Trying to figure out if rooting will enable me to achieve my goals

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Jun 7, 2016 3:21:13 AM via Website

Hi Experts, I appreciate your help. I have a 2+ yr. old LG Nexus 5 running Android 6.0.1 on a T-Mobile plan. I am about to move to S. Korea for a 2 year teaching gig. I have heard that if my phone is "jail-broken" which seems to mean "rooted" it will work in S. Korea with only a new SIM card and save me buying a whole new piece of hardware (because apparently the 'channels' are compatible). I have been searching the internet for info on rooting and can't quite seem to assure myself that a) I can do it (either using complicated directions or a free app to download from the app store and b) if I do it successfully my phone will continue to work on the T-Mobile network here in the U.S. until I get on the plane later this summer and c) all I have to do is plug in a new SIM card when I get to S. Korea and I'll have phone service over there? I have an agency already lined up to get me the new SIM card when I arrive. Also, one of the free 'unlocker' apps I was looking at said I could basically use it to turn the locking on and off when I didn't need to make admin changes to the phone in order to improve security. d) so if possible can you comment on that as well? I really only want to skip buying another new device if possible but if this works e) can I do it to a cheap Insignia Android tablet I bought from Best Buy running 5.0.1 and speed it up somehow?

Thanks again for any light you can shed. I would have to buy a new phone anyway if this doesn't work and I don't store any non-backed-up data on my phone so I'm willing to roll the dice if there's a chance it could work. Cheers! -- Chris

  • Forum posts: 251

Jun 7, 2016 5:05:49 AM via Website

Christopher Lyke

Hi Experts, I appreciate your help. I have a 2+ yr. old LG Nexus 5 running Android 6.0.1 on a T-Mobile plan. I am about to move to S. Korea for a 2 year teaching gig. I have heard that if my phone is "jail-broken" which seems to mean "rooted" it will work in S. Korea with only a new SIM card and save me buying a whole new piece of hardware (because apparently the 'channels' are compatible). I have been searching the internet for info on rooting and can't quite seem to assure myself that a) I can do it (either using complicated directions or a free app to download from the app store and b) if I do it successfully my phone will continue to work on the T-Mobile network here in the U.S. until I get on the plane later this summer and c) all I have to do is plug in a new SIM card when I get to S. Korea and I'll have phone service over there? I have an agency already lined up to get me the new SIM card when I arrive. Also, one of the free 'unlocker' apps I was looking at said I could basically use it to turn the locking on and off when I didn't need to make admin changes to the phone in order to improve security. d) so if possible can you comment on that as well? I really only want to skip buying another new device if possible but if this works e) can I do it to a cheap Insignia Android tablet I bought from Best Buy running 5.0.1 and speed it up somehow?

Thanks again for any light you can shed. I would have to buy a new phone anyway if this doesn't work and I don't store any non-backed-up data on my phone so I'm willing to roll the dice if there's a chance it could work. Cheers! -- Chris

Sounds like you want to be able to use your T-Mobile phone while in South Korea. If that is what you want to do, then you do not need to root (jail break) your phone.

All you need to do is to unlock your phone through your carrier or 3rd party unlocker which charges less.

But here is the good news for you:

The Nexus 5 is sold unlocked so there is no need for you to do anything further. All you need to do is to insert the South Korean SIM card, or any other SIM card from other carriers into the Nexus 5 and it will work. :)

  • Forum posts: 2

Jun 7, 2016 4:00:35 PM via Website

Thanks! I didn't realize phones were sold unlocked in the U.S. I thought they were tied to a particular carrier through some boot-up software. I guess I can just go to the T-Mobile store and ask them about it. Is there any other way to check the "lock status" (or not) on the phone?

  • Forum posts: 251

Jun 7, 2016 6:43:55 PM via Website

Christopher Lyke

Thanks! I didn't realize phones were sold unlocked in the U.S. I thought they were tied to a particular carrier through some boot-up software. I guess I can just go to the T-Mobile store and ask them about it. Is there any other way to check the "lock status" (or not) on the phone?

No, only the Nexus phones are sold unlocked because that's the way Google wants it. The rest of the phones, Samsung, LG, etc are locked to the carrier.

The simplest way to check if the phone is locked/unlocked is to buy a SIM from a different carrier and test it on the phone. SIMs are not expensive, $5 to $10. Some carrier may even give it out for free.