Unlocking the bootloader doesn’t break the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S22 series
Part of the struggle for our readers looking to purchase Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship device — the Galaxy S22 series — is the fact that these devices are quite difficult to tinker about, especially when it comes to avoiding tripping security flags. While Knox tends to break a lot of things if you root, users in the U.S. and Canada can’t even unlock the bootloader of the Samsung Galaxy flagships to run third-party codes in the first place. Moreover, when the OEM started killing the camera after bootloader unlocking, many of us feared the worst. Fortunately, Samsung discontinued that practice, and it seems that the owners of the Galaxy S22 series have absolutely no reason to worry about broken camera access with an unlocked bootloader as well.
For context, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was the only device where Samsung implemented the kill switch on Android 11-based builds. The company eventually removed the obstacle during the beta testing phase of One UI 4, and the stable Android 12 update for the device doesn’t carry the camera-breaking routine. Given the fact that the Galaxy S22 comes with One UI 4.1 out of the box, the devices are theoretically immune to the draconian security measure, but a concrete confirmation is definitely preferred.
Nonetheless, solely depending on such theories is no longer necessary. XDA member pschmitt111 has now confirmed the working status of the camera after unlocking the bootloader of the Exynos variant of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (model number SM-S908B):
All cameras work fine with the stock app, including saving pictures to the disk, zooming/camera switch and night mode
This is indeed good news for the aftermarket development community. Losing Samsung’s Knox security is one thing, but having to deal with a broken camera is a trade-off that many users are unwilling to make, especially on a phone that has the camera as one of its biggest talking points. We’re not sure why Samsung felt the need to limit access to the camera features for users who unlock the bootloader at some point, but we hope the Korean OEM will not repeat the anti-modding stance in the coming days.