Freedompop Nexus 5 and ROMs

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deathbytalkshow

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2007
355
143
Malibu
Greetings,

I too took advantage of the stack social deal, just for the sake of the phone, lol. The service sounds a little bit unreliable, and more trouble than its worth. Not to derail or talk bad about the carrier, but I just play on popping in my T-Mobile SIM and using it as a secondary or backup phone. Is it that easy, or do I have to call freedom pop and actually have them carried unlock the device (confused as its advertised as unlocked).
It is unlocked. I popped in my T-Mobile SIM and it worked with no hassle. No need to call anyone.

Second question, how long did it take you guys who went in on this deal too, to receive your phone? I played my order nearly 3 weeks ago and still no shipping confirmation.. still on "allocating" stage on the website. And how is the overall condition of your devices been upon receiving them, being refurbs? Almost new condition, cosmetically?

Thanks for sharing your experience(s) with me!

It took 2 weeks to arrive. What some people forget to do is that once you place the order you also have to activate the account. You'll receive an email from Stack Social titled "StackSocial Redemption Instructions..." and they give you a license code you use to activate the one year free. When you click on the green "download" button it takes you to a site. When you finish with that, they start the process of "kitting" your Nexus.
 
Jan 15, 2010
36
3
I just grabbed one of these deals. I plan on using it with my existing att service. I should be able to go from the FP rom straight to Cataclysm 5.1.1 with no worries, right?
 

franallas

New member
May 21, 2015
4
0
How did you do that? I loaded my T-Mobile SIM card and it used T-Mobile's LTE network, not FreedomPop's. Did you try this while on FP's ROM or only on cataclysm?

At least this confirms (for me) that it is unlocked and I could move it to T-Mobile after the 1 year of free service.



I swapped SIM cards but can't call out or text on tmobile. Did you have this problem?
 

franallas

New member
May 21, 2015
4
0
The phone is a refurbished b stock. Mine was in great shape except a small nick on the right side. So I cannot complain. The bootloader comes unlocked and there is a superuser zip on the phone so all you have to do is flash a custom recovery to flash that zip. Now I have to figure out whether I can put custom roms on this puppy.

Hi onurd,
I got the nexus 5 and was wondering what a superuser zip is. I've never done customizing on phones but am willing to try since I can't get the phone to work swapping out with our tmobile sim card. Tried a couple of ways with APN settings etc but it didn't work. Freedompop even told me that it is a CDMA phone only or use on sprint network. I've heard many times that you can use it on GSM. Could use some help to make it work. Have any links that I can follow or some directions (dumb it down please) so I can use the phone. I really love the N5 feel and smoothness. Thx

Fran
 

ShapesBlue

Senior Member
May 9, 2012
7,905
1,718
Hi onurd,
I got the nexus 5 and was wondering what a superuser zip is. I've never done customizing on phones but am willing to try since I can't get the phone to work swapping out with our tmobile sim card. Tried a couple of ways with APN settings etc but it didn't work. Freedompop even told me that it is a CDMA phone only or use on sprint network. I've heard many times that you can use it on GSM. Could use some help to make it work. Have any links that I can follow or some directions (dumb it down please) so I can use the phone. I really love the N5 feel and smoothness. Thx

Fran

Superuser has to do with rooting the device/phone hence gaining administrator rights to it

Sent from my N5
 

ShapesBlue

Senior Member
May 9, 2012
7,905
1,718
Hi onurd,
I got the nexus 5 and was wondering what a superuser zip is. I've never done customizing on phones but am willing to try since I can't get the phone to work swapping out with our tmobile sim card. Tried a couple of ways with APN settings etc but it didn't work. Freedompop even told me that it is a CDMA phone only or use on sprint network. I've heard many times that you can use it on GSM. Could use some help to make it work. Have any links that I can follow or some directions (dumb it down please) so I can use the phone. I really love the N5 feel and smoothness. Thx

Fran







Can you help me with the remainder of my original question??

I'll surely try to. This phone can indeed be used on both GSM and CDMA networks. I'm using it on a GSM network right now in fact. Not the freedompop one but this is the same phone

As far as setting the APN settings there's not much to it really. For my carrier straight talk we have an app for it. What else didn't I cover?

