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Yes Folks, the DROID RAZR is Unlockable Everywhere in the World But the U.S.

motorola droid razr

We touched on this twice last week when the DROID RAZR was announced, but since it seems to be getting an enormous amount of play today and over the weekend, we thought we would bring it up one last time. So here we go.

Yes folks, the brand spankin’ new DROID RAZR by Motorola is locked in the U.S. “per the carrier.” The international version known just as the Motorola RAZR will be unlockable unless specific carriers decide to have it locked. The plan though, is for the phone to be unlockable everywhere outside of the states. We heard from Motorola twice last week confirming this both on Facebook and Twitter.

So to explain it one more time, we will say this as plainly as possible:  Verizon told Motorola to lock the DROID RAZR and they complied. (According to Moto.)

We have talked about this for about a year now actually – that carriers are the ones that ultimately have the decision. This would be why most of HTC’s portfolio is now partly unlockable except on Verizon and AT&T’s networks.

Are we surprised by this Big Red decision? Not really. As unfortunate, annoying, frustrating, cringe-worthy, and ridiculous as locking things down may be to most of us, you could have predicted this if you have been with the carrier for a number of years. Remember back in the early 2000s (before the smartphone took off) when the rest of the world was doing something as simple as creating their own ringtones? Verizon’s feature phone software was able to block you from doing so. It’s history and little things like this that make this decision feel, well, sort of expected. And this is just another reason why we are making such a big deal of the Galaxy Nexus. This may be the only unlockable phone we get for a while.

On a related note, if you want this phone in the U.S. as an unlockable device, know that phone importers are already working to bring it in. That means you won’t be able to use it on Verizon though and will instead have to shoot for AT&T’s 3G. At least you can experience that thin body without a chastity belt.

We have reached out to Verizon hoping to get some clarity on their stance.

  • Anonymous

    All in all though I got to say, I’m very happy with my Bionic and love the way it looks. I’m not having issues like allot of people so I guess I just got a good one, thank God, I really have no desire to root right now. I came from a Droid1 and was rooted for two years with various ROMS. I usr Launcher Pro Plus with signal23 Themes and my look is basically the same as far as the launcher. I love my Droid Bionic…..

  • Anonymous

    Locking a phone down sucks, and whats worse is that going to another carrier sucks because of the 4G. I can’t think of using a phone without it now. V’s 4G is just so fast, when I switch over to 3G it drives me crazy, I have to have that speed now. I’m addicted. The other carriers just don’t cut it. 

  • what does tht mean? does this mean i cant unlock it to GSM networks?

  • Anonymous

    consumer freedom corporate greed

    Now’s as good a time as any to leave VZ. I left them years ago because they were crippling all their feature phones and disabling native features (such as transferring photos to your PC) so they could charge you obscene prices to use their added services. I came back for the droid, while AT&T was ignoring Android.

    Now I’m feeling locked down and restricted, so it’s time to switch. I love Sprint for their plans and attitude but CDMA limits our choices – as does Verizon’s network – especially if you want a global phone. It’s not usually too painful as both Sprint & VZ offer a good selection but it’s times like these where the price we pay for using CDMA, American carriers becomes quite pointed. Incidentally, this is because Sprint & VZW refuse to allow any devices that aren’t theirs. At this point, you’ll always have more flexibility on a GSM carrier.

  • Anonymous

    FU motorola.

    I was debating between the new nexus & the razr. Thanks for making my decision easier.

  • Djmd2g

    Im about to leave verizon this is getting silly. verizon is so worried about rooted phones that they are gonna lose customers. Verizon is starting to suck

  • This is when we hit up Verizon’s FB, just like when people hit up Moto’s FB, and complain about them forcing Moto to lock their bootloaders. If we have a big enough voice, Verizon will eventually comply with our demands just as Moto did with other carriers.

  • Anonymous

    Ya know,I would probably take a look at the Razr IF it were unlocked. Since it is not, I won’t even bother. Gonna look at getting the Rezound or Nexus. Moto best be talking to Verizon about the locked crap or they’ll be playing second fiddle….see the Bionic fiasco….

