Question Missing OEM Unlock on Cellular VZW S8+ (SM-X808U)

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Hey guys,

I've searched the forum but nobody seems to have reported the issue I'm experiencing. The way the posts are worded, unlocking the Tab S8+ is a given. I know the US S22 has no OEM Unlocking officially supported. I've followed all the workarounds to get the option to appear to no avail.

My only theory is that VZW hasn't yet unlocked my S8+ (if it was ever locked to begin with, nevertheless I've owned it less than 60 days). Can anybody confirm if this model can be bootloader unlocked by conventional means either prior or after carrier unlock?
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
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Hi! I'm going to try to find the other user's post who enlightened me in this section, but I might have trouble finding it.

Effectively, no U.S. carrier's version of previous and current Samsung Galaxy Tabs can have the bootloader unlocked - at least that's what I remember them telling me. You have to buy the Wi-Fi only version to be able to unlock the bootloader.

Now - SIM unlock, I know nothing about on the Tabs. Normally no matter what U.S. carrier, that I'm aware of, once you pay off your device (if financed), they'll SIM unlock the device, and although you can relate the two things (SIM and bootloader unlocking), they are completely separate and it's only certain U.S. phones (not Samsung phones or tablets) that getting SIM unlock enables you to also do OEM unlocking, and therefore be able to unlock the bootloader.

Verizon never allows the bootloader to be unlocked on any kind of device, no matter what, and all U.S. Samsung carrier devices - both phones and tablets, are never able to get their bootloader unlocked. I'm not including the rare exception that there's a hack to be able to get root - but most hacks circumvent the locked bootloader - they don't often actually allow the bootloader to be unlocked, and this sort of thing is rarer and rarer anymore.

Edit: I believe this is the post, by @googlephoneFKLenAsh.
 
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Thank you for your thorough explanation. I was expecting the Tab to be the same situation as with the U.S. Galaxy phones, I just wasn't able to find confirmation of that.







I know Verizon is hostile to bootloader unlocking (case in point Pixel). So it was either gonna be my carrier and if not that my region.



Tablets do on rare occasion are exceptions (iirc ATT doesn't carrier lock tablets) so barring an explanation elsewhere I figured I'd post and have that question answered for myself and those concerned.



I don't understand the motivation behind it given that unlocking is already a process that can't be exploited by malware/spyware and carries a myriad of drawbacks/risks.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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... given that unlocking is already a process that can't be exploited by malware/spyware and carries a myriad of drawbacks/risks.
You're welcome!

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here, or I'm not sure if you meant to say it differently. :)

An unlocked (or unlockable) bootloader can definitely be exploited without our awareness.

I agree that I don't understand the motivation - at least in contrast to AT&T and T-Mobile which apparently do allow bootloaders to be unlocked once their phones are paid for and SIM unlocked. I also don't know why or if AT&T and T-Mobile would not allow Samsung tablets to be bootloader-unlocked while allowing other brands.

Overall I think the motivation is the prevention of potentially more problems that users will have and also potentially brick their device and then they wind up with an unhappy customer because the carrier won't consider the device under warranty since it had been fiddled with in a way they're not willing to support (understandably).

Additionally, root malware would potentially be using their mobile network for nefarious purposes.
 

killerzac

Member
Nov 26, 2007
13
5
Hey guys,

I've searched the forum but nobody seems to have reported the issue I'm experiencing. The way the posts are worded, unlocking the Tab S8+ is a given. I know the US S22 has no OEM Unlocking officially supported. I've followed all the workarounds to get the option to appear to no avail.

My only theory is that VZW hasn't yet unlocked my S8+ (if it was ever locked to begin with, nevertheless I've owned it less than 60 days). Can anybody confirm if this model can be bootloader unlocked by conventional means either prior or after carrier unlock?
I have the same s8+ 5G model and I'm unable to get to the unlock option from download mode. I have however managed to turn on the OEM unlock from android. It is very fiddly to get to the OEM unlock option, and it will disappear afterward. The method I used is to quickly go to the developer's options before the tablet fully started after a reboot. It will let you toggle the OEM unlock.

I'm waiting if someone found a way to get the bootloader unlock from download mode. Obviously I have tried all other methods ( e.g> cable + up+down volume )
 
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It's actually not possible to unlock via download mode. Download mode is only used for Odin flashing and the like.

You have to get to the bootloader which I believe is power and vol up WITHOUT using the cable afaik.

If by some catastrophic reason you can't get into the bootloader after that, you can boot the device, enable USB debugging, plug into pc, and run adb reboot bootloader or adb reboot recovery.
 
