How to Root HTC Explorer A310e (Pico) and Install Custom Recovery

It’s my second post in HTC Explorer (Pico) tutorials’ series, to help you root your device and take advantage of ‘open-source’ Android. Well, you can install Android v4.2.2, which is the latest version till date – on a phone which costs just a little more than $100. Another thing which bugs a lot to HTC Pico users is the extremely less internal storage. After rooting, you can increase it too – of course we’ll tell you how to do it.

HTC Explorer Tutorials by Creotix Tech

First thing you need to know is that, rooting does not magically transform anything in your device. It does not update the Android version either. Rooting your phone will only enable you to access the system files and partitions. Very often people ask me questions related to any random Android smartphone (regardless of its cost) like, “Can I update my phone’s operating system after rooting?”, or “My phone costs almost twice than HTC Explorer, and It’s still running Gingerbread! Why can’t I update it?”

Please stop asking these questions, to anyone. You sound stupid. Rooting and cost of phone has nothing to do with operating system. The OS version can only be updated if there is an official OTA update pushed by the manufacturer, or somebody (including you) has made an unofficial ROM package for your device.

TL;DR – To update the operating system of your Android device, you must have: a) a rooted device, and b) an optimized package of ROM for your device. Rooting alone doesn’t update the version.

That being said, if there is no optimized ROM for your phone, it doesn’t make rooting a ‘useless’ process. You will know that in upcoming tutorials. Luckily HTC explorer, despite of being an entry-level smartphone, has got an impressive response by the developers at XDA.

Things you need to Root HTC Explorer A310e:

  1. Bootloader unlocked HTC Explorer (see how to unlock bootloader on HTC Explorer (Pico))
  2. Superuser zip file
  3. Custom Recovery

There are a few options in case of custom recovery. You can choose from ClockworkMod (CWM) (non-touch), TWRP (touch) or PhilZ Touch Recovery based on CWM. If you’re a newbie, I’d recommend you to start with CWM or TWRP.

Step 1.

Unlike some smartphones, you need to flash recovery first. To do so, turn off the phone completely. Now press volume down and power button for a few seconds to start into bootloader mode. Highlight “Fastboot” in the menu using volume up/down buttons, and press power button to select. This will take you to Fastboot mode.

fastboot menu

Step 2.

If you have adb.exe and fastboot.exe files, which you downloaded while unlocking the bootloader, then skip to step 3.

Otherwise, download them first from ‘unlocking bootloader’ tutorial page, and extract the zip in a folder. You’ll need these files quite often, so keep them somewhere you can easily remember.

Step 3.

Download a custom recovery of your choice, and extract the zip in a new folder. Copy the extracted file, and paste it in the same folder where fastboot.exe is located. If there is more than one file, copy recovery image file only.

Now open command prompt and navigate to that folder.

cmd adb fastboot folder

Step 4.

Connect your phone to computer via USB cable. Check if it’s connected properly by typing “fastboot devices” in the command window. Make sure you’re at the right location in command prompt (where fastboot.exe is located).

If the device is detected, proceed to step 5. If not, try reconnecting or reinstalling HTC Sync.

fastboot devices

Step 5.

To flash recovery image, type “fastboot flash recovery RecoveryFileName.img”. For example, if the file name is philz.img; type “fastboot flash recovery philz.img” (without quotes).

fastboot flash recovery command

Now you can flash (“install” in lay-man’s language) any compatible zip file via the custom recovery you just installed. Proceed to step 6 to enable root access.

Step 6.

Paste superuser zip file (without extracting) anywhere in the SD card. Start device in bootloader mode, by pressing volume down + power button (or select ‘bootloader’ from fastboot menu). Select “Recovery” from bootloader menu, using volume up/down keys to navigate and power key to select option.

recovery mode from bootloader

Step 7.

Choose “Install zip from SD card” (“Install” in TWRP), and select the superuser zip file from SD card. Confirm your action, and you have a rooted HTC Explorer.

install zip from sd card

To confirm if rooting went well, reboot the phone and there should be a superuser app installed on the device. Like I said, merely rooting will not magically do anything amazing. It just opens the ‘restricted door’ to do stuff which were not possible without rooting. To get a glimpse of it, read the advantages of rooting android phone. Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to write the next tutorial for your HTC Explorer A310e (Pico).

If you experienced any problems while rooting or want to ask any question, feel free to post it in your comments below.