Verizon has been selling its network-locked configuration of the successful LG V20 smartphone on a tempting buy-one-get-one-half-off plan for a few weeks now. And T-Mobile’s “kinda crazy” Black Friday deals even include the 5.7-incher as free… under certain conditions.

Meanwhile, the SIM-free, factory unlocked handheld is still rather expensive stateside, at a recommended retail price of $800, which at least covers a number of gifts through B&H, namely a G Pad 7.0 tablet, Asus ZenPower Pro battery pack, and JBL Synchros Bluetooth on-ear headphones.

Shelling out the extra cash upfront for a carrier-free LG V20 this holiday season may start to seem like a good idea for semi-professional and amateur software developers too after hearing of the latest bootloader unlock program expansion.

LG officially supports OS tinkering on the V20 now, but unlike the V10, G5 and G4, which are open to otherwise unauthorized ROM modifications on the old continent, the “next-gen” phablet only joins the party for the “US open market.”

We’re guessing that means US996 models sold on Amazon, B&H or Newegg as opposed to mobile operators, and of course, you should never rule out an eventual European love-spreading effort.

It’s very important to highlight LG V20 phones with unlocked bootloaders will surrender their manufacturer warranty rights, so take a moment and think about the risks before embracing a custom ROM. Remember, this thing already runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and the OEM’s proprietary skin is not that intrusive.

Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).

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