Users who prefer Custom ROMs fall into two categories- One is they hate their manufacturer UI; The other one is their manufacturers stopped updates. They want to stay with the latest Android versions and patch updates. Google Pixel 2 XL is got updates directly from Google. So, You always get official Stock Android updates. Most of the users don’t prefer custom ROMs when they get official updates. Since Google Pixel 2 and XL versions didn’t get updates, You can use custom ROMs if you want. But you have to choose popular OS versions to get the latest updates. Lineage OS is one of the popular custom ROMs, and the developers are high in this community. When you are planning to install custom ROMs, You can install Google Pixel 2/XL Lineage OS 18.1 Android 11 Official ROM.
Before going to flash Custom ROMs
If you are a regular user, I advise you not to go for root and flash this custom ROM to stay secure with the latest patch updates. Because with Stock Android, Even if you are not getting regular patch updates, You can remain safe from significant issues. The following Lineage OS version is the official version, which means it is fully compatible with your mobile and free from most major bugs. Official Custom ROMs are always better, and they are free from significant issues and will receive regular patch updates. To flash the firmware, you should have root access with Custom recovery installed on your mobile.
Should you need to flash Official Lineage OS 18.1 Android 11 on Google Pixel 2/XL?
We are thankful for the Hard Work of the Lineage OS team. Without this team, this method is not possible. Your mobile has 4 GB of RAM. It is more than enough for everyday usage. The problem is that Google stopped maintaining the security patch and Major upgrades; It has a Flagship-level Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 processor. But coming to OS, You already have the latest Android 11 OS. The OS is not old. But, If you are comfortable using custom ROMs, you can use Lineage OS. Most of the users use Lineage ROM for the Stock Android Experience. If you love extra Lineage OS features, you can use this official Lineage OS. It is near the Stock Android with a lot of features.
If we optimize correctly with the correct Lineage OS after rooting, we can see some Improvements. So, after rooting, can I expect a Lag-free experience? Probably. If we hibernate and eliminate many unwanted apps and optimize some apps, your device is hardware limited. Within these limits, we can enhance performance by 30-40% compared with your old usage. If you use Lineage Custom ROMs, you can expect a 50-80% improvement in performance.
How to Install Google Pixel 2/XL Lineage OS 18.1 Android 11 Official ROM?
Google Pixel 2/XL comes with a flexible bootloader other than Verizon devices. Verizon devices come with a locked Bootloader, which means that We can easily root different smartphone variants. The device can also accept installing TWRP recovery or any other custom recovery file/app.
TWRP recovery is a custom recovery file installed on Google devices because you can root them successfully. This article explained the easiest method to follow and install TWRP recovery on the Google Pixel 2/XL. However, the tool required for rooting this device is the Magisk App.
With the help of TWRP Recovery, you can quickly flash the latest version of Lineage OS into your Google Pixel 2/XL. Before sharing the tutorial, you may want to know that, with the TWRP recovery present on your device, you can easily install any custom ROM or firmware. Does it seem complicated? Relax; We will explain everything briefly in bullets. If you didn’t root your mobile, Refer– Root Google Pixel 2/XL.
Things to check out for;
Check your device model number.
- Snapdragon processor variants.
- It would be best if you had TWRP custom recovery installed on your mobile.
Make sure your device battery is above 50%.
You should back up your current files and data, just in case (save them on external storage using TWRP Backup).
Enable USB Debugging Mode and OEM Unlock on your mobile. To do this, go to settings >>> about >>> Tap on the “Build Number” 7-10 times consistently to enable “Developer Options,” then go to the “Developer Options” and enable USB Debugging Mode and OEM Unlock. There is no complicated process in Google Pixel 2/XL.
Download Google Pixel 2/XL Lineage ROM 18.1 and copy it in your SD Card/ Pendrive OTG Cable. There are plenty of works that We can do with OTG Cable.
- Walleye (Pixel 2).
- Taimen (Pixel 2 XL).
Flash Lineage OS 18.1 in Google Pixel 2/XL using TWRP
- Switch off your device. Then, enter into Recovery mode. To do this, press and hold down the Volume Down button + Power Button and connect your USB Cable. While holding Volume Up, release the Power Button.
Press the Volume Up button to continue when you see the warning message.
- Now it Will Boot into TWRP Recovery Mode.
- Select Wipe->Advance Wipe->Select Cache, Dalvik, System Data. System Data will delete all files, including your Current OS.
- Return to Home of TWRP select Install.
- Select Lineage OS.Zip.
- After the Installation, Reboot Your Mobile.
- We have successfully Installed Lineage OS on our mobile.
Install Gapps For Google Pixel 2/XL
Google Apps Called Gapps. That is Pre-Installed on All Android Mobiles. Google apps are Gmail, Google Maps, Play Store, YouTube, Google+, Search, Google Docs, Google Music, etc. These Gapps are not Pre-Installed With Custom ROMs Like CyanogenMod and others, Due to Some License Problems. All the Gapps Applications are the property of Google, and there is no Re-modification in the Gapps.
- Install the CPU Hardware app on your mobile. Go to CPU and Note down your Architecture. It is essential to select the correct Gapps for your mobile.
