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Question USA Unlocked vs Carrier (U vs U1)

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I caved earlier this year for an S21 Ultra which I basically got for free from T-Mobile. With that said, it's a carrier branded U-Based Firmware and am downloading the latest U1 now but am hesitant to flash.

I've been out of the flashing game for a long time but know what in doing, my question lies more in the current stare of updating and every other Google result seems to bounce back and forth on subjects answer.

Who in the USA is getting firmware updates first these days? Unlocked U1 models or U Carrier models? (Yes I just realized I have the title backwards)

Edit:
Most people are saying its the same or faster.

Conversion Guide: https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/usa-unlocked-vs-carrier-u-vs-u1.4349625/post-85804551
 
Last edited:

JG96EVO

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2011
380
107
St. Louis
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
I caved earlier this year for an S21 Ultra which I basically got for free from T-Mobile. With that said, it's a carrier branded U-Based Firmware and am downloading the latest U1 now but am hesitant to flash.

I've been out of the flashing game for a long time but know what in doing, my question lies more in the current stare of updating and every other Google result seems to bounce back and forth on subjects answer.

Who in the USA is getting firmware updates first these days? Unlocked U1 models or U Carrier models? (Yes I just realized I have the title backwards)
Most of the time it's the U1 that gets updates 1st then from what I see the T-mobile variant normally gets updates 1st out of the carrier branded variants from what I've seen and found on the internet.
 
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Juice3250

Senior Member
Aug 30, 2012
757
189
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Do what I did and flash the U1 firmware. I have a verizon version and I flashed the U1 firmware on mine and I don't regret it at all. It seems smoother and no bloat.
Do all the features work on your phone? I have heard conflicting opinions on whether flashing to U1 from U from Verizon actually works. Like it shows roaming or it will somehow revert itself back to the Verizon U software. This comes from the Samsung Members app discussion. I'm taking that all with a grain of salt. But it still causes me to question whether I should or not.
 
Do all the features work on your phone? I have heard conflicting opinions on whether flashing to U1 from U from Verizon actually works. Like it shows roaming or it will somehow revert itself back to the Verizon U software. This comes from the Samsung Members app discussion. I'm taking that all with a grain of salt. But it still causes me to question whether I should or not.
I never had an issue when I did it in the past. Verizon could be a different story, they are goofy, but there's no harm in trying, only time wasted if you have issues. Just flash VZW U-firmware back.

In terms of updates, my observations (at least with the S20 Ultra at the time) was that even carriers pushed U1 updates. Despite U1 being "superior" it has less to it (no carrier stuff). So since the U-carrier features are already there, It just updates the core components. This could be entirely different on the S21 series but that's how the S20 series worked.
 

JG96EVO

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2011
380
107
St. Louis
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Do all the features work on your phone? I have heard conflicting opinions on whether flashing to U1 from U from Verizon actually works. Like it shows roaming or it will somehow revert itself back to the Verizon U software. This comes from the Samsung Members app discussion. I'm taking that all with a grain of salt. But it still causes me to question whether I should or not.
Yeah I can confirm everything works and there is no problems with Verizon on the U1 firmware. I even get U1 updates.
 
UPDATE:
Worked no issues, Windows 11.

Steps if anyone wants them, I know there are a few guides already but another wont hurt and i dont mind sharing.

---- I AM STRICTLY POSTING THIS AS A GUIDE. Do NOT ask me to help troubleshoot or how to do something below ----
I take NO responsibility for your device or actions. The moment you do anything below, it is on you and you alone.

Prerequisites:
(Preferably) Samsung USB Cable
Samsung Driver
Firmware -- Latest USA ONLY Firmware at the time of this post (Samfw.com_SM-G998U1_XAA_G998U1UES4AUIN_fac.zip). --- Click Direct Download
Minimal ADB and Fastboot (Install, didn't test Portable)
Updated ADB and Fastboot Files
Download LATEST PatcheD ODIN ***

1) Install Samsung Driver (phone unplugged)
2) Install Minimal ADB and Fastboot (do not open)
3) Download the Google (Windows) files for ADB and Fastboot Files. Extract them.
3a. Go to the Minimal folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot). Replace the following files from the Google ADB Fastboot Files in the minimal folder: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, AdbWinUsbApi.dll, fastboot.exe
4) (Optional Step - Might be unnecessary but what I did) Unplug the phone, remove the lockscreen security, factory reset. Once reset is complete, skip install steps to get to home screen
5) Go to Developer Options and enable ADB. Connect your phone, Click the "Always Trust" box, and Allow.
6) Open Minimal ADB, type ADB Devices, make sure it shows up and is authorized/active.
7) Type: adb reboot download (you will be taken to a turquoise screen)
8) Extract Firmware. For each file, remove the .md5 extension so it is just .tar
9) Open PatcheD ODIN. ODIN should see the phone. Do not change ANY settings.
10) Add each of the files in their respective slots. Use the CSC that does NOT have home in the name. Userdata will stay blank.
11) Be patient, and let it do it's thing.
12) Success (Should be, if not, go back and start over).


