Share this Story

Dan Rosenberg Appears to Have Conquered Verizon’s Galaxy S4 Bootloader, Boots Custom Recovery

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

A couple of weeks ago, Dan Rosenberg announced that he had unlocked the bootloader of the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4, but that he wouldn’t release his method until Verizon’s variant was also out in case they tried to patch it. With Big Red’s version arriving on doorsteps of pre-orderees, Dan had a chance to test his method thanks to a “helpful tester” and came out successful. According to a Tweet sent by Dan this morning, he successfully booted a custom recovery onto the Verizon version of the device and that he is looking forward to a release. 

Should your Galaxy S4 arrive in the coming days, or you decide to pop into a Big Red store to pick one up, be on the lookout for this method. We’ll be sure to pass it along the minute it becomes public, as there is no telling how long it’ll take for Verizon to issue a patch.

Take us away Diddy, “Can’t nobody take my pride, can’t nobody hold me down, ohhhh no, I got to keep on rootin’!”

Via:  @djrbliss

Cheers Mark!

  • ApplesNAndroids

    a bit unrelated. However, everybody speaks of CM and AOKP on these samsung devices. I’ve used AOKP on my Gnex and CM on many other phones. However, running nightlies of either AOKP or CM, my signal strength is absolutely terrible and my Note II eats it’s 6500mAh extended battery in an 8 hour day. Stock I get home and it’s still on at least 50%

    • Steve Benson

      Is that a question?

      • PhoenixPath

        Did you see a question mark…?

    • PhoenixPath

      I hear you. The farther they get from AOSP (and depending on the binaries required) the more buggy it gets.

      Nightlies have always been touch-and-go…hence all the warnings.

      Stick with Stable/RC releases and most of those bugs should go away. But then with Samsung devices, radio/camera/GPS always seem to be causing issues. no matter what.

      Heck, my Nexus 10 on AOSP has horrible WiFi. On stock (which should be nearly identical to AOSP) it works just fine…go figure. Yay Samsung…

  • Bionic

    Kellex, we need a verizon LTE battery life test.

  • Not to sound dumb but has the Kernel Source been realised yet?

  • Bionic

    One more reason to buy an S4 and stop waiting for motorola

    • EC8CH

      is this real life?

      • Bionic

        Well sadly at this point the 5 inch x phone would have to come out sporting key lime pie or some other great software feature in order to truly compete with the other 2 big phones.

        If it comes out running 4.3 or 4.2.2 with last years CPU, it simply isnt anything special.

        • hinijusopowi

          мy rooмαтe’ѕ ѕιѕтer-ιɴ-lαw мαĸeѕ $88/нoυr oɴ тнe lαpтop. ѕнe нαѕ вeeɴ υɴeмployed ғor 10 мoɴтнѕ вυт lαѕт мoɴтн нer cнecĸ wαѕ $19088 jυѕт worĸιɴɢ oɴ тнe lαpтop ғor α ғew нoυrѕ. reαd мore oɴ тнιѕ ѕιтe Zap2­2­.c­o&shym&shy

        • Steve Benson

          Poor Bionic. You sound beaten and defeated. A shell of your former self…

      • thedonxr

        I lol’d

    • Pedro

      Is that per Sarge?

    • Waiting for the “My account got hacked” post

  • Trevor

    1) Buy VZW S4
    2) Unlock bootloader (and root of course)
    3) Install CM
    4) Smile

    • Steve Benson

      5) Get pissed when microphone issues pop up.
      6) Become more pissed when radio issues crop up.
      7) Rage when XYZ issue pops up.
      8) Become completely fed up with AOSP ROMs on a Touchwiz Samsung device.
      9) Never smile again.

      • Joe Janisse

        LOL. Pretty much. I am hoping that with this Google Edition thing coming up that maybe we’ll get a more Samsung friendly aosp rom

  • ckeegan

    Tomorrow’s headline: Galaxy S4 for Verizon delayed for “security patch”

    • Paul Hansen

      *watches my fedex shipment get recalled* WTH!!! !&*@^*@&#^

    • GarnetandBlack

      I see it happening – thankfully, mine has already shipped.

  • ckeegan

    Still concerned about battery with that screen and LTE on. I know it is a 24% bump In battery capacity over the GNex (w/ extended), but based on the battery life I get on the GNex, the S4 should get me through a whopping 7.5 hours of use.

    Guess it’s better than 5!

    • Trevor

      I’m betting the processor in the S4 is waaay more efficient that the one in the GNex, leading to significantly better battery life. This is just a hunch based off my time with the Verizon S3 vs my GNex.

