Sony confirms: unlocking the bootloader on the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact can affect camera functionality

Sony confirms: unlocking the bootloader on the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact can affect camera functionality
Not long ago, it’s been discovered that unlocking the bootloader on Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact would cause its camera to underperform when it comes to low-light photography. Now, Sony is officially acknowledging this, mentioning that the issue can also affect the Xperia Z3, and other high-end Xperias that run recent software versions.

Unlocking the bootloader on the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact removes DRM security keys, which, according to Sony, can result in the removal of noise reduction algorithms. Thus, as Sony puts it, “performance when taking photos in low-light conditions might be affected.”

Of course, regular customers are unlikely to unlock their bootloaders anyway, so they won’t have these problems. On the other hand, folks who regularly unlock their bootloaders are well aware that this comes with some trade-offs, though Z3 users were probably not expecting one of the trade-offs to be related to camera performance.

Both the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are available to buy in some European and Asian markets, and should also be released in the US and Canada pretty soon. To learn more about the two smartphones, check out our Xperia Z3 review, and our Xperia Z3 Compact review.


source: Sony via Android Police

Related phones

Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h talk time)
Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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16 Comments

1. nodes

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

RIP custom kernels and CM.

2. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

I knoww. Dam definitely wanted a Z3C with CM.

4. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

ROMs and kernels will still happen. And I wouldn't be surprised if a patch or emulation of the DRM gets figured out.

6. vincelongman

Posts: 5623; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea someone on xda will find an exploit and figure out how to back up the DRM keys So people can flash then after flashing custom rom/kernels

13. nodes

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Custom ROMs from sony-based ROM can be flashed, but you know it's not as deep as those ROM that needs BL unlocked. and no, no custom kernel i think without the need of unlocked BL. maybe someone will figure out to trick those DRMs.

3. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2260; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

they just dont want us unlock the phone.

5. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Let's put a stick in the eye of all the developers and power users who love our phones. Because we are Sony and love to lose billions every quarter! Seems like Sony must be managed by the same f**kups that run TEPCO.

7. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I'm cool with that. Installing custom roms and kernels are buggy in the first place, ruining the phone experience. Stock rom is good.

8. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

I'd take a marginally buggy custom rom over stock anyday. Having said that, as long as I'm rooted, I'm fine with it. I can't live without Xposed modules.

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

If the devs at xda can't figure out the DRM keys or a separate fix for the camera by the time I can afford to buy the Z3C (probably early next year), I'll probably just stick with stock rooted+Xposed. I'll have my Nexus 6 by then, and still have my Nexus 4 for all my LiquidSmoothness and other custom ROM fun.

12. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Root is ok with me. If unlocking the BL means uneffective features, then I'll pass. Ill buy a Nexus instead.

14. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Basically rooting is all you need and if you want to add extra functionally Xposed modules are handy. Customed kernels are always buggy, a couple of years ago I changed kernels almost every week, practically I'd become an addict, that gave me lots of headaches (inexplicable battery drain, sudden reboots, etc). Now that I let it go, my experience with Android is more fulfilling.

10. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1219; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Sorry SONY... This is not good, imho...

11. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

that's not good! Now you ruined it again. hope that XDA-devs figure it out. Otherwise i will go to HTC :/

15. mike2959

Posts: 692; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Android is becoming more of a closed operating system than IOS and Windows with every version. Don't blame the manufacturers either people. Even "vanilla" Android isn't so vanilla anymore.

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Just wanted to add that technically, Sony needs to up their game. There is no need for these "secret" DRM keys to be made part of the bootloader. Sony could offload all this stuff to a separate chip for now until Crawlcomm implements better security on their chips, i.e. ARM's "secure enclave". This extra chip can be some cheap little processor from NXP. It doesn't have to be fancy. There needs to be a company wide "wake up call" at Sony. No more dumb decisions to do things that are anti-customer. Unfortunately Sony is dying because of terrible mistakes, large and small, by management. It is a classical Japanese suicide.

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