As we first reported here on Gadget Hacks, Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones come with an unlockable bootloader, with the exception of models sold by Verizon.
This means that by sending a simple fastboot command, you can flash third-party firmware images like TWRP custom recovery, which makes rooting and modifying the devices incredibly easy.
But some users have been reluctant to pull the trigger and unlock their bootloaders, because this process voids the warranty on most devices. However, Redditor Chrispytoast123 contacted Google's support team and got confirmation that the Pixel and Pixel XL are actually even more modder-friendly than we thought, as unlocking the bootloader will not void the warranty.
Google Rep: I've double checked and see that it will not void the manufacturer warranty or the device protection.
Redditor: So to be clear, unlocking the bootloader will not void either the manufacturer warranty or the [Project Fi] device protection?
Google Rep: Absolutely correct! It will have no effect on your warranty.
Simply put, this means that the Pixel, like its predecessor the Nexus, is one of the most mod-friendly devices on the market. As long as you didn't purchase your phone from Verizon, you can unlock the bootloader without having to worry about losing your warranty coverage.
If this news has emboldened you to finally take the plunge and unlock your Pixel's bootloader, it's a simple and straightforward process. If you're ready to take the first step into the wonderful world of Android modding, check out our easy-to-follow guide below.
Once you've unlocked your bootloader, flashing unofficial firmware *could* potentially still lead to a voided warranty, so root, custom recovery, and custom ROMs are probably not covered. However, an unlocked bootloader means that it's incredibly easy to re-flash the stock firmware files from Google, which would restore your warranty should you ever need it.
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I would still be cautious. Restoring the device to factory condition doesn't necessary restore the warranty. Google knows everything about your device, how you use the phone, rooted or not...etc. Google refused to replace my defective Nexus 7 (2013) claiming that my device was rooted.
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