We’ve recently covered the five compelling reasons to root your Android phone, but there are a few arguments that can be made against rooting your device. While it is true that there are some incredible apps only for root users, there are some excellent substitutes for most of them that do almost the same thing.
Rooting Breaks the WarrantyThe main argument against rooting or seriously modifying your phone or device, excluding apps found in the Android Market, is the fact that it voids your warranty. So if you happen to brick your phone (see reason #2 below) or for whatever reason need to bring it in for service, you will be sorry out of luck as long as your phone is rooted. The good news is that the rooting process is fully reversible and your provider or the manufacturer will have no idea it was ever rooted!
Bricking PotentialRooting a phone can potentially be risky if you are not familiar with the phone and the rooting process. When rooting, you should carefully follow the instructions for your specific phone and operating system (OS) version. If done properly, you should not have any problems. Should any problems arise and you brick your phone (completely locks up), you could try returning it to the store, but more likely your only recourse will be to turn to the internet and specifically the XDA Forums for help.
Lose Over the Air (OTA) UpdatesWhen your phone is rooted, it is freed from the service provider. It can no longer receive updates OTA without losing root access. This is not necessarily such a bad thing, but means that any future updates will have to be done by you installing a new ROM when the latest Android OS is released.
Not Entirely Necessary for an Enjoyable ExperienceThe latest generation of Android phones are just incredible. They have come a long way from the first T-Mobile G1, the original “Google Phone.” These new phones are fast and run the latest OS (2.2 “Froyo”). It used to be that rooted users gained exclusive features only accessible on unreleased OSes like Donut, Éclair, and Froyo. But as Android has evolved, more of these features are being adopted and everyone has benefited. Things like multi touch, improved performance, and enhanced apps are now widely available. Rooted users though will continue to have an edge, staying ahead of the curve for the foreseeable future.
Not for the Faint of HeartLastly, it must be said that the entire rooting process and having a rooted device is not a one-button step. It is an ongoing process as outlined above. Once rooted though, you will have the freedom to do whatever you want with your phone! And as of July 2010, congress has declared that rooting and unlocking your phone is definitely legal!
It can be an addicting process since you will always feel the need to tweak your phone. If you have decided to root your phone, be sure to check out our list of the best apps for root users!
Rooting Your Android Phone
In this two part series we weigh the pros and cons on rooting your Android phone or device to see if the root process is really worthwhile.