Verizon is one of the major U.S. carriers that doesn’t want its customers tinkering with their devices. The carrier’s preference for locked bootloaders is known to us all, which makes it quite tough to get a custom ROM on a Verizon-variant. However popular smartphones often get preferential treatment in a sense that a separate variant is released which can be tinkered with. Those who want to do so with Samsung’s latest flagship can now purchase a Verizon Galaxy S5 developer edition.
The downside in opting for this unit is that Verizon doesn’t directly sell it online or through its retail stores. So these units are not subsidized. Instead they’re sold by Samsung through its own website off contract. Therefore the 16GB Verizon Galaxy S5 developer edition costs $599.99 which has to be paid upfront, that’s the same price as a contract-free unit sold by Verizon.
For $599.99 customers get an unlockable bootloader which opens up a world of customization options for the Android powered smartphone. Bear in mind though that since this is not a Google Play Edition you should expect to have bloatware loaded apart from Samsung’s UI customizations. A GPE variant of Galaxy S5 is believed to be coming in the near future.
While developers are often able to create a method to unlock bootloaders even on variants sold by Verizon, it may take a while before one is available for Samsung Galaxy S5. So if you must absolutely have a custom ROM installed on your Galaxy S5, this variant is best for you.