      • DanSan

        and the radios are way better so no struggling to keep signal, that will destroy a battery in no time

        • Source? The phone isn’t even out yet for most people, how do you know the VZW S4 radios are that much better than the Gnex? I’d love to see side-by-side comparisons in both weak and strong signal areas with this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cc.signalinfo&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5jYy5zaWduYWxpbmZvIl0.

          • Bionic

            because qualcom radios are 2nd only to motorola, proven many times

          • DanSan

            any radios are better than the ones in the gnex..

          • Steve Benson

            Because the radios in the Gnex are widely accepted to be the worst in the history of Verizon LTE phones. Technology can only get better. The S3 radios are phenomenal and a MASSIVE upgrade from the Gnex so it stands to reason that the S4 would be as good or better than the S3.

          • Michael Gilly

            I don’t know if you had a Galaxy Nexus, but the radios weren’t even bad. For me, they never dropped or anything. Bars were almost never full though. But LTE was great on the device

    • Bionic

      Are you aware at how awesomely efficient the snapdragon 600 is?

      Considering Kellex is seeing a full day of life on his ONE which has a smaller battery than the S4, it’ll be fine

    • you shouldnt be comparing gnex to this, gnex is the worst battery hog ever, my s3 gets 12-14 hours heavy use, gnex got 8 maybe same use, the qualcomms dont eat like the omap’s

    • John Benteu

      If its anything like the Droid DNA it’ll be superb. I have no issue what-so-ever making through the day at max brightness and heavy usage. My GNex was dead in hours, by comparison. The screens used are 2.5 times more energy efficient.

    • Steve Benson

      FYI, the battery and battery life in the Verizon GS3 was phenomenal. My wife pounds her phone daily and averages about 26 hours of average use (2.5 hours of screen time on) per day.

      So, if you go by that, the GS4 should be even better. Bigger battery and a newer, more efficient processor should get as good or better than the S3.

  • ah42

    I actually like some of the innovative features that come with the stock S4, but I can’t stand the look and feel of TouchWiz. Gotta have that sweet vanilla. Do you guys think that custom roms will take advantage of some of the unique features, like the IR remote? Or even better, would there be a way to load Samsung’s camera app onto a custom rom?

    • Tripp McNeilly

      There will probably be Touchwiz based roms that keep as much or as little of Touchwiz as you want. Like jelly Beans for s3 and note 2. I run nova but still have spen functionality. Plus I have both aosp camera and Samsung camera apps and galleries.

      • DanSan

        cleanrom was well known for this on the S3

      • ah42

        Nice! That’s what I wanted to hear.

    • same questions i have i wouldnt mind samsungs camera app and a few other things minus the touchWiz bloat. Im coming from the Gnex so im not sure how this works

      • ah42

        Also coming from Gnex, running the latest CM release candidate.

  • overclock

    In other news Big Red has stopped selling the GS4 until the hack is leaked and patched and forced to all the GS4s.

  • tomn1ce

    Its good to know that the vzw GS4 was also cracked open. My G-nexus is still running kind of smooth so I’ll be waiting for the end of the year to see what the holidays will bring. Order of choice Motorola, G-Note 3 or GS4 if the G-Note 3 is too big…..

  • edubbz4

    DEVICE PAYMENT PLAN! Keepin’ my unlimited and gonna pay $65/month for a year for the S4. OGDroid->Bionic->Gnex->S4

    • tfast500

      almost same as mine

      ogdroid ->bionic->s4

      • OG>D2>D3>GNex>S4 Nexus??? 🙂

        • udispyn

          d2,dx2,razr maxx, Gn2 on jellybeans 17 get 20+ hours on battery

  • Dan Rosenberg is a BOSS. Remind me to never plug anything Linux into the internet while he is still alive!

    • T4rd

      Like your phone? =p

      • Paul Hansen


  • mcdonsco

    Only reason I root is “entitlement_check=0”

    Good to know I can do that the day I get it 🙂

  • T4rd
  • Since Verizon was left out of the Nexus 4, and now that the “XFON” is a mid-range waste of time, I am caring less and less about their hardware. My LTE GNEX is running decently still, but I am do for an upgrade in July and the contract runs out in November I think.

    T-Mobile is looking like the place to be. HSPA+ is nice and fast, their LTE network is growing. Oh and they actually tend to side with their customers and not the big OEMs. They know what’s important, for now at least. I am tired of seeing all of these brilliant unlocked devices being released for all these other carriers and us Verizon users are stranded on an island with the likes of the Droid DNA, GS4 a month after everyone else, a Note II with an ugly home button, and Verizon bloatware on everything, including a “Pure Google Device.”

