Host names: On my net, names follow roles, and the eventual role of the Galaxy S5 will be jimc's personal pocket computer (cellphone), named Selen. However, the existing Selen (Galaxy S3) cannot be retired until the new one is ready. The name Orion is reserved for machines that are being set up initially, and will be used for the Galaxy S5.
Several steps require interacting with the Galaxy S5 by Android USB debugging or lower level protocols (download mode). I'm going to be doing this from Jacinth, the home server, a CompuLab fit-PC3 LP with a AMD x86_64 CPU, running OpenSuSE Linux 13.1. Having the home server role, Jacinth has a lot of USB peripheral devices, and the USB subsystem can get picky about available bandwidth. Also, it is recommended to connect the pocket computer directly to the support machine, not through a hub. So which USB bus shall I use? It looks like the safest move is to transfer the FM radio receiver (USB-1.x, 12Mbit/sec) to bus 4 (face module center right) leaving bus 3 (face module rightmost) completely vacant, to be used for Android installation.
In the box:
Travel Adaptermodel EP-TA10JWS, input 100-240V 50-60Hz, NEMA 1-15P plug (North American, no ground), output 5.3V 2A, USB type A female, made in China.
To remove the back cover: There is a subtle cutout near the power button in the northeast corner. Start the attack there. Your fingernail can get it open (if you're male) if you slide it north, then around the headphone jack, and all the way around the phone to the USB connector (south). Make sure the northwest grabber lets go. Then go south from the cutout to the bottom, and the cover will be off. I saw a photo where the person used a guitar pick to get the cover off.
When replacing the cover I start at the south end (charging connector) and work around both edges in parallel. I found the northwest grabber (near the headphone jack) was hardest to get closed. Check that all grabbers are connected because water resistance depends on this. Be careful to not press the power button by accident, until you are ready to turn on the phone.
In the battery box you will find a sticker with the IMEI and other info. Copy down everything on the sticker, particularly the IMEI and the serial number.
Northwest of the battery box are the sockets for the SIM and the micro-SD external storage card. When handling the cards, avoid touching the gold contacts, to avoid chloride corrosion from your sweat. Some features are not functional unless a SIM is present, but the software does not care if your account with the carrier is valid, so I'm inserting an expired AT&T SIM, as well as a spare micro-SD card (8Gb). No I'm not; the expired SIM is mini size, 25x15mm, whereas the Galaxy S5 (and S3) take a micro-SIM, 15x12mm. For reference a nano-SIM is 12.3x8.8mm.
How do you remove the SIM afterward?
Verizon says that you can get enough traction with your fingers to remove the card without special maneuvers. Take the battery out first.
Solvemix.com has a HOWTO saying this: remove the SD card first. At the northwest corner of the SD socket is a little notch. Stick a sewing needle (or analogous small object) through it and push the SIM out. Be careful to not damage components underneath. It will then stick out enough that you can grab it with your fingers.
On AndroidCentral.com, ShaggyKids (2014-02-13) asks how to get the SIM out of a Galaxy Note 2 which probably has a similar socket. Hghlndr (same date) answers, a pencil eraser can give you enough traction to pull the SIM out. Remove the SD card first. dpham00 answers, tape can help.
I found dpham00's method worked best: stick a piece of tape to the narrow exposed edge of the SIM, and it will have enough traction to pull the SIM out.
In the Galaxy S3 you can push the SIM in further and it will spring out.
Insert the battery, replace the back cover, open the USB connector's door, plug in the charger, connect the USB cable between them. The USB logo goes to the front. The battery, as delivered, had 93% charge, so I can get right to work testing things. On the stock image the indicator LED (northwest corner) is red while charging and green when finished (90% or so). When finished charging, make sure the USB connector door is closed tight because water resistance depends on this. It's on a little rubber stalk and you need to help the stalk go back inside the body.
With the charging cable connected (97% charge), external SD card present,
but no SIM, I hold down the power button for about 3 secs until the phone
vibrates. It boots, showing the boot animation (the word
with a cloud of dots popping out on each repetition). When booted it runs
the Welcome app. It mumbles a lot in what could be Spanish (though I can't
understand it), but you can't select the language, accessibility features,
Start. OK, I figured it out, it's English as spoken by Russians
in a James Bond movie.
If I press the power button I get the power off or restart menu,
but pressing any of the items does nothing.
Holding down power for 30 seconds should make it power off, but doesn't.
Battery pull, starting again without the USB cable. Didn't help.
Battery pull means remove the back cover, remove the battery,
count to 10, and replace the battery and cover.)
A search on Google reveals that this problem is not unknown. Here's one forum post: On AndroidCentral.com romi_kler has this problem (2014-04-29). dpham00 (moderator) replies, boot into recovery (home, volume up, then power) and do a factory reset. But how do I turn off the phone? When I pulled the battery and replaced the cover, it rebooted into the main OS (failing). In hindsight, I must have accidentally pressed the power button when replacing the cover.
This procedure worked:
Android system recovery KOT49H.G900MUBU1ANI1.
Reboot system nowis again highlighted.
