We know you’re not surprised by this so, we’ll try and keep this brief. Today, Verizon announced their new line-up of Droid devices, from Motorola as usual. The Droid Mini, Ultra and MAXX are all pretty decent devices but, they all have one unfortunate thing in common – they all have lock bootloaders. A rep for Verizon has told Droid-Life that the 2013 line-up of Droid devices are very much locked down. It’s certainly unsurprising, but it’s no more comforting, either.
So, what are you to do if you like custom software and the ability to take control of your smartphone completely? Well, essentially, go elsewhere. That’s all you really can do, aside from waiting for some enterprising hacker to unlock these guys. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy from the Droid line because they have locked bootloaders, I’m saying that if having an unlocked smartphone is a big thing to you, then you should really look elsewhere. Let’s face it though, you were already going to do that anyway, weren’t you?
We’re fairly certain that Verizon and Motorola will be launching a “Developer Edition” of the device as well, which gives you full access to the device. We’re also sure that Verizon will charge you a fair bit for the privilege. Again, if having an unlocked device is important to you, then this is something you could consider. Having said that, we’re sure the Moto X is going to be a device that won’t be exactly difficult to unlock. It’s also going to come with stock Android out of the box, which is nice.
Overall, it’s not surprising that Verizon have locked down the Droid line again this year, but it’s still disappointing to see. If we were in Verizon’s position, we might well do the same. After all, the Droid line is something they aim to sell a lot of and it’s almost as if they’re the phones of Verizon. Having people unlock their bootloaders and call customer support because something has gone wrong is not a lot of fun.
Thankfully, this is Android and the amount of options we have open to us is dizzying.