1. AC Question's Avatar
    I bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 on ebay. The description said that it was "Factory Unlocked." It also said that it was "A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is applicable)."

    When I received the phone, I found that it did not pass Google SafetyNet. Someone suggested that it might be because it is rooted, so I used a Root Checker app; it said it wasn't rooted. So I downloaded an app called Phone INFO to see if it might be able to tell me anything else about why it wasn't passing SafetyNet.

    Interestingly, the Phone INFO app shows "Root Existence: Yes" and when I tap on that, it says "Root INFO: /system/xbin/su". So the phone has apparently been rooted before. It also says: "Knox Warranty Void: 0x1".

    I am also unable to update the phone to lollipop (it is running 4.4.2), and the phone will not connect to Samsung Kies or Smart Switch. I am wondering if it may be running a custom rom, but I don't know how to tell. I honestly don't know much about this, and have only understood some of what Phone INFO has shown me by googling things.

    Aside from all that, the phone itself seems to be a legit Samsung S4, from what I can tell.

    So is it normal for a brand new, factory unlocked phone to have been rooted and/or have a custom rom? Should I attempt to return this phone to the seller, or can I (or maybe someone at Best Buy or something) simply flash a stock rom and it will go back to normal? And if I do that, will it remain unlocked?
    10-05-2016 02:02 PM
  2. hallux's Avatar
    Best recourse, try to return it to the seller. If you try to restore it to a factory image and fail, rendering the phone useless, you will have trouble getting money back.

    That description is a generic one from eBay, the seller did not type that in. The seller represented the device as brand new and while it may have 0 minutes on it someone appears to have tinkered with it, it should not have been sold as new.

    No, Best Buy will likely not help. The people in their "Samsung Experience" kiosk are merely salespeople and likely know little more than how to power on the phones and help people use SmartSwitch.
    nahoku, Rukbat, B. Diddy and 1 others like this.
    10-05-2016 03:14 PM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I agree with hallux--send it back. eBay protects the buyer very well, especially if the seller misrepresents what they're selling, so if the seller gives you problems, go to the eBay Resolution Center.
    nahoku and C-Button like this.
    10-05-2016 05:48 PM
  4. C-Button's Avatar
    (I'm the same person as the original post, just decided I should create an account)

    Thank you both for your answers. I didn't think it seemed right that a "new" phone would be like this. But I don't know a lot about the subject, so I wanted to confirm before I approached the seller about it.

    I have contacted them now, and am waiting to see how it goes.

    Thanks again!
    B. Diddy likes this.
    10-05-2016 08:34 PM

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