Eveyone seems to always struggle with the question "is this firwmare KXY newer or older than KYZ". After a long search, I found some parts of explanations from places to places and as I owe a lot to this community for helping me taking the better of my past phones, I thought it was finally the appropriate place to send back my gratitude and summarise them in one post. If moderators feel this thread does not belong to this part of the forum, feel free to move it in the appropriate one (but I really do think it belongs to this part as it is ROM related).
To know what is your phone *ware versions, type on the phone keypad (if you want them to work on GoDialer or any software that sits on top of phone keypad, you need to add "*#" without the quotes before the code and "*#*" without the quotes again after):
Firmware ver: *#1234#
S/W ver: *#1111#
H/W ver: *#2222#
My bonus: a code to test all your phone capabilities (screen, sound, sensors, ...):*#0*#
Now that you have typed the firmware version code and that you are on the screen, you get 3 different pieces of information. As an example, my phone shows:
PDA is the operating system with its programs and settings included.
PHONE is the modem firmware file, parts of which are required to access the hardware.
CSC (for consumer software customisation) are the regional settings applied which may install additional programs as well as provider-specific settings (APN).
PDA AND PHONE CODE MEANING
What does N7000XXKKA means?
As you know your model, here are Samsung's complementary information:
BD Cyprus, Greece
DX Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam
DZ Malaysia, Singapore
JA South Africa
JC Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia
JV Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
XA Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
XB Denmark, Norway, Sweden
XC Portugal, Spain
XD Croatia, Czech, Hungary, Slovakia
XE Bulgaria, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine
XF Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania
XW France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom
XX Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom
ZC China, Hong Kong
ZH Hong Kong
1 = 1
2 = 2
3 = 3
A = 10
B = 11
C = 12
CSC CODE MEANING
For CSC, you can notice a different scheme: between the phone model and the release code, there is no 2 letters but 3, in my case OXA, it is simply a code explaining from which country and which operator this phone is. OXA is supposed to be O2 UK and I'm using it for SFR France (coude should be then SFR).
Conclusion, this is not harmful to your phone having a different CSC code than the one you are supposed to use. But if you want to properly change it anyway, you can do it using the code *#272*<your phone IMEI># (if you don't have it, your phone IMEI can be obtained using the code *#06#), the CSC menu is displayed and shows your current CSC and a list to change your phone CSC.
Once in front of that list find yours there (http://www.samfirmware.com/samsunglettercode.htm), in the Samsung official letter code section and pray to have in in you CSC list
If it isn't, then choose the X?? version (for France it is XEF), it is for retail code (i.e. not operator branded). But be careful, if you apply a new CSC, it is phone factory reset (all your data and settings are lost).
Voilà, I hope this post will explain almost everything about phone firmware versions and CSC. And more than everything, it will help a lot of people here to better enjoy their SGN
ADDITIONAL COMMENT (if someone can validate or undermine it, that would be nice)
Often, SGN users are wondering if using KK1 kernel on a KJ4 ROM or a KKA on a KJ1 will brick their phone. I think people are mislead by Samsung revision numbers more than the real technology behind the letters and numbers. As far as i have seen ALL ROM kernels are based on 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168 (which includes very very insignificant changes to the Kernel structure, i.e. mainly bugfixes) which would mean that applying kernel on ROM has something like 99% to work perfectly fine and 1% to end in bootloop which can be avoided flushing cache and dalvik cache. The main point on kernels is the fact to loose CWM Recovery. But hopefully, some great minds like ChainFire release as soon as sources are made available, kernels with CWM Recovery in it.