Was recently in the 'States and broke my S8 - it's now the third mobile screen I've busted since Samsung brought in curved edges, never had any issues with the S2 or S5 - who ever thought tempering glass and curving it would be a good idea??
Anyway I had the opportunity to pickup a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 Active and did a quick bit of research. I found the most compatible version with my carriers back home in AUS was the SM-G892A from AT&T. Picked up a brand new unlocked model, stupid me didn't connect it up to AT&T while I was there. I turned it on and played around with it on Wifi for the last few days of our trip and returned home to Melbourne.
Basically I now understand AT&T are a bunch of ***** and do not allow updates to be pushed even for unlocked devices overseas. Considering a lot of the updates are for security I'm very surprised by this.
Anyway so I've notcied a few tiny bugs here and there with apps/OS and figured updating my device/OS is the way to go and might resolve the issues. I guess the easiest way to get the info I need is to put the questions I have individually, as my mind tends to jump all over the place when I'm working a problem:
1. Is there any way to get my phone updated without rooting/flashing the phone?
2. If not, what is the best option for a S8 Active? Are there any firmware versions that will enable OTA updates so I don't need to keep flashing everytime new firmware is released? I have seen some posts about T-Mobile being able to be flashed over an AT&T model or even the G892U or maybe a custom firmware that allows this?
3. Will rooting/flashing interfere with any of the carrier settings etc? Don't want to upgrade it only to find it disables an LTE band or something?
4. I am an absolute noob at flashing, have never done it but am pretty tech savvy so if there is a step-by-step procedure I wil have no dramas following it. Saying that, I would rather not make the device worse than it is so I only want to follow tried & tested procedures if that makes sense, I don't want my device to be a lab-rat.
5. If there is no way to enable OTA internationally as per Question #2 when new firmware updates become available on XDA will flashing a new update delete personalisation/settings/files etc? Or will it retain them and update like a stock model performing a firmware upgrade would? If not, that would be a pain in the ass and time consuming to have to re-apply settings and reinstall apps every time and almost makes the idea of flashing unattractive.
6. I have baseband G892AUCU1AQG4 - taking into account Question #2 what is the best way to move forward? Considering Android 8.0 is available for the S8 Active and has been available for my model from AT&T since March 1st, 2018 apparently I'm hoping there might be some way to move towards that.
Hope someone might be able to help,
Thanks in advance
Got some answers to my original questions...
1. Rooting/Flashing are different things - rooting allows custom firmware, flashing is the procedure to install custom or OEM firmware onto the device.
2. The best option for me I think is to just update to newer AT&T firmware so I get the updates and new software features as I'm not interested in custom firmware. I still do not know if it is possible to get OTA updates for this device directly from Samsung/Google.
3. As long as you are flashing from the same model firmware as in SM-G892A to SM-G892A should be no issues, however using SM-G892U might cause issues.
4. Once I wrapped my head around how baseband versions of firmware work and what is needed to get between bootloader versions flashing from SD Card or Odin (as I suspected) was very straightforward thanks to some of the guides out there. To make this easier for anyone facing the same issue I have written how I did this below.
5. Yes, flashing for AT&T will delete everything, it's an absolute PIA and that's why I will keep searching for a way to get OTA updates enabled if at all possible. However I believe Samsung SmartSwitch is pretty good for backing up and restoring so that might be a simple way forward.
6. See my latest post, I was 12 updates behind but able to skip 7 of them using my method.