Google confirmed that all Pixel and Pixel XL phones purchased from the official Google Store are unlocked, however, the same could not be said of those sold via Verizon Wireless.
Having a locked bootloader means that you cannot play around with the root of the phone by installing custom ROMs, among other tweaks. But this has been defeated by a pair of XDA developers who have successfully unlocked the bootloader of Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sold via Verizon.
The method being used to unlock the Pixel phones’ bootloader is an application known as dePixel8. If you are a worried EE user in the UK, you will be happy to learn that this tool will also unlock the bootloader of your Google Pixel or Pixel XL phone. In the past, we’ve seen unlock tools that usually depend on scripts to automatically unlock the devices in question, however, this dePixel8 tool has a different method. Apparently, this tool simply bypasses the carrier’s security mechanisms on its way to unlocking the Pixel bootloader.
The process itself is quite simple. All you need is to get the fastboot and adb installed on your PC and when done, you will be able to give three commands that will force the handsets to unlock the bootloader. It gets even better as this dePixel8 tool is available for free, but be warned that the developers may choose not to provide any form of support. In short, there may be no one to help you, just in case anything goes wrong, so try this at your own risk.
The developer has noted that this is not their best work yet but acknowledges that it works perfectly on the said Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
At the moment, Verizon Wireless has not released any statement, but it should come in sooner or later. Whether or not the carrier will also be looking for ways to block the loopholes that allow dePixel8 bypass its mechanisms is still unknown. But be warned that once your Google Pixel and Pixel XL are unlocked, you essentially say goodbye to seamless software updates that are a core part of Android Nougat.