A wolf in a sheep’s clothing? Many of you might not agree, but looking at the simplistic design of the Nexus 4, it doesn’t exactly scream out the mighty specs it has on paper. At 1.5GHz, a quad-core CPU coupled with 2GB of RAM is more than enough to take whatever the world of Android throws at it. So how does overclocking to 1.8GHz and upping the GPU to 487MHz sound? All this courtesy of recognized developer ‘faux123’, who has just released a custom kernel for the Nexus 4, compatible with all stock (rooted) and custom ROMs based on Android 4.2. Some of you are probably wondering if there’s any need for this, but that’s for you to decide. I’m telling you it can be done, and just showing you how.
Based on the Google source code, the kernel is in a beta stage, and its results have been mixed so far, with some people facing freeze issues at higher clock speeds. That, however, will differ from phone to phone, because not all chips perform the same. The kernel also features the ability to under-volt the CPU for those who want to save battery juice.
It should suffice to say that the kernel, being in its beta stage, should not be tried by users who have had no experience with flashing custom kernels on Android devices before.
There are two variants of the kernel currently available:
- CPU & GPU OC kernel.
- GPU OC only kernel.
Disclaimer: Please follow this guide at your own risk. AddictiveTips will not be liable if your device gets damaged or bricked during the process.
- A rooted Nexus 4 with custom recovery installed. View our article on the Nexus 4 Toolkit with one-click root & recovery installation.
- ADB with fastboot installed on your system. You should see our guide on what is ADB and how to install it.
- Android debugging enabled in Settings > Developer Options. Can’t find Developer Options? Here is how to unhide Developer Options in Android 4.2.
- faux23’s custom kernel for the Nexus 4. Download from the forum thread because updates might follow soon.
- Original boot.img (required only for restoring).
- Begin by booting into the custom recovery and navigating to ‘backup and restore’ to make a full (Nandroid) backup of your phone, just to be safe.
- Download the kernel from the link above and copy it to platform-tools folder in the Android SDK where fastboot.exe is.
- Power off the Nexus 10, hold down the volume down, volume up and power buttons together to boot it into the bootloader.
- Connect the device to your PC.
- Run command prompt on your PC, switch to the path where you copied the kernel and enter the following command (replace ‘newboot.img’ with the the kernel file name; currently ‘newboot004.img’):
fastboot boot newboot.img
- This temporarily boots the phone with the new kernel instead of flashing it. You can check for errors of any sort right now. Grab any free CPU frequency and voltage control apps from the Play Store and try them out on your phone.
- If the kernel seems stable and you actually feel some performance gains, run command prompt again and enter the following commands (once again, replace ‘newboot.img’ with the kernel’s file name):
fastboot flash boot newboot.img
The phone should now boot with the new kernel. Note, that the first reboot will be very slow, and you might experience some lags afterwards, so let it be for a few minutes till everything has finished loading. Once that is done, you need to reboot the device once more to get rid of the lag.
If you get stuck in a boot-loop or simply want to go back to stock, you can always flash the stock boot.img you downloaded from the requirements section or restore the full backup you made in step 1.
Restoring Original Boot Image
- Download the original boot.img from the link above and place it within the same Android SDK folder where fastboot.exe is located.
- Boot the Nexus 4 into bootloader, connect it to the PC, launch the command prompt and enter the following command:
fastboot flash boot boot.img
If you’re still facing issues, and are unable to boot into recovery, use the toolkit mentioned in the requirements to re-flash the recovery and then boot into it. Once in recovery, simply restore the Nandroid backup from ‘backup and restore’.
For updates and queries, head over to the forum thread at XDA-Developers linked below.