*** I learned the purpose of PatcheD ODIN, its for going from U (Carrier) to U1 (Unlocked). Regular ODIN always worked for me but I also always had an unlocked phone until now. So just an FYI why you need PatcheD
 
Last edited:

Juice3250

Senior Member
Aug 30, 2012
757
189
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
UPDATE:
Worked no issues, Windows 11.

Steps if anyone wants them, I know there are a few guides already but another wont hurt and i dont mind sharing.

---- I AM STRICTLY POSTING THIS AS A GUIDE. Do NOT ask me to help troubleshoot or how to do something below ----
I take NO responsibility for your device or actions. The moment you do anything below, it is on you and you alone.

Prerequisites:
(Preferably) Samsung USB Cable
Samsung Driver
Firmware -- Latest USA ONLY Firmware at the time of this post (Samfw.com_SM-G998U1_XAA_G998U1UES4AUIN_fac.zip). --- Click Direct Download
Minimal ADB and Fastboot (Install, didn't test Portable)
Updated ADB and Fastboot Files
Download LATEST PatcheD ODIN ***

1) Install Samsung Driver (phone unplugged)
2) Install Minimal ADB and Fastboot (do not open)
3) Download the Google (Windows) files for ADB and Fastboot Files. Extract them.
3a. Go to the Minimal folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot). Replace the following files from the Google ADB Fastboot Files in the minimal folder: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, AdbWinUsbApi.dll, fastboot.exe
4) (Optional Step - Might be unnecessary but what I did) Unplug the phone, remove the lockscreen security, factory reset. Once reset is complete, skip install steps to get to home screen
5) Go to Developer Options and enable ADB. Connect your phone, Click the "Always Trust" box, and Allow.
6) Open Minimal ADB, type ADB Devices, make sure it shows up and is authorized/active.
7) Type: adb reboot download (you will be taken to a turquoise screen)
8) Extract Firmware. For each file, remove the .md5 extension so it is just .tar
9) Open PatcheD ODIN. ODIN should see the phone. Do not change ANY settings.
10) Add each of the files in their respective slots. Use the CSC that does NOT have home in the name. Userdata will stay blank.
11) Be patient, and let it do it's thing.
12) Success (Should be, if not, go back and start over).


*** I learned the purpose of PatcheD ODIN, its for going from U (Carrier) to U1 (Unlocked). Regular ODIN always worked for me but I also always had an unlocked phone until now. So just an FYI why you need PatcheD
I have the files ready to go on my PC. I just need to find a few extra hours to do it as it will wipe my data. I rely on my phone throughout the week, as do most people, so I don't really have time during the week, unless I take a few hours off of work. I loathe setting up my phone, but if it means getting the updates quicker and possibly enrolling in the beta, then it's worth it. I have everything backed up to Google. Luckily it's easy to look up any passwords as they're saved in Google chrome password manager or Samsung pass.
 
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Reactions: SyCoREAPER
I have the files ready to go on my PC. I just need to find a few extra hours to do it as it will wipe my data. I rely on my phone throughout the week, as do most people, so I don't really have time during the week, unless I take a few hours off of work. I loathe setting up my phone, but if it means getting the updates quicker and possibly enrolling in the beta, then it's worth it. I have everything backed up to Google. Luckily it's easy to look up any passwords as they're saved in Google chrome password manager or Samsung pass.
Indeed. I hate it as well. I don't know how back in the day I CLEAN flashed a new or updated ROM every other day and went through this routine....

That said, I am changing all our Samsung phones (back) to U1 while this method works. Who knows if Samsung ever does anything to block it. I dont want to wait and find out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Juice3250

Juice3250

Senior Member
Aug 30, 2012
757
189
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Indeed. I hate it as well. I don't know how back in the day I CLEAN flashed a new or updated ROM every other day and went through this routine....

That said, I am changing all our Samsung phones (back) to U1 while this method works. Who knows if Samsung ever does anything to block it. I dont want to wait and find out.
Yeah. I used to flash Roms daily back in the day on my Nexus and S3. That was back when my kids were still little and didn't require my undivided attention or they didn't have places they needed to be or homework to do.
 

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    UPDATE:
    Worked no issues, Windows 11.

    Steps if anyone wants them, I know there are a few guides already but another wont hurt and i dont mind sharing.

    ---- I AM STRICTLY POSTING THIS AS A GUIDE. Do NOT ask me to help troubleshoot or how to do something below ----
    I take NO responsibility for your device or actions. The moment you do anything below, it is on you and you alone.

