Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

The message shown to users attempting to open their bootloader.

Samsung seems to be trying to discourage users from modifying the software on their new Galaxy Z Fold 3s, giving them a message that unlocking the phones bootloader will render the phones cameras unusable (via Android Police). This isnt the first time weve seen phone producers pull this sort of trick, however it seems to represent an escalation in Samsungs fight versus its users who wish to acquire total control over their phones.
An XDA Forums user verifies that after opening the bootloader, the Z Fold 3s cams were entirely non-functional: facial acknowledgment, filling the video camera app, and attempting third-party video camera apps all failed for them. The user reports that re-locking the bootloader made the cameras work again.

Image: 白い熊 on XDA Forums

According to a photo (seen above) published by a member of the online forums, the message users get when trying to unlock their Z Fold 3s bootloader reads:

Unlock the bootloader to set up custom-made operating system software application. Doing so will trigger the camera to be disabled and may trigger your phone or apps to stop working properly. To prevent unauthorized access to your personal data, your phone will be factory reset, which will remove all data, consisting of files and downloaded apps.
Volume up: Yes
Unlock bootloader (may void guarantee).
Volume down: No.
Do not unlock bootloader and reboot phone.

Samsungs Knox paperwork states that, if you root your phone and flash it with an informal Android construct, anything having to do with its Knox security will be permanently handicapped, and will just be restored if you replace the phones hardware. To be clear, this doesnt happen if you just unlock your phones bootloader– it only occurs after you make modifications to the phones OS (though doing so is the main reason to unlock your bootloader, so its perhaps a distinction without much difference).
While thats certainly more long-term and harmful, you might likewise argue that its not unreasonable to provide up Samsung Pay and Secure Folder if you really want root access to your phone. Plus, unless Samsungs changed how Knox works, rooting your Fold 3 after opening it will likewise shut down those features, leaving you with a phone that has no electronic cameras, no NFC payment, and no Secure Folder (not that you might take any sensitive photos anyways).
In the case of Knox, the phone does not know what code is running on the phone, so it cant make any promises of security.

( A factory reset is normally standard after a bootloader unlock, as is the possibility of a voided service warranty.).
While this might be an escalation, Samsung has previously had a somewhat hostile position towards modders. Samsungs Knox paperwork states that, if you root your phone and flash it with an informal Android build, anything pertaining to its Knox security will be completely disabled, and will only be restored if you replace the phones hardware. This means that, if you root a Samsung phone, features like Samsung Secure and pay Folder will not ever work once again. To be clear, this does not occur if you just open your phones bootloader– it just takes place after you make changes to the phones OS (though doing so is the main reason to open your bootloader, so its perhaps a difference without much distinction).
Providing up your electronic cameras appears like an unreasonable ask.
While thats definitely more permanent and devastating, you could likewise argue that its not unreasonable to quit Samsung Secure and pay Folder if you truly want root access to your phone. Quiting your capability to take pictures is a much bigger ask. Plus, unless Samsungs changed how Knox works, rooting your Fold 3 after opening it will likewise close down those functions, leaving you with a phone that has no electronic cameras, no NFC payment, and no Secure Folder (not that you might take any sensitive photos anyways).
In the case of Knox, the phone does not know what code is running on the phone, so it cant make any promises of security. Its tough to see how turning off the cameras completely is anything however a penalty for users who want to mod their phones.
Its hard to see how shutting off the cams entirely is anything but a penalty.
If youre a US-based Samsung customer, though, you d need to attempt a lot more difficult to even encounter these issues– because Samsung apparently doesnt officially allow bootloader unlocking on Snapdragon-based phones sold in the United States. There are services you can spend for that claim to open your United States phones bootloader, but its not the reasonably easy procedure discovered on the international variation of the phone.
At the moment, its unclear whether the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will likewise have the same restriction, though among XDA Forums members posted an image of the unlock bootloader screen on their Flip and the notification does not point out the video cameras. Samsung didnt instantly respond to The Verges concerns about whether the policy likewise used to the Flip, or offer a statement about the policy in basic.

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