Tale of 1000 Androids

July 26, 2014

Two years ago my trusty Motorola Atrix 4G fell to the pavement(ahem I dropped it) and the camera stopped working. So I went down to the AT&T store since it was time for an upgrade anyway, and bought a Galaxy S3. I ran with the stock firmware for about 30 seconds before rooting, unlocking the bootloader and flashing CyanogenMod. I really like stock Android in place of Samsung Touchwiz. I’ve been running happily with my hacked S3 for 2 years. During that time, my daughter had been using my old Atrix running CyanogenMod. The Atrix finally gave up the ghost so naturally… she gets my S3 and I get a new phone!

I went down to the AT&T store to do the upgrade dance and bought an S4. The S5 is so new that it doesn’t have good CyanogenMod support yet. After monkeying with the S4 for about 24 hours, I realize that AT&T and Samsung have locked the bootloader using mathematically strong, well implemented crypto. So I took it back. No matter how fantastic the phone is, I really want to be able to switch out the ROM. I traded it for a Moto X. I’ve heard good things including it’s low power mode. Plus there’s a page on the Motorola site specifically for requesting a bootloader unlock code! That is, except for AT&T phones. Whoops. Motorola will unlock other Moto X’s but not AT&T’s. I can only assume this is due to some contract between the companies.

At this point I’m pretty fed up. After listening to my rant, the guys at the office said, “Dude, just buy a Nexus 5”. A few clicks and I had purchased a Nexus 5 from Google’s website. Now I’m on my way to return the Moto X to AT&T and let them know that good hardware is not enough. I need the freedom to run whatever I want.