Motorola is currently soak-testing Moto G4 Android Oreo update and a beta build has recently been leaked. If you’d like to test the new update, then follow the instructions below to install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus. You can either sideload the Soak Test OTA via stock recovery or restore the TWRP backup.
Android smartphones from Lenovo-owned Motorola aren’t the best bet when it comes to regular software updates. Most of these phones have been criticized for delayed software updates and broken promises. Talking about updates, last year Motorola publically disclosed the list of their phones that were designated to get Android Oreo update. Most of these phones including the Moto G5/G5 Plus, Moto G5S, Moto G5S Plus, Moto Z, Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Play, and Moto X4 have already received the Android Oreo update. Motorola decided to directly jump to Android 8.1 Oreo, skipping 8.0 as the company was already behind the schedule.
However, both the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus were not present in the list. The phones were released back in 2016 and came with Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box. Seeing the outrage among the users, the company reconsidered its decision and is finally testing Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus.
Moto G4/G4 Plus Android 8.1 Oreo Soak Test
XDA Senior Member rajatgupta1998 was able to capture the leaked Android 8.1 Oreo soak test build for the Moto G4/G4 Plus. The new software comes with OPJ28.128 build number and November 2018 security patches. The member also made TWRP Backup of the build. So users who have an unlocked bootloader with TWRP can easily restore the provided backup to install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus.
Since the leaked OTA updates your phone’s bootloader and modem to the newer Oreo version, you will NOT BE ABLE TO DOWNGRADE back to Nougat if you choose to sideload the OTA and will be forced to wait for the stable Oreo update. For the same reason, it is best to use the Android 8.1 Oreo TWRP Backup to upgrade. Using it will not update your Moto G4’s bootloader and thus allow you to downgrade easily, should you ever want to do it.
Now before you head on to the instructions, take a note of the bugs that have already been discovered in this update.
- The camera is slow on first boot and lags often. It also takes time to open.
- Switching between the front camera and rear camera takes some time.
- SafetyNet does not pass since this isn’t a final public release and hence Play Store shows device as “Uncertified”.
You are now aware of all the details about this update and the issues/bugs that it has. If you can overlook them, then follow the steps below on how to install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus using two different methods.
- Irrespective of the method you choose (Method 2 will completely wipe your phone including the internal storage), I strongly suggest you take a complete backup of all your data on the phone. We also covered a detailed tutorial on how to backup Android devices completely.
- Charge your Moto G4/G4 Plus to a sufficient battery level to avoid any sudden shutdown during the update process.
- For method 1, your phone must be on Nougat firmware with build number NPJS25.93-14-18. You can download it from here.
- In order to use method 2, you must have an unlocked bootloader and TWRP (You can download it here) installed on your phone.
- Important: Also, boot your Moto G4 into TWRP recovery and take a backup of your EFS (TWRP > Backup > Select EFS > Swipe to Backup). Make sure to copy the EFS backup to an external SD card or your PC.
Download Moto G4/G4 Plus Android 8.1 Oreo Soak Test
The download links have been provided by XDA Senior Member rajatgupta1998 on his XDA thread. So the credits go to him! Don’t forget to give him a thumbs up.
How to Install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus
As told earlier, it is best to use Method 2 and restore the TWRP Backup of the Android 8.1 Oreo Soak Test build to upgrade. It will allow you to easily downgrade back to stock Nougat firmware or a custom ROM. On the other hand, Method 1 will block you from downgrading at all.
Method 1: Sideload OTA using Stock Recovery
- Download Android 8.1 Oreo Soak Test OTA package.
- Connect your Moto G4/G4 Plus to the PC via the USB cable.
- Transfer the downloaded OTA package to the root of your phone’s internal storage. By “Root”, we mean outside all the folders.
- Disconnect the phone and power it off completely.
- Boot your Moto G4 into Bootloader Mode by pressing and holding the Volume Down and Power buttons together.
- On the Bootloader screen, tap the volume buttons until you see “Recovery mode” and press the Power button to select it.
- You should now see an Android robot on the screen.
- Now, hold the Power button and press the Volume Up button to finally boot into stock recovery mode.
- In the stock recovery mode, select “Apply update from SD card”.
- Select the OTA package (filename: block_delta-Blur_Version.25.236.3-28.1.43.athene.retail.en.US.zip).
- Finally, press the Power button to confirm and install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus.
- Once the installation finishes, select “Reboot system now”.
Method 2: Restore TWRP Backup
- Download the Android 8.1 Oreo TWRP Backup zip package.
- Boot your Moto G4/G4 Plus into TWRP recovery mode.
- In TWRP, go to ‘Wipe’ > ‘Format Data’.
- Enter “yes” in the provided field to wipe your phone completely, including the internal storage.
- Once wiped, go to the ‘Mount’ menu and tap on ‘Enable MTP’.
- Connect your Moto G4 to the PC using the USB cable.
- Extract the downloaded zip file on the PC to get the TWRP Backup folder (2018-11-23–13-24-15).
- Copy the folder to sdcard (internal storage)/TWRP/BACKUPS/ folder.
- Once copied, disconnect the phone from the PC.
- Go back to the TWRP main screen and tap on ‘Restore’.
- Tap on the Backup package and make sure both ‘System’ and ‘Boot’ are selected on the next screen.
- Finally, swipe the button on the screen to restore the backup and install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus.
- Once the installation finishes, tap on ‘Reboot System’.
Note that the first boot may be slow and can take around 10 minutes. Once your Moto G4 gets into the OS, set it up by following the on-screen instructions. Then enjoy all the latest Oreo goodies on your Moto G4/G4 Plus.
The leaked beta build clearly indicates that the stable release is not so far now. However, nothing could be said for sure right now. Of course, the list of issues we mentioned above will first need to be fixed. Once everything is ready, the Android Oreo update will be rolled out to the users over-the-air.
So, this was our tutorial on how to install Android 8.1 Oreo on Moto G4/G4 Plus via the leaked soak test build. If you have any queries regarding the procedure, please feel free to comment below.