Nokia patches the unofficial bootloader unlock with August update

It’s been over 2 months that we have offered the keys to unofficially unlock the bootloaders on Nokia smartphones. Starting with the August security update, Nokia has pushed a patch which stops these unlock keys from working. So, for now, Nokia smartphone users who have updated to the August security release can no longer unlock the bootloader.

The unlock keys no longer work with Nokia phones updated to August patch. Nokia started off by blocking the unlocks on the Nokia 7 plus updated to latest developer preview of Android Pie. Nokia extended it to other devices via the latest security update. We tested it on a Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 7 Plus. The Nokia X6 seems to be the only device which is still unlockable. That said, a workaround might still work for some users.

The loophole was definitely going to be patched at some point. However, we also had hope from HMD Global that they will start unlocking the bootoaders officially before closing down the unofficial methods. But HMD decided to patch the unofficial method without speaking or even hinting of an official service to unlock the bootloaders.

Looking at the situation, it is advisable that you do not lock the bootloader if you have previously unlocked. Already unlocked devices will remain unlocked even after updating to August security release. If you are still looking to unlock the bootloader, then you will have to downgrade your device to an older security update and then order an unlock key through us.

Fastboot throws the following error while trying to flash the unlock keys:

(bootloader) Error: RSA_public_decrypt fail

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  • Thanks for the warning! I made absolutely sure I stayed off any network until I got the bootloader unlocked and even with four or five intermediate updates 7.1 to 8.1 and then a couple of monthlies, the unlock remained safe and sound, while the rooting had to be repeated, but worked flawless with the evident maturity of both TWRP and Magisc on the platform.

    The major reason I am still considering to return the phone is that without Project Treble support and given the bootloader hassles, ready-to-use ROMs might be hard to come by, once Nokia stops supporting it, perhaps less than a year after purchase (last week…).

    I don’t think I’ll terribly miss any Pie feature, but without current security patches, I consider it irresponsible to operate a very personal computer (or any Internet facing computer for that matter).

    • I understand your concern and you should take a decision based on what you want. All that I know is the fact that Nokia promises a good software support for its phones. The newer phones all come under the Android One branding. So, they are guaranteed (theoretically) for 2 years of security updates.
      As about the Nokia 8, it is not an Android One certified device. Nokia has been consistent about updates so far. The Nokia 8 was initially launched last year in September and it’s been 1 year already. We can expect about 1 more year of updates from Nokia (you’re correct about it based on your purchase date). So, if the security patches are very important for you, you should consider returning it.

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