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Posted on 19-05-22, 15:00
Not from my cellphone

Post: #344 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

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This ZTE shit came with Fuckbook preinstalled (an app and a "services" thing).

I'm NOT allowing this turd to join MY WLAN (or any network) without addressing it first. If it turns out impossible to permanently erase (because noone cares about budget Chinaware devices unless they're flagships), I'll ensure this phone NEVER works as a anything but an ol-fashioned dumbphone (that is, calls and texts ONLY).

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Posted on 19-05-23, 08:44
Post: #46 of 76
Since: 10-31-18

Last post: 134 days
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I think Magisk modules are literally just "mount with shadowing".
Posted on 19-05-25, 08:14 (revision 2)
Post: #201 of 373
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 13 days
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Hang in there tomman, Huawei may be installing 4G support in your country! https://www.mcall.com/business/sns-bc-lt--venezuela-huawei-20190524-story.html

AMD Ryzen 3700X | MSI Gamer Geforce 1070Ti 8GB | 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 RAM | ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero (WiFi) Motherboard | Windows 10 x64
Posted on 19-05-25, 12:42
Not from my cellphone

Post: #347 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
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All of our networks are mostly Huawei and ZTE since... well, forever. Nothing new under the sun, this is just mindless clickbait (also: this is not the politics thread!)

2G barely works. 3G is a joke. 4G is nowhere to be seen, despite having been deployed in select zones since 2015 by all three mobile telcos (the state-owned Movilnet was late to the 4G party, to the point that they don't even advertise it despite being active since 2017)

I could care less about EVIL CHINAZ spying on my mundane phone calls with my family, and more about being able to talk to people for more than 5 seconds without the customary "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?!?? *call dropped*" shit.

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Posted on 19-05-25, 13:58

Post: #142 of 295
Since: 10-29-18

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Posted by tomman
being able to talk to people for more than 5 seconds without the customary "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?!?? *call dropped*"

See, that's why you need a Whatsapp-capable phone!

My current setup: Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-1CHIP-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10
Posted on 19-05-25, 22:05
Not from my cellphone

Post: #349 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
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The more I research about my Z835 (because I think that "Maven 3" is a stupid market name, just like pretty much every non-flagship USAian phone) rooting/modding options, the more I hate the device, its OEM and original carrier, while questioning the intelligence of whoever bought it ("butbutbut it's just a phone!!!"):

- There are a few ROM builds out there: V1.0.0B13, V2.0.0B10, V2.0.0B12, V2.0.0B13, and the latest AT&T release, V2.0.0B14 (which is from late '18, as the device is now considered abandoned and unsupported). Full stock ROMs are only available for V2.0.0B12 (including the proper ZTE/QCOM boilerplate stuff for its flasher tools), and someone who uploaded a V1.0.0B13 rip from an actual phone (noone has ever tested flashing it back to a phone). My phone has the oldest of all ROMs, V1.0.0B13.

- Rooting is possible for V1.0.0B13, V2.0.0B12 and V2.0.0B13. But noone seems to have figured it out how to get full RW access to /system, hence no way to debloat (you technically can "uninstall" system apps including Fuckbook and AT&T junkware, but there is no way to get rid permanently of those). People have reported problems when rooting V1.0.0B13 devices, requiring to swap boot.img between variants.

- There IS a TWRP test build for the Z835, but the one and only brave soul that dared testing it only got a bootloop (thankfully a recoverable one). This info conflicts with guides on other places that claim that all you need to flash this TWRP build is to unlock the bootloader and use adb/fastboot. Fun.

- Improperly flashing stuff to this phone may (will?) break the "phone" features, as it will corrupt the IMEI (!!!). Fixing this is possible, but requires access to VERY EXPENSIVE service boxes as the supply of IMEI "repair" tools has been traditionally tightly controlled by the phone repair mafia (not to forget mentioning that said tools can be used for "illegal" purposes too).

There is little to no interest from anyone at XDA-developers for a 2017 carrier-exclusive budget phone which has been already phased out, so I'm pretty much on my own on this, and unlike Allshitter/Mediatek/ChinaSOCs which are unbrickable by design, instead you got the embodiment of mobile evil, Qualcomm, where bricking IS a service!

Oh, this phone uses nano-SIMs. NANO! As in "you can't just use scissors to trim the extra plastic" because even if you don't damage the delicate bond wires while trimming the metallic contacts, you also have to deal with the thinner plastic too. There are plenty of guides on Internet on how to damage your phone mod your SIM card, but I'll trust the folks that actually made those in first place, thanks.
Went to Movistar, they wanted me to buy a new SIM card despite already having service with them (in the pre-hyperinflationary era they would have just swapped it for free). SIMs cost nearly a minimum wage I don't earn, and since they aren't edible... well, that phone will remain on its box for the foreseeable future.

