The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been about for quite a few years now, but would you believe us if we told you there’s still new variants getting pumped out of the Samsung factories, even to this day? Well, it’s true. They aren’t just the older versions either. You can get some brand new versions if you are located in the right part of the world. The people over in Korea lately have a new device in their smartphone lineup called the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE SHV-E210K. The following guide shows you how to open the device away from the default factory restrictions by gaining control of the administrative user account that Android always has tucked away by default.

We know this as “rooting Android” which means getting in control of the root user account—the account that has the root level permissions, otherwise known as the administrative account. It allows us to start installing root applications. A root app is any app that required root access before it can run. You can generally install root apps but just not run them when you have an unrooted version of Android. Root apps can do many things, and it all depends on what root apps you choose to install that will dictate what you can do. For examples, there are root apps out there that can customize the look of the device with stuff like Xposed framework, boost battery performance thanks to apps like Greenify, install custom ROMs with apps like the ROM Manager, custom firmware and heaps of other apps you wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to use.

The excellent news is you don’t have to search through repositories as you would with Cydia for the iPhone when you have root access on Android operating systems. Everything is accessible from the Google Play Store, including apps that would help you overclock the CPU for added performance, apps that can help your phone stay alive for more hours during the day, and other practical things most people want. So, let’s take a look at how to open the operating system.

The process we are using today for getting full control of the account that has the administrative permissions is the CF-Auto-Root package from Chainfire. CF-Auto-Root is one of the most commonly used one-click root methods in the world. As you possibly know by now if you like rooting Android, his developing of tools is incredible because users are left with an experience that’s close to the stock Android (plus the added bloatware still from the phone carrier and manufacturer), while still leaving users with the root user account that’s ready to install all the same root apps. Furthermore, his guides are relatively easy to follow, so you don’t have to be an advanced Android user to achieve root access.

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.

Details We Should Know

  • Backup your Korean Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE smartphone by using the built-in feature that comes with the operating system, or by installing an app from Google Play like Helium. You could also use a program like Samsung Kies if you prefer. There are numerous apps available from Google Play that are there to help you out, including Helium for Android.
  • One of the things that apps don’t always allow is the backing up of apps. Those of you who prefer to install a third-party application from Google Play can do that for apps, too. The AirDroid app is a common one used for backing up Android apps. The SMS backup and restore application is another well-known one for making copies of the messages you can’t live without. It can also backup the call history you might have built up on the phone.
  • You can back up the Google data that Google accounts have, Gmail data, and contacts by syncing the device with the Google Sync feature—one of the upsides to using Android since they also own Google and make this type of thing very easy to do.
  • Samsung Kies is also an excellent way to back up the data such as phone contacts. Nevertheless, sometimes people suggest that you should disable the Kies program on the computer before starting the guide, so the tool doesn’t have any conflicts with the Odin app and thus cause the Odin app not to work.
  • We are using the Odin tool which was allegedly made by official Samsung developers, although they never admitted to it. It’s not known as an official tool, but it is very reliable, stable and the tool that everyone uses when they need to do flashing with Samsung files. It’s not just handy with rooting tools either. You use this same Odin tool if you want to flash official firmware files that you might find from sites such as Sam Mobile in the future.
  • Enable USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu that you’ll find available from the settings in Android. You’ll need to rely on that mode being turned on before you can develop a connection with the USB cable that allows the transferring of data to the computer.
  • You’ll need to have the latest USB drivers installed on your Windows computer. The Samsung Kies app has them if you download it. You can also find them available from any of the official Samsung websites for different countries around the world (it’ll usually load your local countries version when you visit, and that’s fine; it still has the files that work).

Files We Need

How to root Korean Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE SHV-E210K on Android 4.4.4 KitKat software updates

  1. Extract the files to the desktop of the computer and install the Samsung USB Drivers first.
  2. Open the Odin app and leave it open on the computer’s display because you need to come back to it soon. (You’ll find Odin along with the rooting file after you extract the zip file).
  3. Boot the S3 LTE into the Download mode. and then connect the Korean S3 phone to the computer using the USB cable.
  4. Wait for Odin to say “added” and change the color of the ID: COM port.
  5. Search for the “AP” button and click on it from the Odin user interface.
  6. Upload the tar.md5 file that’s on the computer’s hard disk to that same location. (You’ll probably find it in the “Downloads” folder).
  7. Do not check any of the options you see from the Odin user interface that are not the default options.
  8. Leave the “Auto Reboot” and “F Reset Time” options checked.
  9. Click the “Start” button, and then the rooting of the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone begins.
  10. Do not touch any buttons on the Korean Samsung Galaxy S3 phone or use any computer program until the flashing completes. You can read what’s happening by picking up the phone and checking out the display. Chainfire always programs his tools in such a way that you can follow what’s going on on the screen.
  11. Wait for Odin to give you the “Pass” information before disconnecting.
  12. The smartphone will reboot itself at the end of the rooting process. It’s not unusual for it to take a few more minutes than usual or the initial boot process.

The CF-Auto-Root tool might go about getting root access different to other tools, but the result is still the same: you get to install every root app available out there. Many of them are available from the Google Play Store, and you’ll find some that got rejected from Google Play, but the developers have set up websites that host them instead. Do some research before installing apps from outside of Google Play because those are the ones that carry the most risk—Google isn’t able to look after any apps that you are installing from outside Google Play which is why they come with the heightened risk factor.

We’ve got another article that goes into more detail about the best root apps for Android if you want to have a read, remember some of the names of the apps you want to try and then search the web for them. The Google Play Store doesn’t make it easy to distinct root apps from non-root apps, so you need to know the names of the root apps before you venture into the Play Store.