It was January, 2011 when Motorola, in response to a public outcry over its policy of selling Androids with locked bootloaders, released a statement promising that it would work towards finding an unlock solution that all parties involved could live with. A few months later, it updated us on its progress, expecting that it would be able to start offering bootloader unlocks on some models by late 2011… and that’s pretty much been as far as things got. We’ve received assurances several times since then that work on such a system was still pending, most recently just a couple weeks ago, but had started to lose faith. Today Motorola announced the coming availability of its Photon Q 4G LTE for Sprint, and surprised us all by revealing that this Android will be the first model supported by its unlock program, finally going live next month.
While the start of this bootloader unlock program is big news to Motorola fans, we shouldn’t let it overshadow the arrival of the Photon Q 4G LTE itself. We’ve been expecting this model since the spring, and finally got a chance to look at what seemed to be the handset’s hardware last month. Sure enough, that imagery checks-out perfectly with what Motorola’s revealed today. The Photon Q runs a 1.5GHz dual-core SoC, has a 4.3-inch qHD display, and an eight-megapixel main camera. While it will arrive for Sprint’s new LTE network, the QWERTY slider supports GSM and WCDMA for international roaming, even on 3G. The handset will arrive sometime in August; the exact date and pricing info is forthcoming.
Motorola confirms that, in addition to the Photon Q, other Androids will be able to take advantage of unlockable bootloaders. It’s unclear at the moment how or if that will extend to currently-available models, but we expect Motorola to address such concerns as it launches the program next month.