Sent from my N5
 

dalex7777

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2010
88
7
Houston
I also took advantage of this incredible deal.
However I've had quite a few freezes with the ROM it's running.
It seemed just like Stock, however looking around I've noticed they've tweaked Stock quite a bit.
One of the most significant (and surprising) tweaks was the inclusion of Ambient Display.

I'm about to flash some ROMs and see how it works. Update this later.
Yeah, the Ambient Display was a pleasant surprise. Whoever makes FreedomPop's corporate images is probably a ROMhead like us.
 

RadRegulus

Member
May 11, 2015
5
1
Hi onurd,
I got the nexus 5 and was wondering what a superuser zip is. I've never done customizing on phones but am willing to try since I can't get the phone to work swapping out with our tmobile sim card. Tried a couple of ways with APN settings etc but it didn't work. Freedompop even told me that it is a CDMA phone only or use on sprint network. I've heard many times that you can use it on GSM. Could use some help to make it work. Have any links that I can follow or some directions (dumb it down please) so I can use the phone. I really love the N5 feel and smoothness. Thx

Fran

I also have this problem. Went personally to the MetroPCS store and the phone couldn't connect, so they assumed it was a CDMA only phone. It's currently running Stock Android, as I flashed it replacing the Freedompop ROM. I've tried with a T-Mobile and a MetroPCS SIM, and it detects there is in fact a SIM, but I get "No Service" and "Emergency Calls Only" interchangeably.
Right now I'm Factory Resetting the device, as someone suggested, hopefully this solves the problem.

Edit: This did not solve the problem. Still No Service.
 
Last edited:

Powered_By_Linux

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2015
79
28
I thought I'd also share my experience with this phone.

After I got my nexus (in very good condition, it looked new), I tried to change the default messaging app, only to see that I couldn't. This is when I started learning more about how freedompop operates.

I went overseas, intending to hop off the plane and pop in a local prepaid SIM. However, this was not the case. It could pick up a signal, but not connect to it. I had previously talked to freedompop support over Twitter, and they told me that I could use the phone with another carrier as long as I deactivated it from freedompop first. This was also stated on the page where I bought the phone. Turns out that's not true. I hadn't done this because I thought it would only affect the CDMA Sprint network, so I decided to contact them (this is while I'm overseas) and deactivate it.

After waiting on hold for over an hour, I finally got to talk to a human. After I explained the situation, he said he could deactivate my phone, but it probably won't help because they use their own ROM. I then asked him if it would work if I put a custom ROM on it, and he said yes and that some customers do that. He deactivated my phone anyways, and sure enough, the other SIM still didn't work.

I spent a night rooting my phone and putting AICP on it. The phone came with an unlocked bootloader, but no TWRP. I also found a folder on the internal storage called "!ReadyToFlash" that had a supersu and busybox zip in it, and I found the ROM zip made by freedompop.

Once I had a custom ROM on the phone, it worked fine. Once I get back to the States I'm gonna put back on the freedompop ROM, but I sure can tell you, once my year of free service is up, I'm dumping freedompop and getting Ting or Cricket Wireless. While their actual employees are great and dev-friendly, I haven't had a great experience overall.
 
Last edited:

ellisreppo

New member
Jul 10, 2015
2
1
Can you post instructions on how to make the freedompop N5 usable overseas?

Hello, can you please post what I need to do to make the N5 usable overseas? Also, I though that I could simply install the freedompop app and use it that way. Is that not correct? Thank you

I thought I'd also share my experience with this phone.

After I got my nexus (in very good condition, it looked new), I tried to change the default messaging app, only to see that I couldn't. This is when I started learning more about how freedompop operates.

I went overseas, intending to hop off the plane and pop in a local prepaid SIM. However, this was not the case. It could pick up a signal, but not connect to it. I had previously talked to freedompop support over Twitter, and they told me that I could use the phone with another carrier as long as I deactivated it from freedompop first. This was also stated on the page where I bought the phone. Turns out that's not true. I hadn't done this because I thought it would only affect the CDMA Sprint network, so I decided to contact them (this is while I'm overseas) and deactivate it.