After setting the date and time you should reboot your phone, otherwise it will botch authentication to your Google account. There is probably a margin of a minute or two, 2014-01-01 is way outside the limit, and some apps, like the Google services backend, likely botch slewing the clock.
To discover the MAC address you can look in the firewall log, but the straight-arrow way is Settings - System - About Device - Status - WiFi MAC Address (5th from the bottom on mine).
Grant access to Orion in the firewall. First create the IPv6 address per RFC 2462. (I use IPv6 on my home net.) Files to edit (see /etc/hosts.add.txt):
Now set up the Google account. It is possible to create the Google account here, but I already have one, and also I recommend creating it in advance from your desktop machine, to avoid complication and communication issues. Settings - Accounts - Add - Google - Existing - give e-mail address and password. Decline Google Backup and Google Spam. It will try to sync all syncable data to your Google account. Get back to the accounts list, click on the Google account line item, click on your e-mail address, and it will open a list of what may or may not be synced. Turn off what you don't want.
Once it has a Google account, it will immediately update every app you have, taking half an hour or so for this. You can still install new apps but they have to wait in line. You should be doing this step on Wi-Fi, not cellular data.
How to enable developer mode and Android USB Debugging: In Settings find
About Phone. Find the build number. Tap the line 7 times.
Developer Mode has been enabled. Back out to the
System section of the main Settings menu and you will find a new item
for Developer Options. Turn on USB Debugging. I left everything else
at the default.
I was unable to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge) effectively on the unrooted stock image, but if you need it see the paragraph on ADB in CyanogenMod installation.
It's also downloaded a recent image for Android-5.0
I can't tell from where, but it's got to be an official source.
I want to capture it for future use, but I can't find it. Installing
ES File Manager. It sees the same files that I do with
Try rebooting into Recovery. The stock recovery does not do ADB.
Growl. I guess this is going to have to wait until I install TWRP
Recovery. If you accidentally click on the notification for the update,
hit the back button to decline to install it. While I would like to check
out the Lollipop stock image, a higher priority is to capture that image
for future use in an emergency.
Installing Phone Tester, GPS Status, LTE Discovery, AnTuTu Benchmark from
the market (
Play Store). You need to create and authenticate your
Google account before you can do anything on the market. LTE Discovery
doesn't discover any LTE without a SIM card.
I want to do the minimal work on the stock image because I'm going to just replace it with CyanogenMod, but it will be less annoying if you do the basic setting steps.
Pairing with the 66 BT Sport headphones on the stock OS: Turn on Bluetooth. Make the headphone discoverable (hold down the call button after the initial wakeup beep, until you get a lower double beep). Hit Scan on the phone if the scan times out. Click on the line item for the headphone, starts out as the MAC address but eventually shows the device brand. It pairs with no further user interaction. And it plays media.
Playing the KUSC Shoutcast stream: I used the Android browser to show
a web page with a link to the stream. It asked what to show it with; I
picked the Android browser. The stream source redirected and it asked
again what to show it with; again I picked the Android browser.
It asked again giving a selection of media players; I picked Google Play
Music. It executed and performed the stream. All these choices would
become automatic if you click on the
Always choice button.
(But if you decided to change, how would you do it?)
Now I'm going to check out cellular operation, transferring my Verizon SIM to Orion, but I'll move it back after checkout, until I get CyanogenMod installed.
Initially the status bar's signal strength box has a
icon (circle with baston), but after a minute or so it finds a signal
(1/2 bar) then returns to
denied. Then it shows 4 bars for a
while. It cannot authenticate on this base station either. It repeats
the cycle of trying different base stations every few minutes. There
are at least four distinguishable stations that it tries. I need to
give it time to try every base station in the neighborhood. But after
one hour it had not found a base station it could authenticate to.
Looking in Settings - More Networks - Network Mode, it's on LTE/WCDMA/GSM auto. I'm leaving it there. Alternatives are WCDMA/GSM auto, or WCDMA only, or GSM only. These are all useless with Verizon.
In About Device - Status, I have a good signal (-81dBm, 16 asu) but it is out of service, network type unknown. It does have my correct phone number off the SIM.
LTE Discovery has not yet discovered any LTE -- disappointing. Obviously some of the base stations must have LTE, but this phone does not intend to work with them.
Conclusion: this part of my plan has failed. I will need to transfer to T-Mobile immediately. I'm glad I did this test with the stock image, so problems could not be blamed on CyanogenMod. I have been told that Verizon does not support all-LTE operation; the phone has to connect first using CDMA2000, 1xRTT or EV-DO, none of which this phone can do.
Picking a cellular plan from T-Mobile. Terms are as of 2015-05-01.
The goal is to get a cheap plan that I can use until my wife's contract expires and we can both jump onto our son's family plan. Hassles, and paying for features that won't be used, are to be avoided. Transferring directly to the family plan is also a distinct possibility.
Basically the price and terms of service of each element are the same in all plans (mostly); the plans vary in how you pay for them.
