06-09-2019 11:30 PM
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  1. tgm1024's Avatar
    I hear off and on that the Verizon bloatware is easier to remove (not just disable?) if I buy the phone directly from the manufacturer. Is that true? Nothing seems clear cut.

    I'm interested in getting an unlocked phone (might hop carriers), and potentially rooting it later, though adhell3 might be enough, so long as the brick-risk is low. I'm not seeing a huge bang for the buck with rooting these days.

    But without root/adhell, am I in a better situation buying direct? Getting around the bootloader for my Note II SCH-i605 seems to be murder for folks, and if I'm going to shell a ton for a new phone, I don't want to fight it to "behave".
    05-24-2019 09:58 AM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    If the phone's bootloader is unlockable (some are, some aren't), rooting is as simple as running Magisk and modifying a copy of the boot image file, then booting from it. If that bricks the phone, it's a soft brick, and restarting it will fix it. If it works, just flash the modified file.

    As for bloat, an unlocked phone will include some normal Android carrier-specific files that allow you to use certain functions on those carriers (and some of them aren't apps, so you can't just "uninstall" them). But it won't have any "carrier bloat". (And carrier bloat is normally installed as system apps, so you have to root to uninstall them. I'd back them up first - you can use Apk Extractor - because you never know. Actually, if you're going to root, I'd install TWRP, then just do a data backup and copy the backup file to a PC or upload it to the cloud, before starting to delete anything. TWRP doesn't use user storage, so installing it won't be taking space that you could use.)
    tgm1024 likes this.
    05-24-2019 04:31 PM
  3. tgm1024's Avatar
    As for bloat, an unlocked phone will include some normal Android carrier-specific files that allow you to use certain functions on those carriers (and some of them aren't apps, so you can't just "uninstall" them). But it won't have any "carrier bloat".
    Thanks! Is there a difference between an unlocked phone purchased from (say) Samsung.com vs an unlocked phone purchased from Amazon or elsewhere? Or is one "cleaner" than the other?

    IOW, are all unlocked phones created equal?
    05-24-2019 09:34 PM
  4. Rukbat's Avatar
    Well ...

    They're created equally, but I've had some bad experiences with buying phones from Amazon vendors (and you have to be careful that the phone has a warranty that's valid where you are - from the US site, many of them say "No USA Warranty"). But the phone is the factory unlocked one, it's just (if the vendor is telling the truth - which some don't) a vendor buying in wholesale quantities and taking less of a profit than Samsung does. (Having owned a few phone stores, I know how large some of the markups can be. A vendor can make a decent living making half that much, saving you as much as $100 or so on a flagship phone.)
    05-29-2019 02:32 PM
  5. tgm1024's Avatar
    I'll probably buy right from Samsung. The black market items from Amazon alone are enough to drive anyone away.

    HUGE WRINKLE, I recently found out regarding Verizon (a coverage necessity for us unfortunately.) WiFi Calling apparently is disabled for unlocked phones.

    Ugh! My coverage at home is a disaster....I might be stuck getting a locked phone after all, unless it's Apple (Ugh²)...
    Morty2264 likes this.
    05-30-2019 10:18 AM
  6. chanchan05's Avatar
    Unlocked phones in the US are also treated more like second class citizens because of the ability of the carriers to block things for them. In the rest of the world, unlocked gets the updates first. In the US, updates get the updates last, only after all 4 major carriers get theirs.
    05-30-2019 10:51 AM
  7. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Unlocked phones in the US are also treated more like second class citizens because of the ability of the carriers to block things for them. In the rest of the world, unlocked gets the updates first. In the US, updates get the updates last, only after all 4 major carriers get theirs.
    That's not true for every unlocked phone....at least not on Verizon.
    05-30-2019 11:02 AM
  8. tgm1024's Avatar
    Unlocked phones in the US are also treated more like second class citizens because of the ability of the carriers to block things for them. In the rest of the world, unlocked gets the updates first. In the US, updates get the updates last, only after all 4 major carriers get theirs.
    That's not true for every unlocked phone....at least not on Verizon.
    I'm a little confused I think. When buying unlocked from Samsung I had thought that updates came directly from them and not OTA from Verizon.....is this wrong?
    05-30-2019 08:59 PM
  9. Mike Dee's Avatar
    I'm a little confused I think. When buying unlocked from Samsung I had thought that updates came directly from them and not OTA from Verizon.....is this wrong?
    I didn't mention Samsung specifically..... Just clarifying that not all unlocked devices follow the same OTA protocol.
    05-30-2019 09:09 PM
  10. chanchan05's Avatar
    I'm a little confused I think. When buying unlocked from Samsung I had thought that updates came directly from them and not OTA from Verizon.....is this wrong?
    I didn't mention Samsung specifically..... Just clarifying that not all unlocked devices follow the same OTA protocol.
    I believe Mike is talking about buying unlocked from Verizon. I'm talking about buying unlocked straight from Samsung. Unlocked from Verizon still has a CSC identifying it as a Verizon device, so it will get updates from Verizon. For the intents and purposes in this scenario, it is still considered a Verizon device even if unlocked. These are the unlocked devices that will not get updates via OTA unless you have a Verizon SIM in it, despite it being unlocked and you using a different carrier, like Sprint for example.

    Buying from Samsung direct has the update coming straight from Samsung yes, but there are agreements in place that Samsung will not release updates to their unlocked devices until all the carriers have given their certification that it works on their networks.
    05-30-2019 10:37 PM
  11. mustang7757's Avatar
    Let me explain unlocked in US
    It will get its update from Samsung, usually quarterly but I seen them do better lately and will have to wait for all carriers to certify it before releasing it
    You will have no carrier bloat
    No carrier splash screen
    No carrier RCS or video calling that carriers have.

    Carrier phone unlocked to use any network
    The sim you put in it will dictate what carrier splash screen and service get installed including bloat from that carrier.

    All boot loader is locked on carrier or unlocked in the US
    05-30-2019 10:52 PM
  12. Mike Dee's Avatar
    I believe Mike is talking about buying unlocked from Verizon. I'm talking about buying unlocked straight from Samsung. Unlocked from Verizon still has a CSC identifying it as a Verizon device, so it will get updates from Verizon. For the intents and purposes in this scenario, it is still considered a Verizon device even if unlocked. These are the unlocked devices that will not get updates via OTA unless you have a Verizon SIM in it, despite it being unlocked and you using a different carrier, like Sprint for example.

    Buying from Samsung direct has the update coming straight from Samsung yes, but there are agreements in place that Samsung will not release updates to their unlocked devices until all the carriers have given their certification that it works on their networks.
    I'm referring to some brands that get their updates on Verizon at the same time time as Verizon models even though they are unlocked models
    05-30-2019 10:53 PM
  13. mustang7757's Avatar
    I'm a little confused I think. When buying unlocked from Samsung I had thought that updates came directly from them and not OTA from Verizon.....is this wrong?
    They do come from Samsung not Verizon
    05-30-2019 10:59 PM
  14. tgm1024's Avatar
    Ok, so now it sounds like the choices that make sense to me are this:

    1. Go with unlocked from Samsung and live with the lack of Wifi-calling. Therefore I must suffer with Talkatone, or Skype pseudo-numbers and hope that I'm always on a 3G or 4G network when I'm away from home.

    2. Go with an unlocked phone from Verizon and suffer all the bloat and potentially the same lack of wifi-calling, but at least I can hop carriers.

    3. Go with T-Mobile, which from all reports is a far bigger nightmare than their coverage maps suggest, but at least I'll get no-bloat/unlocked/AND-wifi-calling. Good luck to me when I go to maine for vaca.

    4. Go with a locked phone from Verizon and kick myself every time my phone starts to slow down phantomly. Perhaps the era of me keeping phones for eons (like with my Note II) is over now anyway that the batteries are not replaceable.

    Frig.
    05-31-2019 09:27 AM
  15. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Ok, so now it sounds like the choices that make sense to me are this:

    1. Go with unlocked from Samsung and live with the lack of Wifi-calling. Therefore I must suffer with Talkatone, or Skype pseudo-numbers and hope that I'm always on a 3G or 4G network when I'm away from home.

    2. Go with an unlocked phone from Verizon and suffer all the bloat and potentially the same lack of wifi-calling, but at least I can hop carriers.

    3. Go with T-Mobile, which from all reports is a far bigger nightmare than their coverage maps suggest, but at least I'll get no-bloat/unlocked/AND-wifi-calling. Good luck to me when I go to maine for vaca.

    4. Go with a locked phone from Verizon and kick myself every time my phone starts to slow down phantomly. Perhaps the era of me keeping phones for eons (like with my Note II) is over now anyway that the batteries are not replaceable.

    Frig.
    There isn't any bloat that will slow down your phone regardless of which version you buy.
    05-31-2019 11:22 PM
  16. Morty2264's Avatar
    I'll probably buy right from Samsung. The black market items from Amazon alone are enough to drive anyone away.

    HUGE WRINKLE, I recently found out regarding Verizon (a coverage necessity for us unfortunately.) WiFi Calling apparently is disabled for unlocked phones.

    Ugh! My coverage at home is a disaster....I might be stuck getting a locked phone after all, unless it's Apple (Ugh²)...
    I too think buying from Samsung is the way to go.
    06-01-2019 01:07 PM
  17. tgm1024's Avatar
    There isn't any bloat that will slow down your phone regardless of which version you buy.
    As a long time software engineer, originally specializing in unix....but largely ignorant of Android, I dug into this as best I could without actually debugging the entire phone.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what happens is that even when the app is "disabled" at the Android level, the support apparatus for it and other bloat can remain in memory at the linux level, doing ancillary things like downloading security updates, etc. And since some of the bloat is indeed installed as system-level apps, it's entirely possible that the low level plock() (or equivalent) was called requiring it remain in memory, causing more things to be paged out. In fact, it was unclear in one discussion (in one of my click-through extravaganzas) whether or not "disabled" merely meant "fire up and run and leave it to do nothing on its own merits". That would at the very least require a linux-level load and further cause the demand paging to thrash down the road when updates start using more and more memory, which they always do over time.

    In any case, given the abject laziness of the code I've been seeing these days (I've been coding since 1980), I'm of the opinion that the less chance that there is to have anything resident in [main] memory that I don't need, the better.

    Is much of my click travels FUD? I'd be overjoyed if so.
    06-01-2019 05:46 PM
  18. Mike Dee's Avatar
    As a long time software engineer, originally specializing in unix....but largely ignorant of Android, I dug into this as best I could without actually debugging the entire phone.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what happens is that even when the app is "disabled" at the Android level, the support apparatus for it and other bloat can remain in memory at the linux level, doing ancillary things like downloading security updates, etc. And since some of the bloat is indeed installed as system-level apps, it's entirely possible that the low level plock() (or equivalent) was called requiring it remain in memory, causing more things to be paged out. In fact, it was unclear in one discussion (in one of my click-through extravaganzas) whether or not "disabled" merely meant "fire up and run and leave it to do nothing on its own merits". That would at the very least require a linux-level load and further cause the demand paging to thrash down the road when updates start using more and more memory, which they always do over time.

    In any case, given the abject laziness of the code I've been seeing these days (I've been coding since 1980), I'm of the opinion that the less chance that there is to have anything resident in [main] memory that I don't need, the better.

    Is much of my click travels FUD? I'd be overjoyed if so.
    None of my Verizon phones in the last 5 years have ever slowed down due to preinstalled non removable apps, disabled or not.

    The apps I disabled... 4 to be exact don't update while disabled. I actually use some Verizon apps but not all of them are preinstalled. As far as I'm concerned it's a non-issue.

    The only time I go out if my way to put unlocked phone on Verizon is if it supports all the carrier advanced features. As an example unlocked Pixels are fully compatible.
    06-02-2019 02:16 AM
  19. tgm1024's Avatar
    The only time I go out if my way to put unlocked phone on Verizon is if it supports all the carrier advanced features. As an example unlocked Pixels are fully compatible.
    .....except for wifi-calling, correct?
    06-02-2019 11:18 AM
  20. Mike Dee's Avatar
    .....except for wifi-calling, correct?
    Wifi calling works on unlocked Pixels on Verizon. The only real difference between the two is that you can't unlock the bootloader on the Verizon model without magical ability. The Verizon model is also locked to the carrier initially.
    06-02-2019 01:07 PM
  21. tgm1024's Avatar
    None of my Verizon phones in the last 5 years have ever slowed down due to preinstalled non removable apps, disabled or not.
    Thanks Mike.

    However, I'm talking about the low level support that they need that are installed at the system level. They run as linux processes and consume main memory, whether or not the upper level app is disabled or not. This means that the longer term usability of the phone is at greater risk. Page thrashing is no fun. Again, this is gathering bits and pieces from programming forums, so android software engineers, please chime in and correct me.

    Curious: Have you compared memory of from-manufacturer-locked vs. from-verizon-locked? How about running ps at a shell window?

    As an example unlocked Pixels are fully compatible.
    Well....another wrinkle. In my endless quest to stave off memory issues, I'm seeing that the pixel 3 line is only 4GB..... And coincident with that are this complaint about slowdowns happening, .....do I trust that the March update solved it?
    06-03-2019 10:14 AM
  22. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Thanks Mike.

    However, I'm talking about the low level support that they need that are installed at the system level. They run as linux processes and consume main memory, whether or not the upper level app is disabled or not. This means that the longer term usability of the phone is at greater risk. Page thrashing is no fun. Again, this is gathering bits and pieces from programming forums, so android software engineers, please chime in and correct me.

    Curious: Have you compared memory of from-manufacturer-locked vs. from-verizon-locked? How about running ps at a shell window?



    Well....another wrinkle. In my endless quest to stave off memory issues, I'm seeing that the pixel 3 line is only 4GB..... And coincident with that are this complaint about slowdowns happening, .....do I trust that the March update solved it?
    I just buy a device and enjoy it. I've never had a device slowdown because of a few preinstalled apps disabled or not. Those apps are not resource hogs. I've also never had a slowdown with the Pixel 2XL or 3XL and 4GB of RAM.
    06-03-2019 01:49 PM
  23. tgm1024's Avatar
    Follow-up.

    TL;DR
    1. Ordered Unlocked S10+ from Samsung, for later activation with Verizon.
    2. Reports are showing here and there that the S10 series unlocked will work with Verizon wifi calling. Gonna risk it.
    3. Some father's day deals, but nothing tremendous. Just needed phone.
    4. Thanks all!

    Wordy-Smurdy
    Ok, well I ordered the unlocked S10+ directly from Samsung.

    There were some reports of wifi calling working fine on the 10 series with Verizon. I figure I'll go see first hand and risk it.

    The deals were in the "meh" category. If anyone's interested:

    Free Samsung earbuds
    $100 off
    Free Year of YouTube hoozits and watzits

    I think they valued the whole thing at ~$350. I got no protection plan from them (didn't include loss and theft), nor anything else.

    Put it around $1149. Almost certainly a terrible price because of father's day deals coming up, but I don't trust the other vendors yet to not have something half-way between unlocked and a vendor locked phone (I'm just getting my unlocked feet wet).

    I didn't even trust the "have us activate it" thing, because I was afraid of some weird closet deal they might be forced into that requires bloat to show up, or something else untoward.

    So I'll probably have to pay for a new SIM at the TheftVerizon store, but what'evs.
    06-08-2019 03:12 PM
  24. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Are you already a Verizon customer?
    06-09-2019 12:44 AM
  25. tgm1024's Avatar
    Are you already a Verizon customer?
    Yeah, we're knee deep in that over here in my family. Have to be because of our vacation places in Maine. My existing SIM is ancient (2012).
    06-09-2019 12:50 PM
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