Editorial: Rooting Can Save You Money, If You Know What You’re Doing


It seems just yesterday that I was in the Verizon store, bright-eyed and excited about picking up my brand new Galaxy Nexus. In fact, I got it on launch day. I knew I had the latest and greatest in Android technology. I knew that my pocket contained the best of the best and for that reason alone I was able to drop the $299.99 it cost me to purchase the device. It also signed me up for a new 2-year contract, which I was ok with (I had the latest after all).

Since then, I fell in love. It was my first 4G phone, so right away LTE blew me away. The screen ran circles around anything else I had had before and this was by far the most functional smartphone I had ever owned. This was the device for me. This would be exactly what I needed to get through the next two years…

That is, until something better came out.

Yes, my technological baby was soon outshined. Because of this, suddenly I felt behind the times and second-rate with my once-premium phone. To be more specific, the Galaxy S III is the device that led me to feel this way. From the second it was announced I now felt that my little Nexus wouldn’t stand a chance against these guys. And to be fair, it doesn’t. Hardware-wise, the Galaxy Nexus is blatantly inferior to the quad-core (dual-core for states) of the S III. This led me to begin shopping around for “the next big thing.”

So for months after the initial announcement, I found myself researching the phone. I watched hands-on videos of the S III and the Nexus. Some were even comparing the two phones. Almost everything I watched led me to believe that I was now inferior and I would need to buy a S III in order to stay relevant. My checkbook began bracing itself for the drastic hit it was about to take, as a S III on Verizon out of contract is about $599.99.

That is until the unthinkable happened: I found a way to stay relevant.

The release of the S III was on the horizon and I found myself getting my finances ready for the gigantic purchase I was about to make, as I was still only six months into my contract. I began to find ways to work back all the money I was about to spend. But then, as if a beacon of hope in the distance, Google released Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. The version of Android that puts other OSes to shame was my way to stay alive in the smartphone world. This became especially true after a ROM for the VZW Nexus appeared the very next day.

I had rooted before, but it had never had such a profound effect on a decision like this. As soon as I loaded up the ROM my phone, it was like brand new. It ran faster than ever before. Lags were a thing of the past. It was a whole new phone entirely. The development community for the Nexus is astounding, and as expected due to its being a “Nexus.” But even so, I had no idea my phone had this much potential. Even ROMs I had tried before on Ice Cream Sandwich never held a candle to the fluidity and potential that Jelly Bean had to offer.

Shortly after loading it, I started seeing articles web-wide discussing how the Galaxy Nexus has returned as the best phone money can buy, even more so after the price drop on the Play Store. The Nexus received a second wind, which is unheard of in today’s Android world.

I learned quite a few things about how this fast-moving Android society functions. First of all, we always look to the next best thing. Very rarely are we satisfied with what we have and what’s available. This is unfortunate, as we can never be satisfied with company offerings. Even the S III received mixed reviews upon its announcement. We all know the reception this phone has received, since. Also, HTC has the right idea with their slower release methods. The One series, despite its mixed reception, still has a prominent relevance today. The One X still greatly competes with the S III and far surpasses many other competitors. If more OEMs would take notes of this, customer satisfaction and continued longevity could be much higher. But in an ever-increasing competition to stay relevant in to today’s races, consumers are left behind in a matter of months.

This brings me to my question for you guys…

Have you all ever rooted to save yourself money? In the states, buying a new phone every year is an expensive treat. What have you all done in order to fight through your contract? We want to know what you guys do!

For those who are wondering what ROM I am using currently, I am using Liquid Smooth Jelly Bean 4.1.1 beta1. With all the ROMs I have tested, this by far outshines the competition when it comes both battery life and performance over all.

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