Samsung appears to be trying to dissuade users from modifying the software on its new Galaxy Z Fold 3 by giving them a message that unlocking the phone’s bootloader will render the phone’s cameras unusable. This is not the first time that phone makers have resorted to such tricks, but it seems to be an escalation of Samsung’s fight against users who want complete control over their phones.
An XDA Forums user confirmed that after unlocking the bootloader, the Z Fold 3’s cameras were completely non-functional: including face recognition, and downloading and using third-party camera apps did not help. The user reports that after locking the bootloader back, the cameras started working again.
Samsung has taken a somewhat unfriendly stance towards modders in the past. Samsung’s Knox documentation says that if you root your phone and flash it with an unofficial Android build, everything related to Knox security will be disabled permanently and only restored when the phone’s hardware is replaced.
This means that if you root your Samsung phone, features like Samsung Pay and Secure Folder will never work again. For clarity, this will not happen if you simply unlock the phone’s bootloader – this will only happen after making changes to the phone’s OS. Although unlocking the bootloader itself doesn’t make much sense, so the difference is not big.