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Buying a Note 9; want to be able to root, etc.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Dougmeister, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Lurker
    Thread Starter

    From what I have read, buying a US-based Note 9 (Snapdragon chipset), I will not be able to unlock the bootloader and therefore not root it, etc. Is that correct?

    BUT... if I buy an "international version" (Exynos chipset), it looks like I will definitely be able to unlock the bootloader. Is that correct?

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  2. Steven58


    I see a different story here. Check it out. XDA says it's rooted.
    tube517, MrJavi and ocnbrze like this.
  3. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    looks interesting. Will have to read how they did it later.

    Op using a exynos chipset will not work here in the US so it depends on where you live.
    tube517 and MrJavi like this.
  4. tube517

    tube517 Android Expert

    No custom ROMs yet? I didn't go to the forum and only read the article.

    What reason(s) do you have to root? The phone is just fine unrooted and still a good phone to buy even a year and a half after release?
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  5. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    No custom recovery with a locked bootloader and the battery will never charge above 80%. Furthermore, the root method requires Android 8.0 or 8.1. Purchasing a Note 9 on a higher firmware will need to be downgraded and if the N9 is on a higher aboot/fuse then that will not be possible. Much depends on the carrier and model.
    I am not familiar with the Note 9 but I do know that for Sprint Note 4 the last update was a fused 5, binary 4 which prevents us from downgrading. I also know the bootloader is upward compatible but never downward compatible.
    Before you purchase you N9, I would advise looking into the firmware already installed and finding out if it is possible to downgrade it to Android 8.0. Good luck
    Personally, I wouldn't want to own a phone that was not rooted.
    ocnbrze, tube517 and Steven58 like this.
  6. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    If you plan on getting a SM-N960u TMO, the latest firmware is Android 10 and a fused 3. The fused 3 will only alowdowngrading to the lowestI firmware of Android 9 and no futher. You will get a fail in Odin if you attempt flashing a lower aboot partition. With my variant, Odins shows "sw rev check" fail.


    Just count 5 digits from the end of the firmware and that will indicate the fuse (aboot) version.
    #6 MrJavi, Mar 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  7. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Surely that's carrier-dependent? After all, people visiting the USA with these phones don't find themselves cut-off.

    So yes, a Exynos won't support CDMA, so not a good plan if you use Sprint, Verizon or a virtual provider who uses their network. But its 2G/3G support on GSM networks should be the same as the US model, and there is a lot of overlap in LTE bands (I don't know which bands which networks use in the USA, so anyone interested should check compatibility for themselves with what their service provider uses, possible even in their region. According to GSMArena there are 4 LTE bands that the US version supports but the global version does not, but I can't say whether that will matter or not for a particular carrier).
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  8. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    You make a great point but who wants an Android with only 3g. Sure would be nice if they let us use exynos chips again. Sprint is real picky with what the choose to allow on their network, even if it is compatible. I don't know how the rest of the networks operate but if they do, Id be interested.
    #8 MrJavi, Mar 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I think it's because Samsung doesn't want to spend the millions of $$$$ is licensing Qualcomm's proprietary CDMA tech for their own Exynos chips, for the very few countries that require it, namely China, America, and Japan. So instead they use Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips for those three countries that still have CDMA networks. Which are been turned off sooner or later anyway, in the move to 4G and 5G tech.

    AFAIK there's only two other chip manufactures that even support CDMA now, namely Huawei (Kirin) and MedaTek, and probably because China Telecom is CDMA.

    I believe that Qualcomm invented CDMA, and so owns all the IP related to that tech.
    #9 mikedt, Mar 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  10. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    Thanks, I am one of the few dinosaurs left who sill wants root.
    tube517 likes this.
  11. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    Thanks for the good information @mikedt, much appreciated my friend
    mikedt likes this.
  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    My point was that it probably does support 4G, but it will depend on what bands a particular carrier used so anyone considering this should check first. With a CDMA carrier though it would not support 2G or 3G, so not recommended there.

    Anyway you are missing nothing: for the last several years the Exynos have lagged behind the Snapdragons in performance. Samsung force the inferior SoC on most of the world because it's more profitable for them. The only problem with the Snapdragon models is how hard they are locked down, and that's because of US carriers rather than the SoC - if they sold Exynos models stateside those would be locked-down too.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  13. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    I wasn't saying you were wrong. Perhaps I failed to put thought to text to effectively communicate what I was thinking. Mr. @Hadron, I know you're well versed with a wide rang of subjects. In fact, I've learned new things just from teading your many information posts.
    I agree , Exynos lags behind Snapdragon hardware. I can only speculate what a rooted Exynos Note 9 or Note10 with a decent custom kernel and less bloat would stack up to a US carrier version. I could only speculate but I sure would like to test it . The worst is even with a rooted Snapdragon the locked bootloader prevents custom recovery. TWRP has saved my but many times on my old N4. To roll the dice without it on $700-1000 phone, I think not.
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  14. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yeah, I've personally always thought that I would not want root without a custom recovery. My rule was always "take a nandroid before modifying anything in the system", because without that your only way back if something goes wrong is to reflash the device.
    MrJavi, tube517 and ocnbrze like this.

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