To Root or Not To Root, that is the Question

Rooting Phone


Tell me if this sounds familiar: you just bought a new smartphone, and before you’ve even synced up your Candy%20Crush SagaCandy Crush account, there were at least 30 apps on your home screen just taking up space. To add insult to injury, They can’t be deleted; they can only be shuffled around. Where did these random apps come from? How did they get there? What do they mean?!

Before you go crazy, there is a possible solution to your woes. It’s called ‘rooting’. For those of you who do not know what rooting your phone is, rooting is giving yourself root access to your device, like the roots of a tree. Simply put, you have the ability to alter settings that the manufacture blocks.

Now for the million dollar question: should you root your phone? Of course you should root your phone! How do you expect to get the most out of your device with rooting it? To tell you the truth, however, this question tends to be more difficult to answer than it initially appears to be. There are some definite drawbacks to rooting, so you should not make this decision unless you understand the good and the bad.

Well… Let’s get to it!

The Goodrooting phone

Application Manager– One of the most annoying issues I came across before I decided to root my device was not being able to uninstall pre-installed applications. Almost all phone carriers/manufactures have applications that come pre-installed when you purchase your device. The problem is, most of these applications never get used and end up taking up much needed space. If you decide to root your device, you have the ability to remove any application you do not use.

Increase Speed and Battery Life- Rooting has the much needed ability (at times) to increase your battery life so you don’t need to live next to a power outlet.  It can also give you better performance when running an intense app. Although there are some good apps out there for non-rooted users, these apps go to a whole new level when your phone is rooted. For example, SetCPU allows you to overclock your CPU when you need better performance, or underclock it when you are looking to save battery life.

Install Incompatible Apps– One of Androids biggest selling points is how open it is. Samsung%20Galaxy Note 4, Frosted White 32GB (AT&T)Android does a great job of not locking you down. However, you can still find some limitations when trying to get the features you want. When rooting your phone, you have the ability to install apps that are blocked by your carrier or incompatible with your device. 

Install Custom ROM– This is probably the number one reason why you would want to root your phone. At times the stock ROM does not do what you need it to do or simply does not have a good layout. Regardless of the reason, rooting your device allows you the ability to install a custom ROM. There are thousands of ROM’s available for almost every phone, and this means that the possibilities are endless. If there is something your phone does not do, you can rest easy knowing there is probably a ROM out there that can get the job done. BAZINGA!

The Bad

Potentially Voids your Warranty– Rooting your phone is not typically supported by your manufacture. If this wasn’t the case, you would see phones that give you root access when you buy them. With that said, if you root your device you are potentially voiding any warranty that you may currently have. While it is possible to re-install the stock ROM back on your phone, there is no guarantee that the phone manufactures won’t catch on.

It’s not Always Easy– Rooting your phone is not always as easy as 1-2-3, or even A-B-C. (Yes, I just went there) While some devices are relatively simple to root, other devices can really throw you through a loop. It will take some time, effort, and research. Even if you consider yourself tech-savvy, rooting your phone can cause some major headaches.

Say Bye-Bye to Updates– Some users want to root their device, but do not want to install a custom ROM. If you do not have a custom ROM installed you will noticed that when an update is available for your phone you will not be able to install it without removing the root. I am sure you are saying “but you can just root your device again”. Easier said than done! If you install a major update, like the one we are currently waiting for (Android 5.0), you need to make sure that the root you are installing is compatible with the update. For most devices, developers are good at getting the root updates out fast. At times there are, however, long waiting periods.

rooting phoneBRICK- This is the number one reason why users do not root their phone. Simply put, if you do something wrong, your phone could turn into an $800 brick. Turing your phone into a brick is easier than you think. Pressing the wrong button or installing the wrong files are just two ways to brick your phone during the rooting process.  While there are ways for you to ‘unbrick’ your phone, there is no guarantee the digital defibrillator will work. At least not without sincere prayer.

These are not the only reasons why you ‘should’ or ‘should not’ root your phone, but they are some of the popular ones. Before you make the decision I would urge you to understand what is involved. I have rooted every smartphone I have owned up to this point. I have yet to brick a phone, but that does not mean that I have not almost had a heart attack. This has also motivated me to decrease my fast food intake. I probably should have added that to the ‘good’ list above.

What are your thoughts? Why would or wouldn’t you root your phone? Have you had the heartbreaking task of trying to unbrick your phone? Let us know if the comment section below.

About the author

Curtis eats and sleeps all things tech. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Information Technology, and enjoy's sharing with others ways technology can change their lives. Curtis has been writing about technology for just over 5 years. When not writing about tech, he can be found playing sports or enjoying the great outdoors.

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