With the launch of the Snapdragon 765/G SoC, Qualcomm helped Android phone makers foray into the affordable 5G smartphone space. Several Chinese OEMs decided to incorporate this chipset into their phones, and we already have a number of mid-range 5G phones on the market, such as the Redmi K30 5G and the ZTE Axon 11. Realme, one of 2019’s biggest success stories, also launched its first 5G phone, the Realme X50 5G, based on the same silicon. To promote third-party development for the device, Realme is now allowing bootloader unlocking and has released the kernel source code for the Realme X50 5G.
Similar to other Realme phones, the bootloader on the Realme X50 5G can be unlocked using a unique device-specific unlock tool (aka In-Depth Test) released by Realme on their forums. The process completely wipes the device as well as disables subsequent OTA updates. It is, however, possible to relock the bootloader by connecting the phone to your PC via the bootloader interface and executing the typical
fastboot flashing lock command. If you want to check out the detailed step-by-step bootloader unlocking guide, head over to the following thread on their forums.
Realme has also released the kernel sources for this device, which will come in handy for aftermarket developers cooking custom recoveries, kernels, and ROMs. The company is known for publishing broken source code, though, so tinkerers may face some difficulties in working with the tree.
It is worth mentioning that the Realme X50 5G is available only in China. Although a broad scale release was speculated about a while ago, the company presented a beefier Realme X50 Pro 5G (our impressions) to the global audience. Nevertheless, the non-Pro variant is receiving steady software updates on top of the Android 10-powered Realme UI, and the release of the kernel source and the bootloader unlocker app should help kickstart development on the device.
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