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How locked down are the various One X iterations? A simple guide.


The situation with bootloader unlocking, rooting etc. and the various One X models across the world is rather confusing, not only due to the different hardware in use but also because of different constraints put in place by operators. Here's our easy guide to knowing what you're getting!

EDIT: Since I posted this, it has become possible to effectively turn your AT&T One X into a Rogers One X and unlock the bootloader! Details can be found in this topic.

Bootloader Unlock (official HTCdev)
  • HTC One X Tegra 3 SIM free on all operators - UNLOCKABLE (see notes below)
  • HTC One X Qualcomm S4 AT&T USA - NOT UNLOCKABLE
  • HTC One X(L) Qualcomm S4 SIM free on all operators except AT&T - UNLOCKABLE
If you have a One X Tegra 3 you can unlock your bootloader via htcdev regardless of where it came from! There is a caveat however - at the time of writing the bootloader unlock leaves the phone in a 'sort of unlocked' state where, while you can ultimately flash what you need to, some core functionality doesn't work. Examples of this are booting kernels directly via fastboot ('fastboot boot') and flashing boot images from recovery.

If you have a HTC One X Qualcomm S4 on AT&T, you're out of luck. AT&T have decided not to allow you to unlock your bootloader and appear unlikely to reverse this decision.

If you have HTC One X Qualcomm S4 (aka One XL) on any other operator, you're sitting prety. Your bootloader is unlockable and everything appears to work as intended.

Remember that if you unlock your bootloader, you invalidate your warranty. Even if you re-lock it, HTC can see that it was previously unlocked (it shows 're-locked' rather than 'locked') so your warranty is still toast!

Rooting (unlocked via HTCdev)
  • All models that can be unlocked via HTCdev (i.e. everything but the AT&T model) are easily rooted if you have completed the bootloader unlock.
Rooting (NOT unlocked via HTCdev) - S-ON assumed
  • HTC One X Tegra 3 SIM free on all operators - TEMP ROOTABLE (see notes below)
  • HTC One X Qualcomm S4 AT&T USA - ROOTABLE ON SHIPPING RUU (see notes below)
  • HTC One X(L) Qualcomm S4 SIM free on all operators except AT&T - ROOTABLE ON SHIPPING RUU (see notes below)
If you have a One X Tegra 3 it is possible to exploit a security loophole in the boot image in order to gain temporary root access. However, due to the NAND lock that is applied to the /system partition, it is not possible to gain permanent root (root that survives a reboot) at this time.

If you have a HTC One X Qualcomm S4 on AT&T, your device can be rooted provided you are on a pre 1.85 software version. The root is effectively permanent, but will be removed if you flash another RUU. OTA updates should also not be applied without using an appropriate root-keeper utility. I believe I have found an exploit for 1.85 but I am not releasing this at the current time so that I can try and prevent the loophole being closed.

If you have HTC One X Qualcomm S4 (aka One XL) on any other operator your device can be permanently rooted. The root is effectively permanent, but will be removed if you flash another RUU. OTA updates should also not be applied without using an appropriate root-keeper utility. It is likely that device updates will close the loophole in the very near future.

If your device is not unlocked by HTCdev and you alter any of the partitions, a 'tamper' flag is triggered in the bootloader. This appears to be cleared by flashing a RUU (the warning goes away), but bear in mind that we do not know whether a counter is incremented internally.

S-OFF patch
  • HTC One X Tegra 3 SIM free on all operators - CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE (see notes below)
  • HTC One X Qualcomm S4 AT&T USA - CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE (see notes below)
  • HTC One X(L) Qualcomm S4 SIM free on all operators except AT&T - CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE (see notes below)
S-OFF capability is not currently available for any HTC One X devices, however there are several teams working on this. Any solution will likely rely on temporary or permanent root access, so if this gets prevented by new updates, this will likely lengthen the wait. There is no ETA for S-OFF.

So there you have it! You know how HTC are the developer friendly manufacturer and have a simple unlock solution for their devices? Not so much.

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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2 Comments

Photo
Electronic Punk
May 24 2012 03:51 PM
How does the whole dev off thing work anyway?
Does your device get listed as some sort of blacklist the moment you enter the code on teh website, or do they purely go by your device saying UNLOCKED or RELOCKED when they look at your device? Surely if you get the code but never use it your warranty would be intact.

If it is not the case, wapparently yo ucan make that message say whatever you like if you S-Off so why would you need to worry about temp root? May as well root it proper!
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Anyone care to point me to a link with this mythical 'temp' unrooting of the Tegra One X, because it doesn't appear to be on Modaco or XDA.

I only need root and would rather use that than bite the htcdev bullet and risk the warranty (not that I should have to!)
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