Resurrecting a Ten Year Old Android Tablet

Just because Samsung doesn’t love you any more, it doesn’t mean that we don’t!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 was released in 2013. Here’s Android Authority’s take on the tablet when it launched:

Unfortunately the last ten years have not been so kind. Having received it’s last Android update (4.4.2 “KitKat”) in 2013, many apps no longer support an operating system that old. Also it’s 4600mAh battery dies almost immediately.

It’s time to bring this tablet closer to 2023..

Fixing the Software

This device has an unlockable bootloader that allows custom software (ROMs) to be installed, replacing the factory installed operating system. There’s a dedicated group of developers that take it upon themselves make newer Android versions work on older devices. In this case, a developer named html6405 has worked to bring newer versions to the Galaxy Note 8.0.

I’ll be installing their build of LineageOS 16.0, a customized version of Android 9.

Installation Process

Note: This process will void your warranty and may permanently damage your device, follow at your own risk! This guide is specifically for the N5100 variant of the Galaxy Note 8.0.

  1. Open the main thread on XDA Developers here, it contains the latest information about this ROM. Read it for context/information before continuing.
  2. Remove the SD Card from your tablet and insert it into your PC.
  3. Download the following files:
    1. “twrp-3.7.0_9-0-n5100.img” from here
    2. “” from here
    3. “” from here using settings ARM/9.0/Pico
  4. Transfer “” and “” to SD, eject and insert it into your tablet.
  5. Following the guide here, complete the “Basic requirements”, “Preparing for installation” and “Installing a custom recovery using heimdall” steps. Use the twrp file downloaded in step 3.
  6. You should now see the following screen:
  7. Swipe to Allow Modifications
  8. Now tap Wipe then Format Data
  9. Return to the previous menu and tap Advanced Wipe, then select the Cache and System partitions and then Swipe to Wipe.
  10. Tap Install
  11. Tap “”
  12. Tap Add More Zips
  13. Tap “”
  14. Swipe to confirm Flash
  15. Once completed, you can reboot.
  16. Your tablet will now boot into the new operating system!

Note: Since the device is running a non-stock operating system, I signed into a separate Google account i use for my “insecure” Android devices.

To verify the Android version, go into Settings > About tablet > Android version:

Here’s what the software looks like on the tablet:

Fixing the Battery

Thankfully, this device isn’t glued together so with some basic tools, it’s pretty easy to replace the battery. Link to the battery on Takealot here.

Note: Lithium batteries are incredibly dangerous if handled incorrectly. As always, follow at your own risk.

Here’s the guide I used:

I found pulling up with a finger in the S Pen slot made an easy first opening:

Then I worked around the device using a screwdriver to unclip the back cover:

Ideally I’d have used a fancy opening tool but working carefully meant the metal screwdriver didn’t mangle the plastic.

My assistant was present while I swapped the battery:

And after confirming it turns on and works, I carefully pressed the back cover back on.


For it’s use a media consumption device, this device works well. It’s not the fastest (hey, the hardware is a decade old!) but it’s very usable. Netflix can now be installed from the Play Store and the battery life has greatly improved. After the first charge it managed to stream Kal Ho Naa Ho and an hour of 3 Idiots at 50% brightness before dying (±4 hours in my unscientific test). I’ll expect the battery life to improve after a few more charge cycles.


That it’s possible for an unpaid volunteer developer to bring new Android versions to this tablet makes me ask an obvious question, “Why can’t Samsung do the same?”. The answer is simple: It’s bad business for them to keep old devices working.

Samsung isn’t the only bad guy here. Apple (my current ecosystem of choice) doesn’t even let you install different software on your old iDevices. This project would be impossible on an old iPad. There is no “custom software” I’m allowed to install on an old iPad or iPhone if Apple decides it’s too old. So do I actually own my devices or am I the idiot who paid for all the hardware while ceding all the control to the manufacturer? Such introspective questions can be quite painful.

It remains a massive misaligned incentive that the companies that make money selling us devices can also control how long they last. Hugh Jeffreys has a must-watch video on this topic.

With that mini-rant over..

The Future

I seem to be on an Android streak right now. What should I do with the Galaxy S8, Motorola Milestone and ZTE V9+ on my desk?

If you have any questions/would like to share your experience with resurrecting old devices leave a reply below. To receive an email when I publish a post, subscribe here.

(Featured image remixed from this photo)

3 thoughts on “Resurrecting a Ten Year Old Android Tablet

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  1. You have given us a detailed “how to” on resurrecting this tablet! Thanks! What are you going to do with the Galaxy S8, Motorola Milestone and ZTE V9+ on your desk?

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