Originally Posted by gaylonalfano
Hi there - I'm living in Shanghai and just found this thread. I bought the sm-n9006 today and was excited until I started reading about region locking and non-LTE versions,etc.
This is my first Android device so I'm super new but the bloatware on this thing is annoying! I wanted to remove this stuff and get some Google apps installed but I can't even find the Google play app to get started.
I'm concerned that because it's the mainland china version that this is going to be a bigger pain than it's worth. Should I wait a few months and have a family member buy a US model? Any other reasons to stay clear of this china model?
Is rooting the device a must if I want to get full access to apps, etc.?
Also, it seems this model does not have LTE. Is that correct? I ravel/stay in the US over summer holidays. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
The bloatware won't be your main problem, it will be no access to google apps. I wouldn't worry about no LTE, you probably won't notice.
Importantly for Laowai, rooting is necessary, unless you are fluent in chinese, and can therefore use the Chinese markets and apps.
There are quite a few places online to find out how to unlock and root your device - this forum/link above/galaxynote3root.com/etc. I think you'll need about three to four hours of uninterrupted time (as a beginner), a pc (I've used a mac and it is annoying), fast-ish internet speed (to dowload the files), maybe a vpn to look at You tube clips that exemplify (eg, gfwvpn.com is handy and easy to install on both your computer and device), and only a small amount intellect.
You go through the process as above link or elsewhere, and then flash on an updated GAPPS zip if it isn't on the stuff you downloaded.
People here and elsewhere have really made it simple compared to when I first did mine (or maybe I have a little more knowledge). I'm only really just getting the hang of it all now and find it really enjoyable part of Android experience. Actually, just fell in love again with my S3 using CM... Wondering why I am going back to touch wiz, actually...
I'll know on Monday if it was the right choice for me after a day with the new giant phone.