    I’m out.

    • nate

      In the exact same boat as you. I wish I could leave as well, but in rural Iowa, I don’t have much choice…

    • I hope you live in a metro area, don’t take road trips a lot, and god forbid you travel somewhere where T-Mobile has no service.

      T-Mobile’s service is great if you live and work somewhere they have HSPA+ or LTE, but keep in mind that well over 75% of their network is 2G/EDGE that is slower than even Verizon 3G. If you take road trips or travel frequently, your phone will spend the vast majority of your trips on 2G.

      Also, there are large areas where T-Mobile has no coverage at all. In these areas, your phone will roam on AT&T, who slows roaming data speeds to 2G speeds. Plus, T-Mobile puts a hard cap of 50 MB of data roaming per billing cycle on their unlimited data plan. Once you hit 50 MB, your data is completely shut off until you get back into T-Mobile coverage and they don’t give you the option to purchase more if you need it.

      These things may or may not be deal breakers for you, but if they are, consider AT&T. On an unlocked device like the Nexus 4, AT&T is fine. They have great coverage, HSPA+ almost everywhere they cover, and a much larger LTE footprint than T-Mobile likely ever will. The only big downside is that they don’t offer unlimited data.

      • michael arazan

        T-mo in MO and IL only works well in major towns and along Major highways, venture off the highway 2 miles and you will get no signal, I dumped T-Mo for vzw in 2009, plus T-Mo wouldnt replace my phone under warranty in the 11th month of a 12 month warranty when software issues happened on my Sony Erricsson. Not to mention they bill padded and stuck me with an ETF after I paid to break my contract and switch it to a month to month plan that the CS Rep recommended I do.

        I’ll never go Back to T-Mo

      • Only way I would stay with Verizon is if Google got them to release a Nexus like product with VoLTE only to improve battery life, top-notch processor (800, maybe), 32GB at least (dont care about SD cards) and updated by Google without having to have Verizon’s Nazi-like approval process. Be nice if it cost less than $700 off-contract, too.

        • Yeah, and T-Mobile may very well work for you. The only reason I recommended AT&T is because you can put an unlocked device on it, and you’ve got coverage comparable to Verizon, but on a GSM network. Again, the only problems are that they don’t offer unlimited data, and you’re going to pay Verizon-type prices for that great coverage.

          I would never recommend someone go with AT&T unless they were going with an unlocked device, though. AT&T is the worst offender when it comes to updating their branded handsets and restricting customers. If you’re only using them for service, though (as you would be with an unlocked device), they’re a very good option.

        • Shawn Hazen

          Sorry Joshua, dreams DON’T come true :'(

          • That’s why my wife and I are set in moving on to T-Mobile lol

      • This is a bunch of balogny. I’ve taken road trips to New York, and very rarely do I have issues with 2G only along the way. It does happen, but it’s not as bad as you say.

        I’ve been with T-Mobile for over 12 years. I left them recently and came back. I am currenlty on their new Unlimited plans. I’ve roamed in California, Arizona (Payson all day), and used well over 200 – 500MB and my data *NEVER* got shutoff as a result of roaming. If this is the case, can you link where it shows this?

        • The caps on data roaming were implemented in February 2012 so unless you’ve roamed a lot since then, you probably DID have unlimited data roaming. If you read the fine print on their unlimited data plan (http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/individual-plans.aspx), you’ll see it clearly states “Unlimited 4G full-speed plans include 50 MB roaming. Once you hit that roaming cap, your data is shut off entirely until you get back into T-Mobile coverage and will remain that way for the rest of your billing cycle.

          As far as taking road trips to New York, yes, T-Mobile EDGE coverage is much less in the northeast than it is in other parts of the country. But down here in NC, for instance, you have HSPA+ in the more populous areas but it is VERY easy to go 150-200 miles without ever even sniffing HSPA+. T-Mobile has no HSPA+ coverage whatsoever on I-95 in South Carolina, and that’s 200 miles. Traveling between Durham, NC and Richmond, VA on I-85, all EDGE. Traveling west on I-40, once you get past Winston/Salem, you won’t sniff HSPA+ for another 150 miles (Asheville). You’ll hear very similar stories from anyone else who lives in a state not in the northeast and not named California.