After waiting on hold for over an hour, I finally got to talk to a human. After I explained the situation, he said he could deactivate my phone, but it probably won't help because they use their own ROM. I then asked him if it would work if I put a custom ROM on it, and he said yes and that some customers do that. He deactivated my phone anyways, and sure enough, the other SIM still didn't work.

I spent a night rooting my phone and putting AICP on it. The phone came with an unlocked bootloader, but no TWRP. I also found a folder on the internal storage called "!ReadyToFlash" that had a supersu and busybox zip in it, and I found the ROM zip made by freedompop.

Once I had a custom ROM on the phone, it worked fine. Once I get back to the States I'm gonna put back on the freedompop ROM, but I sure can tell you, once my year of free service is up, I'm dumping freedompop and getting Ting or Cricket Wireless. While their actual employees are great and dev-friendly, I haven't had a great experience overall.
 

Powered_By_Linux

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2015
79
28
Hello, can you please post what I need to do to make the N5 usable overseas? Also, I though that I could simply install the freedompop app and use it that way. Is that not correct? Thank you
Sure. I assume you mean use the phone with a different carrier overseas. Keep in mind, however, that people have had different experiences with this phone. This is just what worked for me. Backup all your data before doing anything as well, just to be safe.

After talking to FreedomPop, they said you have to use a different ROM than the FreedomPop ROM that is preinstalled to use your phone with a different carrier. According to them, you also have to have the FreedomPop ROM installed to use their service, so you can't just install the FreedomPop app. Keep in mind, however, that some people have had success with just installing the FreedomPop apps on a custom ROM and using their service, but it's not recommended by FreedomPop.

You need to deactivate your nexus. Call FreedomPop and deactivate it, but make sure that you don't cancel your account if you want to use FreedomPop when you get back from overseas.

If you don't know how to navigate fastboot mode, learn here: http://www.android.gs/boot-nexus-5-fastboot-mode/. Also, you should turn on USB debugging. Tutorial here: http://www.kingoapp.com/root-tutorials/how-to-enable-usb-debugging-mode-on-android-5-lollipop.htm.

The first thing is to check if your bootloader is unlocked. Boot into fastboot mode. On the bottom line of text, it should either say "lock state - locked" or "locked state - unlocked". If it says unlocked, you're good to go. If it's locked, you have to unlock it. Here's how to do that: https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-unlock-nexus-5-bootloader.

If you DON'T want to return to using FreedomPop after you get back from overseas, you don't need to make any backups of their ROM. You can follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images to have a good-as-new, stock nexus just like if you bought it from the Google Store. This WILL wipe all user data, including photos, apps, and more. EVERYTHING is wiped, but that's OK if you don't want to return to FreedomPop. Also, make sure to run the commands as root in the tutorial above.

Also, you could just use a custom ROM indefinitely if you don't want to use FreedomPop when you get back.

However, if you do want to return to FreedomPop, you need to make a backup of their ROM. For ease of use, this method involves using a custom ROM instead of stock Android while you're overseas. Follow the instructions on this site to get the custom recovery TWRP. Use the fastboot method: https://twrp.me/devices/lgnexus5.html.

Next, you need a custom ROM and some Google apps. Feel free to use any custom ROM if you have one in mind. If you don't, I recommend the latest AICP release, based on android 5.1.1: http://dwnld.aicp-rom.com/?device=hammerhead&type=RELEASE. You will need the android 5.1.1 bootloader and modem, so make sure your device is upgraded to 5.1.1. For some reason my nexus couldn't update through the FreedomPop ROM, so you can manually install the 5.1.1 bootloader and modem via fastboot if you need. See here: https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-update-nexus-5-bootloader-and-radio You also need gapps. Get some here: http://fitsnugly.euroskank.com/?rom=banks&device=gapps. Keep in mind these gapps are only compatible with Android 5.1.x.

Put the ROM and gapps zip on your nexus internal storage, somewhere where you can find it. Boot into TWRP and make a backup of your current system by selecting "Backup" and following the onscreen prompts. This will take awhile, depending on how many apps you have. Next, go to "Wipe" and factory reset the phone. This wipes all apps. Next, go to "Install" and install the ROM zip, and then install the gapps zip. Then, reboot your phone and enjoy your custom ROM. The first boot will take awhile. Now you can pop in a local SIM card and enjoy your trip! When you get back, restore the backup you made in the "Restore" option in TWRP, put back in the FreedomPop SIM, and reactivate your phone.

