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Unlocking Z3 Compact bootloader degrades low-light camera performance

In an uncharacteristically mod-unfriendly move, Sonytop certain camera algorithms from working -- resulting in poorer low-light photos and a few other potential issues as well.
October 2, 2014
sony xperia z3 compact aa (4 of 26)

Sony is known for being pretty darn developer friendly. So friendly in fact, a recent rumor claimed that Sony might eventually offer stock ROMs right out the gate, though Sony later said this wasn’t in the pipeline. Anyway, for a company that does so much to make itself Android community friendly, we find the latest news about the Xperia Z3 Compact to be more than a little disappointing.

Before you decide to unlock the bootloader on the small-yet-powerful Z3 Compact, be warned that your low-light camera performance will likely end up noticeably worse than it was before unlocking. The reason? As confirmed by Sony’s Anna Aleryd on G+, the reason for this is that “ some advanced camera algorithms on [Sony’s] latest devices are protected by DRM, and will stop working when the keys are lost.”

Based on Aleryd’s wording, that means it is pretty likely that the Xperia Z3 also suffers from the same issue, though we can’t confirm this with an certainty at this point. What’s even worse than this camera issue, however, is that at least a few XDA users have come forward to claim several preloaded apps and features like Bravia Engine, Miracast and Sony Entertainment Media don’t work right after unlocking.

Strangely enough, Sony doesn’t mention anything about camera (and possibly other issues) after unlocking a bootloader on its products, though Aleryd did say they will “look into clarifying the warning in the Unlock boot loader service even further.” Probably better get on that Sony, before you have an #unlockedgate on your hands.  (hah, get it? I’ll show myself out…)

What do you think, does Sony’s decision to block users with an unlocked bootloader from phone features turn you off from Sony? Or not a massive deal in your opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments!