HMD Global may be earning accolades for its speed in rolling out updates to its Nokia phones (still not as fast as Essential, though) but it doesn’t have a good reputation among some Android modders and hackers. In particular, Nokia phones are notorious for practically being useless as far as rooting and using ROMs are concerned because the bootloader gates are tightly locked. It seems, however, that the Nokia 7.2 might be the first of its kind to be different though it remains to be seen if it’s by accident only or by intention.
The bootloader is the part of the phone’s firmware the runs other programs when you turn on the phone. Getting access to this part and installing a custom bootloader is the necessary first step to installing ROMs or rooting. In other words, it is the gateway to all other deep Android changes and is highly prized by modders and ROM developers.
Not all Android phone bootloaders can be unlocked and modified and, despite its portrayal of being a friendly Android phone maker, HMD Global as been regarded to be unfriendly to such activities. To make matters worse, however, the company did promise a few times before that it would offer ways to unlock Nokia bootloaders but never made good on those.
That is what makes this guide from Techmesto a pleasant and completely unexpected surprise. It shows how easy it is, almost too easy, to unlock the Nokia 7.2 bootloader and potentially install a custom bootloader or ROM or root the phone. Potential because, considering it’s still new and fresh, these methods and pieces of software still have to be developed.
One caveat, however, is that HMD Global may not have intended for the Nokia 7.2 to be that easily hackable. It could simply be an error that the company will patch in a future firmware update. It would definitely be sweet if it were the start of unlockable Nokia phones but we probably won’t hold our breath for it.