General ***Beware*** New AT&T S21 Ultras

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rawhide85

Senior Member
Nov 20, 2009
1,148
1,540
FL, USA
Just went to pick up my new S21 Ultra 512 from AT&T and it shipped with v2 firmware. As of now the bootloader is not unlockable! Needless to say, I returned without even opening the box. That sucks!
 
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rawhide85

Senior Member
Nov 20, 2009
1,148
1,540
FL, USA
part0.jpg

SW/VER: The 5th number from the right (2). This number has to be a 1 for the bootloader to be unlockable.
 

rawhide85

Senior Member
Nov 20, 2009
1,148
1,540
FL, USA
If not on the box, in the "About Phone" menu under settings. I was looking to purchase a New factory unlocked phone on Ebay but the seller cannot provide the FW version. So, no go. Cheers
 
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NippleSauce

Senior Member
  • Jun 23, 2013
    253
    105
    Nope, none of the SM-G998U's are offered with Unlocked Bootloaders and at this time there are no options available to unlock these devices.
    Yep. You could pay like $150 to unlock the bootloader in the past, but if you updated the phone at all within the last 2.5 months, you'll be stuck with a locked bootloader. Hopefully someone manages to find a solution to unlock the bootloader completely without having to manipulate the steady partition. I literally only want root and I'm stuck without it for...well... forever, potentially... Which kinda stinks without having a Pixel this time... My last phone being a Pixel 3 had me a bit spoiled, as even if it wasn't rooted there still wouldn't be ads everywhere, lol.
     
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    blackhawk

    Senior Member
  • Jun 23, 2020
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    Yep. You could pay like $150 to unlock the bootloader in the past, but if you updated the phone at all within the last 2.5 months, you'll be stuck with a locked bootloader. Hopefully someone manages to find a solution to unlock the bootloader completely without having to manipulate the steady partition. I literally only want root and I'm stuck without it for...well... forever, potentially... Which kinda stinks without having a Pixel this time... My last phone being a Pixel 3 had me a bit spoiled, as even if it wasn't rooted there still wouldn't be ads everywhere, lol.

    You have ads on the OS, system apps?

    This:
    I use Karma Firewall as well. Both use very little battery. Zero issues with both.
    Rooting be much more trouble than it be worth even if I could on the Note 10+... it's runs nicely now.
     

    NippleSauce

    Senior Member
  • Jun 23, 2013
    253
    105
    You have ads on the OS, system apps?

    This:
    I use Karma Firewall as well. Both use very little battery. Zero issues with both.
    Rooting be much more trouble than it be worth
    All of the Samsung apps have ads built-in - so not necessarily the 'true' system apps. Thankfully enough, I've already removed all of those crummy apps over adb. But I've already tried things like fully customized AdGuard, but those just don't do the job for me. I'm a nerdy person, so I like having the full system rights and rooting my phones. But aside from that, AdAway is just a better service and keeps out the ads that things like AdGuard miss.

    But all in all, let's just hope that us US nerds with Samsung phones get lucky and get an exploit leaked that allows for Snapdragon 888 Samsung phones in North America to be bootloader unlocked!


    *Edit* - read my post again and I realized that my bottom statement is as likely as winning the mega millions lottery lol.

    *Edit 2.0* - Response to @blackhawk:
    It seems like Samsung's non-essential apps all have ads now. So things like their members app, the galaxy store, the weather app, Samsung Pay, etc. But the default frequently used apps (like messages and phone) don't seem to have any ads. But I've also removed every single Samsung app at this point and have loaded my phone with all Google apps for a little extra reliability.
     
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    blackhawk

    Senior Member
  • Jun 23, 2020
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    All of the Samsung apps have ads built-in - so not necessarily the 'true' system apps. Thankfully enough, I've already removed all of those crummy apps over adb. But I've already tried things like fully customized AdGuard, but those just don't do the job for me. I'm a nerdy person, so I like having the full system rights and rooting my phones. But aside from that, AdAway is just a better service and keeps out the ads that things like AdGuard miss.

    But all in all, let's just hope that us US nerds with Samsung phones get lucky and get an exploit leaked that allows for Snapdragon 888 Samsung phones in North America to be bootloader unlocked!


    *Edit* - read my post again and I realized that my bottom statement is as likely as winning the mega millions lottery lol.

    I don't think any of the Samsung apps I use on my N10+ have ads. Is this something new?
     

    kipue

    Senior Member
    Sep 3, 2009
    2,007
    671
    Hong Kong
    All of the Samsung apps have ads built-in - so not necessarily the 'true' system apps. Thankfully enough, I've already removed all of those crummy apps over adb. But I've already tried things like fully customized AdGuard, but those just don't do the job for me. I'm a nerdy person, so I like having the full system rights and rooting my phones. But aside from that, AdAway is just a better service and keeps out the ads that things like AdGuard miss.

