In a very strange situation, the buyers of Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have a problem reddit have mentioned and said that their devices were delivered with an unlocked bootloader. It is unclear how widespread the problem is; But apparently it is limited to a few phones; Because nowadays these problems spread quickly in cyberspace.
When the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro phones are booted, they display a warning to the user that the bootloader is not locked: “The bootloader is not locked and the security of the applications is not guaranteed. Any data stored on the device may be accessible to hackers and malware. Please do not store any sensitive information on the device.”
Bootloader not being locked is not a big problem; But it comes with privacy and data security issues. Another consequence of an unlocked bootloader on Android devices may be some apps not running. For example, contactless payment via Google Wallet does not work with an unlocked bootloader.
Bootloader is the software that performs the initial setup of the operating system. An unlocked bootloader will be needed to make OS-level changes or install patches and mods or even install a new ROM to root Android.
The user can identify and fix the problem by connecting the phone to a laptop or personal computer and using ADB and Fastboot software (Android debugging bridge). However, it is clear that Google cannot demand such actions from its customers and will likely replace the affected devices.
Such problems are not unprecedented in Google phones. In the past years, a number of products of this company were released with some unforeseen problems. Google has not yet responded to the Pixel 8 bootloader issue.