7 June, 2011 23 Comments
After waiting for months for any word of Froyo coming to the Galaxy 580 (aka Galaxy 3, or GT-I5800) here in New Zealand, including calls/emails to both Vodafone and Samsung here in NZ, I found the following post by admin “johnr” in the Vodafone forums,
Aarrgh! Damn you Vodafone.
Not content with that answer, I decided to take matters into my own hands, void my warranty and flash Froyo onto my phone. In short, I got it up and running on the second try and am stoked to be rocking 2.2. 😀
Pics or it didn’t happen right? Sure, here ya go:
Here’s the nitty gritty…
Rooting and Flashing.
First up, the standard disclaimer. If you do this, you will void your warranty and you may lose some functionality on your phone, gain undesirable behaviour, or could even totally brick your phone. If that freaks you out or you can’t afford to replace it if it goes horribly wrong, don’t do it! And don’t be blaming me if it goes pear shaped!
That said, there are plenty of benefits in rooting and/or flashing your phone. Gaining root access will let you get at some deep dark parts of your phone and the OS, permitting you to run powerful apps (e.g. Titanium Backup). AFAIK rooting is reversable, so you can undo it. Flashing a new ROM on the other hand may not be reversable, unless you have a backup of your pre-existing ROM, or can get your hands on one to flash it back.
My Galaxy 580 came with Eclair 2.1 installed. Since this was my first Android experience (I came to it from a Nokia 6234) I was impressed. However, being the geek that I am I started poking around, installing apps at will, and soon found some limitations that I knew were addressed in newer Android versions. The two features I most wanted was a solid way to disable packet data and the ability to move apps to the SD card to both free up internal phone memory and to allow more apps to be installed. Of course a shinier interface and newer features never goes astray either!
When I asked Vodafone directly about an update to Froyo via email they replied with:
2.2 has been released but to confirm it is available for your model phone and how to get you are best to contact Samsung directly
So I emailed Samsung and got the following response:
Unfortunately at this stage no release date has been set. please feel free to check back with us at any stage
Then I found the forum post in the screenshot above which made me angry enough to immediately flash my phone!
Resources and Requirements:
All the info, software and background reading you’ll require can be found at xda-developers.com (specifically in the forums) and at SamFirmware.com. I’m not going to duplicate everything here, but you will need USB drivers for your phone, the Odin downloader software and a Firmware to flash.
Here’s the references I used (in the case of the forum posts, I did read most of the threads – not just the top level posts):
- Galaxy 3 GT-i5800: root, gps fix, lagfix, upgrading (JPM/JPD fw)
- Samsung Galaxy 3 (I5801/I5800) Flashing Guide
- Samsung Stock Firmwares [Without Bootloaders, 100% Safe Flash]
- Samsung Firmware Android – incl I5800 Firmware (free account req)
- Samsung Program Android – USB drivers and Odin software (free account req)
Notes on my experience:
- I did root my phone first (using z4root) so I could run Titanium Backup, although root isn’t required to flash a new ROM.
- Backup backup backup! I don’t keep any text messages and all my contacts live at Google which just get synced to the phone. As such, the only things I needed to backup were my apps/data on the phone (which I actually didn’t care about since they can all be installed again later, incl apps you’ve paid for. I didn’t worry about game saves etc, so I lost all game progress – meh, I was over Angry Birds anyway!). Note that anything on the SD card (photos, files etc) is left untouched.
- Prior to flashing I did remember to record the VFNZ APN settings for both Internet and PXT. These have to manually set after flashing, and are listed online in the Vodafone forum here.
- I used a stock Samsung Firmware without a bootloader – everything I read suggested this would be more stable and the lack of bootloader means you won’t brick your phone. Initially I tried I5800XWJPF but it didn’t work – my phone wouldn’t startup and hung on the boot screen, so I then re-flashed with I5800XXJPM which worked fine! I grabbed both firmwares from the xda forum not samfirmware – might as well let someone else remove the bootloaders!
- I didn’t install Kies first – I had it a while ago, but it’s a POS (just like iTunes!) IMHO so I deleted it soon after installing it! This is recommended so you have the latest USB drivers, but you can get them from samfirmware. The only thing you need Kies for is to get software updates, and well, since Vodafone don’t appear to be doing amy more for the 580 I’m turning my back on them and Kies and doing it myself. Note that I can still transfer files to/from my PC via USB using the phone as a mass storage device, or via ftp over wifi – nice!
- I did do the flashing without the SIM and SD card installed just in case anything went wrong. Some people say it’s not necessary, but I decided to play it safe.
- Once done, I reset the APN and phone settings, re-installed my apps, synced to Google and other services and it was all good.
And that’s about it! Now, I should probably answer two post-flash questions you might have…
Not really. However I do think the reported size of apps (via the manage apps settings) is incorrect. Not a biggy, as it still reports the correct usage for the SD card and internal storage.
How’s the performance?
Awesome! In fact I think the phone is snappier through menus etc now under 2.2 than it was under 2.1. It could just be the eye candy distracting me, but I think my phone actually runs better now.
So, it does take a leap of faith to do this sort of thing, but I’ve been voiding warranties, flashing firmwares and building PC’s for a while now so I’m quite happy doing so.
If it ain’t broke, take it apart and fix it! 😉