The ZTE Axon line of smartphones offer high-end specs at upper mid-range prices: the new ZTE Axon 7 smartphone sells for $400, and you can pick up last year’s Axon Pro for $350.

But what if you want a bit more control over your phone than ZTE gives you out of the box? Now the company is offering an official method for unlocking the bootloader of those phones.

zte axon 7

Unlocking the bootloader allows you to install custom firmware on the phone, replacing the software that comes with the Axon Pro or Axon 7. You can use a custom recovery tool to backup or restore your device or flash other software. And unlocking the bootloaders also makes it easy to install custom ROMs (alternate versions of Android or other operating systems).

Unlocking the bootloader on ZTE’s phones isn’t quite as simple as typing some commands into a computer screen. You’ll have to join the ZTE Community and submit a request through the Developer Lounge to have your phone’s bootloader unlocked.

And there are a few big caveats:

  • ZTE is only offering to unlock the US versions of the Axon Pro and Axon 7.
  • Unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty.

ZTE recommends only experienced developers and/or custom ROM users take advantage of the new bootloader unlocking option… which is pretty much par for the course for companies that offer official methods for unlocking a device.

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