          The vast majority of T-Mobile’s network is EDGE. They don’t even hide that fact on their coverage maps. I’m glad T-Mobile works so well for you. I was a T-Mobile customer for 12 years, starting when they were still VoiceStream. I left for Verizon because they had the Galaxy Nexus and I got sick of waiting for Google to sell the GSM model in the US. I could never go back. I love T-Mobile for the most part, and if you are budget-conscious, live in a metro area, or don’t travel a lot, it’ll work fine for you. Personally, I want a good-speed data connection in the most places possible because I travel a lot, and mostly to out-of-the-way places.

          • Same here, been there since they were Voicestream as well. I never noticed that before. :

          • Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I was able to stay with T-Mobile for as long as I did. Most of my time as a customer was when I was living in Providence, RI. Their coverage throughout New England is pretty good. Once I moved to NC, though, I started seeing what everyone else complained for years with T-Mobile. I had a Nexus S at the time and when I left the metro area where I live, my phone basically lived on EDGE.

            November 2011, I bought a Motorola Xoom on Verizon (while I still had my Nexus S on T-Mobile) and the difference in network was like the difference between black and white and color TV. I had at least a 3G connection everywhere on Verizon, even places where I would have EDGE or even no service at all on T-Mobile. Once the Galaxy Nexus dropped on Verizon, I waited for 2 months hoping Google would sell the GSM version but finally, once February rolled around, I had had my Nexus S for a year, so I said screw it. Left T-Mobile for Verizon, nabbed a Galaxy Nexus, and never looked back.

            That said, when I bought the Nexus 4, I did put it on T-Mobile for a little while hoping maybe they had done some coverage improvements here. But alas, it was the same song and dance. Outstanding coverage where I live, 2G or no service when traveling. After 2 months, I went to AT&T and have been pretty happy.

            So now I have my Galaxy Nexus (personal phone) on Verizon and my Nexus 4 (business) on AT&T and couldn’t be happier. Yeah, you pay more for the better coverage, but I’m OK with that.

    • Steve Benson

      Your smartest option would be to pay full price for a GSM unlocked phone of your choice (Nexus 4, upcoming GS4 Google Edition, upcoming “rumored” HTC One Google Edition or other). Take that phone and try out multiple networks on a prepaid basis (month to month) until you find one that works for you. At&t is good (Straight Talk is another option – runs on At&t’s network and is much cheaper). T-Mobile is good in some areas (Solavie is another great option – also runs on T-Mobile’s network and is much cheaper). You have many options, just don’t lock yourself into a contract and for the love of god avoid CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) at all costs.

      • That’s a great plan. We live in the Atlanta metro area and T-Mobile supposedly has good coverage, so they may be a good choice. Both my wife and I have unlimited data on Verizon, and we both want to keep that.

  • XphoneTroll

    Cant wait to put my hands all over this phone..juts two more days…….

    • ReturnOfTheMack

      And here I was thinking you wanted the X-Phone haha.

      • XphoneTroll

        HUH? I never said I wanted the Xphone lol …What phone are you getting?

      • Tyler

        Why would he want an X-Phone. That would be like me saying Apple sucks then buying iPhone.

  • chris125

    Glad to see this works on the verizon version. Right now this seems like the phone to get on verizon since doesn’t look like they are getting the one( and if they do anytime soon)

  • Hallelujah. Now I *really* can’t wait to get mine tomorrow.

  • Drooooid

    After this news, its official: The Galaxy S4 is my next phone! Looks like it will be possible to have an unofficial “Nexus GS4” on Verizon!

    • Not so fast. It’s never as clean as a nexus.

      • mjmedstarved

        The only difference I can think of is havingto find a resource to have updated binaries… porting over AOSP shouldn’t be that hard.

        • Ask anybody. There’s always something that doesn’t work or glitches. It’s common sense.

          • JonD

            lol only the radios are different

          • That plays a huge part in it.

            Wonder why Google couldn’t send out updates to the Gnex. Mind blown. Omg

          • JonD

            … because its VZW why are you bringing this up? it has nothing to do with using a att/tmobile asop rom (with proper RIL) on a vzw s4…… how do you think all us old gnex vzw users were always up to date? mind blown

          • PhoenixPath


            Who needs to make calls or to be able to send/receive mobile data, right? /s

          • athom07

            I know you are feeling super smart right now, and I hate to break you down – but the Galaxy S4 is releasing on 4.2.2 (the current android version). They already have the RIL files for the latest version of CM10.1 & the Verizon S4. They would need to update when the NEXT version of Android came out, but they would already have the latest radio files for the latest version of Android.

          • athom07

            Also, if the next update is only a minor update, the radio files may not change and it could be a non-issue.