  • vernon

    as much as i want to support an american company like motorola, i won’t if they keep doing things like this.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you’re right!

  • Anonymous

    Verizon is lucky as hell that they have a good network, because they suck at just about every other aspect of being a network and providing good customer service.

    Seeing how Samsung can release unlocked, non Nexus phones (AFAIK the Fascinate, the Continuum, the DROID Charge, and the Stratosphere) on Verizon all day I’m not thinking that Motorola is trying very hard to get these phones unlocked.  I’m thinking they lock them by default, come to Verizon and ask meekly if they can unlock it.  Samsung just does it until Verizon asks them not to.

    This is pretty much what I expected from Verizon but I’m still disappointed.

  • I just wanted to talk about the RazR, but it seems like you all have a great debate about your “American conception of property”.

    I will come back later 😮

    I wonder if I own a part of the European sky…

  • Anonymous

    You know…we don’t know if the Galaxy Nexus actually has an unlocked bootloader…we are just assuming. VZW could totally find a way to keep this thing locked. Just something to keep in mind.

    • Anonymous

      as long as it isn’t encrypted(which only moto does) then it will be easily cracked. Same with every other samsung device and just about every device that isn’t a moto.

  • Anonymous

    The reason that Verizon doesn’t care about bootloaders is because a locked bootloader literally affects less than 0.01% of the subscriber base. Even if they lost every single person who has “vowed to leave” because of that policy, I guarantee they will still add more new subscribers than they will lose

    • Anonymous

      Word of mouth kills. I’ve told others about the locked deal and how it’ll limit what can be done on the phone. They say ‘oh,then I want nothing to do with that!’. Amazing huh. A whole lotta folks root and rom their phones,just look at the poll on this site. Top spot. It affects their sales and the buzz surrounding the device.

  • Pennywise

    I’ve been saying this for over a year.  Take a guess on whether or not the “GNEXOMGLOLBBQAHHHHH” will have a locked bootloader on Verizon’s network… Anyone?

    Locked or not, both the RAZR and the GNEX look like fantastic phones!! And Big Red’s is still the best network (LTE FTW!)

  • Anonymous

    so can anyone clarify this for me… i don’t remember where but i do remember reading somewhere that it said that the global phones will come WITH the oem unlockable relockable bootloader software and the verizon one will come WITHOUT the oem unlockable relockable bootloader software… this says to me that it might simply be a matter of flashing said software to phone… or has someone directly said it will come with a different bootloader?

    • Anonymous

      Most likely will have a different bootloader sign keys

  • Bummer. I would have considered this along with the G-Nex. Onscreen buttons are cool but there is just something I liked about the soft keys. I’m sure this phone will still have a good developer base behind it, but could have been a lot bigger if it was unlocked. If someone doesn’t mind explaining how Verizon has the final say on the locked/unlocked? I was thinking the other way around since Motorola seems to be huge with Verizon and DROID, they would have enough pull to do it how they want…

  • Dieringer

    Oh god.. Angelface is going to be all over this about how moto is awesome bla bla bla

  • I think it is BS that Moto is passing the buck to VZW. We all know that VZW is evil but they allow unlocked devices from HTC, Samsung and LG so why would they only disallow them from Moto?

    Here’s the Phandroid article that shows VZW saying unlocked bootloaders are fine:

  • Verizonsucks

    You guys should not be chastising Moto, after all, Verizon is the one locking all the phones. If anything, everyone should be voting with their wallets and moving to other carriers, until Verizon gets the message. The only thing that will make Verizon change things is if this policy hurts them financially. So, stop blaming Motorola and grab those pitchforks and head to your local Verizon store!

    • Anonymous

      too bad samsung, htc and lg all are not encrypted and able to be unlocked. Sorry I will vote with my money and moto won’t be getting any of it=)

  • Won’t the super uber Android hackers be able to have this rooted and unlocked within a couple of weeks?  It will have to be a SW lock in my opinion because they do not want to have to manufacture versions just for the US.

