Over the weekend, we found out about Moto's upcoming dev-friendly version of the RAZR, its first device with an unlockable bootloader. What we didn't have, however, were any details about how the unlock process would work, how it would affect the warranty, and so on. Moto has now posted the details answering many of those exactly questions, and there's one thing for sure - it doesn't look like it's going to be as good as it sounds.
How it will work
Since this is a developer device, the process will be the exact same as the Nexus devices. It looks a little something like this (requires ADB):
- Reboot into Fastboot Flash Mode by holding power+volume down.
- Plug the phone to your computer via USB.
- Open the command prompt and type "fastboot oem unlock"
- You'll see a warning on your device - navigate to 'unlock' and hit the volume up key.
It's about as simple as it gets. The fun part apparently ends there, though.
What does this mean for existing devices?
Honestly, not much. Months ago Moto promised a bootloader unlock tool for current devices, but hasn't yet delivered on that, and it looks like that's not changing any time soon.
The warranty is, simply put, non-existent. And we're not talking about the normal "if you unlock your device, it voids the warranty" crap, either - Motorola doesn't even offer a warranty on the dev RAZR. That means if you get a device that's DOA or end up with some faulty hardware, you're just out of luck.
That is the worst warranty policy that we've ever heard. Of all time. It's absurd. It's as if they assume that every dev RAZR sold will eventually be unlocked, therefore no warranty is necessary. Ridiculous.
It seems that Motorola is trying to give the users what we want - it's just not doing a very good job of executing the plan. HTC answered the uproar against locked bootloaders by creating a method to unlock most all of its devices, not by offering one unlock-able device. Not only that, if you choose not to unlock an HTC handset, you still have a warranty.
It's clear that Motorola is making strides to do the right thing, but it's doing so in all the wrong ways.
For questions about Moto's bootloaders, you can check out the MotoDev bootloader forum.