If you get stuck or need any help, feel free to PM me :)
 

scottsdca

Senior Member
Mar 29, 2010
191
17
Metro pcs or verizon

Has anyone had any luck using the Nexus 5 with Metro PCS or with Verizon? Was it a difficult process? Thanks for any information.
 

abrahammmmmmm_

Senior Member
Oct 19, 2013
167
46
Salem
Has anyone had any luck using the Nexus 5 with Metro PCS or with Verizon? Was it a difficult process? Thanks for any information.

It'sas easy as flashing a differnt rom since "stock" will want you to register with freedompop. For any gsm carrier such as MetroPCS it's as easy as popping in the sim, however it might be different with verizon since you'll probably have to register the imei.
 

Powered_By_Linux

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2015
79
28
It'sas easy as flashing a differnt rom since "stock" will want you to register with freedompop. For any gsm carrier such as MetroPCS it's as easy as popping in the sim, however it might be different with verizon since you'll probably have to register the imei.
Yes, you should be able to pop it in and go after flashing the stock Google image out a different ROM with a gsm carrier, but you'll want to deactivate the phone from FreedomPop service before you do (especially when using the phone with another cdma carrier) just to be safe.
 

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  • 3
    I was wondering could someone post the freedompop zip that came on the phone? I foolishly deleted mine but I'd like to experiment with it now.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-1D2PtniYDCbUh0YXFtc1RNbTQ/ Hope it helps!

    I flashed both Stock and CM but neither even recognized the Freedompop SIM card.
    Guess we have to stay on their ROM if we want to use their service.

    It's strange that a ROM would be the reason for a SIM to work. Maybe it's using specific modems we're not aware of? The zip file in the phone seems to be the ROM. I had to unlock the bootloader, it didn't come with TWRP as others have claimed, to root it and installed TWRP to make a nandroid backup. I might take a chance with CM12 later today.
    2
    Hello, can you please post what I need to do to make the N5 usable overseas? Also, I though that I could simply install the freedompop app and use it that way. Is that not correct? Thank you
    Sure. I assume you mean use the phone with a different carrier overseas. Keep in mind, however, that people have had different experiences with this phone. This is just what worked for me. Backup all your data before doing anything as well, just to be safe.

    After talking to FreedomPop, they said you have to use a different ROM than the FreedomPop ROM that is preinstalled to use your phone with a different carrier. According to them, you also have to have the FreedomPop ROM installed to use their service, so you can't just install the FreedomPop app. Keep in mind, however, that some people have had success with just installing the FreedomPop apps on a custom ROM and using their service, but it's not recommended by FreedomPop.

    You need to deactivate your nexus. Call FreedomPop and deactivate it, but make sure that you don't cancel your account if you want to use FreedomPop when you get back from overseas.

    If you don't know how to navigate fastboot mode, learn here: http://www.android.gs/boot-nexus-5-fastboot-mode/. Also, you should turn on USB debugging. Tutorial here: http://www.kingoapp.com/root-tutorials/how-to-enable-usb-debugging-mode-on-android-5-lollipop.htm.

    The first thing is to check if your bootloader is unlocked. Boot into fastboot mode. On the bottom line of text, it should either say "lock state - locked" or "locked state - unlocked". If it says unlocked, you're good to go. If it's locked, you have to unlock it. Here's how to do that: https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-unlock-nexus-5-bootloader.

    If you DON'T want to return to using FreedomPop after you get back from overseas, you don't need to make any backups of their ROM. You can follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images to have a good-as-new, stock nexus just like if you bought it from the Google Store. This WILL wipe all user data, including photos, apps, and more. EVERYTHING is wiped, but that's OK if you don't want to return to FreedomPop. Also, make sure to run the commands as root in the tutorial above.

    Also, you could just use a custom ROM indefinitely if you don't want to use FreedomPop when you get back.

