Modder's nightmare: T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 edge units come with a locked bootloader

Modder's nightmare: T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 edge units come with a locked bootloader
The beauty of Android – it's all about the customizability and open source software. While some are happy with being able to change their launcher, possibly slap a fresh theme now and then, or even switch around some icon packs, others go really deep with custom ROMs, adding, tweaking, and unlocking features in their smartphones, which can not be obtained in any other way. It's not for everybody, but there's a whole community of tinkerers out there who love to push their smartphones to the limits.

Of course, the mod-savvy folk over at XDA Developers have already started tinkering with their new toys. And while some progress has been made with rooting and installing a custom recovery on the international, Exynos-loaded variants of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the community has discovered that the T-Mobile issued units of the Sammy flagships have their bootloaders locked.

Disgruntled users have taken to Twitter to ask T-Mo CEO John Legere about this and his response was that this is Samsung's choice. According to Mr. Legere, T-Mobile engineers are asking Sammy for a solution, which the manufacturer would be happy with, but there are currently no results.

Upon browsing through the XDA forums, it seems that no Snapdragon 820 has been rooted yet, so we can't know if all US-bound models come with a locked bootloader at this time.



source: XDA Developers via TmoNews

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

58 Comments

1. cozze02

Posts: 130; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Guess I'm going to skip this year, that's a shame. Most people wont care though.

4. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It's for the Samsung Pay and Knox security. Samsung flagship phones have becomed security-centric and enterprise-aimed. So, it's no more for modding/rooting/fashing.

7. cozze02

Posts: 130; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

very true

9. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

This is lame excuse, Knox detects if the bootloader gets unlocked so why not block Payments when the phone is rooted?

18. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

There's more to KNOX than just bootloader/firmware stuff.

20. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

You seem roughly unaware on how Knox works. Go learn it

46. XileForce

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 11, 2016

There's no real reason to lock the bootloader. If someone chooses to trip Knox, they r giving up the enterprise capabilities and Samsung pay. Thats how it's always been. Locking the bootloader just takes away that choice. It doesn't even make it more secure really. Before unlocking the bootloader you have to unlock the phone and toggle the OEM unlock switch. So even if your device was stolen, they wouldn't be able to format it.

57. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Locking the bootloader is for data security. Suppose you loose your phone and that phone ends up in the hands of someone who knows his way around rooting and stuff, even if your phone has locks teen security enabled, UT won't matter cause one will be able to just root, flash a compatible recovery and run a custom rom overwriting the stock firmware. Or one could just take a system dump and do whatever they want with the data present I the dump file.

48. xfire99

Posts: 1206; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Obviously you dont understand the difference between KNOX and root is. Or if Samsung Pay works if root are detected. Dont try go and learn it. You wont understand it anyway.

51. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

"You seem roughly unaware on how Knox works. Go learn it" -Adreno Boy, is there a need to come off as a jackass? Seems like a recurring theme for you.

21. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Which is basically what is going to happen once people find a way around it, that's what it did with all the previous galaxy phones as well last I checked, they came 'locked' as well. For pretty good reason given they support a payment platform? So how is it a lame excuse? seems a pretty solid reason, and we all know people will find a way around it eventually, and like then knox and such will disable itself accordingly, isn't going to break your device.

12. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Same as what i said about Apple bricking your phone if you use third party repair place.. Deactivate those features if the user play with root ect. Easy no? give the choice... if you root ect you loose knox sexurity and samsung pay. Dont fully lock the thing.

13. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Agreed

24. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It still doesn't make the bootloader-locking "lame". Just because you disagree with it

47. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

It doesn't make his opinion incorrect just because you disagree with it...

36. torr310

Posts: 1677; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

not 100% correct. The bloatware makes users suffer.

56. Hoggington

Posts: 356; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Exactly

30. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Only the SD versions have locked bootloaders.

32. engineer-1701d unregistered

its an alright phone just should have had bigger internal storage and adoptable storage as well as a tpu rubber back for grip, people truly hate glass back

35. torr310

Posts: 1677; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Majority people just buy and use without root. But having so many bloatware makes the devices laggy. The result more people turned to Apple. Shame on these Android phone makers.

53. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

There is a petition. Please help support us!https://www.change.org/p/samsung-unlock-boot-loaders-s7-s7-edge

2. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Well... In other words. F u thats why. hahaha

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

In all honesty rooting is stupid. If rooting is something important to you then you should never buy a carrier locked phone. The bootloader is locked because of Samsung Pay. If you don't want to use Samsung Pay, then the best option is to buy an unlocked International version of a phone. So many people here say they are so smart, yet they aren't when it comes to this. An unlocked Galaxy can be obtained directly from Samsung or you can purchase from a carriers outside the USA, like one of Canada's carriers or retailers. The unlocked International version doesn't have Samsung Pay pre-installed and the bootloader is usually unlocked. For someone who is suppose to be smart enough to handle the advanced steps required to hack a phone, it seems it would make MORE sense to buy a phone you don't have to first break; to fix it how you want it. There is also the option of purchasing Nexus devices. Verizon for example has sold unlocked Galaxy phones. But not sure if there really is enough money in if for them to deal with it. I know T-Mobile usually has phone that don't have locked bootloaders. These OEM needs to stop making phones that are locked to a specific carrier and stop locking the bootloader to load stupid splash screens that show what carrier you are on. All this BS is due to the FCC. If they had just GSM here like Europe has, we woudlnt even have this issue.

8. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Rooting isn't stupid, maybe you are. People who want more control over their phones need root. What about Carrier Bloat, OEM Bloat and Google Bloat that you couldn't uninstall without root? What about rooting for Custom roms? Its upto the owner and they should be given the choice to do so.

10. keekai05

Posts: 116; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

What happened to the beauty of Android? Your rant always says that you should have full control over your phone.

19. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

We still have FULL CONTROL over our Android phones. But it depends on the Brand.

43. keekai05

Posts: 116; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

So now suddenly Samsung should be exempted on this "Beauty of Android"? Regardless of brand, that is still Android. Maybe hardcore fans should just say "Beauty of LG", or "Beauty of Sony". See, not all Android users have "full control" of their devices after all.

15. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

In all honesty you are stupid. Rooting is something some ppl want to be able to do and if they need it for various reason ( titanium backup is one ) what stupid in that? Why would i not be able to get it from a carrier if i want to root it? what if i dont want international version ( exynos ) and want the SD one and root it? there is no logical argument here. Stop giving empty options what if i dont want exynos version and dont want a nexus device?

22. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I wouldn't say rooting is stupid, it can have a lot of uses that people might want for their phones, and it is their device, but getting upset about a safety feature aimed to help a payment service as some seem to be, is ..weird.

25. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

And other people do believe the bootloader should be locked, since it features that paynent system. That's how the tech world is. You can't satify or meet the expectations of everyone!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.