For some, part of the appeal of having Google Android on a phone is the ability to install non-original versions of the operating system, remove stock apps and generally do things of which the network wouldn’t approve.
Before being able to do any of this though, you need to gain complete access to your device, often known as ‘rooting’. However, this quick and painless process is often made difficult by networks locking the phones they sell.
Over the past year, various manufacturers have caught on that owners will find a way to root their phones whatever they do, and so companies such as HTC and Sony Ericsson offer tools that will unlock the bootloader, allowing phones to be rooted. It’s not without consequence though, as doing so will usually invalidate your warranty.
Motorola has never made it very easy to unlock any of their phones, but now they’ve come up with a solution to keep both customers and networks happy: selling a Razr with an unlocked bootloader directly.
The device is the Motorola Razr Developer Edition, and it’s identical in every way to the regular Razr, except it’s unlocked and ready to be used and abused by developers and curious consumers. Beware though, it’s currently up for 500 euros and comes without a warranty, so if you make a mistake while fiddling about with the software and stop the phone from working, there’s no comeback.
Primarily, the Razr Developer Edition is for developers to test software, but if you’ve got your heart set on a Razr and were planning to buy one SIM-free, then it’s perhaps worth a look if you’re confident enough to alter the installed software.
The phone is up for pre-order in Europe at the moment, and will probably make it to the USA in the future too.