Android OS upgrade & downgrade question from a newbie

Last Updated:

  1. ShaunCG

    ShaunCG Member

    Hi all,

    Hopefully I'm not committing a faux pas by asking a question that gets asked a lot. I spent a couple of hours looking around the forum and didn't find anyone else asking exactly what I need to know, so...

    Is it possible to upgrade the Android OS on a mobile device and later downgrade it without rooting the handset? Specifically I'm curious about whether we can do this with a HTC Tattoo / Desire / Legend and a Sony Xperia X10, but also with Android devices in general.

    I ask because this is for testing purposes (not of the handsets, of other mobile apps and websites) and I'd like to be able to upgrade and downgrade the OS on each handset as is required for a test. I'd prefer to do this through a means other than rooting because of 1.) the time rooting seems to involve (I've never done it but reading over the process makes it sound a bit time-consuming?) and 2.) we'd like to make our handsets as representative of the 'average user' as possible, and I'd guess that most people don't root their phones.

    If anyone can offer any tips or point me in the right direction that would be really appreciated. :)

    Thanks for reading!

  2. No, I'm almost positive root is required to downgrade an os.
    ShaunCG likes this.
  3. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Well-Known Member

    Root with a custom recovery is the easiest way. Almost if not all rooted phones have a rooted stock rom. Just use the stock kernel it will be like a stock phone, just with some extra permissions that you can grant.
    ShaunCG likes this.
  4. T.M.M.L

    T.M.M.L Well-Known Member

    Greetings shaun,

    I am by far no expert, but from everything I've seen, without root, firmware updates are strictly one way.

    This holds true with most electronics I've ever used. You always need some sort of exploit to revert firmware changes.

    Actually the Samsung Galaxy S series might be the only anomaly I've experieced. With the proper software on the P.C, the galaxy S could be set to other firmwares.
    ShaunCG likes this.
  5. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Well-Known Member

    True, Samsung phones just flash with Odin.
    ShaunCG likes this.
  6. ShaunCG

    ShaunCG Member

    Thanks for the responses everyone... I shall look around the forum's existing posts and figure out how to do what you suggest!

    Interesting about the Samsung phones, too. We have a Samsung tablet somewhere as well, and since that's presumably running some version of Android 2 I should also look into Odin.
  7. ShaunCG

    ShaunCG Member

    Hi all, just wanted to drop a note to say that I've now got an HTC Desire with which I can switch between DevNull Android 2.3 and rooted vanilla Android 2.1 at will, which is great. In the future I'll look at doing this with other handsets too, but I've learned a lot doing just this so thanks again for all your help and to everyone who's shared their knowledge on these forums!

Share This Page