandable storage, 18W fast wired charging support, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670. However, what really sets them apart from their mid-range competition are Google’s Pixel software, Google’s support, and Google’s exceptional camera app. Being Pixel devices, they’re great for custom development thanks to their readily-available kernel source code, minimal deviation from AOSP, and unlockable bootloaders. Over on our forums, XDA Senior Member ZVNexus is maintaining builds of the popular custom recovery TWRP, which today have been made official.
You can download the TWRP boot images from the pages linked below. At the time of publication, the download links haven’t gone live yet, but you can grab the builds from the XDA forum threads for the 3a and 3a XL. In order to install them, you have to unlock the bootloader, fastboot boot the TWRP image, and then flash the installer ZIP.
The stock Pixel software is really polished, so many don’t feel the need to unlock their phones to install custom ROMs or kernels. However, there are still plenty of reasons to do so. For instance, if you want to squeeze a bit more performance or battery life out of your device, you can install Flar2’s ElementalX custom kernel for the 3a. If you want to customize Active Edge, you’ll need to install Magisk so you can get Edge Sense Plus. If you want to bring back Smart Lock’s face unlock option, there’s a Magisk Module for that. Root access opens up a ton of customization opportunities, and now with official TWRP, you can safely make changes to your device after making a backup.