I have the same s8+ 5G model and I'm unable to get to the unlock option from download mode. I have however managed to turn on the OEM unlock from android. It is very fiddly to get to the OEM unlock option, and it will disappear afterward. The method I used is to quickly go to the developer's options before the tablet fully started after a reboot. It will let you toggle the OEM unlock.

I'm waiting if someone found a way to get the bootloader unlock from download mode. Obviously I have tried all other methods ( e.g> cable + up+down volume )

Have you been able to get the OEM unlocking switch to reappear after you've already toggled it?

If so, is it still on when it reappears? If it is then there's a high likelihood the device can then be unlocked.
 
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killerzac

Member
Nov 26, 2007
13
5
Have you been able to get the OEM unlocking switch to reappear after you've already toggled it?

If so, is it still on when it reappears? If it is then there's a high likelihood the device can then be unlocked.
yes, it remains as OEM unlocked. I even tried to see if this could be false positive by flipping OEM unlock back and forth. It has shown the setting is persistence, if you set OEM unlock it will stay unlock. If you set it back to OEM lock. It stays as OEM lock.
 
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killerzac

Member
Nov 26, 2007
13
5
It's actually not possible to unlock via download mode. Download mode is only used for Odin flashing and the like.

You have to get to the bootloader which I believe is power and vol up WITHOUT using the cable afaik.

If by some catastrophic reason you can't get into the bootloader after that, you can boot the device, enable USB debugging, plug into pc, and run adb reboot bootloader or adb reboot recovery.
nope, doesn't work. I tried ADB reboot bootloader or use the recovery to boot to bootloader, still no joy. I just can't get to the bootloader option which allows me to see the "Unlock bootloader options"
 
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nope, doesn't work. I tried ADB reboot bootloader or use the recovery to boot to bootloader, still no joy. I just can't get to the bootloader option which allows me to see the "Unlock bootloader options"
You are supposed to boot into bootloader mode and then use the fastboot tool to trigger the unlock.

Either fastboot flashing unlock or fastboot oem unlocking. Something like that.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
You are supposed to boot into bootloader mode and then use the fastboot tool to trigger the unlock.

Either fastboot flashing unlock or fastboot oem unlocking. Something like that.
These are the necessary steps on this tablet to unlock the bootloader - it doesn't involve Fastboot from the Platform Tools. I am aware that on standard Android/AOSP that it does involve Fastboot since for my phones I choose Google Pixel devices.

Step 1 - Prepare your Tablet (only necessary for first install on unrooted device)​

  1. While Frija is downloading the firmware, prepare your device by doing the following:
  2. Settings > About Tablet > Software Information > Click Build Number 7 times quickly
  3. Developer Options (just below About Tablet on the left column)
    • Turn on USB Debugging
    • Turn on OEM unlocking
      • NOTE: If the OEM Unlocking option doesn't appear, connect the device to the internet, wait a few minutes, then try again
  4. Power tablet completely off (Hold volume down + power button if you haven't changed the Bixby settings)
  5. While holding volume up and volume down, plug the tablet into your PC via USB
    • Let go of volume keys as soon as the blue-green screen shows up
  6. Press and hold volume up for 5 seconds, the screen will change to a confirmation prompt
  7. Press volume up again to confirm, the tablet will reboot
  8. Unplug your tablet from USB
  9. Go through initial setup. Don't bother copying files or installing anything.
  10. Skip signing in to your Google account and Samsung account. You won't be using them for this step.
  11. Settings > About Tablet > Software Information > Click Build Number 7 times quickly
  12. Developer Options (just below About Tablet on the left column)
    • Turn on USB Debugging
  13. Reboot the tablet
 
These are the necessary steps on this tablet to unlock the bootloader - it doesn't involve Fastboot from the Platform Tools. I am aware that on standard Android/AOSP that it does involve Fastboot since for my phones I choose Google Pixel devices.
Ah I wasn't aware that some devices do not require fastboot to finalize unlock and instead immediately unlock when toggling OEM Unlocking.

Is it possible to confirm the unlock by getting the bootloader vars using fastboot however?

Alternately, what's the easiest way to confirm the bootloader is unlocked?
 
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yes, that is not working ( bootloader mode - doesn't let you choose ). Fastboot doesn't work with samsung, they deliberately change their code, try it yourself.

According to this post, you should have your bootloader unlocked now. Could you try following the instructions listed and report back?

Could you also explain in more detail how you can get the OEM unlocking option to appear?

