Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be able to install apps on a micro SD after a system update. Reuters

The all new Samsung Galaxy S4 is yet to hit the retail shelves, but that has not stopped talented minds from the developer community from trying their hands on the device. Thanks to a recognized Samsung developer and root specialist, the Galaxy S4 variant (GT-I9505) that comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor has been rooted successfully, opening the door future customizations.

Well known developer Chainfire took to his Google+ page (via RootzWiki) Thursday to announce that he has managed to root the Galaxy S4 variant featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. According to him, the rooting process has been tested and confirmed on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean XXUAMD2 stock firmware, dated Apr. 2.

Reports surfaced earlier this week claiming that the Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500), powered by the Exynos 5 Octa CPU, could be rooted using a method that is normally employed to root any Samsung Galaxy device. However, the person, who came up with the rooting, did not have the handset to test the process.

A XDA Developers report clarified Thursday that the rooting process was an older one, which does not work on the new Samsung Galaxy S4. One of the XDA recognized developer even provided a proof for the same.

“What is different about the S4 is that Samsung utilizes a new security feature to enable BYOD to make the S4 more palatable for the enterprise customers, and that feature is Samsung Knox,” says the report. “Without going into a lot of detail, Knox effectively isolates your personal side of the device from your company’s private side.”

The report also states that developer Chainfire began working on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600-based Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) in early March and found out that the traditional rooting process employed for previous Samsung Galaxy devices resulted in some booting issues with the new device.

When it comes to Chainfire, this is how he has explained the issue:

If you've followed the story so far, you know there has been trouble rooting the S4's until now. SEAndroid was set restrictive on some firmwares (easily circumvented) and aside from that we had the mystery reboots. You could have the su binary and apk's installed just fine, but once you used the su binary to gain root access, the device would reboot.

However, after much testing, the developer finally managed to find a way out using his “tried-and-true” CF-Auto-Root process, which “is as plain a root as all the CF-Auto-Root's for any other Galaxy device, or other methods to inject root by flashing a custom kernel/ recovery/ system.”

The only unfortunate thing associated with this root is that no one currently knows whether the tested XXUAMD2 firmware will be the one out-of-the-box. Therefore, “we don't know if this will work on final retail.”

For all those potential Galaxy S4 users, who want to root their device once they get hold of it, below is a step-by-step guide showing how to perform the task. But before going ahead, there are certain aspects along with a message from Chainfire that must be kept in mind.

Let’s read the message from the master first:

Everyone playing with this right now knows the drill, for the rest of you this post will be updated with more information soon. So here are only the short instructions: flash the included .tar.md5 as PDA using Odin, and make sure repartition is not checked. You should see a red Android coming up, and your device will be rooted. If the device boots normally without the red Android, reboot into recovery manually to trigger the process.

Some More Aspects To Consider

- The rooting process currently works only on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 variant (LTE) of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the model number GT-I9505

- This should not be tried on the Exynos 5 Octa version of the Galaxy S4 until further updates pop up as there are still some issues to be resolved

- Users must have proper backups for personal data, apps and settings

- The device should have at least 80 percent battery life

- USB Driver must be installed for Galaxy S4 in your computer with USB Debugging enabled

Note: IBTimes cannot be held responsible for anything that goes wrong. Users should proceed at their own risk.


Step 1: Download CF-Auto-Root Android 4.2.2 Package for Samsung Galaxy S4.

[The package also includes Odin3-v1.85]

Step 2: Extract the Odin3-v1.85 file.

Step 3: Turn off your phone and go to Download Mode on your phone. To do this, press and hold the Volume Down + Home buttons together and then press the Power button. After you see a warning screen, press Power button to confirm to enter Download Mode.

Step 4: Run Odin as Administrator and connect the handset to the computer via USB cable while in the Download Mode.

Step 5: If the phone is connected properly, you will see “Added” message in Odin. You will also see ID: COM port with a number in Yellow.

Step 6: Click the PDA button in Odin and select the file “CF-Auto-Root-jflte-jfltexx-gti9505.tar.md5” that you have downloaded in Step 1.

Step 7: In Odin, check the “Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time” options.

Step 8: Click on the START button in Odin to start flashing.

Step 9: After the flashing is complete, you will see a PASS message with a green background in the left-most box at the top of the Odin. The Galaxy S4 will restart automatically.

Step 10: Once you see the home screen, you can unplug the phone from the computer.

[Source: Team Android]

The international roll out of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will start later this month, while the first U.S. variant of the device is set to release on May 1 on T-Mobile. AT&T has also announced that it will start taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S4 on Apr. 16.