HTC EVO 4G LTE Bootloader Unlocked – Root Possible But Not Much Else


After AT&T locked down bootloaders on their HTC One X, it seemed like a bad omen for potential HTC customers on other carriers that like to tinker around with their devices. Well, if you were worried that about the HTC EVO 4G LTE receiving similar treatment, it looks like Sprint isn’t imposing the same restrictions as AT&T has. According to AndroidCentral, The LTEvo is currently supported by HTCDev’s bootloader unlock tool, and users (if they so choose) can unlock their devices and get some root all up in’nit.

Only problem, when it comes to HTC’s unlock method, that’s about all you can get. To clarify, the bootloader unlock tool wont give a device “S-Off” functionality. HTC has actually gone through great lengths to ensure that all the “fun stuff” that comes with what I like to call, “full root” — flashing AOSP ROMs, kernels, deleting bloatware, custom recoveries, etc. — cannot be done by traditional methods (flashing zips from recovery for instance), but have to be done using the PC (thanks, Earl!). So, for those hoping to run custom AOSP ROMs like CyanogenMod and AOKP or MIUI, you will just have to wait until a full root method can be found and exploited. Considering how development for the HTC One X has been making ground, I’d say those chances are looking pretty good. It’s not much, but it’s a step. The cat and mouse game continues…


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. How the hell can they even call it a bootloader unlock if you can’t boot anything else after you unlock it? All they’re accomplishing is losing respect. Someone will hack it and get what they want, anyway. They could at the very least be open to people doing what they want with something they planked 5 or 600 dollars on.

    1. It’s like unlocking the dead bolt on your hotel door, but leaving the chain lock attached. Got cha!

  2. Makes me miss my Original Evo days when rooting was actually easy… Rooting my Evo 3Dwas a pain in the but… Not sure I feel about this unlock method going forward

  3. I have yet to figure out how htcdevtool is useful. From what I’ve seen, all it does is void your warranty…

    1. Haha yep

    2. And allow you to perm root and flash custom roms and kernels.

      1. this… it’s good for 80-90% of “rooters” most people only flash roms and kernels anyway, radio flashing is when things get screwy and you potentially brick your phone.

        atleast they are allowing people to flash roms and kernels, its better than most other OEM’s

        1. No other oems just leaves it. Doesn’t tocuh it at all. Galaxy S line has always been unlocked. So will the Galaxy S3

          1. Samsungs are unencrypted and easliy rooted for the most part, but not always unlocked. This example explains how to unlock one –


            Not less difficult than what we’re talking about here. ;)

          2. .__________. dude, that’s as open as you get lol. The bootloader is not locked. All you need to do is flash something and you have root, that unlock isn’t even bootloader unlock, the bootloader is already unlocked. That should be sim unlock. Samsung is really good on devs

          3. LoL my mistake, that is the sim unlock.

            Anyway, until we get an s-off, the rest isn’t difficult.

  4. I can deal with Sense ICS on the AT&T One X until xda has an bootloader unlock figured out. One click Root is already out (or you can read how to do it yourself) so I can chop off the bloatware, put back in the apps AT&T cut out, and use WiFi tether. Right now I’m fine.

    1. we can do more than that now. PaulO has a superpatch out now and we can flash a generic HTC ROM! gets rid of all the crapware and AT&T branding =)

      1. Of course it comes out after I took all the time to remove everything. Have you done it yet?

        Edit: I’ve already removed all the AT&T apps and put the FM radio back on. And put visual voicemail and wifi-tether on. I’ll probably hold off on this. Although it would be nice to get rid of the AT&T hot spot ‘feature’

        Edit2: I guess I do have titanium backup so it would be easy

        1. haven’t done it yet since i’m still at work but i will be in the very near future. it also gets rid of AT&T in the status bar. but yes, TiBu would save you some time.

  5. Rooting the 3d with Revolution was easy when I rooted mine

  6. Uh, I’m pretty sure you can flash roms with just the unlocked bootloader. You can on the Rezound. Maybe the bloggers on Phandroid should peruse their own forums once in a while.

