[Update: It’s Back] HMD Global’s bootloader unlock server for the Nokia 8 has been down for days
HMD Global wasn’t the fastest to jump onto the 5G bandwagon, but they did bring the first Android One smartphone with global 5G support. The company has a clear Android 10 update roadmap for its users, and they are not shy to explore the possibility of running a touchless version of Android on feature phones. However, the brand hasn’t caught on among a segment of power users due to its controversial bootloader unlock policy. HMD Global took a long time to set up an official method to unlock the bootloader – and it only did so for the Nokia 8 – but it seems that they have now pulled the plug.
According to recent user reports from our own forums as well as on Reddit, the unlocker app recently started to fail to communicate with the token generator server. This is different from the error you could get by running the same app on Android Pie, which can be solved by downgrading the firmware to a specific Android Oreo build. HMD Global might have closed down the server altogether, thus the popular NB1-Collision bootloader unlock method, created by XDA Senior Member hikari_calyx, for first-generation Nokia phones is now non-functional as well.
It is worth mentioning that HMD Global unintentionally shipped an unlockable bootloader inside the initial factory firmware for the Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 7.2. The community also discovered a few loopholes to bypass roadblocks and unlock the bootloader of select Nokia phones, such as the Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 4.2, but the complexity involved and stability issues of those methods were enough to prevent the modding community from picking up those phones for tinkering. Now that HMD Global’s official unlock server went offline, there is virtually no hope left for Nokia power users.
The existing unlock token received via email can theoretically be reused by Nokia 8 owners in the future, which is the only silver lining to this news. This is not the first time an Android OEM has abruptly stopped giving out the bootloader unlock codes or unnecessarily complicated the unlocking mechanism, and it is no good for aftermarket development.
HMD Global brings back bootloader unlocking for the Nokia 8
In a surprising move, HMD Global has brought back bootloader unlocking for the Nokia 8. And even better, the method has also been simplified. Users no longer need the unlocker app. Instead, they need to just input relevant details on the website and receive the unlock token on their email.
Nice work, that’s how you supposed to provide official unlock service. Why should we install that weird app? pic.twitter.com/SjKJ11yZS6
— Hikari Calyx (@Hikari_Calyx) June 14, 2020
Keep in mind that this remains restricted to the Nokia 8, for now. Nonetheless, it is good news for the owners who are looking to unlock the bootloader on their phones.