For those of you who want to convert your Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, or Galaxy S9+ into a Google Pixel 3, you can now do it by installing the Pixel Experience ROM. Now, you WILL need an Exynos model, if you have any Snapdragon models(U.S. models like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon), you won’t be able to install this ROM as they have locked bootloaders.(For future reference, please don’t buy Snapdragon models if you want cool mods like this.)
The Pixel 3 conversion is not perfect out of the box as it does require some tweaking to get it working just right. For my setup, I changed the system DPI to 480 which made it more usable for my Galaxy Note 9. Also, the AOSP camera it comes with isn’t that great but you can install the Google Pixel 2 camera, which will give you Pixel HDR+ Enhanced, great for low-light photography. Installation is a bit of work but if you follow my tutorial below, you should be able to get it booting pretty easily.
Now, this is an AOSP ROM(What is AOSP?) that strips your Galaxy Note 9/S9/S9+ of all Samsung features that depend on Samsung Experience firmware. For Note 9, that means you will lose all of your S-Pen apps like S-Note, although you can install 3rd party drawing apps on the Play Store as S-Pen is functional. Also stuff like S Health, Gear VR, or anything that depends on original Samsung software will be not available. In a sense, this is a complete conversion of your Galaxy phone into a Pixel 3.
Also, fingerprint sensor does NOT work, which is a hassle since you will have to rely on a pin or pattern to unlock your phone. Sometimes apps also do freeze up(perhaps once a day), where can fix by restarting the app but it is sort of annoying. Other than those hiccups, the ROM runs super fast, and even scores much higher Antutu scores of 245,000(vs. 235,000 stock firmware) in benchmarks.
I don’t actually recommend installing this ROM at the moment but if you absolutely want to try out the Pixel 3 software without buying one, then you can try it. Of course, you can always make a backup ROM of your Samsung firmware using TWRP recovery, try out the Pixel 3 conversion ROM, then restore your old ROM after trying.
How to Convert your Galaxy Note 9/S9/S9+ to Pixel 3!
- Download ROM Semi-GSI/Kernel for Galaxy Note 9/S9/S9+ – Link (You should download Semi-GSI and kernel. Semi-GSI is SAME for all Galaxy Note 9/S9/S9+ but kernel is different!)
- Download ARH6 vendor image for Galaxy Note 9 – Link
- Download BRI4 vendor image for Galaxy S9/S9+ – Link
- Download Magisk – Link(DO NOT USE OTHER VERSIONS OF MAGISK, you need this one otherwise you will end up in a bootloop!)
Download all the above files to your phone or download on computer and transfer to your phone.
Step 1. You must first install TWRP recovery on your Galaxy Note 9, S9, or S9+, if you have rooted your phone, you should have it. Please see How to Root Galaxy Note 9 or How to Root Galaxy S9/S9+ on installing TWRP recovery. You ONLY need to get TWRP booted, you DO NOT NEED TO ROOT YOUR PHONE.
Step 2. Reboot into TWRP recovery. (Power off phone, then hold down Volume Up, Bixby, and Power buttons together for 5 seconds.)
Step 3. (Optional)Make a backup of your current firmware using TWRP recovery if you want to restore your firmware later.
Step 4. Flash ROM GSI image by going to Install->Install Image. Select “System Image” for Partition”.
Step 5. Reboot recovery by going to Reboot->Recovery from home menu.
Step 6. Flash Kernel by going to Install->Install Image. Select “Boot” for Partition.
Step 7. For Galaxy Note 9, Flash ARH6 vendor image file by going to Install->Install Image. Select “Vendor Image” for Partition.
For Galaxy S9/S9+, flash BRI4 file by going to Install and installing the file normally.
Step 8. Flash Magisk using Install menu. Reboot system.
Step 9. It should boot fine after that. It might get stuck on first bootloop but no worries, just reboot using power + volume down for 10 seconds. On second boot it should boot fine. If it fails first time, just try again and it should get you booted.
Also grab the Pixel 2 Google Camera APK for awesome low-light photos with this ROM.
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