LineageOS 15.1 now available for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (Exynos)

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A lot of people within the Android community are currently on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL hype train, but there have been a lot of great smartphones released this year. Heck, there are still more great smartphones scheduled to be released later this year as well. Whether or not you’re a fan of Samsung, it’s difficult to argue how good the Galaxy Note 9 is. It avoided the notch debacle, has a 3.5mm headphone port, comes with a stylus for those who like to jot things down, and now there is a pre-official version of LineageOS 15.1 available for the Exynos model.

The Galaxy Note 9 launched in the middle of August and was on store shelves later that month. Samsung was quick to release the kernel source code for the Exynos variant, but due to US carrier involvement, that is what most of the developer community is focused on. The Snapdragon variants (except the version sold in China) has a locked down bootloader so there isn’t much we can do with it unless an exploit comes out. There are some cases when an engineering kernel is released that helps us to gain root access, but full TWRP installs and custom ROM support have proven to be few and far between for these Snapdragon Galaxy Note devices.

A few days after the kernel source code of the Galaxy Note 9 was released, an unofficial port of TWRP was made available and so was the first custom ROM. We still don’t have an official release of TWRP for the device yet but community developer support has picked up as seen in the official XDA forums for the device. Now, thanks to the work from XDA Recognized Developer and Contributor , we have a pre-official build of LineageOS 15.1 for the Exynos Galaxy Note 9 (N960F/FDS/N).

The build isn’t official yet, but work continues to be done on it and could be coming in the near future. With it not being official though, that means some things work and some things do not. Here is a list that we have been given from jesec. The developer also has specific instructions for those who want to install this pre-official build on their device right now in the original post of the XDA thread.

What’s working

  • This build is an official LineageOS build. Compliance with our device support requirements is enforced and guaranteed. That means including but not limited to these hardwares will work:
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Mobile Network (Calling, Data, etc.)
  • Audio
  • USB
  • GPS
  • Camera
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • NFC
  • Etc. Check device support requirements for more.

What’s not working:

  • Applicable exceptions granted in device support requirements.
  • Obviously Samsung’s own features such as Samsung Pay, KNOX, Theme Center, Game Launcher, etc. won’t be ported to LineageOS. We may have our own implementation to similar functions, though.
  • Iris sensor does not work because AOSP upstream does not support that yet.
  • IMS services (VoLTE, VoWiFi, etc). Samsung has their own proprietary implementation. It is not really possible to easily port that to LineageOS.

Check out this build of LineageOS 15.1 for the Galaxy Note 9

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