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Thread: Unlocked/Rooted phone on TF?

  1. #1
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    Unlocked/Rooted phone on TF?

    Hi;
    I have been a Tracfone customer for a long time, and really do like the service. In my area (NJ) my CDMA phone is on the Verizon network.
    My current phone is an LG Fiesta II with Android 7.0.

    It's been almost two years since my last phone, so I think this year I am going to be looking to upgrade before my current service period expires in Aug. I can of course buy my new phone at any time before that, transferring my account to that phone. I've done that for my previous new phones on TF.

    So now, I'm thinking that I might benefit from having an unlocked and rooted phone, so I can remove 'bloatware' and generally have better control of my phone.

    Does TF allow the use of unlocked/rooted phones?
    Can I use a custom ROM with TF?

    I will need to get another CDMA (or dual) phone, as Verizon is the TF carrier in my area.
    I have liked the LG Fiesta II, so any upgrade would need to have new features for it to be an upgrade.
    My price range is anything south of $200.

    Any advice/suggestions?

    Thanks
    Ultrarunner

  2. #2
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    I don't much about rooting (don't know why it would matter to TF).
    The Moto G7 seems hard to beat for the price.
    I have a brand new Moto G6 that I got for my Mom just before the G7 came out but she wanted to stick with her own phone.
    I'd sell that cheap if you're interested. My Dad absolutely loves his.
    iPhone 7 Plus on Tracfone BYOP.
    I hate Apple. (I really miss Android)

  3. #3
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    Verizon would be the one to stand in your way. Verizon has to OK anything that goes on their network.

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    There's not that much bloatware on phones these days. Most included games you can delete. Some apps you have to "disable" --- which means they don't run and won't update. Disabled apps do take up some space, but if you get a "reasonable" amount of storage (64+GB), you won't notice the minimal amount of storage space these apps take up.

    I don't think you need to root the phone for bloatware. You might want to root it for other reasons.

    I have been using unlocked phones with BYOP SIMs on TF for years. So "unlocked" is also not an issue.

    For Verizon compatibility, you would need to go with brand names like iPhone or Motorola. The only off brand unlocked phones I know that are officially compatible with Verizon are the BLU Vivo XI and XI+.

    Also, consider phones locked to TF. How about a refurbished but "like new" Moto G6 for $39? (See other thread.) That one comes with a Verizon SIM and runs Android 9.0.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys;
    I'm still in the very early stages of buying a new phone; just want to start collecting info.
    I'm pretty much a 'bran-new' kind of guy, so I don't think I would want anything pre-owned or refurbished.
    I also think I will be sticking with Android, since I'm so familiar with it, and generally, I think Android phones are less expensive than iPhones.
    I think my sister paid a grand for her iPhone with Verizon, but they offered a multi-year no-interest finance plan. Even with that though, I would never spend that much on a phone.

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    I have been gravitating toward Motos. They are designed to handle multiple carriers and have decent cameras in case you are in a situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner2015 View Post
    Thanks guys;
    ...
    I'm pretty much a 'bran-new' kind of guy, so I don't think I would want anything pre-owned or refurbished.
    I also think I will be sticking with Android, ...
    You can get a brand new unlocked Moto G6 straight from Motorola for $149 (64Gb) or $119 (32GB) plus shipping.

    https://www.motorola.com/us/smartpho...g6/p?skuId=230

    Other possibilities are budget phones from Samsung. But something like the A10 would only have a 720p screen. And you have to make sure to get one that is compatible with Verizon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner2015 View Post
    Hi;
    I have been a Tracfone customer for a long time, and really do like the service. In my area (NJ) my CDMA phone is on the Verizon network.
    My current phone is an LG Fiesta II with Android 7.0.

    It's been almost two years since my last phone, so I think this year I am going to be looking to upgrade before my current service period expires in Aug. I can of course buy my new phone at any time before that, transferring my account to that phone. I've done that for my previous new phones on TF.

    So now, I'm thinking that I might benefit from having an unlocked and rooted phone, so I can remove 'bloatware' and generally have better control of my phone.

    Does TF allow the use of unlocked/rooted phones?
    Can I use a custom ROM with TF?

    I will need to get another CDMA (or dual) phone, as Verizon is the TF carrier in my area.
    I have liked the LG Fiesta II, so any upgrade would need to have new features for it to be an upgrade.
    My price range is anything south of $200....
    TF does not care or restrict using unlocked/rooted/custom ROM phones. I have used one that is unlocked and rooted - never bothered with custom ROM.

