1. Some early buyers of Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones have received devices with an unlocked bootloader.
2. Unlocking the bootloader gives users root access to the device and allows the installation of custom firmware, but it voids the device’s warranty and compromises its security.
3. An unlocked bootloader may also cause issues with apps and device components, as seen with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.
4. Google is offering replacements for the affected Pixel 8 phones and users are advised to reach out to the company’s support team for assistance.
**Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro Arrive with Unlocked Bootloader Issue**
Google’s latest Pixel phones, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, are facing an unusual issue. Some early buyers have discovered that their devices have arrived with an unlocked bootloader. Normally, smartphones come with a locked bootloader, which is responsible for starting the device and loading the operating system (OS). Unlocking the bootloader grants root or OS-level access and allows the installation of custom firmware. However, this also voids the device’s warranty and compromises security, as attackers may be able to access stored data.
Unlocking the bootloader can also cause issues with apps and device components, as seen with the cameras on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3. Despite the risks involved, Google failed to ensure a locked bootloader for all retail units of the Pixel 8 series. Some users have confirmed receiving their phones with an unlocked bootloader and have encountered warning messages during device setup stating that data may be accessible to attackers. Users have also reported issues with contactless payments due to software standards not being met.
While not a widespread issue, it is concerning for users. Although locking the bootloader can be done by the user using a computer and an ADB connection to the phone, not everyone has the technical expertise to do so. Fortunately, Google is offering replacements for affected Pixel 8 phones.
Users who have received a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro with an unlocked bootloader should contact Google’s support team for a replacement. The issue can be reported through a provided link, and users should expect a call from the company after providing necessary details. New buyers of the Pixel 8 series are advised to be cautious during the device setup process.