Today, we would like to share details about something that a lot of our blog readers have been asking about – the next Motorola device to have an unlockable bootloader, the MOTOROLA PHOTON™ Q 4G LTE for Sprint. Available in-stores on Sunday for $199.99 with a new line activation (or eligible upgrade) and a two-year agreement, we want to give a quick overview of how you can unlock your device as well as some general unlockable bootloader questions.
First, is the PHOTON Q the only Motorola device that will have an unlockable bootloader?
Moving forward, we’re hoping to offer an unlockable bootloader on more of our devices and will be determining if that is possible on a phone by phone basis. We have worked closely with our carrier partners to make an unlockable bootloader an option for our consumers with the PHOTON Q and will continue to do so for future devices. Visit the motorola.com/unlockbootloader page to see supported devices.
So why is the PHOTON Q receiving an unlockable bootloader now?
We’ve been able to work with Sprint and come up with a solution that works for everyone involved – you, the carrier and us. We think we’ve achieved that, and are happy to report that the PHOTON Q will be immediately available to unlock once you purchase it.
Okay, so how do I unlock the bootloader on the PHOTON Q?
Good question! We tried to make it very easy for you. Just go to motorola.com/unlockbootloader for the step-by-step instructions. And once unlocked, you will be able to customize your phone. Of course, if you have any problems, we’re here to help. Contact @motorolasupport on Twitter, or the Owners’ Forum here for questions you may have.
Great, so what should I be made aware of before I go unlock my PHOTON Q?
This is generally something for developers and technically savvy consumers that are interested in modifying their device far more than most folks (such as loading a custom build of Android on your phone).
Before you do anything, there are some important things to remember:
When we generate the specific unlock key for your device, you will void your phone’s warranty. Successfully generating the key (which is emailed to you) voids the warranty. Even if you never actually unlock the device with the key, and even if you re-lock the device. It’s a one-way trip.
When you unlock your bootloader, you wipe out user data on internal memory completely. This includes things like downloaded apps, contacts, text messages, etc. Data on a removable SD card is retained.
You will lose the ability to play DRM protected content, such as HD movie rentals from the Play Store
You might lose the ability to run some applications successfully
You might lose encryption support
You might lose some key functions like Telephony, Radio, and Audio playback
You could cause permanent/physical damage to your device
This does not change a subsidy lock (e.g. works only with a specific carrier)
The key is before you unlock your phone is to make sure you backup everything and that you’re comfortable with no longer having a warranty for your phone.
Got it, any last words of advice?
The bottom line here is that people should unlock their bootloader only if they feel comfortable with the process and know exactly what they’re doing. Unlocking the bootloader may not be for everyone but for those that do, happy bootloading and thanks for your patience!