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Posted on 19-05-25, 22:21
Stirrer of Shit
Post: #320 of 717
Since: 01-26-19

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What happens if you just try to mount /system as RW in the terminal?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-05-26, 03:35
Not from my cellphone

Post: #351 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
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Turns out these Snapdragon turds have some unbrickability abilities, known as EDL (Emergency DownLoad)

Basically: for taking advantage of EDL, you need a signed RAM downloader (Qualcomm calls this "Firehose") for your phone, which is nothing but a good ol' ELF executable, SoC-specific (for the Z835 that would be prog_emmc_firehose_8909.mbn). The trick is to actually find it, as Qualcomm don't release those to end users. Luckily they leak from time to time (and some OEMs even bundle then with their firmware updates, like Xiaomi), and the V2.0.0B12 firmware package ships with the proper prog_emmc_firehose_8909.mbn for this phone.

Even better: there is a Linux flasher that speaks the QCOM-specific "Sahara" protocol, so all you need is your Firehose blob and your firmware files (rawprogram0.xml/patch0.xml + a bunch of other shit):
https://www.96boards.org/documentation/consumer/guides/qdl.md.html
https://git.linaro.org/landing-teams/working/qualcomm/qdl.git/
Just like Mediatek, there is no need to deal with driver shennanigans (unlike Windows, where QCOM's driver installer set my W7 laptop to Test Mode without asking me because they were stupid and neglected to sign their driver file! Fortunately there is a older package out there which is properly signed, but... ugh, Qualcomm!)

ZTE's proprietary ZPST for AT&T devices can also flash those QCOM images, as it ships with the required Firehose blobs, but that requires that your phone actually BOOTS. EDL works even if the flash IC is completely borked as it is baked into the Snapdragon boot ROM.

I'm still wary of the whole "IMEI corruption" issue, which tells me that this firmware is a piece of fragile shit. Another thing that I couldn't find is that if flashing a full firmware image would re-lock the phone to AT&T SIMs (I don't have the unlock code - supposedly whoever bought this phone had it unlocked). Getting this shit relocked would mean a fate even worse than bricking it!

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Posted on 19-05-26, 05:40
Not from my cellphone

Post: #352 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
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OK, so there is a easy way to insure yourself against losing your IMEI (and effectively bricking the "phone" part of your smartPHONE): backup the EFS (which is Qualcomm-esque for a special filesystem dating back to their CDMA dumbphone era, where a bunch of information about your phone modem lives... including the ESN/MEID/IMEI). For that you need yet another Qualcomm service app (QPST), and the proper diagnostic port drivers. This way, you get your precious phone setup bits safely backed up, and when shit hits the fan, it's just matter to restore from your backups.

Nothing has really changed since we used QPST back in 2007 for backing up NAM programming on CDMA handsets (if anything, tampering with ESNs was actually tough as that area was well secured - I'm surprised IMEIs are so vulnerable on such recent chipsets!): set phone to COM mode, plug, backup, done.

...hahahahahahahaNOPE, that's now how shit is done on the smartdevice era! Those newfangled devices hide the diagnostic port for your own safety! Unfortunately I've been unable to find the proper secret codes for enabling the diagnostic port on the Z835 (all I've found so far is the Engineering Mode code *ZTE*OPENEM#, but nothing else that actually works on this model). Booting the phone to FTM DOES expose a diagnostic port... but that's ZTE-specific, and won't work at all with QPST!

The other option is to root the phone, which allows to forcefully enable the diag port through adb, or simply dd the three relevant EFS partitions (modemst1/modemst2/fsg) to the SD card. But rooting involves flashing, and flashing involves risking to damage your EFS! Nice catch-22 we've got there: we must destroy the planet in order to save the planet!

...fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you ZTE! And fuck you very much too, Qualcomm!

