{UPDATED} How to install Xposed Framework on Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

galaxy s6 active-4

Design

The design of the Galaxy S6 Active certainly wants you to believe that it is ready for battle. It sports a metal-esque outer protective frame with exposed screws, noticeable texture throughout its body and sides for extra grip, and a camo paint job on some models. Nothing screams “Active!” like camo, right? I wouldn’t necessarily call this phone pretty, but “manly” would pass. This phone wants you to think it can withstand a punch or drop or hammer smash and it probably can. Not that I took a hammer to this review unit, but I’d imagine that if this phone dropped from your hand to a hard surface a number of times, it would survive them time and time again. In fact, AT&T claims that this phone “Meets U.S. Mil-STD-810G for water-resistance and to withstand dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, humidity, and high altitude.” See, it’s pretty tough.

In terms of size, the Galaxy S6 Active is slightly taller, wider, thicker, and heavier than the regular S6. The size and weight differences are due to the fact that it sports a bigger battery and has a protective layer around. I wouldn’t call this phone “big” when compared to something like the Galaxy Note 4, but if you go from regular S6 to this, you will notice a difference in the size.

Outside of the appearance, this phone differs from the regular Galaxy S6 in that it has three physical navigation buttons and an additional “Active” button above the volume rocker on its left side. I am in no way a fan of this navigation button setup. I can get used to a single, physical home button on the Galaxy S6, but having to fully press a back and app switcher is just not an enjoyable experience. It adds extra time when you want to do something as quick as going back a screen or hiding the keyboard. And not only are they not fun to use, but they look pretty ugly as well. Seriously, look at the random symbols and design of these things. And look, physical buttons aren’t a deal-breaker when you look at the rest of the package here, it’s just that I would 10 times out of 10 prefer the regular Galaxy S6’s setup over this.

galaxy s6 active-2

As for the “Active” button, you get an additional button that can be programmed to quickly launch apps. I don’t know why this has anything to do with a person being active or not, but it’s there and does indeed open apps quickly. You can set it to open one app on a short press, along with a second app on a long press. For the most part, you need your phone awake and unlocked in order to take advantage of this, but you can tell it to allow these presses to work with the screen locked too. I used the button all of two or three times I think. I could see how this could be useful, but in the way I use my phone, I just didn’t see a need for a new button.

Overall, the phone isn’t the ugliest phone on the planet, but it’s not exactly a looker either. With its combination of ruggedness and odd button designs, it’s neither modern nor industrial. It’s kind of a mix of “Hey, I think I’m tough so I need a tough-looking phone” and “Dude, at least my ugly phone will survive if I drop it in the toilet.” But hey, maybe you don’t care what your rugged phone looks like as long as it can survive some hurt. After all, that is sort of the point here.

Using the phone

If you talk about a software experience on the S6 Active, outside of its “Active” button and the lack of a fingerprint scanner, it’s identical to the regular S6. This is the same supposedly toned-down TouchWiz, same notification pulldown and lock screen, the same settings experience, the same stock apps, and you even have the double-tap-home to quickly launch the camera. I really couldn’t tell you a difference between the two.

Now, if you talk about in-hand, hardware use, it does differ. As I mentioned above, the phone is slightly larger and heavier, plus it has that new Active button. As a runner, I tend to run with my phone in hand, so that I can quickly control apps, check my run stats, etc., and so I noticed the change in thickness when going from the regular S6 to the Active over the last couple of weeks. I got used to it, though, and those extra grippy spots throughout the phone’s frame really help.

galaxy s6 active-3

What I didn’t care for, is that new Active button. Not that I don’t see a use for it, but because it was added, Samsung had to slide the volume rocker down the side of the phone a bit. Because of this adjustment, I found that I was constantly accidentally adjusting the volume when I didn’t want to be. With the regular S6, the volume rocker is placed up high so that it is out of the way when holding your phone. On the S6 Active, that damn volume rocker is exactly in the place where I hold my phone with a full grip. This silly move is as comically bad as the one HTC made with its volume rocker/lock button setup on the One M9.

Samsung, for whatever reason, also tossed the headphone jack back up on top of this phone, even though they moved it to the bottom on the regular S6. As you probably know, I’m always going to be on #teambottomjack and so this move doesn’t make me happy. With a top headphone jack, the cord on your headphones is constantly in the way, making for a hell of a frustrating experience, especially when you are out doing something active, like running.

This phone isn’t a disaster to use or anything, it’s just that Samsung made some small tweaks that unfortunately, hurt the overall experience when compared to the regular S6.

Battery Life

How pissed were you when you saw that the S6 Active had a bigger battery (3,500mAh) than your recently-purchased regular S6 (2,550mAh)? Hold that thought, because it’s going to get worse. In my time with the S6 Active and its massive 3,500mAh battery, I came away incredibly impressed by the fact that this phone can easily pull you through a heavy day, yet Samsung hardly increased size or weight.

After having spent the last couple of months with an S6 and its mediocre battery life, I can’t tell you how refreshing it has been to use a phone that doesn’t need to take advantage of fast charging twice per day. If there was ever a time for a company to release a “MAXX” version of a phone, it would be Samsung doing a Galaxy S6 MAXX, that kept everything about the regular S6 the same, outside of a slightly thicker body that could house this big of a battery.

galaxy s6 active-12

The Active side

As an “active” phone, this phone totally passes the test. As I mentioned, I took it regularly on sweat-filled runs, packed it around on hikes, dropped it a couple of times, tossed it regularly in the bathtub to confirm that it can withstand some water, let my son throw it around the house, and even spit beer all over it (on accident). I never felt like this phone was going to be in trouble. Not only does the battery last forever, but I always felt a sense of security while using it. If I was in a situation where it could drop or I might spill on it, I wasn’t worried. I can’t say the same for my regular Galaxy S6.

galaxy s6 active

Camera

Samsung tossed the same 16MP camera into the S6 Active as was used in the regular S6. Since the camera used in the regular S6 is considered by many (including us) to be the best in the business, I can’t imagine you will be disappointed in this area. The UI is the same. The quick launch shortcut is the same. The speed of the focus and shutter are the same. It’s awesomely the same.

