Did somebody say…Bootloader?

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

We have heard you loud and clear. Throughout the last two months on Z-Community you have voiced the desire for an unlocked bootloader for the Axon 7, and today we are making this a reality.

In fact, an unlocked bootloader was something that has been in discussion internally at ZTE for quite awhile. But upon hearing more and more discussions on Z-Community about this topic, your mod team performed the necessary due diligence to present our case with internal stakeholders. After thoughtful debates and discussions, we are truly delighted to share the exciting news that fellow mobile developers have been waiting for: the U.S. versions of the Axon Pro and the Axon 7 will have their bootloader unlocked upon request here on Z-Community!

There are two important things to note: This procedure is reserved for those with a high level of technical expertise and have had experience flashing custom ROMs. Furthermore, unlocking the bootloader will void the device warranty that comes free with each Axon purchase.

To help streamline requests, we have created Developers Lounge sub-spaces within the Axon [Series] Forum. This is the exclusive space for mobile developers to request unlocking and share tips and tricks. Just to reiterate, unlocking the bootloader will void your device warranty.

To wrap up, we want to reinforce our mission behind Z-Community - share in each other’s passion for mobile and shape the roadmap for future products. While we may not comment on each request, suggestion or recommendation, we indeed listen to what our consumers want and make decisions based on that when possible. Lastly, if you’re a mobile developer and excited about this latest announcement, we want to hear from you in the comments section below - in other words, make some NOISE!



  • jose-mxljose-mxl SunnyvalePosts: 61

    Congratulations!! This is good for the phone longevity and the custom rom development, really have to applaud ZTE for listening to their fanbase, OUCH for the warranty....

  • Was really happy to read about the announcement, but why only US phones? Why do you think excluding Europe is fair at all?

  • Can't say I'm not excited but I'm concerned with the voiding of the warranty somewhat. Maybe introduce a $79 deductible if you brick your device? Its hard to argue with a 2 year warranty but when you can unlock the boot-loader on the Oneplus phones and the Nexus phones without voiding my warranty its hard to decide on this phone when its void. I'm sure this will be argued on to no end but when you can unlock the bootloader on other phones and still have your warranty, thats a big factor. Especially when a large selling point for this phone is the 2 year warranty.

  • ddrakeddrake Alpharetta, GAPosts: 318 ✭✭✭

    Wow, big news!  I do have one question regarding the voiding of warranty, ​.  Does this void the warranty as it relates to software?  For example, if the phone is dropped and the screen is shattered, will we no longer be able to use the Passport program to get a new device?  If the speakerphone stops working, will ZTE say nothing can be done because the bootloader is unlocked? 

    I'm interested to hear more details regarding the warranty as it seems a little concerning considering the only things people generally do is change a ROM, which is really the software.

  • My thoughts exactly. ZTE, please answer this.

  • Will bootloader unlocking for the Axon 7 ever be available for the european version? I was thinking about buying the Axon 7, but no bootloader unlockability is a dealbreaker for me

  • benkoresbenkores Staten Island, NYPosts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    This is a community for ZTE USA, so it makes sense that it would only be unlocked for the US. So I'm guessing that for the EU version that the ZTEs in the EU would have to agree to do it.

  • ddrakeddrake Alpharetta, GAPosts: 318 ✭✭✭

    And BTW... this is a huge win for the community - so everyone should be pleased.  So thank you @mods for listening.  I would just like some further clarification on the company stance as it pertains to hardware defects, issues, breaking the screen, etc.

  • I guess my question is this: Can a ROM, or any software truly harm the physical device itself? I work in IT as a Systems Engineer.

    Now I understand that certain firmware revisions can cause problems with hardware, but not to the extent that the hardware is completely destroyed and in need of replacement due to a bad firmware update.

    Now I am by no means an authority when it comes to Android, or boot loaders, or ROM's. So any education here is welcome. I am a member of XDA also and have read up on this stuff, but I must admit that most instructional material was not written by a professional technician but rather by someone who knows what they are doing but is not very good at explaining it. No offense to anyone anywhere!

    But if my assumption is correct, that it is nearly impossible, if not completely impossible, to turn one of the beauties into a golden paperweight with software alone, then why must the warranty be VOIDED?