    • Anonymous

      no moto bootloader has been cracked yet, rooted yes it will but don’t get your hopes up for it to be cracked anytime soon.

  • $5 says I can figure out a way to get the bootloader unlocked =0)

    • Anonymous

      good luck, then you will be able to do something no other developer has been able to do over the past year or so with the moto devices that have been encrypted.

  • Davros

    which is exactly why i wont preorder the nexus. if its locked ill pay the early termination fee and take my buisness somewhere else. ive had enough. ill take a slightly lesser network with a lesser price

  • Missthetrain

    Whatever Big Red does depends on its biggest competitor (AT&T aka Cingular aka Bells). Remember the old “Crippled” Razr? Remember all the “Crippled” bluetooth?
    Remember all the “Crippled” ringtones? Remember Vcast?…I can go on
    and on… The only reason Big Red can do and get away with everything it did is because the other guy (AT&T aka Cingular aka Bells) has been, it’s now, and will forever be an “avoid at all cost” company.

  • Granted

    I remember having that one program, it had a weird name, they you used on your computer to put custom ringtones on your phone. For the life of me I can’t remember it’s name though. But I do remember how awesome it was to finally have bands like Dog Fashion Disco and MSI as ringtones on my phone.

    • Anonymous

      myxer was one I used to use.

  • Flacmonkey

    The solution is simple don’t buy from Verizon.

  • guest01

    meh who cares, just 1 more reason to buy the nexus

  • Is anybody else waiting for the news that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be locked?

    • rick

      ummm, yes.   even though that makes NO sense regarding a nexus device, somewhere deep down I am afraid verizon is going to Steve Jobs on us and lock the thing down somehow, someway. 

    • Anonymous

      as long as it isn’t encrypted locked means nothing. They will be easily cracked it is just the encrypted ones they can’t crack.

  • Anonymous

    Damn you VERIZON!!!!

  • I think this blog should just go ahead and change it’s name to either Nexus-Life or Bootloading-Life, it is pretty clear that the blog and 98% of it’s audience hates the Droid.

    I mean seriously.

    • Anonymous

      Sadly, I am in agreement with you. Shouldn’t all this Nexus stuff be posted on the Android Life sister sites? How did a non DROID phone manage to hijack this entire site?

  • Craig

    Leave it to Verizon to take a perfectly good
    phone, lock it down, disable key features, and then fill it with
    bloatware. Add onto this all their plan limitations plus the lies about
    unlimited data and you have a poor excuse for a product / service.

    Instead of complaining all we can do is vote with our wallet. I prefer
    using my Galaxy S2 as I bought it unlocked and out of the box it was a
    near perfect experience. I originally purchased it for global roaming as
    I was never happy with my Droid 2 or Droid 3. Recently I have been
    using it on AT&T and I have been pleased. I won’t sign a contract
    with any carrier and I doubt I will be buying a phone from Verizon again
    unless they stop crippling their devices.

  • Gary

    I purchased 4 original Droid phones for members of my family. I have since purchased both the DroidX and the Droidx2. I have been with Verizon since 1994 and have used mostly Motorola during that time. I will not purchase a locked down Moto rasr unless the dev’ s can get around it. I feel the same way about the Nexus. I will wait to see what Verizon and other carriers do and then decide on a phone. I am currently paying Verizon $30 per month for data plans on 5 phones ($150 total) and we don’t use 5 gb for all 5 phones. I will not pay an additional $20 per month for a hotspot that is only used to tether a wifi only tablet on rare occasions that traditional wifi is not available. I am paying $1800 a year now for less than 5gb of data monthly. Verizon needs a family data plan that is reasonable if they want to keep my business,

  • This little tidbit of information only matters to about 15% of android consumers … Not a big deal at all ….

  • big red again proves their love for wireless dictatorship…

  • So Rogers in Canada will have the unlockable bootloader?