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Posted on 19-05-26, 20:47 (revision 1)
Not from my cellphone

Post: #354 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
Last view: 3 hours
Found a partial compromise: https://www.xda-developers.com/uninstall-carrier-oem-bloatware-without-root-access/

You can tell the phone to pretend to uninstall carrier bloatware for the active user. The app will be GONE (not just merely disabled, but completely out of your reach), albeit its APKs will be still there, eating precious storage. Not great, but this does not require rooting the device, the risk is minimal, and changes are easy to undo (just do a factory reset if you screw up things badly)

At least Facebook is now safely defused... among the pile of AT&T spyware, and even a couple of moronic ZTE bits:
cn.wps.moffice_eng
com.aetherpal.attdh.zte
com.amazon.mShop.android.install
com.amazon.mShop.android.shopping
com.asurion.android.mobilerecovery.att
com.att.callprotect
com.att.mobile.android.vvm
com.att.myWireless
com.carrieriq.iqagent
com.drivemode
com.dti.att
com.emoji.keyboard.touchpal
com.example.chromecustomizations
com.facebook.appmanager
com.facebook.katana
com.facebook.system
com.google.android.apps.cloudprint
com.google.android.apps.photos
com.google.android.apps.tachyon
com.google.android.keep
com.google.android.music
com.google.android.videos
com.lookout
com.matchboxmobile.wisp
com.synchronoss.dcs.att.r2g
com.ume.browser.northamerica
com.zte.assistant
com.zte.selfie
net.aetherpal.device
com.android.chrome
com.google.android.youtube


Still, this is no substitute for real rooting. Hope that for when (WHEN, not "if"!) this turd shits the bed (forcing me to risk my balls with a reflash), the rooting/recovery situation have improved (HAHAHAHAHAHAnope, who am I lying to!?). Either that, or maybe communism will be over and I'll be able to buy that KaiOS-powered Alcatel flip phone (with real numpad!). Or a box of refurb V9xs, since I actually have no use for 4G, micro/nano SIMs, or anything beyond Solitaire and Tetris :P In the meanwhile, there is no real reason to root this ZTE turd, unless you need a mobile hotspot because AT&T would want to gouge you for that instead.

UPDATE:
> com.carrieriq.iqagent
WOW! That shit is still kickin' alive despite the shitstorm raised over it nearly a decade ago, when it was deemed as ACTUAL SPYWARE!?
Apparently AT&T now owns the IP and software:
https://techcrunch.com/2015/12/30/att-snaps-up-assets-talent-from-carrier-iq-as-phone-monitoring-startup-goes-offline/
...and they're still bundling that spyware on their phones! But no, evil ZTE, evil China, eeeeeeeeevil!

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Posted on 19-05-26, 21:01
Custom title here

Post: #468 of 931
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 1 hour
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Evil Huawei. ZTE is old news.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-05-26, 22:18
Not from my cellphone

Post: #355 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
Last view: 3 hours
Are there any smartdevice OEM left at 'murica, aside of that fruity company that makes expensive phones assembled in China?

- Motorola: now owned by Lenovo => China
- Cisco: does not make cellphones
- RCA: only the brand survives, leased by whatever Chinese OEM they can find for cheap this week
- General Electric: does not make cellphones
- Microsoft: exited the market not long ago
- Google: does not make its own cellphones, only software
- Atari: is no longer an American corporation, last time I bothered checking. And they don't make cellphones
- IBM: Only made one cellphone (Simon, the original smartdevice, back when there was nothing but 1G!)
- Oracle: Do you even want of all corporations, specifically them making cellphones?!
- Disney: does not make cellphones, and their mobile phone provider ventures have been complete failures

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Posted on 19-05-26, 23:40
Custom title here

Post: #469 of 931
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 1 hour
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I don't think there are. Though I thought the Google Pixels were developed in-house.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-05-27, 10:18
Stirrer of Shit
Post: #323 of 717
Since: 01-26-19

Last post: 242 days
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HP and Garmin are as American as apple pie, and they both make smartphones every now and then.

According to Wikipedia, there are also some other obscure brands I've never heard of, like BLU ("the first Latin-owned mobile phone manufacturer aimed at a Latin population"), Firefly ("a cellphone aimed at parents to give to their children aged 5–12 years"), and a few more too obscure to even have a Wikipedia page.

I suppose I don't get it. How would smartphones for "a Latin population" be different from those aimed at any other? Fine if they're aimed for the local markets, but in America?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-05-27, 11:16
Now with less self-mockery

Post: #232 of 520
Since: 10-29-18

Last post: 6 days
Last view: 5 hours
But how American is apple pie?

Oh.
Posted on 19-05-27, 11:42
Custom title here

Post: #470 of 931
Since: 10-30-18

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Posted by Kawa
But how American is apple pie?

Oh.
But how british is rasberry pie?

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-05-27, 12:16
Not from my cellphone

Post: #356 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
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Posted by sureanem
HP and Garmin are as American as apple pie, and they both make smartphones every now and then.

