These are the guidelines to root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone running on the Android 5.0.2 software update.

The rooting method makes use of a custom recovery and the SuperSU application by Chainfire since Chainfire has not created a CF-Auto-Root package for this model number like he has most of the others. Given that the SM-G850A variant of the Alpha is for T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States, we can only assume the device was not easy to root.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

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.

Here’s what you need to do to get your Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone rooted when it’s running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates so you can start installing the root applications that wouldn’t otherwise run unless they could get access to the root levels of the internal system.

Files You Need

  1. You must install a custom recovery on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha before you can use this guide.
  2. Download the SuperSU zip file from here.

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850A smartphone running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software update

  1. Download the SuperSU package from the files section above and have it on the desktop of the computer. Do not extract the zip file this time.
  2. Connect the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone to the computer with the USB cable you would normally use to charge the battery of the device.
  3. Copy the SuperSU zip file over to the root of the internal storage SD card, keeping it at the topmost folder.
  4. Unplug your Alpha smartphone from the computer once it’s done.
  5. Long-press the Power button and turn the Alpha device off completely.
  6. Boot the Samsung Galaxy Alpha to recovery mode by pressing the hardware button combination for that mode.
  7. Choose the ‘Install’ option from the main recovery menu.
  8. Browse the SD card for the SuperSU package you copied their earlier.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation of your SuperSU.
  10. Choose the ‘Reboot System’ option from the main recovery menu once your device is done installing the SuperSU package.

That’s how to root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone with the SM-G850A model number. You can start installing any of the custom ROMs that are available for your Samsung Galaxy Alpha, any custom kernels if you want to overclock, or just head over to the Google Play Store and start installing your best root apps for Android.

Anyone of you Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone owners who have no idea where to start when it comes to root apps to install on your phone might be interested in checking out the Rec app. We usually like to give people ideas of what they can install since we recommend rooting the Android operating system so much. One of the apps we recommend you check out is Rec–not the movie but rather a free app for rooted Android’s that can record your screen.

We have seen Android bring about new features and integrate them actively in newer versions of the Android OS< but screen recording is not yet one of them. There are plenty of paid apps out there t help you out, and some of them even work pretty well. However, much like many of the apps out there that work for an unrooted phone, there is a root version that gives more functionality. You can expect Rec to be at the top of the list of apps that can record your screen thanks to its added ability to give you more and do a better job.

Now that you have rooted and installed a custom recovery on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone, you might be interested in checking out the best custom ROMs that are available to be fitted to the Samsung Galaxy Alpha.

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