As you know Samsung quietly released a "new" S4 (I9506) based on the same hardware as their current "flagship" Note 3.(SM-N9005).
That they are the same I got verified from Samsung in US (YES! They DOES sometimes answer) and on some other place as well.
It does make sense since that is a cost-cutter, the S4 sales are falling. Closing one whole production line seems like the logical way to go.
The "new" S4 is on pair with Note 3 in Antutu (actually a little faster) and I know that does say much but it gives a rough estimate
(they both are around a bit over 35k fresh but the latest Note 3 update slowed it down to 28k (plain vanilla except for Antutu and a hardware info).
It's shipped with 4.2.2 with Knox turned off and I must say that it feels like a "test-bench"-version.
It would not surprise me if the shipped rom was the that they where using on their ref.
So with that in mind I postulated that there should be a 1:1 interchangeability between those phones.
I share a few files for you, most important PIT-files in readable form and recovery images, all Philz.
(A working I9506, from N9005 (oldest and newest found) and a I9505 as a reference)
As you can see they are exactly partitioned the same with the exact addresses and all (except for the current loaded content).
Well, it made me very happy and confident (doh).
I started to test the simplest(?) or easiest and that was to see if a custom recovery would work. We have a "mended" Philz that is working
but I thought that the N9005 should work as well, but of course, it didn't.
Had some funny results (like the first "BSOD"! BLUE! and a "melting screen" that was really scary before I realized that it was corrupting the video mem).
So the question is Why? What am I doing wrong?
I don't recall where I got the "mended" from and I have no way of getting in touch with Philz and ask him so I turn to you for guidance?
Looking at them they seem to at least have the same structure (same preamble, not stripped etc) and are much closer then if I compare with the
one from I9505 that I included. I have not disassembled it and I don't know what good that would do, and the question is if all have to be compiled
from scratch but then the other question comes, why?
You who have read my posts know that I worked with this before and that I am ATM rusty in my "Carbon memory and 3-bit year counters
on old DECs (not THAT old but seen them!) and I HAVE trouble to find any documentation since all who have it (if there is) sit on it tightly.
So it's a lot of Googling and T&E here, but I feel like there is something fundamental missing here so I turn to you
Am I doing some basic stupid error here?
What I have understood the recovery.img like the usual "rescue" that bootstrap itself and bypass the rest just like you use to when you build
something with hardware, so you can read the parameters, dump mem etc or am I wrong here?
Does it go through the bootloader etc? If so, is there any correlation between the bl and the recovery? Unfortunately Philz have removed older
versions so I can't try them, and I don't know what he did to make it work but since it DOES work, there must be something that was not that
hard to fix but I have no idea why the same basic hardware doesn't play well with each other?
I know that 96% of my posts and PM's are about Knox and all the tish (I didn't ask to be thrown into that and the more I've found out the worse it is...).
Each phone have it's unique certificate so there must be some PROM they use to burn it in and it must be readable since the bootloader
compares the X.509 cert you have against its own when you get into the Knox-trap.
So could that be something that is different? I don't know how it bootstraps from the beginning since I lack mentioned docs and I tried with
Samsung but here they have not bulged here. Let's hope they do. They need to get transparent else this will kill them (There I go...Sorry.).
So have any of you gurus some idea what could the cause of this incompatibility?
If everything has to be built from source, ok, we will try to do that for the roms that have them as OS, but if this is something stupid that I am
missing it would be so great if we could just use that, since the only things that are obvious is the screen, mem, internal size and the useless pen.
Else is just the same even if I take those progs that just list EVERYTHING or go into the service menus with different *# commands and they are
like twins but not just right?
Any help would be appreciated since this is our serious try to get it harmonized, and I really really hope we can here?
Because If my assumption is wrong then we are indeed a sad bunch in the I9506 corner...
All the best,