The SM-G850FQ variant of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone might not be as popular as some of the others, but it can still run all the same root apps once you unchain the system internals using the guide below. Once you have that mastered, you can instantly install many of the same apps you always hear about like Titanium Backup, Greenify, ROM Toolbox, ROM Manager and the Xposed Framework just to name a few.
While those apps deserve to be at the forefront of many people’s root application lists, there is one thing none of those names do: improve the performance of your device by overclocking. It’s normally not a cheap thing to do when you think about going to install something like the SetCPU application. Either that or go to the effort of installing a custom kernel and a custom recovery. There’s one application that can help you change the way your CPU performs and it does it all for free. That way is by using the CPU Tuner application.
The CPU Tuner app can tweak the way your CPU is set to increase battery life or increase the performance. When you increase the performance you are agreeing to take away from the battery life and vise versa. It pays to take care and research what your hardware can handle before you install the CPU Tuner app on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone so you do not break it, but it’s a great app for those who are advanced Android users.
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.
Files You Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root file for the SM-G850FQ version of the Alpha smartphone from here.
- The firmware build ID that Chainfire basis this rooting file off is LRX22G.G850FQJVU2COH3 firmware. Chainfire tells us that you do not need to be running that same firmware on your Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone. You just use it as an indicator. The guide should work for any version of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850FQ running on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Galaxy Alpha so it can connect to the computer.
- Extract the CF-Auto-Root tool to the desktop of the computer and you will find the Odin flashing tool and the rooting file.
- Right-click on the Odin executable and choose to run it as an administrator.
- Do not adjust any of the default settings from your Odin application.
- Turn off the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone by visiting the Power options menu or by long-pressing the Power button instead.
- Reboot the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone in download mode and connect it to the computer in that mode.
- Give it around ten seconds and then look to see if your drivers are working by observing a yellow or blue ID: COM port available from the Odin application. No light means that your device is not picked up properly and you will need to install the universal Windows ADB driver instead.
- Click the AP button once you have your device detected by the flashing application.
- Browse the desktop for the Galaxy Alpha’s rooting file ending in the tar.md5 extension.
- Click the Start button and then wait for the pass message.
- Once you see the green box with the pass message inside, turn your attention to the display of your Galaxy Alpha device.
- Wait until you see it is about to reboot in ten seconds and then watch as your device makes it into recovery mode automatically to complete the rooting process.
In conclusion, that’s how to root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone with the SM-G850FQ model number running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates. Any Alpha handset that does not automatically make it to recovery mode will need to be booted to recovery mode manually after the pass message is displayed.
Those of you still facing problems with getting the rooting file to flash and you are sure that the drivers are working and the device is detected properly can try installing a different version of the Odin flashing application. It comes in a few versions that are popular, namely the Odin 3.07, 3.09 and the 3.10 version.