LineageOS on the Huwaei Y6II (CAM-L21)


I’m not a smartphone geek. I never bought a smartphone for myself :-)

During the last holidays I’ve inherited a Huawei Y6II from a family member.

I don’t like stock ROMs, they are full of bloatware and they aren’t customizable (and I like the option to have root privileges on my machines). I’ve always installed LineageOS (CyanogenMod in the past) on the few smartphones I got.

Background 2

The first thing to do in order to flash a custom ROM, and even before a custom recovery image, you need to unlock the bootloader. Huawei doesn’t provide a way to unlock it anymore (some time ago it was possible to ask for the unlock code registering on their web site). So there are some paid services that provide such code. The price varies from 20 to 60 euros (or a more affordable price, see below). And some of these services look suspicious. BTW I haven’t found a free way (I found a not trivial method for the P8 Lite some time after), so I opted for the service provided by dc-unlocker: 4 euros to get the code. It worked. Maybe it would have been better to spend such money for something else (donate them to a FOSS project?), but hey, let’s consider them as 4 euros spent for a new smartphone.

And now?

There aren’t ROMs or custom recovery images for the Huawei Y6II…

But Huawei Y6II, as far as I can understand, has the same hardware of the Huawei P8 Lite.

So hey, there is the TWRP recovery image for P8 Lite:

And there is an unofficial and maintaned build of LineageOS with OTA updates (I haven’t had the chance to test this yet), thanks to DarkJoker360:

As far as I have read, any custom ROM for the P8 Lite, also works on the Y6II.

It works

There is also LineageOS 15.1 (Android Oreo) maintained by DarkJoker360, but it isn’t usable (the maintainer consider it as beta): SIM isn’t always detected; PIN of the second SIM is asked even if not inserted; the torch doesn’t work; the phone hangs; no way to use the camera; etc.

Instead, LineageOS 14.1 (Android Nougat) works pretty well.

The stock camera app doesn’t work, but you can install another app, like Footej Camera. Sometimes the interface doesn’t look fluid while scrolling pages or switching between apps, but you can improve that a little bit by enabling Force GPU rendering and by lowering Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale in the developer options. For the rest, it seems OK: screen rotation works, WiFi works, Bluetooth maybe (I didn’t tested it), and I can make phone calls :-)

Sadly, such phone doesn’t support OTG.

Conclusion: if in the future I need to buy a smartphone, I will avoid Huawei.

P.S.: thanks to DarkJoker360.