According to Wikipedia, there are also some other obscure brands I've never heard of, like BLU ("the first Latin-owned mobile phone manufacturer aimed at a Latin population"), Firefly ("a cellphone aimed at parents to give to their children aged 5–12 years"), and a few more too obscure to even have a Wikipedia page.

I suppose I don't get it. How would smartphones for "a Latin population" be different from those aimed at any other? Fine if they're aimed for the local markets, but in America?


HP has ventured into the cellphone market several times. All of them have been sound failures for various reasons (don't forget how they finished Palm's job of burying WebOS). Never heard about Garmin phones, but then, "cellphones" is not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Garmin, a corporation widely known for its main product line: standalone GPS receivers.

BLU indeed is Miami-based, which fits with their Latin focus. But I hardly consider them as an "American" OEM as they only rebadge noname chinesium phones made from whatever cheapest Mediatek SoC they can find this week. You won't find flagships there, but they nicely cover the lower end of the spectrum with offerings like this:
- Dual SIMs
- FM radio
- Removable batteries
- Headphone jacks
- CHEAP
- Not tied to a brand name that artificially hikes the price even on low-end junk *cough*Samsung*cough*

This is why they're very popular in Latam, where the model of subsidized phone is not exactly popular. But I do get your concern there: USA is the land of "free phone with lifetime slavery contract", and most people (including Latin folks, some of which aren't the brightest lightbulbs on the socket) simply buy whatever your AT&Ts and Verizons "give away". Still, I somehow see those phones selling modestly in Latin-populated zones among budget-conscious people - after all you can also buy next-to-free SIM cards on the very same places that sell phones there...

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Posted on 19-05-27, 14:31
Stirrer of Shit
Post: #325 of 717
Since: 01-26-19

Last post: 242 days
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I get why you could make one and target it for the South American market. That makes sense. But why the whole ethnic minority thing? Wouldn't it make more sense to move your headquarters to Mexico or something?

HP did actually support the Elite X3 "until 2019," so they might keep the title a little longer.

Akyumen is a "Silicon Valley startup," and they do have some kind of unique hardware, and Sonim seems to be a legitimate company. Although I'm sure they're still made in China, like everything else.

CAT might count too, although they're strictly speaking British.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-05-28, 03:20 (revision 5)
Not from my cellphone

Post: #358 of 784
Since: 10-30-18

Last post: 3 hours
Last view: 3 hours
Soooo... I finally hooked this shit to my WiFi.

But I'm not letting it use my Google account. This poses a problem, because I actually want to be able to update the preloaded apps I left installed, and install new apps without hunting for .APKs on shady sites.

This looks promising...
https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.github.yeriomin.yalpstore/


UPDATE: Fuck, let's install F-Droid anyway.

UPDATE 2: Yalp just hit the nail in the head: same functionality as Google Play (since it just piggybacks on its services), it let me upgrade the few Google bits I choose to leave. Now I need to install a web browser (that isn't Chrome or Firefux), my mobile banking apps (which are another clusterfuck of pure failsauce, but sadly I need them for paying for shit), and MAYBE a decent Solitaire app. Suggestions? (Mobile Deluxe's Solitaire Deluxe is right out of the question, as it contains ads and other crapware)

UPDATE 3: ...sadly Yalp is no silver bullet: for looking for new apps it goes from "meh" to "completely useless". Tried to use it to install my mobile pay apps, and only found one. I don't know if Google Play performs regional lockouts (as those apps are useless for anyone outside Venezuela since the commies ordered to geoblock the fuck out of our lameloid banks). But after reading the reviews on two of the apps I'm actually trying to install, might as well pretend that Yalp is doing me a favor by preserving the physical integrity of my handset (oh banks, the only ones that actually come up with mobile payment apps where you can actually pay to nobody due to unfixed frontend bugs!)

UPDATE 4: A workaround for broken search in Yalp is to know the package ID for the app you're trying to install. Or switch to Aurora, its replacement. But then, Aurora really wants you to create an account with them. How about no? It haz Anonymous mode, so yeah.

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Posted on 19-05-28, 04:01
Custom title here

Post: #475 of 931
Since: 10-30-18

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Posted by tomman
(oh banks, the only ones that actually come up with mobile payment apps where you can actually pay to nobody due to unfixed frontend bugs!)
Don't think of it is paying nobody, think of it as making a charitable donation to the bank!
...
Yeah, that actually makes it worse. Don't think of it that way.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
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