My way to the Huawei Nova (hwcan)

This is the story of how I got to use a Huawei Nova smartphone.


My old Nexus 5X died right after Christmas 2020. My wife bought a new phone and I received her old Huawei Nova. I managed to install LineageOS and used it since then.

What happened

After my Nexus 5X died, I searched for alternatives but I did not feel comfortable with buying a new smartphone, as new phones are a total disaster from a resource point of view. So I searched for second hand smartphones, especially for Google Pixel devices in order to check out GrapheneOS. However, I did not find any used Google Pixel Phone, which fitted my desire, and after a few days my wife decided to by a second hand IPhone. After the IPhone arrived, I got my wife's old Huawei Nova and was ready to flash a custom ROM or more precisely, lineageOS.


Huawei does not want owners of their phones to unlock the bootloader anymore. Therefore, I thought about brute-forcing the unlock key as suggested here and there, but I was not successful, even though I tried it for two days. Actually, I don't think that the first solution is related to Huwaei's algorithm for the code construction and the second approach would basically take forever, as testing all possible codes is practically infeasible. Finally, I decided to try DC-UNLOCKER and after approximately 5 minutes I obtained the code J10APK22B5HZTOXT, ran

fastboot oem unlock J10APK22B5HZTOXT

and…success! Now, I was good to go to install LineageOS.


there is no official build of LineageOS for the Huwaei Nova. Of course not…no official way to unlock the bootloader, no official build. Nevertheless, thanks to Skinzor (aka #Henkate), there is at least an unofficial build of lineage-15.1. I think there would be even more recent builds, if Henkate's phone would not have fallen into the toilet. Sometimes sustainability sucks. Now I am running an unsupported and not further maintained build of lineage on the Nova. The fingerprint sensor is not working, but the rest of the phone works as expected, runs smoothly, and is reliable! Therefore, thanks once again to DC-UNLOCKER and #Henkate, who kept the phone a little longer alive and contributed to a more sustainable use of hardware.

Lesson learned

If your phone dies or you just feel like you want to have a new one, think about the effects of buying new hardware. You can also get to a very new experience by simply installing a custom ROM on a second hand phone, which most likely rests in someone's kitchen drawer, or on your phone, if it is still functioning. With the new OS, it will most likely run more smoothly or even run a more recent android version. Maybe this offers a chance for saving resources combined with the feeling of a novel device in your pocket.