In the world of customization, Android phones are the topmost contender. And to those knee-deep into android device customization, the term OEM unlocking is quite well known. But if you are new to this custom culture, you must want to know what’s an OEM unlock in Android.
OEM is the safeguard for the android OS that the manufacturers preset. It is the license that protects your device. Once the OEM is unlocked, the manufacturers’ settings can easily be tweaked. Unlocking the OEM enables bootloader unlocking. This feature is the gateway to android smartphone customization.
Without unlocking OEM, you can not install a custom ROM or Kernel. But there are risks to unlocking OEMs. Learn about the details, and only then take your first step towards Android customization.
What’s An OEM Unlock In Android?
Original Equipment Manufacturer – this is what the acronym OEM stands for. As the name suggests, this is the license or protective shell that helps maintain the device’s integrity. So what’s an OEM unlock in Android?
Generally, an OEM is a guard that protects your device. It is like the last stand against all types of unauthorized USB debugging. And once this last safeguard is removed, one can easily enable custom USB debugging on any android device.
A Necessary Security Marker for your Android
For any android OS, the OEM lock is so essential that a device’s warranty is dependent on it. This is why as soon as you unlock the OEM, the warranty of your device is voided. It is the process of unlocking the custom ability.
When one OEM unlocks a device, the unlock ability flag is changed to 1 from 0. And when the value is changed, the manufacturer cannot protect the software within the device.
So why would anyone want to OEM unlock? The answer is simple, to jailbreak the device. And once the jailbreaking is complete, the Bootloader is available. If you have ever tried customizing any android device, you know that Bootloader is the gateway to customization.
OEM Unlock, But Why?
OEM lock is the last bastion to keep your device safe. So why would you want to change the OEM lock to OEM unlock? Well, the reason is simple, to enable customization. One can’t simply start the customization of an android device before they enable OEM unlock.
You know that the Android OS is a free-for-all platform. There is nothing that it has to hide. This is because it gives the user the utmost freedom. And this is the main reason why you will see that a Samsung Galaxy Note has a UI that is totally different from the UI of the Google Pixel.
Mainly for Developers and Customization
Most android device manufacturers take the core android SDK and transform it as per their requirements. And this freedom is what attracts users and developers.
The near-infinite developer option has already saturated the market with custom ROMs. And if you want to upgrade to one such custom ROM, the only way to do so is to enable OEM unlock.
An unlocked OEM gives you access to the developer option secret features. And the most important of these features is the Bootloader. Pairing up the Bootloader with USB debugging will let you tweak the manufacturer’s settings.
With some guided tweaking, you can install your favorite custom ROM. And with a bit of technical knowledge, you will also be able to make your own.
Here is a brief overview of the pros and cons of an unlocked OEM.
Pros Of Unlocked OEM
- Enables developer settings.
- Gives access to the bootloader unlocking.
- Allows installation of custom ROMs and Kernels.
- Permits installation of administrator blocked applications.
- One can manage partitions within the android device.
- Removal of pre-installed bloatware is possible.
Cons In OEM Unlock
- Voids the device warranty.
- Restrictions on third-party apps for unauthorized access are lifted.
- Secured apps like Paytm, PayPal, etcetera may malfunction.
- Data storage is not secure.
- Few inherent features of the device might stop working.
Is OEM a Must For Android Customization?
Similar to how children need to get out of their parents’ house to spread their wings, the android device needs to enable OEM unlocking to start customization. We say it, but how do you know that it is true? Well, the reason is simple, Bootloader unlocking.
A bootloader is a primary mechanism that lets your device boot. And when it boots, it will obviously take the press-loaded OS and utilize it.
Now, most android device manufacturers take this concept seriously. To save their pre-installed android SDK, they disable the bootloader tweaking features by default.
A Must to Enable Bootloader Tweaking for Developers
When one unlocks the OEM of any android device, this bootloader tweaking feature is exposed. And with the exposed Bootloader, one can easily change the booting priority. So how does one start unlocking the Bootloader to enable the tweaking options?
To enable the Bootloader, you need to be a developer first. Once you enable the developer settings, you are free to do any tweaking.
To do the tweaking, you will have to start with OEM unlocking. And if the OEM is perfectly unlocked, the Bootloader is open for infinite customization.
Ways to Enable OEM Unlock
If you have been using an android smartphone for a long time, you might be fed up with the usual UI. So why not enable the Bootloader and install a custom ROM? But to do that, first start with the OEM unlock option. Here are the perfect steps to do that.
Step 01: Go to the Settings menu of your android phone.
Step 02: There should be the About Phone tab within the Settings. Open it.
Step 03: Find the Build Number section within the new option.
Step 04: Tap on the Build Number seven times or till you see the “You are a developer now!”
Step 05: After you see the message, go back to the main page of the Settings menu.
Step 06: Now go to the Systems tab.
Step 07: Scroll, and you will find the Developer Option, which helps in developer settings.
Step 08: Within the developer settings, enable the USB debugging option.
Step 09: Finally, you have to toggle to enable the OEM unlock feature.
Ways to Disable OEM Unlock
Once you are done with your tweakings, you might want to go back to the original state of your Android phone. To be honest, not everyone prefers the custom world.
If you are one with such taste, the best thing to do is disable the OEM unlock feature. Here are the steps to do that.
Step 01: Go to the Android phone Settings menu.
Step 02: Navigate to the Systems.
Step 03: Now go to the Developer Option.
Step 04: Scroll down to the OEM Unlock option.
Step 05: Toggle the slide button beside it, and the OEM should be locked.
Note that this will re-establish the security features but not the device warranty.
You may also be interested to know:
Customization is one of the core features of Android devices. And if one wants to start this customization, they must know what is OEM unlock in Android. It is not because knowledge is power but because it is the gateway. You can’t even begin to tweak your android OS without opening the OEM.
Unlocking OEM also unlocks the Bootloader. And you can never customize your Android device with a locked bootloader. So know the process before you start customizing your phone for the better. Happy tweaking!