How to install Android 8.1 Developer Preview for Google Nexus 5X

The official Android 8.1 Test build is now live for all the Google Nexus 5X devices and you can follow the instructions listed in this post in order to learn how to manually install the new files.

The new Android 8.1 OREO firmware will add the following features: dark/light UI theme that’s based on wallpaper, the Quick Settings gets to be semi-transparent, revamped Settings menu, Navigation and Power Menu now are the same as on the Pixel 2 phones, date under Ambient Display is back in 8.1 as it was removed in 8.0, and numerous other changes.

This guide teaches you how to manually install the Android 8.1 Developer Preview factory image for the Google Nexus 5X smartphones. Check the following guidelines before starting the flashing process:

  • use this guide only with the Google Nexus 5X smartphones.
  • don’t flash any file you find in this post on any other devices.
  • make sure to enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock from Developer Options menu.
    – if Developer Options is not listed under Settings menu, then you will have to go to Settings> About Phone and tap seven times on the Build Number text to enable thee developer options.
    – go back to Settings and Developer Options will be listed there, open this menu and then enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock.
  • note that by installing the new Android 8.1 Dev Preview factory image you will end up wiping all the data from your smartphone.
    – make sure to backup all the important data from your Nexus 5x before starting the installation.
  • this is a guide that has to be applied by advanced users, we cannot be blamed in case you brick the device nor in case you lose any important data files.
  • read all the steps and don’t skip any steps.
  • note that there needs to be at least 50% charge left before the device powers off completely.

Now that you know all of the above you can continue to the next part of this post.

SETUP Android ADB and Fastboot drivers on your computer:

Platform-tools and the adb drivers will allow you to manually install the new Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview files on your device. Here’s how to setup the “platform-tools” folder and drivers:

  • download Platform-Tools zip from the links below:
    – for Windows click here.
    – for Mac OS click here.
    – for Linux click here.
  • make sure to extract the files from the zip and save them all in a “platform-tools” folder on your PC.
  • install the Google USB drivers from here, too.

Get to the next steps and learn how to complete the new factory image installation.

How to install Android 8.1 Developer Preview Factory Image for Nexus 5X:

  1. Download Android 8.1 dev preview factory image file from here.
  2. Extract the contents and save them all in the Platform-Tools folder.
  3. Switch off your Nexus 5X.
  4. Boot your Nexus 5X in Bootloader Mode.
  5. Get to Platform-Tools folder and launch a command prompt / terminal screen there; make sure to run it in “admin” mode.
  6. Connect your Nexus 5X to computer using usb cable.
    Verify that the phone has been detected by the computer.
  7. First thing that you need to do is to unlock the ‘bootloader’ of your Nexus 5X. Enter the following command line to unlock the bootloader: fastboot falshing unlock
  8. Get to Platform-Tools after the the bootloader is unlocked.
    Launch the Flash-all.bat installer script.
    Confirm the flashing of Android 8.1 Developer Preview factory image and continue to the next step.
  9. When the install is done you can reboot the phone in normal mode.
    Unplug the phone from PC and regain control over your device.

If you need any other help you need to tell us in comments. You can check the Google Developers website here for more info, too.

Also, if the installation fails you can repeat the whole tutorial more than once.

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