Rooting Android: Advantages, Disadvantages and Risks

by George Philip
Published: Last Updated on 1 comment

Before rooting your Android smartphone, it’s worth that you know the advantages and disadvantages of root. It is clear that getting superuser permissions for our mobile and installing a custom ROM greatly changes the experience of the device, however in recent years it has become increasingly common to wonder if it is worth being root on Android .

For those who still have doubts and want to know what being root contributes, here is a small list of what we have achieved. On the other hand, it is also important to know the risks that you will have and the reasons why it is not necessary to take this step. It is up to you to venture into the root world and make the most of your Android or continue enjoying your mobile through tricks and applications, which in many cases are already enough.

Advantages of rooting an Android phone

We will start with the advantages and benefits of rooting the mobile. Anyone rooting their Android for the first time will quickly notice the changes and potential. Install new applications, delete the ones we don’t want … these are the reasons why a user could be encouraged to root their Android phone.

You don’t worry about updates

There are mobiles that from one year to the next stop updating. It is usual, in all manufacturers it happens. Even Google does. But thanks to the root we can install ROMs such as LineageOS or Paranoid Android that work like a charm . If you want to give a second life to an old mobile this route is the one that will give us the best results.

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To all those who already want to change Android, I recommend that you first try to root it, unlock the bootloader and manually update it with a ROM. The smartphone will remain the same, but the experience it offers has nothing to do with it.

Squeeze the hardware to the maximum and optimize the battery

This reason is quite simple and I think all users are interested. Thanks to the root you can get better battery, better performance and in general, take advantage of the full potential of the internal components of the smartphone. If you already have a high range you may not have that need, but over the years the speed suffers and with the root you can give it that extra gear.

There are applications to modify the processor frequency, applications to analyze the battery and avoid wakelocks … the options are very diverse. You also remove applications from the system to free up space and get memory that was not otherwise accessible to you.

Everything to your liking: maximum customization

Do you want an ultra-minimalist Android phone that is controlled by gestures? Do you want an open source version without Google apps? Do you want weird icons and exotic fonts? Do you want everything to look huge? The possibilities are enormous and thanks to the root we can adapt Android to our needs.

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Personalization goes far beyond what is achieved by changing a launcher or installing an application. Thanks to tools such as Root Essentials or Xposed you can modify the smartphone at any level.

Activate additional or blocked functions

Smartphones have components of all kinds: processors, sound chips, Wi-Fi … They are manufactured by various companies that do not always coincide with the manufacturer of the smartphone. And most importantly, these components often offer services that are not activated base. Thanks to root you can unlock functions that other devices similar to yours do.

You can also implement modes and services that improve your smartphone. For example, you can add compatibility with an application, improve the sound as Viper4android does, or even expand the possibilities of the camera.

With root the restrictions are removed. In fact, even some impediments like some applications not working with root can be solved with tools like Magisk. Again the potential that is achieved with superuser permissions are above the standard limitations imposed by manufacturers.

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Detailed control and security

Android is updated monthly with security patches. At least that is what is promised by many manufacturers. But If you have root access you can directly implement these security measures or control all the permissions in detail, although be careful because it is a double-edged sword meaning that something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. Applications can also gain superuser access and freely interact with the system.

Another related topic is the possibility of blocking advertising to your liking. And who says ads says any item that tries to show itself. Root users have at their disposal tools to personally choose what will be displayed and what will have access to each part of Android.

Improve your knowledge of the Android world

It may seem like a minor point but it is probably one of the advantages that I appreciate most after a certain time in the root world. If you are a user curious about the world of computing by rooting and installing ROMs, you can touch key elements such as the Android SDK, learn ADB and fastboot commands and understand how the kernel, Google Apps or battery management works.

Having root means access to the bowels of the operating system to configure it to your liking. You may not need to touch anything, but just seeing the process will give us enough information. If you are an Android users for years and have not yet made the move to the root and ROM world, I strongly advise you to cheer up at least once. If only to understand the possibilities of an open system like Android.

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Disadvantages and risks of rooting an Android phone

It’s time to talk about the disadvantages and risks of root. It might be less and less worth rooting an Android smartphone. A few years ago it was very common to install cooked ROMs and modify the system to get real performance, but with the advancement of technology and the improvement of the devices it has become a secondary issue for many. Here we leave you a series of doubts and disadvantages that you should take into account before rooting your Android.

