Many advanced users might be thinking about going forward with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader unlock. They can do that but Samsung is going to extract a heavy penalty from them by killing the device’s cameras.
Don’t unlock the Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader if you want usable cameras
Samsung isn’t that keen on having users unlock the bootloader to root its devices. A lot of users prefer rooting their Android devices for more customization and functionality. Samsung doesn’t approve of it.
The company already has security measures in place that trip once its devices are rooted. Unlocking the bootloader trips up Samsung’s Knox security suite and voids the device warranty. Users lose all Knox security features and even access to Samsung Pay.
Still, many advanced users are willing to make that trade-off in order to root their devices. All of that still happens if you try to unlock the Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader but Samsung has now imposed an even harsher penalty.
XDA members have discovered that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 cameras are disabled immediately after the bootloader is unlocked. The final confirmation screen before the Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader unlock warns users that going forward with the process will disable the cameras.
Once the bootloader is unlocked and the device restarts, the cameras become unusable. The stock camera app doesn’t work and all camera-related features like facial recognition stop working. The camera doesn’t work even in third-party apps.
Losing access to Knox features and Samsung Pay is one thing. Having disabled cameras is a quite heavy price to pay just to unlock the Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader. The cameras are not permanently disabled, though. Locking the bootloader makes them functional again.
So this is clearly a software-level restriction that Samsung has placed to discourage Galaxy Z Fold 3 bootloader unlocking. There’s always a possibility that someone might come up with a workaround but until then, be warned of the consequences.