While it’s certainly not unusual for even the most expensive new phones out there to exhibit some sort of buggy behavior at launch and shortly thereafter, Google may have broken an embarrassing world record.
We’ve long lost count of all the software and hardware problems reported by early Pixel 2 and 2 XL adopters, and let’s face it, we’re probably not talking millions of people here. If you jumped at the opportunity of owning a second-gen high-end handset “made by Google”, the odds are good that you experienced at least one or two hassles already.
Of course, some issues are worse than others, quite a few stirred heated debates on Google’s official product forums, and then there are those that go against all reason. For instance, a rapidly spreading case of the locked bootloader syndrome.
One of the main reasons Android purists may choose to ignore Verizon’s sweeter and sweeter Pixel 2 trade-in deals is that carrier-specific variants restrict custom ROM operations. Technically, that shouldn’t be true for unlocked models sold directly by Google, but in reality, a distressingly large number of buyers are currently seeing the option deactivated.
That’s right, “OEM unlocking” is greyed out and inaccessible in the developer menu of way too many Pixel 2 units purchased unlocked from the official Google Store. Bizarrely enough, the issue seems limited to 5-inch SKUs, and while it doesn’t sound like a big deal for the average user, a very vocal group of hardcore Android enthusiasts find it annoying and unacceptable.
If you’re considering rooting the device down the line to tinker with its software, now would be a good time to try procuring a replacement unit. There are no words on a fix yet, and according to one person who reached out to customer support, “there currently isn’t even an ETA” for a solution.