There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the firmware inside of it. But if you picked up the phone from Verizon, you might be talking on a different note than the rest of us.
While some of us may think that TouchWiz can certainly do better after all these years, those on Verizon would absolutely agree that Verizon could do better than interfere with TouchWiz at all.
Essentially, and as Droid-Life showed, the whole situation is another of those classic examples where Verizon takes something good and makes it Verizon. What they did with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was remove a bunch of Samsung additions, only to replace them with inferior Verizon counterparts. They replaced the Samsung Cloud app and its free 15GB of cloud storage with Verizon Cloud and its free 5GB of cloud storage, and with no easy way to go back to Samsung Cloud if you even wanted to.
Then, they messed around with the Settings menu. The layout and ordering are subjective preferences, so I wouldn’t give them as much heat on it. But, of course, they did not stop there. They went on to remove the settings suggestion area which gave you hints on related settings if you did not find what you were looking. They removed this feature and replaced it with… nothing.
Verizon also made clear their preference of Android Pay when they replaced Samsung Pay on the Note 7. You can sideload Samsung Pay from the Play Store, but it does make sense to have a superior homegrown payment solution with support for the additional and exclusive technology on your own flagship device.
And then there’s Verizon bloatware. You get Verizon services which you will barely use, along with placeholders for games.
While the original article at Droid Life was regarding Samsung still getting bent by Verizon on what they could do with their own flagship which will sell a lot, we would like to remind XDA users that there just might be a way you could make your life less Verizon-y if you did purchase the device from Verizon.
You see, similar situations existed for the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Verizon’s firmware for the same had its share of
bloat differences from the unlocked variant of the devices. But, there were ways around it as some of our users already know. And there’s a very good chance that the same would apply to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Once the stock firmware of the unlocked variant are released publicly, you can install the same on your Verizon branded device through ODIN as the hardware is the same this time around, and the software has Samsung’s signature. You would need to root the device to apply Verizon specific fixes, such as enabling Verizon VoLTE and more, which could be troublesome. But that’s about it. You now have a device on Verizon without all the things that disadvantages that come with that firmware.
Granted, you do lose out on warranty if you go down the root route (well, technically you don’t). Ideal case scenario, you should vote with your wallet and not buy things you do not like. But if your choices are limited and you absolutely need to remain restricted to Verizon, or would like that deferred payment, this will bring your device experience at par with rest of the carrier variants. For now, though, we must wait until the magical unlocked variant is released.
What are your thoughts on the Verizon messing around with the firmware on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Let us know in the comments below!