updated 11:50 pm EST, Sun January 29, 2012
Moto RAZR Dev Edition gives what carriers won't
Motorola on Sunday night briefly teased (now pulled) a special Developer Edition of the modern RAZR. The new version will make the promised unlocked bootloader readily available so that users can easily load custom firmware or otherwise go beyond what carriers and Motorola allow. It should ship this week in Europe, and a "developer device" that may or may not be the RAZR should come to the US in "coming months."
Its design should keep the familiar 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP chip, Android 2.3, eight-megapixel rear camera, and front camera.
The addition is an olive branch after what many saw as Motorola going back on its word. Despite promises of unlocks for the end of 2011, Motorola ended up leaving virtually every phone bootloader locked at the request of carriers. Although workarounds were possible, the strategy made it much tougher to modify the firmware.
The locks have underscored the debate over whether Android is actually open for end users. Google regularly insists that it's an open platform but, by letting carriers and phone designers lock down their devices, often end up with hardware that is ultimately closed to the end user. As a general rule, only the Nexus-badged models, Motorola's Xoom, and some HTC equipment have bootloaders that are either unlocked by default or have official unlocking tools. [via Droid-Life]