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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few concerns before getting this...

Hya!

So I'm thinking about getting this phone but I have some worries. Like many I imagine, I've struggled to decide between the S4 and the HTC One. I've more or less settled on the S4, so feel free to encourage me futher.

However, the thing that currently worries me is rooting. I've just read that the newest firmware includes some sort of bootloader wizardry making the unlocking of it impossible. So, does this mean that if the phone that I get has this firmware I might not be able to ever root and install custom ROMs? Furthermore, I'm confused about the whole efuse thing. It's some sort of thing that once triggered can never be reset and indicates that you have tinkered with the bootloader thus permanetly voiding warranty, I gather?

Does the HTC One also suffer from rooting difficulties?

And finally, are there any more elusive sore spots that I might've missed while checking out the phone? Any sort of unusual device specific issues really.

Cheers!

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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DMXXX View Post
Hya!

So I'm thinking about getting this phone but I have some worries. Like many I imagine, I've struggled to decide between the S4 and the HTC One. I've more or less settled on the S4, so feel free to encourage me futher.

However, the thing that currently worries me is rooting. I've just read that the newest firmware includes some sort of bootloader wizardry making the unlocking of it impossible. So, does this mean that if the phone that I get has this firmware I might not be able to ever root and install custom ROMs? Furthermore, I'm confused about the whole efuse thing. It's some sort of thing that once triggered can never be reset and indicates that you have tinkered with the bootloader thus permanetly voiding warranty, I gather?

Does the HTC One also suffer from rooting difficulties?

And finally, are there any more elusive sore spots that I might've missed while checking out the phone? Any sort of unusual device specific issues really.

Cheers!
Whilst it is true that the latest S4 firmwares that are being rolled out, do have a locked bootloader and the Knox security feature, there are already dev's working on it to allow rooting and custom ROMs. It has only been less than 2 weeks so we must give them time. Already, one dev, chainfire, has a rooting kernel available and it should not be too long before the new, hidden, flash counter that is contained in Knox and controlled by efuse is cracked. See post #1 of Locked bootloader & Knox security on latest firmwares, for the latest info and more information on this topic.

This has been done by Samsung to make the phone more appealing, security wise, to governments and corporate business's. I would not be surprised if HTC and other leading handset manufacturers do not follow suit in light of this, if they wish to impact on the BYOD market.

UPDATE

Thanks to dev's such as chainfire and DjeMBeY is now possible to root and flash custom ROMs to the latest firmware releases mentioned above. See...

Rooting Galaxy S4 - Dummies Guide

DjeMBeY ROM's i9505 - Dummies Guide
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Dummies Guides Rooting Galaxy S4 * Know Your S4 * Update Problems * Knox Security * Bloatware * GPS
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Last edited by ironass; September 25th, 2013 at 07:30 AM.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My input: Unless you're planning to keep the phone locked in a padded steel box, don't buy it. The display underneath the glass is very fragile and will likely break on you at least once, costing you $200 to repair each time.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 06:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My input: Unless you're planning to keep the phone locked in a padded steel box, don't buy it. The display underneath the glass is very fragile and will likely break on you at least once, costing you $200 to repair each time.
gearhead64, please do not spread your FUD. Just because you have/had an issue with a cracked amoled does not mean everyone will. I've dropped my phone onto concrete or tile from as high as my waist more than once with no ill effects. My phone is in a Speck CandyShell Grip case, if that's worth knowing.

Stuff happens.

My take on the OPs question: if you want an Android iPhone, get the HTC One. If you prefer a removable battery and SD card storage, get the GS4.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've dropped my S4 out of my lap many of times and while the sides are a little scratched up, I have never cracked the screen. My brother has the HTC one and I've played with it some and while I really like the front facing speakers, not having a removable battery and SD card slot ruins it for me.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My input: Unless you're planning to keep the phone locked in a padded steel box, don't buy it. The display underneath the glass is very fragile and will likely break on you at least once, costing you $200 to repair each time.
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gearhead64, please do not spread your FUD. Just because you have/had an issue with a cracked amoled does not mean everyone will. I've dropped my phone onto concrete or tile from as high as my waist more than once with no ill effects. My phone is in a Speck CandyShell Grip case, if that's worth knowing.
FUD? More like BS.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As to the OP's questions about rooting, I'd suggest checking out the rooting forums here (link at top of main S4 page). I suspect the problems are more related to the carrier than the model phone.

I'd also suggest looking at a Google Edition as an alternative to rooting. Not quite the same, but it gets you away from Touchwiz if that's what you're after.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The locked bootloader has come up on pretty much all the updates so far. I've had my S4 since the weekend they were released, and have never had to wait more than a week or two after a new release for someone to figure out a way to root them. I'm running MF9, rooted. Easy to do.

As far as the screen breaking, I've read a couple of posts about that happening, but no more than any phone. And at least you can replace it in the S4. You need a new phone if that happens on an HTC One.

I think you're making a good choice in a phone. I was a long time HTC user, and thought I was pretty happy. Until about a year ago when I updated to the HTC Evo 4G LTE and the wife got an S3. Over the next few months, I became increasingly aware of how much better job the S3 did on nearly everything. Held data connections better, camera was better, loaded webpages, etc much faster and just plain worked. My HTC, and the previous ones, all seemed to have glitches. I could not be happier with my S4. Solid phone, great camera, great battery life and also just works. Everytime.
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