Realme will allow Realme 1 and Realme 2 Pro users to unlock the bootloader
Realme, the OPPO sub brand, made waves in the Indian market with the launch of the Realme 1, selling as many as 400,000 units in 40 days. This was followed up by the launch of the Realme 2, and then the Realme 2 Pro. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC for a starting price of ₹13,990 ($196), the Realme 2 Pro offers serious competition to the likes of established players like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1.
Unfortunately, OPPO’s Realme devices have their own cons, one of which is the lack of bootloader unlocking support. Without an officially unlocked bootloader, Realme smartphones have a very large, and very often impossible, hurdle to clear before any custom ROM, kernel and other third-party development can take place. As an extension, this also means that attempts to unlock the bootloader unofficially too would void the warranty on the device. Effectively, this will stifle the development of the device, meaning that you will be stuck with whatever OPPO tries to push to the device (or realistically, does not push to the device as it is considered a budget device after all).
Thankfully, the situation seems to be changing. Realme CEO Mr. Madhav Sheth has informed users through Twitter that Realme is looking to allow users of the Realme 1 to unlock their bootloaders. This will be followed by the release of kernel sources for the device, with an expected ETA of first quarter of 2019.
Straight from the meeting room: RM will unlock the bootloader and release the kernel source for RM1 as well in first quarter of 2019, RM2pro BL unlocking have been confirmed already.
— Madhav Sheth (@MadhavSheth1) November 21, 2018
Bootloader unlock for the Realme 2 Pro has already been confirmed in a prior video of #AskMadhav, which is Realme’s attempt at creating an open feedback and dialogue system with its community. Unlock options for the device will be available before January 15, 2019.
We certainly appreciate the CEO of the company making promises on a public platform, and we would appreciate Realme as a serious company even more if it follows through with its promise. There are a few unanswered questions, like the bootloader unlock status as well as status of kernel source releases of other devices in the Realme portfolio, and we hope the company addresses them soon as well.