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[Q] Which GSM version is most "hacker friendly"? What are the tradeoffs?

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DJ_smooth
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Default [Q] Which GSM version is most "hacker friendly"? What are the tradeoffs?

I'm frustrated with the locked bootloader and lack of developer interest and no Ant+ on the latest update so I am going to buy a phone that does not annoy me. Note 3 is my leading choice but I am also considering the Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition.

Right now, I've got more money than time. I have tons of good paying work backed up and I would rather pay for what I want than try to stay one step ahead of some carrier's control issues / bloatware.

I'm on AT&T with a grandfathered unlimited data plan. Don't really need LTE but will take it if it makes no difference. I do want at least HSPDA.

I'm willing to shell out the full cash price for an unlocked phone with an unlocked bootloader. What I really want is a phone that will get timely updates from the manufacturer and won't try to shove a locked bootloader down my throat later. It would also be fantastic if I could get a USA warranty in the deal but I can live without that.

So is there a significant "hacker friendliness" difference between the various models? If I give up AT&T LTE frequencies for the international version, what am I getting in return (besides the obvious international frequencies)?

Thanks for your time,
David
 
radicalisto
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Originally Posted by DJ_smooth View Post
If I give up AT&T LTE frequencies for the international version, what am I getting in return (besides the obvious international frequencies)?

David
A limited unlocked bootloader if you choose the N9005. The N9005 has the better development options -

However, the N900w8 (Canadian/Mexican model) has a complete unlocked BL for upgrade/downgrade 4.3/4.4. - Runs most, if not all N9005 ROMS also. - Probably your better option IMO at least -

N900T - T-Mobile similar to the N9005 but BL cannot be downgraded as freely as the N900w8

You will have to sacrifice LTE though, but as you said you aren't fussed about LTE - you should still receive 3G/H+ without issues.
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DJ_smooth
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Originally Posted by radicalisto View Post
A limited unlocked bootloader if you choose the N9005. The N9005 has the better development options -

However, the N900w8 (Canadian/Mexican model) has a complete unlocked BL for upgrade/downgrade 4.3/4.4. - Runs most, if not all N9005 ROMS also. - Probably your better option IMO at least -

N900T - T-Mobile similar to the N9005 but BL cannot be downgraded as freely as the N900w8

You will have to sacrifice LTE though, but as you said you aren't fussed about LTE - you should still receive 3G/H+ without issues.
Why would you want to downgrade the boot loader, to be able to switch to a rom that depends on an older kernel / bootloader? Or is there some other reason?

Thanks,
David
 
radicalisto
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Why would you want to downgrade the boot loader, to be able to switch to a rom that depends on an older kernel / bootloader? Or is there some other reason?

Thanks,
David
At first most wanted to due to CM being incompatible, however now that CM runs on the new bootloader most don't want to. - The few remaining I guess prefer 4.3 due to different errors they have had or problems on/due to 4.4.2
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