Here’s some good news for prospective Motorola RAZR owners: the phone will have an unlockable bootloader. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to United States DROID RAZRs – Motorola is giving carriers the option to disable the unlock feature, and Verizon has jumped on the chance. Just to be clear, the phone is known as the DROID RAZR in the US and the Motorola RAZR elsewhere. Commence your cursing now, Verizon customers.
An unlocked bootloader is an essential part of the modder’s toolbox. Without it, it’s impossible to get a custom Android kernel onto a phone, which means that modders are limited to the latest version of Android that Motorola (or the carrier) is willing to provide. The last time that Verizon offered a Motorola phone with an unlocked bootloader was the original DROID over two years ago, though some Samsung and HTC models are (inexplicably) unlockable.
If you’re smitten with the DROID RAZR’s lusty hardware, don’t despair. Even without an unlocked bootloader root and custom ROMs are possible, it just takes a little more effort, and some of the higher-level customizations aren’t available. Keep in mind that it’s always possible, and in this case even likely, that someone will reverse-engineer the international unlock method for United States DROID RAZR owners, opening up the path to full custom ROMs like CyanogenMod, or even more exciting, early versions of Ice Cream Sandwich. If anyone is up to the task, it’s Android hackers longing to set some high-end hardware free.
Check out our hands-on of the Motorola DROID RAZR:
Motorola DROID RAZR hands-on: