Since 2008 the Sony Xperia (a name taken from the word experience) line of smart phones and tablets have been a mainstay of their mobile device line. Growing with the new world of hand held, mobile computing, Xperia products first began incorporating the Android operating system in 2010. Every new piece of technology released in the Sony Xperia line is a chance for users and techies alike to explore the possibilities offered by the continued improvement in functionality and processing capabilities. The announcement about the newest addition to their smart phone line, the Xperia Z3, already has tech sites buzzing about the device while carefully examining its capabilities.
Bootloaders, Smart Phones and You
The world of DOS, Windows and now Android has always been about allowing users the freedom to customize their experience. Open source code and the world of innovation allowed continuous improvements and changing. Savvy smart phone users figured out that by unlocking a phone’s bootloader many major pieces of software could be modified and customized. A bootloader is the instructions guiding a phone during start up. Unlocking the bootloader allows for new operating systems to be installed and loaded that have been developed specifically for Android based phones such as Ubuntu or Cyanogen. However, there are potential drawbacks if you decide to modify your smart phone.
Sony Warns Xperia Users Against Unlocking Bootloaders
Smart phone manufacturers are generally against users unlocking the bootloader on their device. Obviously there are monetary reasons for this, as manufacturers contract with software companies to create the platform and related applications on any given device. Furthermore companies warn that the integrity of security may be compromised by altering the configuration of a device. Sony states on their website that unlocking the bootloader on their Xperia Z3 device will void the warranty due to these concerns. Sony additionally warns users that unlocking the bootloader may cause certain preloaded applications to fail, prevent updates to software and cause users to be unable to purchase and download anything from Sony’s digital storefronts.
DRM Keys and Mobile Devices
The reason that unlocking the bootloader on the Sony Xperia Z3 may cause so many problems for users is the face that in doing so the device’s DRM keys will be deleted. DRM (digital rights management) security keys allow a smart phone to prove that it has the right to use certain applications or online purchases related to the device. When these keys are lost by unlocking the Xperia’s bootloader certain applications become unusable and users are unable to prove to Sony’s online storefronts that the device is compatible and secure. The decision by Sony to make these DRM keys linked to the system’s bootloader leaves users with a difficult decision to make if they want greater customization options.
Sony Xperia Camera Algorithms Affected
The loss of the Xperia’s DRM security keys also reportedly affects the functionality of the device’s camera. The camera on the Xperia Z3 has been billed as one of the smart phone’s major strengths, producing crisp, clear images. The loss of the DRM keys due to unlocking the device’s bootloader apparently affects the camera’s image quality. This is due to the fact that the camera’s advanced algorithms controlling image quality are controlled by the DRM keys. While this type of result occurred in the past with other Sony devices, several sources that got their hands on the Xperia Z3 early have released images showing a significant reduction in quality.
Hopefully you can unlock your Sony without compromising the Bootloader. To avoid any issues, we recommend ordering the factory unlock code of your Sony Xperia Z3. Ultimately it is the user’s decision to modify their device or make major changes through unlocking the bootloader. It is important to understand the positives and potential drawbacks before making a decision that could potentially affect your smart phone’s performance, software and warranty. If you are thinking about purchasing the Sony Xperia Z3 be sure to look into all the possible consequences before making a decision about modifying your device.