          • PhoenixPath

            I’ll ignore the cute insults regarding “feeling smart”…

            It almost sounds like you’ve used a VZW Samsung with “proper” RILs before…(heavy sarcasm…implying such a thing has never existed)

            I’m not trying to sound like a jerk or know-it-all, I’ve simply had to deal with the RIL from Samsung on VZW devices in the past and it is *never* as simple as it sounds.

            Hop in the wayback machine for the Galaxy S1 on Verizon for the horror-story side of the situation.

            This doesn’t mean that the RIL for the S4 *will* be problematic. It simply means there’s no guarantee and Samsung VZW do not have a very good track record in my experience.

            I just don’t want anyone getting their hopes up. Is that Ok with you, Sir?

          • athom07

            Wrote that message from a VZW Samsung with proper RILs. Also, ” It simply means there’s no guarantee and Samsung VZW do not have a very good track record in my experience.” — I don’t understand how you feel this was conveyed in your original message.You responded like a dick, so I responded like a dick. Deal with it buddy.

          • PhoenixPath

            “Wrote that message from a VZW Samsung with proper RILs.”

            I am so very happy for you. I’m sure that’s a guarantee the RIL provided by Samsung for the VZW S4 will work just beautifully with AOSP. They’ve obviously never broken it for AOSP with their own framework BS before…

            “I don’t understand how you feel this was conveyed in your original message.”

            Really? Is sarcasm simply lost on you? I could have sworn I implied that the radios might not work as hoped for….

            “You responded like a dick, so I responded like a dick.”

            Aww…some anonymous internet dweller thinks I’m a dick…. You’ve hurt me man…you’ve really cut me to the quick.

          • athom07

            1) Didnt say that was a guarantee, just saying its not as bleak as you make it sound.
            2) My point was – your second response to me was rational – your first response made you sound like a dick so I responded to you like I would respond to someone who was being a dick.
            3) I don’t know or care about you to decide if you were a dick, so my intent was only to convey my impression of you from that comment. Was never my intent to “hurt you”. Anyway I’m sure there really isnt a point in continuing this convo any further. good luck to ya

          • PhoenixPath

            “1) Didnt say that was a guarantee, just saying its not as bleak as you make it sound.”

            I didn’t mean to make it look “bleak”, I was simply trying to get the idea across that hopes were flying a bit too high. I did it with sarcasm. That sometimes gets misinterpreted, but hey…it’s the internet. Everything gets misinterpreted.

            “2) My point was – your second response to me was rational – your first response made you sound like a dick so I responded to you like I would respond to someone who was being a dick. “

            Yes, yes…we’re all dicks. Not all the time, but hey…it happens.

            “Was never my intent to “hurt you”.

            Heh…you didn’t, man. That was sarcasm again. Trust me, I take nothing on the internet personally. That would be a short road to insanity.

            No, it’s not all doom and gloom, but it ain’t roses (yet) either. Regardless, the device is popular and I am “hopeful” that it will all work out. (I still doubt it will be as “clean as a Nexus” on VZW though…but there’s always hope)

        • I-Troll-U

          Age check on you two!!!!

        • I-Troll-U

          Age check on you two!!!!

  • S2556

    Awesome news. Dan is the man!

  • So should this allow folks to have a “stock” image on the GS4?

    • I believe there’s still RIL to contend with since we’re dealing with a CDMA device. So you’ll probably have something based on it once they get the RIL sorted.

      • Paul Hansen

        It’ll be the same as the Sprint version for the most part. But yes, very different than the standard GSM models floating around.

        • Is there a working (unofficial) port yet for the Sprint S4?

      • TheDrunkenClam

        On top of RIL issues there will likely, at times, be issues with the camera and SD card, usually right after a new version of android is released..

        Not trying to troll, just giving my experiences with non nexus devices over the years.

  • Greg Morgan

    Kellex, now that you’ve played with an S4, would you recommend a Big Red user get one? Or wait to see if a One comes out?

    • GS4 is a pretty awesome device. The more time I spend with it, the more I like it. Tough call there because the One could come to Verizon. I would hate to see you wait for 4 more months or something though, and not ever see it. Can’t go wrong with the GS4. Actually GS4 feels better in hand because it has a smaller footprint but with a bigger display.

      • It seems like that’s always an issue with VZW… Will a phone come out for them and how locked down will it be?

        • Greg Morgan

          Exactly. Even if the One comes out, it could be locked down tighter than a Moto phone. So do I get an S4 since Dan’s cracked it or wait?? #firstworldproblems

      • thx

    • emoney

      I could see Verizon dropping news on the One this week just to please people and then not releasing it for a while

  • Nick Norman

    Let the fun begin!