Smartphones by Xiaomi and sub-brand Redmi have been popular choices in the developer community for many reasons. The phones are affordable, feature great specifications for the price, and are generally very developer-friendly. As a result one can find a lot of custom ROMs, rooting tutorials, and modified kernels for its phones. However, the main reason Xiaomi is popular in the sector something else. The brand does not void the warranty on unlocking the bootloaders on its phones. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra ranks sixth on DxOMark; falls short of Huawei P40 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
For those in the developing know-how, a bootloader is the first layer you need to unlock and get access to, before you proceed to make any kind of modification to your device. This allows the phone to be rooted and also allows you to replace out the stock recovery on the phone, enabling it to run on custom editions of Android. As a result, many brands don’t encourage the practice, and void users of their warranties if the bootloader is found unlocked. However, Xiaomi does not. Also Read - Xiaomi reportedly working on a clamshell-like foldable phone
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That is why a recent tweet from Redmi’s Indian support page took users by surprise when it mentioned the exact opposite. “We would like to inform you that by unlocking the bootloader, the product warranty will be void,” said the tweet, replying to a user’s query on the matter. Also Read - Redmi Band set to launch as Xiaomi Mi Band 4C in Europe; specifications and details
Hi, we would like to inform you that by just unlocking the bootloader your device warranty will not be void. However, if the device crashes/bricks due to Custom ROM the device will be serviced out of Warranty. We would strongly recommend you to continue use your device with MIUI.
— Mi India Support (@MiIndiaSupport) April 20, 2020
With a lot of confusion erupting in the developer community, developer website XDA reached out to Xiaomi on the matter. As per the official response from the company, simply unlocking your Xiaomi or Redmi phone’s bootloader does not void its warranty. In fact, unlocking bootloaders is encouraged so that developer MIUI ROMs can be tested by users.
So when do you lose your warranty?
While simply unlocking your bootloader will not affect your warranty, other factors could. This includes hard-bricking your device or any other issue as a result of replacing the recovery or ROM. In simple terms, anything that damages the hardware of the phone, and needs a hardware fix, voids the phone’s warranty. As long as a software fix works on your device, it stays under warranty, even with an unlocked bootloader.