Welcome to XDA

Search to go directly to your device's forum

Register an account

Unlock full posting privileges

Ask a question

No registration required
Post Reply

[Q] Help with Galaxy S5 carrier and bootloader unlocking?

OP DannyDee15

3rd September 2014, 04:19 AM   |  #1  
DannyDee15's Avatar
OP Junior Member
Flag Southern California
Thanks Meter: 0
 
6 posts
Join Date:Joined: Apr 2013
More
So I am going to buy a probably used Galaxy S5, most likely from Swappa.com and I am going to activate it with Metro PCS, which is a GSM carrier, so I know I need a GSM carrier GS5, like from AT&T or T-Mobile. I did a bit of googling and I only ended up with more questions... Are the AT&T and T Mobile versions of the GS5 carrier locked? From what I read online, the ATT is locked and the Tmobile is unlocked, but I cant be certain from the couple forum posts I could only find. If the phone is already unlocked, I can just bring it into the Metro PCS store and activate it, right?
Now, what if it is locked? Can I carrier unlock it myself? How do I do that? Do I really need to buy an unlock code online? Seems kinda sketchy to buy these codes from random unlocking sites, but if I have to...? Also, can I have it unlocked by Metro PCS or T-Mobile or ATT?

Next part of my question is about the bootloader. Again, I did some research, but found only one relatively... relevant forum post. So I come here for direct help. I was chatting with AT&T tech support on their site asking about the bootloader.
Anyways, ATT told me the bootloader on their GS5's are encrypted locked. What about TMobiles version? Supposedly if they are encrypted, there is near to no chance of really getting that unlocked. Although, if they are not encrypted, would they be able to be unlocked? I have no idea about T-Mobile having a locked bootloader or not.
Lastly, has the bootlader been unlocked already for any GS5? I ask because ive seen some GS5's with custom ROM's and launchers and stuff, but last I heard, they were still locked.
3rd September 2014, 05:03 AM   |  #2  
fffft's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 615
 
1,978 posts
Join Date:Joined: Jul 2013
You didn't do much "research" via Google or searching this forum or you'd already have the answers your are looking for. These questions have been asked and answered innumerable times.

Very few carriers other than ATT and Verizon lock bootloaders. TMB's bootloader is not locked. Generally speaking, TMB model has the most GSM bands and is arguably the most desirable model but you need to check whether those include the bands you need with the carrier you plan to use. Do that by checking and comparing the bands that both carriers use or simply find out what S5 model your carrier uses itself.

Most phones, incuding TMB, ATT, et al are SIM locked. But you can easily get a third party vendor to provide an unlock code for about $20 and thereafter use it on another carrier.

.
3rd September 2014, 05:21 AM   |  #3  
DannyDee15's Avatar
OP Junior Member
Flag Southern California
Thanks Meter: 0
 
6 posts
Join Date:Joined: Apr 2013
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by fffft

You didn't do much "research" via Google or searching this forum or you'd already have the answers your are looking for. These questions have been asked and answered innumerable times.

Very few carriers other than ATT and Verizon lock bootloaders. TMB's bootloader is not locked. Generally speaking, TMB model has the most GSM bands and is arguably the most desirable model but you need to check whether those include the bands you need with the carrier you plan to use. Do that by checking and comparing the bands that both carriers use or simply find out what S5 model your carrier uses itself.

Most phones, incuding TMB, ATT, et al are SIM locked. But you can easily get a third party vendor to provide an unlock code for about $20 and thereafter use it on another carrier.

.

Sorry, this is just totally new to me. Ive never had an android device other than a Nexus 7 I was gifted that i hardly use. Ive never even had a smartphone, so Ive had to find and absorb all this info about rooting, bootloaders, unlocking. Its been kinda mind boggling. So in the meantime after I posted this I pieced together this info.. I hope I am corrrect:
-AT&T and Verizon have been locking their bootloaders for a while and everyone hates them for that
-Any GSM carrier phone can be unlocked to work with any other GSM carrier
-CDMA cannot be unlocked at all
Kinda iffy on this one, not 100% sure... -Rooting is the same as unlocking the bootloader. If the bootloader is not encrypted, the phone can be rooted and custom ROM's/recoveries can be installed.
-Supposedly Verizon and AT&T GS5's can now be rooted... (cant link to outisde links, but just search "How to Root ANY Samsung Galaxy S5 Variant (Even AT&T & Verizon) in 20 Seconds Flat" and its the first link.

Based off this new info I have gathered... I want a T-Mobile GS5 (or AT&T if they can in fact be rooted and have custom ROM's installed on them). I will have to carrier unlock it myself unless it is already unlocked (someone on Swappa.com says they are selling a "factory unlocked" T-Mobile GS5 for $480, so I guess T-Mobile also sells carrier unlocked versions). I will unlock it using a code from theunlockingcompany website for $40 (seems like a steep price, but supposedly its the best site to use). I will then unlock it with the code which should take a couple minutes after I get the code, code taking up to 5 hours to arrive in my email. I will then have to take it in store to Metro PCS (hopefully I can do it online too if I order the SIM card online to ship to me for $10) to have it activated with them and get service. Then it should be activated, have my phone number, have cell and data service, paid/pay $40 a month. All is well in the world.

Is that info I discovered above true, what about the steps I should go through in the last section, above?
3rd September 2014, 08:27 AM   |  #4  
fffft's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 615
 
1,978 posts
Join Date:Joined: Jul 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyDee15

Is that info I discovered above true


I wouldn't know where to begin. Yes, a TMB phone is ideal IMO for ATT because it covers all of the ATT frequencies and then some, plus has an unlocked bootloader. Most of the rest you have wrong.

Any GSM carrier phone can be unlocked to work with any other GSM carrier
No. You can unlock phones, but models will seldom work well on a different carriers frequency allotment.

CDMA cannot be unlocked at all
Not true.

Rooting is the same as unlocking the bootloader.
They are not the same thing.

If the bootloader is not encrypted, the phone can be rooted
Not correct. You can root phones with locked (encrypted) bootloaders.

Supposedly Verizon and AT&T GS5's can now be rooted
Almost any Android with a pre-June6th firmware build can be rooted.

so I guess T-Mobile also sells carrier unlocked versions
Nope.

I don't know how you managed to adopt so much misinformation. I can only assume that you haven't done much reading yet and /or made a lot of assumptions. You should read some of the sticky posts to get a better general understanding of how everything fits together. Then you can pose more informed questions.

It has nothing to do with being new to smartphones. You just thought that it was easier to ask than to do a proper search or puzzle out a few confusing points. It would be in your own best interests to do some reading, but whether you do or not is entirely up to you.

.
Last edited by fffft; 3rd September 2014 at 11:26 AM.
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes