The Samsung Galaxy A5 is part of the A-series smartphones which comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box. It weighs 123 grams and comes with one of the best-looking press shots we’ve seen out of any Sammy devices. If you want a phone with a large display, fast mobile data support, small dimensions and a trusty Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC, this is the device for you.
Assuming you know that already, own the handset and have checked out everything that stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat has to offer, you might be interested in installing a custom ROM. Since it’s a Sammy device, third-party developers love to create ROMs and firmware which can help you boost the operating system to the new Lollipop.
What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?
When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.
Why Would You Want to Root Android?
Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:
- Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
- Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
- Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
- Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.
What Are the Risks of Rooting?
If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.
With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:
- Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
- You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
- You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.
- You need the Samsung Galaxy A5 SM-A500F smartphone. There are several different model numbers under the A5 name. The following steps are only to be applied to the number ending with “F.” You can check the model number by navigating to Settings > About Phone.
- The handset comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box. You should only use this guide if you are running that software version. You can check up what version is running on your device by following the same steps as before.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- Make sure you have the latest USB drivers from the official Samsung website under the ‘downloads’ section.
- Have the USB Debugging mode enabled from the Developer Options menu.
- Don’t start unless you have 50% battery power saved.
- Turn off the security apps and programs.
- You must have a Windows PC for completing the guide.
HOW TO ROOT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY A5 SM-A500F
- Download the SM-A500F rooting file from this link.
- Download the Odin 3.09 from this link.
- Use the desktop for extracting both the files.
- Double-click the Odin program and have it running on the desktop.
- Boot the A5 in Download Mode.
- Connect the A5 to the computer with the USB cable.
- Click the AP button inside Odin and upload the tar.md5 file.
- Click the start button for the flashing.
The device will reboot automatically after the flashing finishes. The first booting process can take minutes longer than a usual boot because of the internal changes. It will boot as it normally does for the rest of the times after though, so don’t worry.