That’s the question. I’ve had a couple of people email me in the past few days asking whether or not they should debrand and/or hack their phones. So I figured I should just write a post about it to answer that question once and for all. In my opinion, yes.
First off, the reason why phones are branded is for predictability. The carriers want you to have the firmware that they have, know and understand so that when there’s a problem, they know exactly what’s wrong or they can try and replicate the problem. It’s all about making their jobs easier and making your life less complicated. Unfortunately, there’s a flaw in this system. When the device manufacturers release updates for these devices, the carrier has to “cook” a ROM with their bloat-ware and log heaps of info about the firmware. Everything from the intro-animation, the fonts, links in the browser, shortcuts to services etc. have to be documented. It’s a painstaking task – so what do the carriers do? They simply don’t update the firmware! They often stick with whatever they had at the start and never release any updates despite the manufacturer having them. Those people with devices that are branded can only get updates from the carrier, they are locked down.
So debranding your device frees you from the carrier so you can get updates directly from the manufacturer.
So, what’s the price you pay? Debranding your device voids your warranty – and that makes sense. Once you start putting software that the carrier didn’t put on your device, whatever happens is not their problem anymore and they may not have a solution to the problems you present them. In all honesty, there are hardly ever any problems that come up anyway. If worst comes to worst, you can always reflash your phone back to the carriers’ firmware if it’s around – and it probably is.
Should you pay for your phone to be debranded? No, do it yourself. There are heaps of tutorials and numerous videos online. The video I made a while back may be a good start although it’s for the Samsung i8510. The ideas and the tools are generally the same. You can download firmware for Samsung phones from this website(you have to register for free). If you still can’t find out how to do it I could make a post about it. So yes debrand, hack and flash custom ROMs. Samsung is no longer releasing updates for the i8910, so if you’re not happy with the current firmware, you have to look for custom ROMs. HyperX is probably the best way to go.
HX ROMs are the way to go
Now I’ve always praised Andy and his customs ROMs. Here’s why they are awesome.
- They are free.
- They included licensed apps, Phone Torch and Threaded SMS.
- The have a massive following – the quality of the ROMs is higher than most because many bugs are found and thwarted before a public release.
- Easy to install. The easiest way to liberate your phone. Switch off your phone, hold Volume Up + Lock + Power button, run the application he supplies, connect the phone and click Dowload All and that’s it!
- No need to hack the phone, it’s already done.
- Constantly updating; unlike Samsung, his updates keep on coming.
- Collaboration; HyperX works with other people to aid him, that’s rare in the modding community.
I could go on, but these are 7 reasons to love HX V7 :-D.