    However, if you do want to return to FreedomPop, you need to make a backup of their ROM. For ease of use, this method involves using a custom ROM instead of stock Android while you're overseas. Follow the instructions on this site to get the custom recovery TWRP. Use the fastboot method: https://twrp.me/devices/lgnexus5.html.

    Next, you need a custom ROM and some Google apps. Feel free to use any custom ROM if you have one in mind. If you don't, I recommend the latest AICP release, based on android 5.1.1: http://dwnld.aicp-rom.com/?device=hammerhead&type=RELEASE. You will need the android 5.1.1 bootloader and modem, so make sure your device is upgraded to 5.1.1. For some reason my nexus couldn't update through the FreedomPop ROM, so you can manually install the 5.1.1 bootloader and modem via fastboot if you need. See here: https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-update-nexus-5-bootloader-and-radio You also need gapps. Get some here: http://fitsnugly.euroskank.com/?rom=banks&device=gapps. Keep in mind these gapps are only compatible with Android 5.1.x.

    Put the ROM and gapps zip on your nexus internal storage, somewhere where you can find it. Boot into TWRP and make a backup of your current system by selecting "Backup" and following the onscreen prompts. This will take awhile, depending on how many apps you have. Next, go to "Wipe" and factory reset the phone. This wipes all apps. Next, go to "Install" and install the ROM zip, and then install the gapps zip. Then, reboot your phone and enjoy your custom ROM. The first boot will take awhile. Now you can pop in a local SIM card and enjoy your trip! When you get back, restore the backup you made in the "Restore" option in TWRP, put back in the FreedomPop SIM, and reactivate your phone.

    If you get stuck or need any help, feel free to PM me :)
    2
    I thought I'd also share my experience with this phone.

    After I got my nexus (in very good condition, it looked new), I tried to change the default messaging app, only to see that I couldn't. This is when I started learning more about how freedompop operates.

    I went overseas, intending to hop off the plane and pop in a local prepaid SIM. However, this was not the case. It could pick up a signal, but not connect to it. I had previously talked to freedompop support over Twitter, and they told me that I could use the phone with another carrier as long as I deactivated it from freedompop first. This was also stated on the page where I bought the phone. Turns out that's not true. I hadn't done this because I thought it would only affect the CDMA Sprint network, so I decided to contact them (this is while I'm overseas) and deactivate it.

    After waiting on hold for over an hour, I finally got to talk to a human. After I explained the situation, he said he could deactivate my phone, but it probably won't help because they use their own ROM. I then asked him if it would work if I put a custom ROM on it, and he said yes and that some customers do that. He deactivated my phone anyways, and sure enough, the other SIM still didn't work.

    I spent a night rooting my phone and putting AICP on it. The phone came with an unlocked bootloader, but no TWRP. I also found a folder on the internal storage called "!ReadyToFlash" that had a supersu and busybox zip in it, and I found the ROM zip made by freedompop.

    Once I had a custom ROM on the phone, it worked fine. Once I get back to the States I'm gonna put back on the freedompop ROM, but I sure can tell you, once my year of free service is up, I'm dumping freedompop and getting Ting or Cricket Wireless. While their actual employees are great and dev-friendly, I haven't had a great experience overall.
    1
    I also got the deal from freedom pop though I'm now regretting it as I'm reading this whole issue about the messaging app.... especially the fact that it's only a voip service being used, might as well use hangouts then!

    Besides that, how good is the overall condition of your devices? I got tricked into thinking it was a genuinely "new" nexus 5 by pocketnow, nowhere did it read refurbished or "pre owned" until I got the email from freedompop.



    Well that's depressing, hopefully someone finds what they did and is able to port the contents from their rom to another. Or we could also contact their support personally? they seem to be pretty dev-friendly. Have you tried messing with the prl? It's been a while since I've dealt with sprint

    Just tried every PRL setting, still no dice.
    Regarding the phone condition, mine arrived perfectly flawless. It can really pass as a new device. However I've heard that some people receive units with dings and bumps on the sides. Guess I got lucky
    1
    They use a sim card plus a couple apps. I think you can activate the sim on the Nexus 5 and then use the sim in other phones too. Haven't tried it.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

    That's what I'm shooting for. I bought it, I'll keep you updated.
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