Having root is not always so easy

There are applications like KingRoot or Nexus root toolkit to get root access easily. There are also popular ROMs like LineageOS that can be easily installed. But what is not usually said is that these tools are only available for certain phones, the most popular ones. If you have a mid-range Huawei, a non-high-end Samsung Galaxy or an LG, you may not have such simple tutorials.

If your kind of smartphone is used by few people, you will have less support

Related to the previous point, if your mobile is not a Nexus or a best seller, it is very possible that the number of tricks and ROMs for your mobile is much less. More difficult to root, less updates, less tutorials … the root world is based mainly on the work of the community but if the one that exists around your device is smaller, you will have more trouble finding what you want.

And be careful at this point, because many smartphones offers are dual SIM or Asian versions and ROMs do not work the same way. The Galaxy S8 (G950F) does not have for example the same backup as the Galaxy S8 dual sim (G950FD). And if instead of Samsung we talk about a lesser-known mobile, the problem is enlarged.

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Many cool things can already be done without root

But I already do that without root. Control permissions, modify the appearance, create gestures … nowadays there are many applications on the Google PlayStore to configure Android to your liking without the need for superuser access. And they are right.

Tasker is one of those complex and powerful applications that many users have in mind when talking about root, but the truth is that you do not need to have it to work. We can create all kinds of automation without rooting the smartphone.

On the other hand, there are many tutorials to activate hidden functions that would be easier with root, but they can be done manually via ADB. A method to modify the Android system without having to root it. An example of this is uninstalling applications from the system or completely modifying the interface with the SystemUI app.

The manufacturer ignores

Is the warranty of the mobile lost if I root it? In the end you must think that by rooting the device you can skip security locks, avoid using pre-installed applications and generally use the device in a different way than the manufacturer had thought you would use it. Therefore, if you root and unlock the device’s bootloader, you have to think that you may have problems with some types of insurance or guarantees, since they may not cover it.

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Need to update manually

By installing a custom ROM you can get a higher version of Android, but it will stay there. To receive new versions, you either continue within the same ROM, since some implement constant updates, or you will have to go back.

If you have a ROM, forget about official OTAs from your manufacturer, security patches, or updates that add new apps … you can have all the added ones manually thanks to the new ROMs that come out from the official one, but again it will be installing it by hand.

If you root a mobile phone, the manufacturer will assume that you can manage it on your own.

Risk of tricky bricks to fix

Almost everything has a solution, but it is true that installing ROMs and making root you can accidentally cause a brick on your device. It is that moment when the mobile does not turn on since we have installed a file that was not or we have skipped a step. Following tutorials is easy a priori, but sometimes they are not exhaustive enough or for your smartphones in particular it is not well explained. It is then when you get involved and cause these errors that render your Android phone useless.

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There are some soft bricks easy to solve by entering the recovery and installing the ROM again, to hard bricks caused by installing software that was not intended for your Android phone. At that point we will have a nice paperweight that will look great in our drawer.

Incompatibility with some applications

The fight between Safetynet and Magisk is the one that has focused all eyes on the root scene in recent months. Manufacturers, Google and multimedia services don’t want you to have your phone rooted. So they directly block your applications. They do this to prevent hacking and improve Android security. Safetynet wants to seal Android and even prevent us from downloading applications if it detects that it is rooted .

Of course the cooks work to avoid the prohibitions and there are versions that bypass the safety of Safetynet and allow the system to be tricked into thinking that we do not have root. However, it is one more fight and one reason why many can opt directly for the traditional version of Android.

Android works better every time

Download a ROM. Upgrade to Nightly. Switch to that kernel that has 17% higher performance. Modify the volume button so that if you press it four times it will make you a backup. The possibilities are endless but in the end you end up dedicating more time than perhaps it deserves. Using a mobile phone must be something transparent, something that does not require effort and directly offers us what we are looking for. Many users will want that level of performance, automation, and customization, but many others will not.

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And you will end with the last reason and surely the main reason why the root scene has been decreasing over time. Nowadays, Android works like a charm. Many users already have access to Android 6.0 or higher and the performance is very good on the smartphones they take out, we can control the permissions and the level of customization is great. There are dozens of tutorials for Android that do not require root.

For all this we understand that many users do not have the need to have root on their smartphones, but from here we also remember its virtues and we encourage all who have not tried it if they have a secondary device try to give it a new life by trying it. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? What state do you think the root scene is in?


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