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HTC DROID DNA S-OFF achieved, but at a cost

The HTC DROID DNA has proven to be one tough cookie to crack in a software-only fashion, but it looks like the handy engineers and developers of the Android world have achieved S-OFF on the device. There is one catch, though: the process requires J-TAG, and that’s not something the common user should look to mess around with if they don’t have any experience with deep-level circuitry.

S-OFF is an unlock state necessary to flash full custom ROMs on the device. One example would be CyangenMod or most other AOSP-based ROMs. In fact, the CyanogenMod team refuses to develop for any device that doesn’t have its bootloader fully unlocked.

So how can you get your device unlocked? Welp, the folks at MobileTechVideos are offering a ship-in service that will have you sending your device off to someone you don’t know. It’ll cost you $45, and that’s before you jump into the headache that is shipping (the cheapest speed for domestic shipping costs $20).

We can’t personally vouch for these guys, but even if they prove to be trustworthy it’s probably not worth it to have this done. For starters, it’s likely that very few people would opt to ship their devices off, and even if they did the minimum $65 they’d have to plunk down would turn most away.

Developers might be more willing to pay for the service, but where’s their motivation for development? On the flip side, would a common user be willing to get their devices unlocked this way without knowing if the development community will get behind it? We’re appreciative of MobileTechReview’s efforts, obviously, but I’d continue to pray that more safe and less expensive methods come to the forefront. That said, folks are free to make their own decisions and they can park it right here if they need to see a man about an S-OFF method.

[XDA via Droid-Life]

Continue reading on the HTC DROID DNA forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Really now? That’s one locked down device! I fear for our children’s Androids. O_o

    • Brandon Golway

      Yea HTC/Verizon is being a giant pain in the ass. I’m surprised that they got it S-Off this quickly. It took an easy 6 months for devs to S-Off the Rezound and that was a hardware hack too, it didn’t cost you anything though.

  • bmg314

    Um, yeah… I believe you’re better off waiting for devs on xda, etc to come up with something, even if it’s a step by step walk through of whatever these guys are offering to do for 70 odd bucks. At least with the independent dev, you can choose to donate whatever you want.

    • No_Nickname90

      IKR!? Shipping does not cost no $20. Especially a phone. You can get that shipped in a 1st class envelope for about $2.

    • Mike Reid

      Stuff like this is often the first step to a full software method. We wait and hope. I’m tired of flashing kernels with fastboot.

      Kudos to the devs.

  • Timbo1

    And I thought current LG devices were locked down tight……

  • Blkegk

    thats why I dont bother with HTC. Samsung all the way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AGx07 Chris Brown-Demoreno

      I think this has more to do with VZW than just HTC.

      • Mark Haynes

        People keep saying that, but I really do wonder. It was a pain to get S-OFF on the Amaze 4G, and that is a T-Mobile phone. I’m really starting to think it’s HTC.

  • lynyrd65

    My next phone is going to be either the Motorola X or the Galaxy S 4. The M7 isn’t even on the radar.

    HTC, get it through your thick skull,

    Open Bootloaders = More Customers

    • tomn1ce

      Bigger storage space and bigger battery would help as well…

  • enomele

    My good friend borked his Sprint GS3 by flashing a different phones firmware, shipped it to MobileTechvideos and had it back in like 2 weeks or less. They don’t seem shady at all. I even had a back and forth with them (or him or w.e) about my boot loader level brick of a TF300. after a while we determined he couldn’t fix it but was very helpful the whole time, and very nice about my technical short comings.

  • Motorola ATRIX TV XT682 GPS

    The release of HTC DNA was assumed to go against all other big smartphones such as the iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Sony Xperia ion LT. http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/

  • xcelr8ion

    These guys have been debricking devices for years. Their awesome.

    • DavidVarghese

      *They’re

  • Mark Haynes

    It’s not exactly true that you need S-OFF to fully flash roms…it just makes the process a lot easier. The main problem is that the recovery can’t flash the included kernel at the same time while S-ON, so you have to flash the rom and then flash the kernel through fastboot.

    MadMaxx82 on XDA has a recovery called 4EXT that will flash the whole thing for you even without S-OFF. He supports a lot of HTC phones, but I’m not sure if he is adding more at the moment. His recovery also comes with an Android app, which allows you to pick everything you want the recovery to do, push start, and the phone will reboot and do it for you. If you own an HTC phone with S-ON, I’d definitely see if he supports your phone. You might even be able to contact him and request he add support for your phone. He’s a really nice guy.

    • Brandon Golway

      you beat me to it, I was just about to respond with this. I had the HTC Rezound on launch day and after it was unlockable via HTCDev you were able to flash AOSP roms, it just made things a lot harder since you couldn’t directly flash the kernel along with the ROM in recovery, you had to flash the kernel separately via HBOOT and have it specially packaged in a PHxxIMG.zip and sometimes you would run in to MAINVER problems because the zip was for a different version of HBOOT than what was installed on your phone.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

    You can flash ROM’s without S-OFF.