After unlocking the bootloader on my S10e I was unable to flash an unofficial Lineage OS 17.1 (Android 10) ROM to my device. I was originally on the stock AT&T ROM which STILL (January 2021) hasn’t been updated to Android 10. Most other carriers have released Android 10 for their S10 devices but AT&T not only is shipping devices with fully locked bootloaders but also aren’t supporting their customers with updates. With the power of modern technology and a little ingenuity we can right these wrongs.
First you’ll need an unlocked bootloader so you can flash your device with Odin. I was able to purchase an unlock for my S10e from SamPWND (read my article here) but if you already have an unlocked bootloader you’re ready to flash.
Two tools are required for this update process. Frija for downloading the updated stock Android 10 ROM and Odin3 to flash your device in download mode.
An Android 10 Custom Rom requires your device to already be on Android 10 to flash it successfully. Since AT&T hasn’t released a version of Android 10 I used Frija to download a clean ROM. I needed to use the SPR (Sprint) code in CSC which specifies the carrier. Check for updates, then download. Frija will decrypt the update so you can use it with Odin.
Once you’ve downloaded the update unzip it somewhere. You will have a few files that match the input fields in the Odin3 tool. Put your device into Download Mode and set each of the fields to their matching file from the update. Even the BL field. This will NOT relock your bootloader. You can flash TWRP or a custom recovery after you have verified you can boot into Stock Android 10.
Flash and Wait. Then your device should reboot into Android 10!
Some said it was impossible. Others dared to try. I dared to spend $100 and download a sketchy USB Redirector software to have someone else run their custom tool remotely to unlock my device. I had the resolve. I dared to swipe my credit card.
It’s no secret that Samsung devices have shipped with permanently locked bootloaders on most US carriers for many years now. I recently purchased a used S10e SM-G970U ATT and was unfortunately reminded of this. Somehow I had forgotten what a pain it was to unlock these things before my purchase. After some research when I found the OEM unlocking feature in Developer Options was missing in Android. Some more research later I learned that unlocking is in fact possible. Possible if you have the means. A functional exploit for S10, S20, and Fold/Flip devices does in fact exist to unlock the bootloader but it is private and proprietary. I purchased an unlock for $100 flat from https://www.sampwnd.com/ and it worked great. Hopefully this exploit is released to the public in the future but this is out best shot currently.
So I provided my DID adb shell getprop ro.boot.em.did and paid my hundred bones. Then I waited for a Discord message. They can either contact you with Telegram or Discord it’s up to you. After getting a message to download some software called usbredirector-customer-module.exe I connected to their session with my device in Download Mode and within 10 seconds my device rebooted with an unlocked bootloader.