When getting root access to your device or installing any custom ROMs you need to know the number of your device's firmware. This number does not necessarily have to be the same for the same model of phone. For example, all Samsung Galaxy S3's represent the same model, but do not have the same firmware number. Today in our Android for Beginners series we will help you clarify what the firmware number is exactly and how to find it.
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Firmware is the operating software available on an Android device, and it is available in different versions designed by different manufacturers. Basically it's the device-specific part of the software. For example, you may have Android 4.2.2 running on your phone, but have a firmware number that looks completely different because it relates to more details than just Operating System. The firmware number consists of several elements, all of which are essential for the functioning of the phone:
- PDA: Android operating system and your customizations.
- Phone: the actual identifier of your device.
- CSC (Country Exit Code): the languages and country-specific parameters.
- Bootloader: the boot loader program that runs at startup to all unit processes.
All these terms will sound familiar if you have flashed any ROMs already through Odin, for example. But for everyone else, now you know!
Where I can find the latest version of firmware?
Since I'm using a Samsung I'll go to SamMobile. On this website you can find the latest firmware updates for any model of Samsung smartphone. They usually update the firmware constantly, so I recommend you check in regularly if you are a regular root user. Don't forget that a device with root access no longer receives official update notifications from the manufacturer, so you have to be on the lookout for yourself.
To find out what number of firmware your device has on it currently, just go to your Settings menu. For Sony and Samsung devices, go to Settings > About Device > Build Number. For HTC devices, you should go to Settings > About Device > Software Information > Software Version. Here are some examples:
If you have a Samsung device you can also check the version of firmware you currently have by dialing * # 1234 # call.
Other useful information
The Baseband Version is the radio driver in which everything that has to do with telephone communications of devices is stored. In general, this parameter does not have to be affected when flashing a ROM, since the recovery or recovery mode does not have access to this part of memory.
The Kernel Version accurately identifies the core type, ie, the operating system kernel makes the hardware communicate with the operating system.
So, that's how to find your current firmware version number and see what the latest available version is. The official firmware number of your device is very useful for locating custom ROMS for your rooted device, but it is also helpful if you want to cancel root privileges.