HMD Global finally released kernel source code for the Nokia 4.2, Nokia 6.2, and Nokia 7.2
Power users within the Android community have a love-hate relationship with HMD Global. The company’s smartphones under the Nokia brand have been praised for shipping with Android One and for quick updates, but end users are mostly out of luck when it comes to unlocking the bootloader. To rub salt into the wound, the OEM has a poor history of releasing the kernel source code for their phones, which makes the lives of developers rather difficult when trying to develop custom AOSP-based ROMs such as LineageOS. For those who own the Nokia 4.2, Nokia 6.2, or the Nokia 7.2, though, you’ll be happy to hear that the company has finally uploaded the kernel source code for these devices to their “Open source releases” page.
The Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 7.2’s kernel sources are based on Android Pie, despite the fact that both of them received their stable Android 10 updates many months ago. The Nokia 4.2’s kernel source package, on the other hand, corresponds to Android 10, but it took HMD Global nearly seven months to release the code since the phone started receiving the update. It’s a shame the sources are being released so late. The Linux kernel’s GPLv2 license requires releasing the kernel source of any binary that ships on a device in a timely manner, after all.
Even without the kernel sources, the community persevered and developed official TWRP builds for the Nokia 6.2/7.2. It was possible because the initial factory firmware for the phone duo unintentionally came with an unlockable bootloader. While the loophole was promptly patched with subsequent updates, the company did commit a similar mistake with the Nokia 4.2 as well. Now with official kernel sources available, it should be easier to iron out the remaining kinks and accelerate aftermarket development for these phones.