The SPH-L520 is the model number given strictly to the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and today I’m going to show you how to root it. If you have done this before and have a good memory then you will be confident of what to do. I don’t mind if you skip ahead. However, if you are a newbie to unchaining a device, I highly recommend reading through my list of prerequisites, so you know what is happening.

The method to this madness will be made using ChainFire’s Auto root. I love this way because it keeps users closer to the stock Android OS experience more-so than any other tool out there that I am aware of. So, you get all the goodness of a handset unchained and open to using Custom ROMs and aftermarket apps, but the way I see it keeping as stock as possible results in fewer bugs. It is also easy to install. Furthermore, the same developer has a range of cool features that you can find from the same link I provided further down for the file. Extras such as Triangle Away that turn back the flash counter to 0 so that the warranty doesn’t become void.

Galaxy S4 render

Like I mentioned above after the completion of this tutorial, you will add more power, customize and most importantly optimize the OS so that it is working without any restrictions. By today’s law people have the right to buy a device and then do what they want with it because they paid for it. Just because a manufacturer such as Sammy closed off the hardware so it only fits their ecosystem does not mean that you should not be allowed to open it up once you paid for it. And that’s precisely what Obama think too. There is even talk that he is pushing to get devices unlocked legally, but that is another topic for a rainy day.

Details of Note

  • Getting down to the business side of things, it’s time to fill you in on what is needed before starting. Backup all the device data to the 8 GB of built-in internal storage. If you have none of that remaining because after you keep all your music and photos plus the Android OS already taking up space, then buy the additional microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC expansion options up to 64 GB. These are known as SD memory cards, and they are a great place to backup everything to as well as to use for extra storage space in general. I like the SD card because it lets people backup the apps and the other goodies such as SMS and MMS text, contacts, photos, music and everything else you might want all to the one place. Many of the other tools do not allow to do that, and it is common for people to struggle backing up apps for that reason. Having said that, not everybody wants to go to the extreme measure of buying extra support and they also might not care about backing up apps. In that case try syncing the smartphone to Samsung Kies or your personal Google Gmail account. There’s also a new program called Google Drive — another Google-owned and operated place to store extra files.
  • This guide uses an application called Odin. The real Samsung developers made the app and for whatever reason they did not bring out another version of it to Max OS X or Ubuntu OS types such as Linux. They did, however, make it for the Windows OS ranging from XP through to Windows 8. It does not matter which version of Windows you use today because the file will download automatically to the desktop. Therefore, there is no need to worry about downloading it to the C: Drive like I recommend in other tutorials.
  • This smartphone started out with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 UI. Since then it has received several updates, and the latest is Android 4.4.2 KitKat. That is the latest any Android OS can be running on, and it is also the software we want to be using before we start this task. If you have not updated already then it is time to do that now.
  • In order to ensure a smooth time, we want to download the Samsung USB Drivers if the ones, you are using at the moment are old and out of date. It can lead to devices not being picked up and, therefore, the end users stuck in a mess about why nothing is working. If something goes wrong, it is this. However, greater things can also go wrong and if they do we are not liable for any loss of data or damages that are the result of following anything that we write. Of course, we create these guides with your best interest at heart and after years of experience we feel as though you are in safe hands. However, nothing is guaranteed.
  • Make sure you enable USB Debugging Mode from the Develop Options menu if it is not enabled already. This menu was originally hidden in Android 4.2 and if you haven’t updated the mobile since then go to Settings > About Phone and tap on the build number seven times. But remember you need KitKat for this anyhow so if you are in that predicament don’t download the file yet until you are on the newer software.
  • You are correct in thinking that the handset does have 4G but when assessing battery talk-time it is done in 3G. The talk-time that the 1900 mAh battery can last is 12 hours. Pair that with a stand-by time of 12.5 days and it is fair to say that the battery inside this thing is also on the mini side of life. It goes without saying that we will need more battery than normal to complete this guide safely. My recommendation is at least 60% so that if your USB charging feature fails it will still be OK. If you know that the USB charging does work when you plug your handset into the PC system unit then technically, it should finish up with more power than when it started. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about then.

How to Root The galaxy S4 Mini SPH-L520 On Android 4.4.2 KitKat Software

1. Download the CF tool here. It will download to the desktop. Click the zip file to unzip and open the contents. Have it saved to the desktop or a place where you remember where to find it because we will be uploading the file in a few steps.

2. Download the Odin application namely 3.09 from here.

3. Open the Odin program, so it is running.

4. Put the S4 Mini in Download Mode by switching it off and then pressing Volume Down+Power+ Home at the same time and holding them in until a logo appears.

5. Plug it into the system unit using the USB cable. If you cannot find the cable try looking at the phone charger. It is often used as a connection but because it is plugged into the wall socket many people don’t recognize it.

Be on the look out for Odin ID: COM ports lighting up and a message that says, “added” on the screen because this is how we know it is working. If this did not happen then try downloading the USB drivers from a different source.

6. Click the AP button and upload the root file from step one.

7. Do not check any other boxes and mark them as on. Default settings will show two boxes with marks in them. It is good and the way we leave it.

8. Click the Start button after double checking that the re-partition box is empty.

9. Wait for it to finish. It can take some minutes.

10. Look for the ID: COM port changing color again indicating a successful operation. A message will also come up that says, “pass” and that’s when you know you can close the app.

11. Remember to disconnect the S4 mini from the system unit correctly by clicking on the safely remove hardware icon tin the gray taskbar on the bottom of the screen. It is often the icon with a green arrow above a gray box indicating that the USB is being used. Put a stop to the USB Mass Storage device and take it out when it says it is OK to do so.