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Is the US991 G4 locked?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by codezer0, Feb 24, 2016.


Would a US991 G4 be good for me?

  1. Nope. You'll have a bad time

    1 vote(s)
  2. Flowey and Chara would be proud of you

    1 vote(s)
  3. Tweaker's dream, my man. Go for it ASAP!

    0 vote(s)
  4. Wait for G5 specs, then decide?

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I'm hoping someone here can clarify this for me.

    Been shopping/hunting around to find an ideal phone upgrade from my SM-N900 Note 3. In no small part because HSPA-only, and I've yet to be able to defeat Samsung's Lollipop firmware for being able to run Xposed again. One of the obvious candidates based on my needs ended up being the LG G4. However, one of the things that annoyed me right away was the myriad of models made, and how most of the vendor-specific, locked models only ever had the CDMA/GSM/LTE bands to support only the carrier it was being sold to.

    After my Note 3, I easily come to prefer factory unlocked phones, and if I'm going to go through the hassle of buying another so soon, I want the ability to switch carriers, and still use the same phone. And as much as I would prefer something that has *all* the US carrier bands like the Nexus 6/Moto X Pure, all the phones currently out with that privilege have non-removable batteries, which has always been a bad experience for me, regardless of price range or advertised capacity.

    After much poking around though, I am now made aware of a different variant of the G4 - model US991. LG lists it as being to U.S. Cellular, a company I never heard of. But what strikes me as appealing is the listed, supported bands. some CDMA, some GSM, and LTE bands supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and even one of Sprint's. Not 100% like a Nexus 6, but much more appealing than a vendor-locked phone to me already.

    What I need to know with it, though, is...
    1. Is the US991 carrier-locked in any way? Especially if I intend to purchase it outright?
    2. How rootable is this edition of the G4? Any more or less difficult?
    3. Provided all of the above are favorable, does Xposed framework still work on it? In Android 6? :)

  2. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member

    1. I believe all carrier specific LG's in the States are carrier locked (may be wrong though).
    2. How easy are you looking for? Most variants of the G4 are rootable on Lollipop, virtually none are on MM (that goes for most handsets though. MM is virtually impossible to root without an unlocked bootloader). If you want to root Lollipop, you need to flash a prerooted system.img, if there's no prerooted image available, you need to make one yourself using Linux. It is relatively easy by all accounts, but my bootloader was unlockable to I decided to root that way.
    3. See number 2, Xposed is available for Marshmallow, but it's pretty hard to root MM, so you may be out of luck.
  3. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    That's just it. I've never heard of US Cellular. I thought it was some kind of pseudonym or something. Up until recently, the only thing I could find on Amazon for instance listing as "LG G4 Unlocked" was exclusively the H815, which would only ever realistically support AT&T, and nobody else. Yet more recently, Best Buy, and just today on Amazon, they started listing the US991 model as an Unlocked model; going by the specs, it seems to support everything to run on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and (partially) Sprint.

    And now, as I type this, I have a tab open to LG's web chat, and they're telling me that even if sold unlocked, it automatically has no warranty at all from LG. :mad:
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Is it actually a US version phone intended for sale there? If it's coming from an Amazon vendor, it could be a Hong Kong or something version for all you know, a grey import. They're NOT authorized LG retailers, and the LG warranty is only valid for the country or region they're intended to be sold in.

    I know US Cellular is a regional carrier, Chicago I believe.
    #4 mikedt, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  5. KOLIO

    KOLIO Guest

    It is the US Cellular branded G4,but,if it's sold unlocked,it will work where compatible & that depends on who your service provider is & where you use it:

    VZW & AT&T are excellent matches,T-Mobile is just a 1/2 step behind,but doable in most instances,Sprint has the least compatibility,but,doable.

    Just double-check with your service provider that they will accept this phone on their network & once that's done,you'll likely have to manually insert the proper APN for all bands to work properly.
    If this were an unlocked/SIM Free device (no carrier affiliation) you would likely be able to just drop in a SIM Card (from a GSM provider,such as AT&T or T-Mobile) & run w/it w/o having to set the APN manually.
  6. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member

    I'd question that, all devices should come with at least a years warranty (unlocked or not).
  7. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I wouldn't have taken much stock with it if it was only sold on amazon. But best buy was also selling it as an unlocked version.

