After reading lots of Android forums about how to install a custom ROM on this phone I ended up running in circles. It was not until I stood back and thought about how a Linux system boots and what it needs that I managed to filter the junk (there was lots of it) and get the job done. Here is a brief description of what I went through.
Firstly, Huawei should be ashamed to make a device with such minimal storage. In it’s factory configuration there is so much software installed that one has about 40MB of available space on the internal storage. Adding an SD card does not help much as all user data seems to go on the internal storage. By choosing a light version of CyanogenMod, I’ve been able to:
To get the installation done, you’ll firstly need the Android Development Kit. Copy the ROM you wish to install into the root of your SD card. Now use the ADK to run the following:
$ adb reboot recovery $ fastboot erase recovery $ fastboot flash recovery cwm-recovery_6.img $ fastboot reboot
When the device reboots it will start the recovery manager. Use this to wipe your device to factory defaults and then choose the zip file of the ROM you wish to install and let it install it. When this process is done you can reboot into your newly upgraded ROM.
Using this technique, no rooting is required. Hopefully, this will save anybody wanting to get a custom ROM on their phone the pain of trawling many articles of rubbish.
I bought the U8510 because it is a small/cheap and easily pocketable phone. It’s just a pity that it needs a bit of work to make it usable.