    What if there's something physically wrong with the phone's parts? What if the bad part doesn't rear its ugly head until after you had the phone for several months? What if the bad part has nothing to do with an unlocked boot loader?

    So while I am certainly glad that the complaints about the boot loader being locked will go away, and I personally am not that interested in having an unlocked boot loader, I am concerned about all the new complaints that may arise due to the warranty being voided if in fact one chooses to unlock their boot loader.

    Any and all comments or replies are welcome!

  • Same. HTC, Nexus, and oneplus all let you unlock the bootloader and keep the warranty. Why not just have a $79 deductible if you brick it? It shouldnt be ur fault if a hardware defect not related to modding appears?

  • mcanicmcanic The NetherlandsPosts: 106

    Delighted to hear that an unlock method will become available.

    But as vads mentioned - why nu EU unlock?!? The US version even has more benefits: 55 dollars cheaper and Passport 2.0 warrany. And now the US model gets an unlock also... it's not fair!

  • Same. Why not just make it an automatic $79 deductible if something fails later down the road. Atleast your not stuck with a $400 brick because the camera dies or charging port goes bad or volume rocker bends or messes up?

  • dennis96411dennis96411 United StatesPosts: 135 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would think this is very much the case, unfortunately.

  • Wow, I had my doubts ZTE would do it but good job guys. Ive never rooted a phone but even im a bit interested after all this hub bub. Just as long as ZTE doesnt think it wont have to keep up with software updates because their counting on the roms because not all people want to go that route. Also, I know people (myself included) wouldnt really risk losing a 2 year warranty just to run somethingI I could just do with Nova Launcher. I have to hand it to ZTE though, there really blowing my mind with the announcements, keep up the good work!

  • I would have to agree with this. Why void the warranty on non bootloader related issues? Only reason i really wanted an unlock bootloader was because I heard Axon's stock rom has issues and little things here and there that would annoy me. Maybe add more customization to the stock ROM, that would make me happy, but then again, i haven't played with it yet as I'm waiting on the grey color. Maybe this month, maybe next month, maybe next next month.

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352

    Excited and yet a bit disappointed by the warranty bit.  You say it's for developers and those of us with more technical expertise...but those of us who meet the criteria also understand that's it's virtually impossible to physically harm the device by unlocking the bootloader, rooting, or installing custom ROMs.  If you were to provide the stock recovery and system images, it would be virtually impossible to brick, too.

    At the same time, I truly agree that a user is purchasing a phone and its software for the purpose of using the phone and its software.  You (ZTE) shouldn't necessarily be responsible for fixing (under the standard warranty) the phone for some noob who can't follow directions on how to properly flash recovery and / or a custom ROM.  Personally, I don't think that will happen often - if ever - but I get that you want to cover yourselves.  The Passport 2.0 warranty is "generous" by industry standards.

    However, I strongly disagree that the hardware warranty should be voided due to an unlocked bootloader since we all know a faulty volume rocker has zero to do with the bootloader being locked or unlocked.  Heck, if I can run over my phone with my car and you'll give me a new (well, probably refurbed) unit, you should keep that same mentality toward bootloader unlocking.  Sending in a device to be fixed under either of those situations is directly due to the clumsiness of the user.  There is no difference.

    I agree with the suggestion that perhaps the $79 deductible be applied to ANY warranty work on a bootloader-unlocked phone.  Even though I still consider that somewhat unfair in situations where the issue is clearly a manufacturing defect (eg. a faulty volume rocker), it provides incentive for folks to leave the bootloader alone unless they have a good reason to unlock it and are willing to take the risk.

    I can honestly say this negatively impacts the chances that I'll keep the phone past the 30 days B&H will give me to return it.  I will wait for an XDA dev to work their magic and possibly provide TWRP and root without a BL unlock (as in the case of the Intel-based ASUS Zenfone 2), but I'm not holding my breath.

    Can't please everyone, I guess

  • tom604tom604 Vancouver BCPosts: 102

    Do you need an unlocked bootloader in order to root?