    But even lately, while their sku would imply they were selling us991, the store display would show h815 instead. Which of course wont work on anything except at&t. But either way, it is bullshit because lg itself is telling me it wont warranty any unlocked lg phone, full stop.
  8. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I am trying to double, triple, quadruple check. But literally every site disagrees on what works with what. GSMArena doesn't even list the US991 model. Phonearena can't even agree on whether it actually had band 12 in the first place. I've had so many disagreeing on what it was capable of, and which is which, I couldn't take it anymore.

    I finally got fed up enough to ask LG directly, and then they drop this bomb on me.

    At this point, I wouldn't even go near a G4 or G5, or any LG phone, if their SOP is to flat out not warranty any unlocked phone. Seriously, what the hell is their problem with just making an unlocked version? Maybe this is why Google won't let them make a Nexus anymore. :mad:
    bberryhill0 likes this.
  9. KOLIO

    KOLIO Guest

    I've bought new LG phones from e-Bayers & registered with LG & never had one kicked back.
    Never had to get one serviced,so,I cannot vouch for any warranty service with your particular situation.
    If you want virtually guaranteed flexibility for carriers in the US,a Nexus device is the easiest route,with the Nexus6/6P/5X.

    If it were me,I'd go with what you're looking at,the G4,Compatibility trumping all else.
    I trust the site I listed to check for such,they're not beholden to anyone,just providing seemingly accurate information.
    Also,give LG another call & I bet you get a different (favorable) response.
    If not,ask for some clarification as to why the warranty is void...........................
    bberryhill0 likes this.
  10. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The problem with the nexus, the moto x pure, and the iphone 6s/plus is that they are all too expensive for having NRB. In my use, that translates to maybe 1/5th of the advertised battery life, usually only 3 hours max.

    As a result, i do not consider them anything worth investing. At all.

    The only reason i even put up with the Moto G as long as I did, was because it was cheap. The other thing is that then I would have to carry around a battery pack everywhere, find room for it and the cables, and that would just mean I'd wear out the battery that much faster.

    A g4 is more than a used Nexus 6, true, but i already know I can get a zerolemon extended battery for $60, and measure my battery life in days instead of minutes. I would be willing to spend more for a phone that I know has an extended battery available. I am not willing to spend more than $300 on an NRB phone. Yet at $700 for a 6P, $1000 for an iphone 6s plus, and the fact I can't even look at a second hand moto x pure - much less new - for less than $400, I am finding it positively miserable right now.
    bberryhill0 likes this.
  11. kgc

    kgc Lurker

    Does anyone know if this model is tether locked to US Cellular? I want to use it with T-Mobile and I know the AT&T phones are tether locked to AT&T even if the phone is unlocked. This is because the software checks with AT&T for validation. The only way I know around it is to root and install a custom rom which I have done with one phone. This LG G4 US991 has been on sale a couple of times but the tethering question has been holding me back.
  12. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Just like all LG phones are basically not warrantied if unlocked, or even sold unlocked, updates are also locked to the assigned carrier.

    So yea, I would very much believe tethering is locked to the assigned provider for the submodel of phone.

    With this kind of unwarranted behavior, it's little wonder that LG is no longer allowed to make phones for Google.
  13. shadavis08

    shadavis08 Newbie

    The LG nexus phones are not locked.
    El Presidente likes this.
  14. psionandy

    psionandy Extreme Android User

    Whilst that may be true for the US market, it isn't true in other parts of the world.
    If fact in the UK it is a legal requirement for phones to be able to be unlocked, and revoking a warranty for this would be illegal.

    Unlocked LG devices are available here, and are covered by warranty and will receive updates without being locked to an assigned carrier.
    shadavis08, KOLIO and El Presidente like this.
  15. shadavis08

    shadavis08 Newbie

    Unfortunately my particular LG device is locked up tighter than a........

LG G4 Forum

The LG G4 release date was April 2015. Features and Specs include a 5.5" inch screen, 16MP camera, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 808 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

April 2015
Release Date

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