After staying in the pre-order phase, the google Pixel 8 devices finally started shipping to customers a few days ago. It's also officially available on Google's official store. And if you haven't upgraded your phone for a while, the devices are a great purchase. However, some of the users are reporting a weird problem with their newly purchased devices.
According to user reports, some of the Google Pixel 8 phones are arriving with the bootloader unlocked. The issue isn't widespread, but it does affect both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. And this is not a good thing.
Why Google Pixel 8 Phones with Unlocked Bootloader Is a Bad Thing?
In general, you would need to unlock the bootloader of a device to flash a custom ROM on it. Additionally, rooting android devices requires an unlocked bootloader. Basically, by unlocking the bootloader, you can make advanced customizations on the phone. But it does have a severe drawback.
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An Android phone with bootloader unlocked is a device without bootloader security. This opens the door for attackers to easily compromise the system, access personal files, and possibly install malicious software without you realizing it. There are other consequences too. For example, financial apps won't work on a bootloader-unlocked phone. And the Google Pixel 8 owners that are reporting the problem are facing the same exact thing. They can't use contactless payment or run banking apps.
That said, it is possible to lock the bootloader again with ADB commands. But, again, it requires some advanced knowledge. The good news is that Google is replacing the affected Pixel 8 devices with this issue. And if you notice that your phone is unlocked after it ships to you, you should do the same. Google has yet to respond regarding the issue, and we will get you updated once it does.