I seem to be having no luck. You do own a US model, correct?

These are the necessary steps on this tablet to unlock the bootloader - it doesn't involve Fastboot from the Platform Tools. I am aware that on standard Android/AOSP that it does involve Fastboot since for my phones I choose Google Pixel devices.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Ah I wasn't aware that some devices do not require fastboot to finalize unlock and instead immediately unlock when toggling OEM Unlocking.

Is it possible to confirm the unlock by getting the bootloader vars using fastboot however?

Alternately, what's the easiest way to confirm the bootloader is unlocked?
Actually, although the instructions don't make it clear without the context of seeing what's on the screen, steps 5 through 7 are what unlock the bootloader. OEM Unlocking still only (normally) enables unlocking the bootloader:
5. While holding volume up and volume down, plug the tablet into your PC via USB
  • Let go of volume keys as soon as the blue-green screen shows up
6. Press and hold volume up for 5 seconds, the screen will change to a confirmation prompt
7. Press volume up again to confirm, the tablet will reboot
Also, just as on the Google Pixel and many or all other devices, the easiest way to see that your bootloader is unlocked is the (IMHO) big honking stupid advertisement when you reboot or turn on your device that the bootloader is unlocked and the (paraphrasing) "hey thieves, if you just stole this device, you're in luck because you can hack into someone's account easier since this device's bootloader is unlocked" that stays on the screen seemingly forever. :D

I know that if they're actually technically savvy they'd be able to find that out anyway, but all this forced pre-boot screen does is punish those who unlock their bootloader. End Rant.
 
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Ah I see what you mean, so It's been stated that US devices either resist BL unlocks e entirely or require alternative solutions.

That being said, has there been reports of UI bugs causing the option to appear on USA models under certain circumstances?

Actually, although the instructions don't make it clear without the context of seeing what's on the screen, steps 5 through 7 are what unlock the bootloader. OEM Unlocking still only (normally) enables unlocking the bootloader:

Also, just as on the Google Pixel and many or all other devices, the easiest way to see that your bootloader is unlocked is the (IMHO) big honking stupid advertisement when you reboot or turn on your device that the bootloader is unlocked and the (paraphrasing) "hey thieves, if you just stole this device, you're in luck because you can hack into someone's account easier since this device's bootloader is unlocked" that stays on the screen seemingly forever. :D

I know that if they're actually technically savvy they'd be able to find that out anyway, but all this forced pre-boot screen does is punish those who unlock their bootloader. End Rant.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
That being said, has there been reports of UI bugs causing the option to appear on USA models under certain circumstances?
No. I've read every post in this section starting from when I pre-ordered mine (February?), and the only post I've seen about being able to enable OEM Unlocking was from @killerzac.

Too bad that doesn't easily lead to actually being able to unlock, even if the OEM Unlocking aspect was widely reproducible.
 

Jono0907

Member
Nov 29, 2008
14
5
yes, that is not working ( bootloader mode - doesn't let you choose ). Fastboot doesn't work with samsung, they deliberately change their code, try it yourself.

Have you found a solution?

I'm in such a weird place. I'm in the UK my first Tab S8 Ultra unlocked originally but after relocking the bootloader I can't get the OEM Unlock to reappear. I needed an unlocked tablet so I bought another one and this one has never had the OEM Unlock option. Waited many sets of 7 days trying different Samsung accounts and Google accounts. I do notice like you that if you get to dev options quickly after boot OEM Unlock is there but it definitely hasn't loaded properly at this point and changing it does nothing. Tablet never gives the bootloader unlock option when you go through the process.

The only thing ive noticed is on both devices the KG Status is Active (Viewed in Download Mode). My S22 which has the OEM Unlock option shows it as inactive. Samsung have told me that I can send the tablet to them and they will look at it but I can't be without it at the moment. Don't know if both my tablets are wrongly reporting that they are in finance and MDM is locking it potentially following my Samsung account to the new tablet I bought.

Really annoyed with Samsung now spent hours on web chats with them where they keep making you reset the tablet and won't escalte it.

Even more annoying they won't look at my first tablet because it did unlock initially so the warrenty is void now that it won't unlock they have said they will replace the mainboard for £800.
 

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killerzac

Member
Nov 26, 2007
13
5
Have you found a solution?

I'm in such a weird place. I'm in the UK my first Tab S8 Ultra unlocked originally but after relocking the bootloader I can't get the OEM Unlock to reappear. I needed an unlocked tablet so I bought another one and this one has never had the OEM Unlock option. Waited many sets of 7 days trying different Samsung accounts and Google accounts. I do notice like you that if you get to dev options quickly after boot OEM Unlock is there but it definitely hasn't loaded properly at this point and changing it does nothing. Tablet never gives the bootloader unlock option when you go through the process.