  • mcanicmcanic The NetherlandsPosts: 106

    Don't know much about the possibilities of unlocking, but I believe it is possible to overclock the processor for instance. So maybe it's also possible to blow up the speakers and other hardware? So I understand the warranty void in case of unlock.
    Is it possible to completely undo an unlock?

  • Great news!

    Thank you!

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352


    *there are exceptions

  • jonathan3579jonathan3579 Houston, TXPosts: 427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not to be negative but I don't consider this situation a true win until the warranty stays intact with a bootloader unlocking. I think a fair compromise would be any of the following:

    1.) If you unlock your bootloader, you're voiding Passport 2.0 and getting a standard 1 year warranty.

    2.) If you unlock your bootloader, your hardware warranty still remains and any failures will be verified via warranty repairs.

    3.) A deductable is charged for any software related damages.

    I'd like to see ZTE take a more modern approach to bootloader unlocking. The current mentality is that of years in the past. (See Nexus, HTC, Motorola, and OnePlus for current examples.)

  • ​ When can we expect this for the EU? I thought this would be a global update

  • androidscottandroidscott Somewhere over the rainbowPosts: 4 ✭✭✭

    The most common damage is bricking the phone as part of the ROM flashing process.  Some phones are very easy to unbrick just by completing a good flash; others are bricked more or less permanently.

    Physical damage can occur to the phone as well from changing settings or flashing ROMs that in some way drive the hardware past its limits.  While most people interested in customizing their phones will have the good sense to back off as soon as they detect the problem, there are others who will insist on remaining at the edge of the cliff.

    If it makes you feel better, Sony, HTC and OnePlus all have out clauses in their warranties that allow them to deny warranty coverage for any damage caused by the user after unlocking the device.  The difference is that their warranties are not automatically voided upon unlock.

    It's important to remember that ZTE, as far as I can tell, is brand new to unlocking bootloaders.  The other companies that allow this process have been doing it for quite a bit longer, and their policies have evolved over time.  ZTE doesn't even have a dedicated process for unlocking as yet.  It appears to be very much an on-demand process.  The request is a simple Google form, for pity's sake.

    The fact that ZTE has responded this quickly to the desire to unlock bootloaders with a resounding "yes" shows that they are quite willing to listen and respond to customer requests.  My guess is that they will also listen to our concerns about the warranty policy and make changes to it over time.

    Then again, I could be wrong...

  • shipmate2017shipmate2017 United KingdomPosts: 11

    When will the UK/EU get the unlocked bootloader. Here in Europe a useful forum like ZTEUSA doesn't exist. That's why I'm messaging the US site.

    I received my preordered zte AXON 7 (waited almost a month) on the 29th July believing that it was being officially released here in the UK. When I got the phone 10 days ago there was no sign of an official release like in the USA. No support forums, no updates, nothing.

    No mention of a UK/EU forum being setup. At least we have ZTEUSA. When I sent messages to ZTEUK I don't get any replies back. My phone was faulty and I sent it back to the supplier. I now have to wait a month or more for a new one because there's no stock.

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352

    Yes, you can overclock a processor, but there should be hardware-imposed thermal cutoffs that would prevent you from damaging the phone and the battery.  I guess you can blow out the speakers, though I've never heard of anyone tweaking their phone in such a way as to do it.  Some speakers are pretty crappy, though, so I guess it could have happened.

    Even if you could re-lock the bootloader, ZTE will have your IMEI on record and will know you unlocked it in the first place.  Actually, I don't know if they're going to use a tool like ASUS that actually reports back to them, but I assume that even submitting the bootloader request (in which you provide your IMEI), they will add you to the list whether you actually unlock the bootloader or not.

  • 2pointdooj2pointdooj Morocco, OujdaPosts: 590 ✭✭✭✭

    now its tempting, I am tying my best to get the axon 7.

  • It indeed says zteusa in the URL, but do you really think this matters to the whole degree? I am a customer, I have a question, this is the only online comunnity, I ask my question. Please don't turn this into "ours-not yours" thing.

  • what is the procedure to obtain this code? This has not been made clear. Can you please clarify on how this process will work?

  • ​ 

    Does this apply to phones purchased in Canada ?

  • bjhiltbrandbjhiltbrand United StatesPosts: 159 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not necessarily, but it's a lot easier to have an unlocked bootloader.

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