- Download Gapps For Google Pixel 2/XL Official ROM 18.1 Android 11 version and Copy it into your Internal Memory. If you are confused with the Packages, you can refer Official Gapps Package comparison.
- Switch Off Your Mobile. Boot it into recovery mode->Volume Down+ Power Button.
- Now it Will Boot into TWRP Recovery Mode.
- Select Wipe->Advance Wipe->Select Cache Data.
- Return to Home of TWRP select Install. Select Gapps.Zip.
- After the Installation, Reboot Your Mobile.
Google Pixel 2/XL Lineage OS 18.1 Android 11 Features
There are a lot of features added to Lineage OS 18.1. Here I mentioned some Important features.
- Lineage OS 18.1 is Android 11 Stock Android ROM with System-Wide Color options available. Dark, Grey themes are also available.
- We have optimized Recent apps Switcher.
- Volume Rocker contains Silent/Vibrate/Mute Options with Easy adjustable navigation.
- Notification enhanced. Instead of replying to a single message, you can now respond to the whole conversation.
- Heavily customizable status bar including Network Traffic Monitor available.
- Lock Screen Visualizer for music.
- New Set of Emoji.
- The New Gallery app is available with a timeline and other similar Files features.
- Dialer app is available with Call recording similar to Google Phone app.
- You can configure the notification light with a lot of colors.
- Google Camera app, All Banking apps, and Payment apps will work without any issues.
- Digital Wellbeing- Optimize your time with Social Network interaction. Also, They added the new flip to shhh features.
- Adaptive Battery- Better Battery optimization.
You know this already; if you turn on Subtitles on Youtube, It will auto-generate the captions. The Same functionality can be work on all over your device videos, and it Doesn’t require Wi-Fi/ Data. This feature is now widely available.
We have limited Languages as per Google Data.
It is already available in the Pie version. But it is limited. Now you can explore more actions when you get the messages, and you can Open Links, Open Apps based on the messages.
We always do this using Third-party apps. Now we can adjust the Volume and Tune, Equalize using the in-built feature. You can do a lot of things like Reduce noise, Enhance the Tune like that.
Enhanced Gesture Navigation
The True Gesture Navigation has finally arrived. It may not be best compare with OnePlus devices, But It is way better than the Pie 9.0 version. If you swipe From Left to Right, It goes forward, and right to Left goes Backward. Home button work as usual. We can access recently used apps By Swiping Quarter Screen to the Top. Simple navigation to avoid confusion.
It is not like Night Mode, and it didn’t add a filter in the Display. If you have OLED Display, It will surely save your battery power from 5-30% based on your usage.
Google always added enhanced Privacy features in every Android version. In the 10th version, You can handle your Privacy a lot better. It will always tell you when your installed apps access your location in the background to manage whether you need that permission on Always or During the app usage.
Direct System Updates
Unlike regular OTA updates from your Manufacturers, the regular patch updates will be handled by Google After you update to the Android 11 version. It can be done using your Google Play App. If you have Custom Skin OS from your Manufacturer, Google will not change the UI, and they will handle only Patch updates. This is one of the most critical steps taken from their side, and it will help all the users who are tired of their Manufacturer’s Late updates. Due to we are in Custom ROM, we have to update our OS manually.
It can be an additional function of Digital well-being. Now you can Pause some apps to avoid the Notifications For a short time or a Long time. Some mobiles are made based on this scenario. To avoid distractions and get focused on what you are doing. Think you are Studying, and a Single Whatsapp message can redirect you. With the help of this feature, you can use only Study apps during your Study time.
It is like Parental Control, and you can control the App Timings within your Added Google Accounts.
Other improvements and changes
- HEIF Image, Monochrome Camera Support.
- New Set of Emoji.
- Enhanced Adaptive Battery Improvements compare with the previous versions.
- Contaminant Detection- If any moistures are in your USB Ports, your mobile will alert you.
- It supports Full device encryption.
- The new Partial screenshot option allows you to capture a small part of the screen.
- Adapted Theme selector allows you to change system-wide colors, Icons, and Sizes.
- Now Wi-Fi Display option is available.
- Support for Rotate and Pop-Up cameras added in the update.
Google Pixel 2/XL is a Flagship-level device; We can expect Some Improvement by rooting. But, If you use Lineage Custom Roms, you can expect considerable performance Improvement. If you have little tech knowledge and know what you are doing, you can Root and flash Lineage Custom ROM. If you flash other Custom ROM, check what is working and what is not working. It is wise to use Some Official Custom ROMs like Lineage. If you feel you are limited with Hardware, Trust me, 4 GB RAM is more than enough for Heavy usage. Refer- How Much RAM you need. Like Lineage OS, there are plenty of other best Pie 9.0 based custom ROMs available for your device. During the process, if you face any problems, comment below.
Selva Kumar is an Android Devices Enthusiast, Who Can Talk and Write About Anything If You Give a Hint About the respective devices. He is a Computer Science Graduate and Certified Android Developer, Making His Career towards this Technology. He is always eager to try new Android devices — not only Software level but Hardware-level Also. Beyond this, He is a Good Swimmer, Guitarist.