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Root [Verizon] Fighting the man


Dec 30, 2012
Hey all.. new guy here. I'm kind of in between a rock and a hard place... currently using a HTC Thunderbolt (I got it while I could still keep my unlimited data and still get 4G) and my upgrade timer was up today so I went to the store to see about upping to a Galaxy S3 (wanted it for a while now!)

When I got there, they basically advised that to upgrade and renew contract (and get the discount on the phone) I'd have to give up the grandfathered unlimited data plan and move to a 2GB cap (or upgrade to higher one) which I'm not really willing to do (it's not even that I use more than that - I'm just against the idea of data caps.)

They told me I could keep the unlimited data plan if I bought the phone outright ($500-$600?) so this is what I am looking at so far.. So a few questions for you guys, and hopefully my thoughts are reasonable.

1. Would it be worth it to pony up the cash for Galaxy S3 right now, or wait until Galaxy S4? I can't imagine S4 will be too much more than S3 is right now.

2. If S3, is there a place where I could find it at a decent price ($300 or less?) without some silly requirement like changing my data plan?

3. If S3, any way I could get a S3 activated that doesn't have all the Verizon pre-installed garbage? Would that be the same as rooting and loading a custom ROM? I've heard of this but don't know much about it.

Thank you for any responses, and have a happy new year!
Hi there. Welcome aboard. I was in a fairly similar situation, except that I have been upgrade eligible for five months. I was waiting for an exceptional phone to drop. Unfortunately, all the Verizon releases were lacking in one or more areas. I eventually bought a SGS III, but bought mine from eBay for about $395 (the blow was cushioned by my selling my Rezound). Was it worth it? Yup. I still have the upgrade on my account and kept unlimited data. To answer your questions:

1. If you can hold on to the Thunderbolt until mid-2013, then do so. If you got the SGS III now, you will kick yourself when the SGS IV is released. This was also why I didn't get my SGS III from Verizon.

2. Not sure you can get a decent SGS III for under 300 dollars yet. It is still pretty popular. I bought mine from ebay. I have had better luck getting my phones from eBay that from Verizon, if i am to be honest. My phone looked brand spanking new. If you go to eBay just shop from reputable buyers and purchase phones from buyers who allow returns. Generally you are protected by their buyer protection policy.

3. Anyone will tell you that the only way to get rid of the verizon garbage is to root the phone. This gives you privileges that allow you to bypass carrier limitations imposed on the phone. The advantages of rooting (for me anyway), is that I can significantly increase battery life, get rid of the Verizon bloat and add such features as wifi tether and google wallet. Root allows you to install custom ROMs (a custom operating system software). If your interest is getting rid of the junk Verizon puts on the phone, rooting may be the way to go. However, you should know that: 1) it voids the phone's warranty (a moot point if you buy the phone from someone other than Verizon) and 2) I think with ICS you can force stop apps you do not want to run. But I have always preferred using root to do this. I will also say that rooting is potentially risky. If done incorrectly, you risk turning that nice, shiny, expensive phone into a nice, shiny, expensive paperweight.

There are lots of users on this site with far more knowledge that I will ever possess who can add to this.
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