    Prerequisites:
    (Preferably) Samsung USB Cable
    Samsung Driver
    Firmware -- Latest USA ONLY Firmware at the time of this post (Samfw.com_SM-G998U1_XAA_G998U1UES4AUIN_fac.zip). --- Click Direct Download
    Minimal ADB and Fastboot (Install, didn't test Portable)
    Updated ADB and Fastboot Files
    Download LATEST PatcheD ODIN ***

    1) Install Samsung Driver (phone unplugged)
    2) Install Minimal ADB and Fastboot (do not open)
    3) Download the Google (Windows) files for ADB and Fastboot Files. Extract them.
    3a. Go to the Minimal folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot). Replace the following files from the Google ADB Fastboot Files in the minimal folder: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, AdbWinUsbApi.dll, fastboot.exe
    4) (Optional Step - Might be unnecessary but what I did) Unplug the phone, remove the lockscreen security, factory reset. Once reset is complete, skip install steps to get to home screen
    5) Go to Developer Options and enable ADB. Connect your phone, Click the "Always Trust" box, and Allow.
    6) Open Minimal ADB, type ADB Devices, make sure it shows up and is authorized/active.
    7) Type: adb reboot download (you will be taken to a turquoise screen)
    8) Extract Firmware. For each file, remove the .md5 extension so it is just .tar
    9) Open PatcheD ODIN. ODIN should see the phone. Do not change ANY settings.
    10) Add each of the files in their respective slots. Use the CSC that does NOT have home in the name. Userdata will stay blank.
    11) Be patient, and let it do it's thing.
    12) Success (Should be, if not, go back and start over).


    *** I learned the purpose of PatcheD ODIN, its for going from U (Carrier) to U1 (Unlocked). Regular ODIN always worked for me but I also always had an unlocked phone until now. So just an FYI why you need PatcheD
    1
    I caved earlier this year for an S21 Ultra which I basically got for free from T-Mobile. With that said, it's a carrier branded U-Based Firmware and am downloading the latest U1 now but am hesitant to flash.

    I've been out of the flashing game for a long time but know what in doing, my question lies more in the current stare of updating and every other Google result seems to bounce back and forth on subjects answer.

    Who in the USA is getting firmware updates first these days? Unlocked U1 models or U Carrier models? (Yes I just realized I have the title backwards)
    Most of the time it's the U1 that gets updates 1st then from what I see the T-mobile variant normally gets updates 1st out of the carrier branded variants from what I've seen and found on the internet.
    1
    UPDATE:
    Worked no issues, Windows 11.

    Steps if anyone wants them, I know there are a few guides already but another wont hurt and i dont mind sharing.

    ---- I AM STRICTLY POSTING THIS AS A GUIDE. Do NOT ask me to help troubleshoot or how to do something below ----
    I take NO responsibility for your device or actions. The moment you do anything below, it is on you and you alone.

    Prerequisites:
    (Preferably) Samsung USB Cable
    Samsung Driver
    Firmware -- Latest USA ONLY Firmware at the time of this post (Samfw.com_SM-G998U1_XAA_G998U1UES4AUIN_fac.zip). --- Click Direct Download
    Minimal ADB and Fastboot (Install, didn't test Portable)
    Updated ADB and Fastboot Files
    Download LATEST PatcheD ODIN ***

    1) Install Samsung Driver (phone unplugged)
    2) Install Minimal ADB and Fastboot (do not open)
    3) Download the Google (Windows) files for ADB and Fastboot Files. Extract them.
    3a. Go to the Minimal folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot). Replace the following files from the Google ADB Fastboot Files in the minimal folder: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, AdbWinUsbApi.dll, fastboot.exe
    4) (Optional Step - Might be unnecessary but what I did) Unplug the phone, remove the lockscreen security, factory reset. Once reset is complete, skip install steps to get to home screen
    5) Go to Developer Options and enable ADB. Connect your phone, Click the "Always Trust" box, and Allow.
    6) Open Minimal ADB, type ADB Devices, make sure it shows up and is authorized/active.
    7) Type: adb reboot download (you will be taken to a turquoise screen)
    8) Extract Firmware. For each file, remove the .md5 extension so it is just .tar
    9) Open PatcheD ODIN. ODIN should see the phone. Do not change ANY settings.
    10) Add each of the files in their respective slots. Use the CSC that does NOT have home in the name. Userdata will stay blank.
    11) Be patient, and let it do it's thing.
    12) Success (Should be, if not, go back and start over).


    *** I learned the purpose of PatcheD ODIN, its for going from U (Carrier) to U1 (Unlocked). Regular ODIN always worked for me but I also always had an unlocked phone until now. So just an FYI why you need PatcheD
    I have the files ready to go on my PC. I just need to find a few extra hours to do it as it will wipe my data. I rely on my phone throughout the week, as do most people, so I don't really have time during the week, unless I take a few hours off of work. I loathe setting up my phone, but if it means getting the updates quicker and possibly enrolling in the beta, then it's worth it. I have everything backed up to Google. Luckily it's easy to look up any passwords as they're saved in Google chrome password manager or Samsung pass.
    1
    I have the files ready to go on my PC. I just need to find a few extra hours to do it as it will wipe my data. I rely on my phone throughout the week, as do most people, so I don't really have time during the week, unless I take a few hours off of work. I loathe setting up my phone, but if it means getting the updates quicker and possibly enrolling in the beta, then it's worth it. I have everything backed up to Google. Luckily it's easy to look up any passwords as they're saved in Google chrome password manager or Samsung pass.
    Indeed. I hate it as well. I don't know how back in the day I CLEAN flashed a new or updated ROM every other day and went through this routine....

    That said, I am changing all our Samsung phones (back) to U1 while this method works. Who knows if Samsung ever does anything to block it. I dont want to wait and find out.