If you want differences, you’ll find it in the pre-loaded Sports and Aqua modes. The Sports mode you can download on the regular S6, but the Aqua is (for obvious reasons) exclusive to the Active line. In this mode, you are basically just activating the Active and volumes buttons as your shutter and video record, respectively.

Other notes

  • No fingerprint sensor:  Nope, no fingerprint sensor on this phone. Most of you probably don’t care, but this is one of the differences from the regular S6, which does impact the level of convenient security that we bragged about in our S6 review.
  • Performance:  Thanks to that Exynos 7420 processor and 3GB RAM, this phone is absolutely fine in terms of performance. It’s fast, apps load and switch quickly, the camera fires right up when you want it to, and it reboots in a hurry should you need to bypass Samsung’s memory leak.
  • Storage:  This phone comes with 32GB of storage and that’s it. There isn’t a microSD slot and you don’t have options for more storage in more expensive models. Hopefully, 32GB is enough for you.
  • Fast and wireless charging:  This phone features both wireless charging (both standards too) and fast charging. Trust me, you’ll need the fast charging on a battery this big. Well, you’ll need it when you actually end up charging this battery beast.
  • AT&T exclusive:  We hate carrier exclusives, but this Active line has been exclusive to AT&T for years now. It won’t shock anyone that you can only buy this phone through AT&T, it’s just too bad, because there are plenty of customers of other carriers that could benefit from this phone.

 

How to install Xposed Framework on Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

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We have reported earlier in the week that Xposed Framework is here for Lollipop Touchwiz. The current install method for Xposed had been pretty complicated, but there is now a flashable zip which can be flashed in the custom recovery of your choice. I have not tested flashing this with flashfire on the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge. It is tested and known to work with the Galaxy S4, Note 3, and Galaxy S5. Developer “Arter97” who put this together has mentioned that some users have had issue flashing this with TWRP. He suggest using CWM Recovery or PhilZ Touch Recovery. It is also highly recommended that you be sure to make a backup in case something goes wrong with the install and you need to restore your device. Head to the link below for the download.

via XDA

WORKING WAY {UPDATED}

A recognized contributor and developer at XDA-Developers wanam has released a version of Xposed that should work on all Galaxy S6 variants and hopefully for all the upcoming Samsung arm64 devices. Till now Xposed Framework was limited to Samsung Touchwiz Lollipop ROMS and not the Samsung Galaxy S6. But here is an Xposed framework variant built and tested on the Samsung Galaxy S6 (G920F).

However, it is still in an experimental phase and it has been confirmed as working so far on selected tested modules. Samsung has made a lot of changes to ART without providing the sources. Hence it took a while to workaround some of Samsung’s changes to the ROMS says the developer. Some changes have been made to the framework part to get it working with the AOSP ART including changes to “core-libart.jar” and “conscrypt.jar”.

There are no issues for modules like YouTube AdAway module and others, but it is still experimental and should be expecting some bugs and updates in the future. This method requires installing Xposed Framework zip file using Custom Recovery like CWM or TWRP and also a Xposed Installer apk file.

Prerequisites:

  • Stock Deodexed 5.1.1 ROMS. Stock ROMS are recommended. If you don’t have a deodexed Rom, Try this tool to deodex your ROM. Or use the ROM (for G920F only) by Wanam. You can also check on XDA for a deodexed Roms for your device
  • CWM recovery installed on Samsung Galaxy S6.
  • Xposed installer apk.

Downloads

  • Get the Xposed Installer from here.
  • Get the Xposed Framework which needs to be installed through Recovery from here.
  • Get the Xposed Framework Uninstaller from here.

Warning

This is just a temporary workaround until the Official support for Samsung Galaxy S6 is announced. So, you can expect several bugs and frequent instability in the functionality of the app.

Kindly follow the below guide carefully to avoid boot loops on your Samsung device. Installing this means that if you’re ready to take the risk, proceed with caution. DroidViews, or any of its community members will not be responsible for any harm done to your device.

Install Xposed Framework on Samsung’s TouchWiz Lollipop Devices:

Once everything is set, you may now proceed with the actual process.

  1. Download the XposedInstaller application from the given download link, and install it on your Samsung device.
  2. Now, download and transfer the Xposed Framework ZIP file onto your Galaxy S6.
  3. Power down your device, and boot into the Recovery mode by pressing Volume Upand Power button at the same time.
  4. Tap on Install, and find and locate the Xposed Framework file (xposed-vxx-sdk22-tw-arm64-custom-build-by-wanam-xxxxxxxx.zip) that you downloaded and transferred earlier on your Samsung device.
  5. Swipe to confirm the flash. Note that this might take a couple of minutes.
  6. Once done, reboot your Samsung device.

If in case your device gets into boot loop, you can flash the Xposed Framework Uninstaller. Once successful, you can install Xposed Modules opening the app but be sure Wanam Xposed is not compatible yet. You can follow the XDA post for further bug fixes and updates for the Xposed Framework for Samsung Galaxy S6.