The only thing ive noticed is on both devices the KG Status is Active (Viewed in Download Mode). My S22 which has the OEM Unlock option shows it as inactive. Samsung have told me that I can send the tablet to them and they will look at it but I can't be without it at the moment. Don't know if both my tablets are wrongly reporting that they are in finance and MDM is locking it potentially following my Samsung account to the new tablet I bought.

Really annoyed with Samsung now spent hours on web chats with them where they keep making you reset the tablet and won't escalte it.

Even more annoying they won't look at my first tablet because it did unlock initially so the warrenty is void now that it won't unlock they have said they will replace the mainboard for £800.
Hi Jono,

I haven't look at it since and I'm pretty sure your finding is very much same as mine, Quote "Table never gives the bootloader unlock option". I gave my s8+ to my 5 years old son as his toy now. Piece of garbage without ROOTing for me. I'm reverting back to using my tabS6. You might hapend to see me on the northen line with my TabS6, very rare scene.
 
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    Hi! I'm going to try to find the other user's post who enlightened me in this section, but I might have trouble finding it.

    Effectively, no U.S. carrier's version of previous and current Samsung Galaxy Tabs can have the bootloader unlocked - at least that's what I remember them telling me. You have to buy the Wi-Fi only version to be able to unlock the bootloader.

    Now - SIM unlock, I know nothing about on the Tabs. Normally no matter what U.S. carrier, that I'm aware of, once you pay off your device (if financed), they'll SIM unlock the device, and although you can relate the two things (SIM and bootloader unlocking), they are completely separate and it's only certain U.S. phones (not Samsung phones or tablets) that getting SIM unlock enables you to also do OEM unlocking, and therefore be able to unlock the bootloader.

    Verizon never allows the bootloader to be unlocked on any kind of device, no matter what, and all U.S. Samsung carrier devices - both phones and tablets, are never able to get their bootloader unlocked. I'm not including the rare exception that there's a hack to be able to get root - but most hacks circumvent the locked bootloader - they don't often actually allow the bootloader to be unlocked, and this sort of thing is rarer and rarer anymore.

    Edit: I believe this is the post, by @googlephoneFKLenAsh.
    1
    Thank you for your thorough explanation. I was expecting the Tab to be the same situation as with the U.S. Galaxy phones, I just wasn't able to find confirmation of that.







    I know Verizon is hostile to bootloader unlocking (case in point Pixel). So it was either gonna be my carrier and if not that my region.



    Tablets do on rare occasion are exceptions (iirc ATT doesn't carrier lock tablets) so barring an explanation elsewhere I figured I'd post and have that question answered for myself and those concerned.



    I don't understand the motivation behind it given that unlocking is already a process that can't be exploited by malware/spyware and carries a myriad of drawbacks/risks.
    1
    I have the same s8+ 5G model and I'm unable to get to the unlock option from download mode. I have however managed to turn on the OEM unlock from android. It is very fiddly to get to the OEM unlock option, and it will disappear afterward. The method I used is to quickly go to the developer's options before the tablet fully started after a reboot. It will let you toggle the OEM unlock.

    I'm waiting if someone found a way to get the bootloader unlock from download mode. Obviously I have tried all other methods ( e.g> cable + up+down volume )

    Have you been able to get the OEM unlocking switch to reappear after you've already toggled it?

    If so, is it still on when it reappears? If it is then there's a high likelihood the device can then be unlocked.
    1
    It's actually not possible to unlock via download mode. Download mode is only used for Odin flashing and the like.

    You have to get to the bootloader which I believe is power and vol up WITHOUT using the cable afaik.

    If by some catastrophic reason you can't get into the bootloader after that, you can boot the device, enable USB debugging, plug into pc, and run adb reboot bootloader or adb reboot recovery.
    nope, doesn't work. I tried ADB reboot bootloader or use the recovery to boot to bootloader, still no joy. I just can't get to the bootloader option which allows me to see the "Unlock bootloader options"
    1
    nope, doesn't work. I tried ADB reboot bootloader or use the recovery to boot to bootloader, still no joy. I just can't get to the bootloader option which allows me to see the "Unlock bootloader options"
    You are supposed to boot into bootloader mode and then use the fastboot tool to trigger the unlock.

    Either fastboot flashing unlock or fastboot oem unlocking. Something like that.