    I have not seen much chatter about custom ROMs for years. I don't think it is worth the bother anymore.

    To activate with any brand of Verizon service the phone will need to be compatible with VoLTE. CDMA does not matter anymore. Vz is shutting down CDMA at the end of the year. Any recent Verizon or compatible phone will have VoLTE.

    As someone else said, it's not worth bothering with trying to remove unwanted junkware apps. You can delete some and disable the ones that can't be removed. My experience with the rooted phone was that it was not easy to figure out what to delete. In the process I messed up the phone so that it fills up with huge error files. Better to just buy a phone with sufficient storage and disable the junk. 16 GB storage has been plenty for me so far, but I don't store a lot of pictures and music.

    For pictures and music, just add a microSD card. They're cheap.

    Some pay and other financial apps will not run on a rooted phone - too much security risk.

    The Moto E and G series phones are pretty good in your price range to use with Verizon. I have been using a G6 for a year and a half with TF-Verizon. It does everything I expect of a phone. I do not feel the need for anything newer.

    Many of the Moto E and G series phones do not have LTE band 71 for T-Mobile. This is a big disadvantage if you think you might want to try T-Mo.

  9. #9
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    How about a new Moto G6 phone bundle, Verizon SIM, directly from the Tracfone e-Bay store. Pay for the airtime and get the phone free.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tracfone-Mo...kAAOSwmjZeU-nv

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all your help guys;

    So, VZ is shutting down CDMA? Does that mean that my LG Fiesta II (CDMA) will no longer work?
    Just curious, in case I were to decide to hold onto it for a bit longer.

    As for rooting, I only asked because, several years ago it was the rage. I haven't been keeping up with the tech, so was not aware it was no longer the 'thing'. I did have a Moto E about 5yrs ago, which I did root, and eventually bricked it, but was ready for a new phone anyway. So I guess with my tendency to poke around until I break something, I should leave well enough alone.

    I like the 13Mp camera on the Fiesta II, but honestly, I rarely use it for much. I mostly use my 14yr old Nikon D200.

    I seem to recall that Father's Day is a really good time to be buying a new phone, so I will probably do it by then.

    Edit: Checked specs on the Fiesta 2. It does support VoLTE

  11. #11
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    Do you have VoLTE turned on? Look for it in settings. The phone has to be provisioned for VoLTE by Tracfone/Verizon. Provisioning normally gives you VVM also, Visual Voice Mail.

  12. #12
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    I debated lots custom romming/rooting my v20 to get rid of the thermal throttling that absolutely cripples the performance causing it to choke and lag out doing normal mundane tasks... although in the end it'd lose VoLTE and the whole process was very convoluted and overwhelming even as someone who had built gaming computers for years.

    I don't think any company cares about rooting it, some apps get mad but you can hide root with magisk. At least in the v20's case they swore not to update it to magisk 2.0, I think it might break stuff.

    You'd have to look up whatever guide to whatever phone you end up getting if they even support custom romming/rooting it/unlocking the bootloader which is like step 1 to even doing the custom romming iirc. I almost custom rommed the 2nd gen Moto E with Lineage but literally every other post in a hugggeeeee forum for it was talking about problems and critical errors...that's another thing that kept me away besides it being convoluted, most roms aren't daily driver stable for the long haul from what I've seen. Too much trouble for myself honestly...I just text, take the occasional pic, rarely call, and browse social media...Not much has changed over the years from 4.0 ice cream sandwich to 9.0 Pie in that regard, I touch an app icon, it opens... I don't need "xyz" rom from some random person on a forum to be able to do that.

  13. #13
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    VoLTE in the Fiesta 2 is the sixth item down when you open Settings, referred to as Advanced Calling. There's a teal colored toggle that should be on, slid to the right.

  14. #14
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    Re rooting: Google Pay won't run on rooted phones. Also may have issues with banking apps. Some video streaming apps won't stream HD content to rooted devices. Just have to decide what you find more important: security or apparent control. I say "apparent" because unless you are putting the ROM together yourself, you are just giving control to a bunch of hobbyists on the internet that you hope don't have any nefarious intentions.

  15. #15
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    Rooting...in the Kitkat/Lollipop days I used to unlock/root everything. I even rooted a Tracfone L41C and installed a custom rom. I stopped worrying about it with later versions of Android. As others have said, things like Google Pay won't run and I can't make mobile deposits to my bank. There are supposedly methods to mask root but I never tried it. But, Tracfone doesn't know or care if your phone is rooted.

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