    But all in all, let's just hope that us US nerds with Samsung phones get lucky and get an exploit leaked that allows for Snapdragon 888 Samsung phones in North America to be bootloader unlocked!


    *Edit* - read my post again and I realized that my bottom statement is as likely as winning the mega millions lottery lol.
    I'm like you, but there are too many downsides to root on this device.
    I've avoided Samsung since they started making it hard on their phones, since s6 I believe.
    Have had Nexus and then OP...
    Where I live, Samsung pay is just too useful, and I lived without it before and now I don't dare to break it on this device.
    I see that as an "flashing holiday", which will last a couple years considering the price of the device!
    Too bad, I used rooting aside from custom ROMs for system wide adblocking in the past, I found it very convenient...
     
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    NippleSauce

    Senior Member
  • Jun 23, 2013
    253
    105
    Where I live, Samsung pay is just too useful, and I lived without it before and now I don't dare to break it on this device.
    I see that as an "flashing holiday", which will last a couple years considering the price of the device!
    Too bad, I used rooting aside from custom ROMs for system wide adblocking in the past, I found it very convenient...
    Totally understandable as Samsung Pay was the only Samsung app that I consistently used and it was super nifty! Unfortunately, they've permanently disabled it in North America (no more MST support) on the S21 series. So I'd much rather have root being that I reside in NA =(.
    I'll just have to get extremely lucky to get root access though...
     

    varcor

    Senior Member
  • Jul 15, 2017
    384
    100
    San Diego
    Yep. You could pay like $150 to unlock the bootloader in the past, but if you updated the phone at all within the last 2.5 months, you'll be stuck with a locked bootloader. Hopefully someone manages to find a solution to unlock the bootloader completely without having to manipulate the steady partition. I literally only want root and I'm stuck without it for...well... forever, potentially... Which kinda stinks without having a Pixel this time... My last phone being a Pixel 3 had me a bit spoiled, as even if it wasn't rooted there still wouldn't be ads everywhere, lol.
    Yes, technically it is possible on select devices depending on the update status but how many users are we talking about? Who would ignore updates for months then out of the blue decide to pay someone to root their device and forego future updates, almost no one! If root is a high priority then aquire a Galaxy with the unlocked bootloader or a different make altogether, they're much more practical considerations.
     
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    Misterxtc

    Senior Member
  • Jul 11, 2019
    226
    91
    Syracuse
    Yes, technically it is possible on select devices depending on the update status but how many users are we talking about? Who would ignore updates for months then out of the blue decide to pay someone to root their device and forego future updates, almost no one! If root is a high priority then aquire a Galaxy with the unlocked bootloader or a different make altogether, they're much more practical considerations.
    I agree, this is why I traded in two rooted Samsung phones. Not being able to fully update without loosing the unlock killed it for me. Thankfully I didn't loose all that much cash with the trade ins. I'm perfectly fine with my unrooted S21 Ultra and ADB. I won't root again unless it's a Pixel.
     
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      @varcor - No one can argue your logic. You are right on point with the rooting of devices today. With that said, for me it is as much a challenge as it has become a sort of hobby. I look forward to @afaneh92 finding an exploit for the v2 firmware. Fingers crossed! Cheers
      2
      How do you tell if it has V2 firmware, my box doesn't say. Just software version G998USQU2AUB5
      2
      part0.jpg

      SW/VER: The 5th number from the right (2). This number has to be a 1 for the bootloader to be unlockable.
      2
      Samsung and AT&T partnered... what could go wrong?🤣
      1
      Mine is the number 1 (from att) but I don't see the "oem unlock" in developer options
      You would need to use the paid service to unlock yours. Don't take any updates if you are interested but I would weigh out the pros and cons already mentioned before you make a decision. The people involved with the unlock are very helpful.
    • 3
      @varcor - No one can argue your logic. You are right on point with the rooting of devices today. With that said, for me it is as much a challenge as it has become a sort of hobby. I look forward to @afaneh92 finding an exploit for the v2 firmware. Fingers crossed! Cheers
      2
      How do you tell if it has V2 firmware, my box doesn't say. Just software version G998USQU2AUB5
      2
      part0.jpg

      SW/VER: The 5th number from the right (2). This number has to be a 1 for the bootloader to be unlockable.
      2
      Samsung and AT&T partnered... what could go wrong?🤣
      1
      Mine is the number 1 (from att) but I don't see the "oem unlock" in developer options
      You would need to use the paid service to unlock yours. Don't take any updates if you are interested but I would weigh out the pros and cons already mentioned before you make a decision. The people involved with the unlock are very helpful.
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