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AT&T in Australia

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By adzify106, Junior Member on 19th September 2018, 09:27 AM
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Hi all,

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

UPDATE 05/05/2019

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.
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25th January 2019, 01:27 AM |#2  
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I'm considering importing an S8 Active AT&T and have the same questions. How did you go?
5th May 2019, 08:37 AM |#3  
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Originally Posted by secateurs

I'm considering importing an S8 Active AT&T and have the same questions. How did you go?

Sorry for the slow reply I've only just had the time to dive into this. Yes I have figured it out.
There are two ways, incrementally update by applying OTA updates via the SD card. However trying to find all of these can be a pain.
The other way you may have read about is to use Samsung's own 'Odin' flashing software.

Because I had the very first baseband version G892AUCU1AQG4 I was way behind. The fifth-last digit designates the bootloader version, you cannot jump from v1 to v3 for example. So what you can do is use a few OTA updates to jump you from v1 to the first v2, you can then use Odin to jump you all the way up and use another OTA to get you to the next bootloader version. Hope that makes sense?

So I was able to use x2 OTA updates to get from 1AQG4 to 1AQJ2, then I was able to do one more OTA to get from 1AQJ2-to-2AQK3. Now if I was to continue using the OTA method with the SD card, I would need to run the process x8 times. This presents 3 issues:
1. Time consuming, trying to find all the correct OTA updates.
2. Even when you do get all the correct OTA updates you then have to copy each on to the SD card waiting for the phone to update and then repeat the process.
3. Even if you can find a link for a required OTA update a lot of the links are dead.

However using Odin and the flash files I was able to skip these and go directly from 2AQK3 to 2BRF2, use one OTA update and then I was onto Bootloader v3 (which is the latest version). Here is how I compressed 12 updates do into 5, good luck..

1. 1AQG4-to-1AQJ2 OTA (SD CARD):
2. 1AQJ2-to-2AQK3 OTA (SD CARD):
3. 2AQK3-to-2BRF2 Odin Flash :
4. 2BRF2-to-3BRG1 OTA (SD CARD):
5. 3BRG1-to-3BRL1 Odin Flash:!7M42VCAJ!-FKnhzwTZG0He1kb9FzHHaPX4Aanlnj4fpn0M61DzR4
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