XDA has published an unusually-detailed post on their front page, all about their community’s so-far thwarted attempts to unlock the bootloader and obtain root on North American variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. I think it makes an excellent addendum to what I previously wrote here about those devices.
The biggest issue that modders face with the SGS7 is the two chipsets. In the Americas—Canada and the United States, anyway—the phones are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820; everywhere else you’ll find Samsung’s own Exynos 8890. I think I heard on the XDA podcast that Exynos versions of Samsung phones are actually more developer-friendly, in that they ship with their bootloaders already unlocked. Unfortunately that same Exynos chip means that you’ll never be able to use an AOSP-based custom ROM (something without TouchWiz) on an Exynos-powered Samsung. Why? Well, that’s another story.
As for the Snapdragon SGS7 the XDA community’s frustrations boil down to this simple fact: Carriers ruin everything.
Modders were fully expecting locked-down bootloaders from Verizon and AT&T, and got them. There was some hope for the T-Mobile version, but that ended up shipping with a secure-flash locked bootloader, same as Verizon. Even worse, a verified boot feature is enabled at the kernel level, meaning that the system partition can’t be modified. So no root, at least for now.
And a locked-down bootloader means no custom recovery to flash custom ROMs. So while SGS7 modders running the Exynos chip are already enjoying TWRP, those wanting to flash TWRP on their Snapdragon SGS7 would have to get the image authorized by T-Mobile. Yeah, not gonna happen…
If you’re at all interested in modding or XDA check out their post at the link directly below.