Root-Friendly Android

Buy Root-Friendly. Put your money where the root is.

When you buy root-unfriendly Android devices, you are far more likely to lose root after updates. Stick to the Root-Friendly devices and you'll be safe.

This list only ranks phones based on their permanent rootability: the ability to root a phone and replace the boot and system images, and not by any other standard. A phone may be easily rootable, but might have other flaws that make it a poor device.

Important: phones may change from one category to another when manufacturers and carriers release updates. The phones listed under “Root-Friendly” are likely safe indefinitely, but there is no guarantee that others will be rootable forever. Do your own research before buying and let us know if things change.

Have more information? Submit additional devices or corrections here.

Root-Friendly

The Root-Friendly devices have root options supported by the manufacturer. These devices are intended to be customized, and have full support for it. (Flashing may void the warranty.)

Phones

Device Manufacturer Root support Availability
Nexus One HTC/Google oem unlock (can't be officially re-locked) Limited availability List of retailers
Nexus S Samsung/Google oem unlock (and oem lock) $200 from BestBuy (with T-Mobile contract)
Google Ion HTC/Google fastboot flash Development device only
Geeksphone Zero Geeksphone ROM manager + recovery tools €179 from Geeksphone
Geeksphone One Geeksphone ROM manager + recovery tools No longer sold
Xperia Play (sim-unlocked only) Sony Ericsson oem unlock (via key) 1 $749 from Amazon (import, no warranty)
Xperia arc (sim-unlocked only) Sony Ericsson oem unlock (via key) 1 Available
Xperia pro (sim-unlocked only) Sony Ericsson oem unlock (via key) 1 Available
Xperia neo (sim-unlocked only) Sony Ericsson oem unlock (via key) 1 Available

Tablets

Device Manufacturer Root support Availability
Archos 10.1 Archos developer firmware flash 1 $328 from Amazon
Archos 7.0 Archos developer firmware flash 1 $148 from Amazon
Xoom WiFi Motorola oem unlock (and oem lock) $590 from Amazon
Xoom CDMA $800 from Amazon

Great Choices

The great choice devices have little to no protection right now, allowing them to be rooted easily. Root is generally not supported by the manufacturer, but is not actively discouraged. Great devices generally have fastboot support for unsigned images, or can be rooted from Android with little likelihood that a future system update will remove this ability.

A phone that can always been downgraded to an earlier, rootable version is considered a great choice as well.

Phones

Device Manufacturer Root support Availability
Acer Liquid-E Acer fastboot flash support 1
Acer Liquid A1
Acer Liquid E
Acer Liquid Metal
Dell Streak 5 Dell fastboot flash support
Dell Streak 7 Dell fastboot flash support
Huawei u8110 Huawei fastboot flash support
T-Mobile Pulse Mini
Movistar Ivy
Yoigo Selina
LG GT540 Optimus LG fastboot flash support 1
LG Optimus 2x LG nvflash/smartflash 1
T-Mobile G2x
Cloud Touch iNQ flashboot flash support
Droid 1 Motorola flash unsigned update.zip, no future updates
Galaxy S Samsung flashable via root, can be downgraded via Odin
Moment Samsung flashable via root, can be downgraded via Odin
Galaxy Spica Samsung flashable via root, can be downgraded via Odin
Galaxy Beam Samsung flashable via root, can be downgraded via Odin
ZTE Blade ZTE fastboot flash support
Orange San Francisco
T-Mobile G1 HTC no NAND locks, can be custom flashed easily, no future system updates No longer available
HTC Dream
HTC Magic HTC no NAND locks, can be custom flashed easily, no future system updates No longer available
HTC Hero HTC no NAND locks, can be custom flashed easily, no future system updates 1 No longer available

Tablets

Device Manufacturer Root support
Nook Color Barnes & Noble flashable via SD card
Notion Ink Adam Notion Ink flashable via SD card 1
Viewsonic gTablet gTablet flashable via SD card 1 2

Cross-flashable Phones

This is a special sub-category for cross-flashable phones, ie: phones that don't run Android natively and can be easily flashed to become a working Android device. Installing Android on these devices may require advanced knowledge of Linux, Android or other operating systems.

Device Manufacturer Root support
HTC HD2 HTC Windows Mobile phone, flashable to Android 1
HTC Leo

Good Choices

The good choice devices have security, but the security is either weak or has been broken in all versions. Alternatively, they may have writable boot/system partitions, but no fastboot (requiring a temporary root to write that may be fixable in a future system update). There's no guarantee that future versions of the device will be rootable, but as of the most recent update they are rootable. Check with forums to confirm before you purchase a phone on this list!

Any phone that relies on a software root in Linux to flash images and may receive system updates will be in this list, since a future update may make this difficult.

Device Manufacturer Root support
HTC EVO HTC unrevoked3/forever
HTC EVO Shift HTC can flash ENG hboot from root
Droid Incredible HTC unrevoked3/forever
Droid Eris HTC flash eng bootloader 1
HTC Desire (GSM) HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Wildfire HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Desire (CDMA) HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Incredible S HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Desire S HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Aria HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Droid Incredible 2 HTC alpharevx (permanent hboot flash)
HTC Espresso HTC alpharev (earlier versions), root (later versions)
T-Mobile myTouch 3G
HTC Desire HD HTC permaroot via gfree
AT&T Inspire 4G
HTC Thunderbolt HTC downgrade
T-Mobile G2 HTC permaroot via gfree
HTC Desire Z
HTC Vision
T-Mobile myTouch 4G HTC permaroot via gfree
HTC Ace HTC
HTC Desire HD
MyTouch 4G HTC permaroot via gfree
HTC Glacier
HTC Tattoo HTC can be flashed from root
LG Ally LG recovery flashable via root
LG Optimus S LG recovery flashable via root
LG Optimus T LG recovery flashable via root
Galaxy 3 Samsung flashable via root (maybe be downgraded via Odin - needs info)
Garminphone Garmin/Asus can be rooted from linux, no custom ROMs yet (?) 1 2
Garmin A-10 Garmin/Asus can be rooted from linux

Tablets

Device Manufacturer Root support
Asus Eee Tab Asus flashable via custom update.zip 1
Galaxy Tab Samsung early versions fastboot flashable, later firmwares have signed bootloaders 1
Epad ZT-180 Zenithink flashable via SD card 1 2

Poor Choices

Poor choices have protections that have not been broken yet (or has newer releases that cannot be rooted), have signed boot partitions that cannot be replaced, or read-only system partitions that cannot be written to at this time. Root might be possible, but it is difficult to support custom ROMs.

These devices are not recommended!

Phones

Device Manufacturer Root support
HTC Legend HTC temporary, older versions have alpharev permaroot support
HTC Wildfire S HTC signed boot/recovery partition, only temproot
Xperia X10 Sony Ericsson signed boot partition, can be bypassed via splload (?)
Xperia X10 Mini Sony Ericsson signed boot partition, can be bypassed via splload (?)
Motorola Devour Motorola possibly unsigned boot partition (?)
Motorola Droid X Motorola signed boot partition, root unfriendly
Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Droid Pro
Motorola Atrix
Motorola Milestone 2
Motorola (any unlisted above)

Set-top Boxes

Device Manufacturer Root support
Logitech Revue Logitech/Google older versions only, requires hardware hacking 1

No Root

These devices have no root options yet.

Device Manufacturer Root support

No Information

Please submit additional information about these devices.

Device Manufacturer Root support
Kyocera Echo Kyocera temporary at least 1
 
public/root_friendly.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/17 19:16 by ief
 
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