    1. Was referring to AOSP ROMs, not Sense ROMs that have been tweaked.

  7. I think HTC made an important step by allowing you to unlock your bootloader. This does make it actually possible to have full root, unlike other locked bootloader companies’ phones. I think its stupid that you void your warranty without even being able to actually root it, but at least we can easily get past the encryption (which again, is virtually impossible without this tool). Without breaking encryption, at the very least you won’t be able to flash new kernels, which includes AOSP roms (different kernel is used).

    Hopefully as time goes on, HTC will find a way to offer a full S-Off solution that carriers will actually agree with. Until then, we have to remember that even if HTC did offer such abilities, the carriers almost certainly wouldn’t allow it.

    1. I think that the expectation is to simply use fastboot to flash the /boot partition and therefore flash a new kernel, as that’s been done more than once with HTC phones unlocked this way – that’s can’t be done from recovery with s-on, but it’s not impossible, just harder.

  8. Chris, flashing custom roms and kernels is doable and being done on the One X with the HTC unlock and S-ON.

    You simply have to use fastboot to flash things from PC instead of simply flashing from recovery.

    Custom kernel example for One X, with S-ON:


    BTW – perm root and s-off are two different things. S-off just means that you can flash things via recovery. But perm root with S-on has been happening since last year.

    S-off is far better, but unlocked is unlocked and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    1. My rooting lingo/knowledge is getting a little rusty. I actually skipped rooting and flashing ROMs on my EVO 3D because of these weird new methods.

      Updated post to clarify. Thanks, Earl.

      Question: So the only thing you CAN’T really do with an unlocked bootloader and S-On is just flash AOSP ROMs then?

      Oh, and do users have RW access to the system for deleting/pushing apps?

      1. It’s really about convenience.

        HTC phones ship with locked bootloaders requiring an encrypted signature to get by them.

        HTCdev unlocks the bootloader, but leaves s-on, meaning, can’t get to everything via recovery. S-OFF unlocks the bootloader so you can do basically everything from recovery.

        A rom is composed of two parts – the kernel that goes into the /boot partition, and the OS and apps that go into the /system partition.

        With S-OFF, you can flash a payload that gets to both areas at once, easily and conveniently.

        With S-ON, you have to flash each partition separately, using either fastboot commands from your PC, or recovery, or a combination of the two, depending on what you’re trying to do.

        As for flashing AOSP, people are now flashing custom kernels and Senseless roms on their international One X phones with S-ON. While not strictly AOSP, it’s a good compromise because you don’t lose the HTC mods in the kernel and you get to keep the Image Sense camera.

        Once the bootloader is unlocked with HTCdev, the user plays a little shell game with fastboot commands to install a SuperUser app (the one that grants other apps root permissions). At that point – you have perm root. From there, install something like EStrongs File Explorer, Titanium Backup, give them root access, and go right to town deleting/pushing apps with RW privilieges to the /system area.

        Hope this helps! ^.^

        PS – I agree with you that “full root” is what we most all call perm-root with s-off. -.^

        HTC Rezound users got really creative with all of this while waiting for S-OFF. As memory serves, they even came up with tricks to keep their radios up to date.

        As I like to say in the forums, they keep trying to build a better mousetrap and seem to still not get that the dev community is more like a pack of junk yard dogs that absolutely, positively will not stop at a little mousetrap. LoL

      2. I don’t blame u, rooting my EVO 3D was a pain, although worth it. It was much more enjoyable rooting my EVO 4G at the time.

  9. Ya I like HTC unlock. I only flash a rom and kernel
    I’m having fun and it made my phone super fast
    I’m running MeanROM /AnthraX kernel on EVO 3D
    Good thing I didn’t try the leaked virgin ICS
    anyway I hear what you saying, but s-on unlock is still pretty fun for lots of people. :)

  10. Just being captain obvious here but what do you expect to happen with s-off and no one has the phone yet? Slow news day?

  11. I’m sure its been said already but I’m saying it again out of spite for the inaccuracy of the the original story. with HTC’s unlock you can flash custom recovery through fastboot and then use fastboot to flash ROMS. KERNELS cannot flash through recovery without an accompanying phXXimg file which has to be flashed in hboot, but its totally possible and Ive been doing my rezound that way for quite some time.

    1. also, I’ve run AOKP on my rezound, its just too underdeveloped currently to be a daily driver. AOKP is effectively AOSP, so not sure why you say aosp isnt possible withouth s-off.

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