The Simple Choice family of plans includes unlimited talk, SMS and MMS (text) and data. High speed (LTE) data is limited to 1Gb/month (more in the more expensive plans); if you go over your speed is throttled, or you can buy more in a special purchase, see below under pay as you go for pricing. High speed is up to 8Mb/sec (bits I assume), throttled is 128kb/sec. This is on the prepaid plans; high speed can be higher (rate not stated) on the slightly more expensive postpaid plans.
I want to avoid a credit check, so I'm looking at two variants: prepaid, or Simple Choice Non-Credit, which is postpaid (sort of). Features of both:
The lowest Simply Prepaid plan (described above) is $40/month. Simple Choice non-credit is $50/month. It includes international service not available on Simply Prepaid. This is the one I'm going to get.
The pay as you go plan is $3/month minimum charge, $0.10/minute talk, $0.10 per SMS in and out. Data pricing: 500Mb costs $5 lasting 1 day, or 1Gb costs $10 lasting 1 week. For reference, on other plans but not this one, 3Gb costs $30 and lasts 1 month. The photo on the page is of a kid. This plan is probably not going to fly because map navigation requires data and may happen unexpectedly.
On monthly plans, for calls from the US to abroad, for $10/month extra you get unlimited SMS, unlimited voice to landlines, and $0.20/min to mobiles in 100 non-predatory countries, or discounted rates elsewhere.
On monthly plans, if you call when abroad (from/to non-predatory
countries), voice is $0.20/min and SMS and data are
Does not apply to the prepaid plan.
Domestic coverage: T-Mobile has good LTE coverage in the major USA urban areas including Los Angeles, but it has coverage (not necessarily LTE) in rural areas of not too many states. The entire rural midwest and much of the southeast is uncovered. This means you will be roaming, most likely on AT&T, in the majority of rural areas.
If the majority of your cellphone use is roaming, T-Mobile will not be happy (since it costs them extra) and they will terminate your account. Check coverage in the area where you reside and make calls.
Remember that the allowance for domestic data roaming is skimpy, 10Mb/month for the 1Gb plans. Data roaming is only available for plans costing $50/mo and up.
Family plan, non-credit: $50/mo for the first line, $30/mo for the second, $10/mo for additional lines. Unlimited voice, SMS and data (1Gb/mo per line at LTE speeds, throttled after that). Does not mention SMS from US to abroad.
Hmmm, now that I'm signed up for the plan, it appears that it does not offer international roaming. I'm going to have to talk to customer service about this. It would be reasonable that you have to pay them extra, but it's not clear what you ask for.
OK, finally got the SIM card.
Write down the SIM card number. You will also need your phone number (they e-mailed it to me) and your IMEI (inside the battery box; you should already have copied it down).
Insert the SIM. Turn on the phone. You're going to get a SMS.
You will be creating your T-Mobile account. Pre-create your
password (for logging on to
My T-Mobile on the web site).
It needs 8 to 15 characters, no blanks, at least one letter and at
least 1 number. Jimc's additional recommendations: both upper and
lower case, and it may or may not have been messed up by a percent,
but a replacement without SQL-active punctuation (percent and underbar)
was accepted. This password is different from your PIN (4 digits),
which governs administrative changes to the account; Customer Service
will want you to give the PIN.
This HOWTO on TomsGuide.com gives two methods: call Customer Service (and read the IMEI etc. over the phone) or try it online. I'm going to try it online first. First find the URL.
Beware: It got quite a way through the process and then the
Linux (desktop). I eventually tried again with a different password
Internet for Android (on the new phone), and got it to work;
however, the account was half set up from the previous attempt and so
things were very confused. Was it the browser or the password that
messed it up? Can't tell. But future readers now have a hint of
click on the login logo, upper right corner with a person icon and
my. Follow the
Sign Up link. It wants your
full name, e-mail address, T-Mobile phone number, and password
(which you create).
They send a SMS to the phone number you give with a
password. Type it in on the next screen.
On the next screen they want 3 security questions. You pick from a preset list, and fill in the answers.
Well, twice it failed to confirm the combination of phone number and password. (Which password? I assume the temporary one.) Time for customer service. Dial 611.
I'm not 100% sure what Heidi did, but she associated my phone
number with my account, activated my SIM, and registered my IMEI
(where?) Nonetheless I'm still not able to finish account creation.
The phone is registered for the account. It rejects my password.
If I try to reset the PW, I can do the temporary password thing,
but when I submit the form with the new PW on it, it circulates for
5-10 secs, then stays on the same page, does not advance to a new page.
When I try to log in, it again rejects the password. This is all on
desktop Firefox. But when I re-did resetting the PW using
Internet for Android (on the phone), it accepted the new PW,
and logged me in directly. The security questions from the first
attempt (where it failed) were in their database. I was able to log
out and log in again using the new PW.
Functional tests using the new phone:
LTE Discovery: While Wi-fi is available the phone does not connect to LTE; it uses HSPA. Today's signal -97dBm (3 bars), location not stated. With Wi-fi off, we're still on HSPA or HSPA+. I need to dig for this. Yes, it will connect to LTE when it feels like it.