The Samsung Galaxy S4 is now two years back from being brand new after the newly launched Galaxy S6 alongside the S6 Edge. The LTE variant comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon system chip and equips your device with blazing speeds, but if you truly want to get the most out of your device, you should think about raining root privileges.
The reasons for that is you can remove the unwanted bloatware Sammy pre-install on the device, you can make it faster, you can boost the performance, and you can even install custom ROMS and change the themes, so your handsets look different from the stock version of Android.
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 must apply the steps for the I9506 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE smartphone only. There are numerous model numbers in the S4, and LTE range so make sure you know what your device is before starting.
- You can check that anytime by navigating to Settings > About Device and checking the model.
- You should have accepted the official OTA software update for XXUDOA6 firmware on the latest 5.0.1 Lollipop before starting the steps. Do not use this file in the guide for any other device running different firmware. It can risk bricking the handset.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- We recommend backing up the device data before going ahead. That means making copies of the phone contacts, pictures, and videos. You can use the built-in backup functionality or install Samsung Kies and sync the device to your account.
- make sure you download and install the up to date Samsung USB Drivers for mobile phones by visiting our USB downloads page here.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode by navigating to the Settings > Developer Options > Check the USB Debugging box. If you do not see the Developer Options, you must unlock the menu by tapping on the build number present on the About Device page.
- Apply this guide will void the device warranty. You only have the warranty working again when you unroot the device and lock the system internals up again.
Important: You’ll need a custom recovery pre-installed before starting. You must access the recovery during the guide.
HOW TO ROOT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 LTE-A I9506 RUNNING ANDROID 5.0.1 LOLLIPOP XXUDOA6 OFFICIAL FIRMWARE
1. Download the SuperSU file you need.
2. Connect the Qualcomm version of the S4 to the computer with the USB cable.
3. Transfer the file over to the internal storage SD card of the phone.
4. Unplug the phone from the computer.
5. Reboot the S4 in recovery mode.
6. Hold the Volume Up + Power + Home button on the phone to enter the mode.
7. Scroll down the page until you see the “flash zip from SD card” option.
8. Upload the SuperSU file and wait until it finishes installing.
9. Head back out of there and look for the “reboot system now” option from the main recovery menu.
You have the latest version of Android Lollipop rooted on your Sammy S4. Now you can start thinking about installing those nifty root-requiring applications and flashing new ROMs. You now have rooted your Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and that means there are no limits as to how many applications you can have installed on your handset.
There are always two types of applications out there: those that always run on your Android operating system and those that won’t unless you have a rooted Android. The ones that don’t run unless you’re rooted can’t run until they have access to the root file system, which is something you get when your user account has the administrative permissions assigned to it.