Being a power user of Android Smartphones for quite some time, I always try to get my hands on the latest Android devices. And, as soon as I have it, I try to unlock the bootloader of that device. Moreover, if you are a power user like me, then unlocking the bootloader will give you the immense possibilities of installing new custom ROMs like Lineage OS, etc, custom mods, add-ons, etc. In this post, we will look at how to unlock bootloader on Pixel 3a and 3a XL.

Google recently launched the Pixel 3a and 3a XL which are Mid-range smartphones (which is not as per INR). These smartphones are the liter versions of the already immensely popular and great smartphones (everything is great except that bathtub notch on the device) from Google the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. We already know that these devices have a great camera, and the same was expected from the lite versions i.e. Pixel 3a and 3a XL. You can capture some really breathtaking images from the Pixel 3a and 3a XL.

So, without any further ado, let us get straight into the article itself;

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL Specifications Overview

Google Pixel 3a

Operating system

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 670
  • 2.0 GHz + 1.7 GHz, 64-bit Octa-Core
  • Adreno 615
  • Titan M security module
  • Android 9.0 Pie

Display

  • Full-screen 5.6″ display/142.2 mm display
  • FHD+ (2220 x 1080) OLED at 441 PPI
  • 18.5:9
  • Always-on display
  • Now Playing
  • 100,000:1 super contrast ratio
  • True black level
  • Full 24-bit depth of 16 million colors
  • D67 white point

Rear camera

  • 12.2 MP dual-pixel
  • 1.4 μm pixel width
  • Auto-focus with dual-pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilisation
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • 76° field of view
  • Rear Camera Video
    • 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
    • 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps
    • 4K @ 30fps

Front camera

  • 8 MP
  • 1.12 μm pixel width
  • ƒ/2.0 aperture
  • Fixed focus
  • 84° field of view
  • Front Camera Video
    • 1080p @ 30fps
    • 720p @ 30fps
    • 480p @ 30fps

Memory and storage

  • 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 64 GB storage

Battery

  • Pixel 3a: 3000 mAh battery
  • USB-C™ 18 W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0
  • 18 W fast charging

Wireless and location

  • Wireless
    • Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2 x 2 MIMO
    • Bluetooth® 5.0 + LE (HD codecs: AptX, AptX HD)
    • NFC
    • Google Cast
  • Location
    • GPS
    • GLONASS
    • BeiDou
    • Galileo
    • QZSS

Sensors

  • Active Edge™ ⁸
  • Proximity/Ambient light sensor
  • Accelerometer/Gyrometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Pixel Imprint™ – back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking
  • Barometer
  • Android Sensor Hub
  • Haptics

Google Pixel 3a XL

Operating system

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 670
  • 2.0 GHz + 1.7 GHz, 64-bit Octa-Core
  • Adreno 615
  • Titan M security module
  • Android 9.0 Pie

Display

  • Full-screen 6.0″ display/152.4 mm display
  • FHD+ (2160 x 1080) OLED at 402 PPI
  • 18:9
  • Always-on display
  • Now Playing
  • 100,000:1 super contrast ratio
  • True black level
  • Full 24-bit depth of 16 million colors
  • D67 white point

Rear camera

  • 12.2 MP dual-pixel
  • 1.4 μm pixel width
  • Auto-focus with dual-pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilisation
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • 76° field of view
  • Rear Camera Video
    • 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
    • 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps
    • 4K @ 30fps

Front camera

  • 8 MP
  • 1.12 μm pixel width
  • ƒ/2.0 aperture
  • Fixed focus
  • 84° field of view
  • Front Camera Video
    • 1080p @ 30fps
    • 720p @ 30fps
    • 480p @ 30fps

Memory and storage

  • 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 64 GB storage

Battery

  • Pixel 3a XL: 3700 mAh battery
  • USB-C™ 18 W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0
  • 18 W fast charging

Wireless and location

  • Wireless
    • Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2 x 2 MIMO
    • Bluetooth® 5.0 + LE (HD codecs: AptX, AptX HD)
    • NFC
    • Google Cast
  • Location
    • GPS
    • GLONASS
    • BeiDou
    • Galileo
    • QZSS

Sensors

  • Active Edge™ ⁸
  • Proximity/Ambient light sensor
  • Accelerometer/Gyrometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Pixel Imprint™ – back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking
  • Barometer
  • Android Sensor Hub
  • Haptics

What is a Bootloader and the Advantages of unlocking it?

A bootloader is a piece of software that, will automatically run, every time you starts up your phone or device. Besides this, the bootloader commands the phone, like what programs to load in order to make your phone run and function properly. Moreover, it is very important to have a functioning bootloader as your smartphone depends on it to start up your device. This is the reason why bootloaders are stored in a stable memory away from the reach of users. But, there are methods and solution for every smartphone that can help you to unlock your bootloader. However, you need to follow the steps very carefully in order to avoid any permanent damage caused to your device.

 

 

 

 

One thing to note is that unlocking your bootloader will void the warranty of your device. So, make sure that you are out of the warranty period or you are sure about what you are doing to your device.

However, there are certain advantages once, you have unlocked the bootloader of your device;

  • You can install any custom ROM of your choice such as Lineage OS, Resurrection Remix ROM, etc.
  • Moreover, you can root your device.
  • You can flash TWRP.

Pre-Requisites

Once you are equipped with all the information regarding bootloader and its advantages and disadvantages, you need to have the below-mentioned files and tools ready before heading to unlocking the bootloader;

  • Make Sure your device is charged at least 70%.
  • We would recommend you to use the original USB cable that came in the box with the device.
  • Download ADB and Fastboot tools.
  • Make sure you have proper USB drivers installed for the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL.

How To Unlock Bootloader on Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

How to enter Fastboot Mode on Pixel devices

There are two methods via which you can enter the Fastboot mode on your Pixel 3a or 3a XL. Both the methods are mentioned below;

1. Key Combination

  • Press and hold the power button to turn your phone off.
  • Once the phone is turned off, press and hold the Power + Volume down keys at the same time.
  • Keep the buttons pressed and release them when the phone goes into Fastboot mode.

2. ADB Commands

  • Firstly, make sure that you have installed the proper USB and ADB drivers installed on your PC.
  • Now, switch ON your device.
  • Then, connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Open the ADB tool on your PC and execute the below command:
    adb reboot bootloader
  • The phone will turn off and boot into Fastboot mode.
  • Now this will take you to Fastboot mode, and now you can press the volume up and down keys to go through different modes.

Steps to Unlock the Bootloader on the Pixel 3a and 3a XL

NOTE: Before we begin with the unlocking of bootloader, I would strongly recommend you to create a backup of your device storage and all your files stored on your device. Unlocking of bootloader will wipe off the entire data on your device. Moreover, it is advised to follow the steps mentioned in this post very carefully to avoid permanent damage or bricking of your device. If anything goes wrong, the author or GetDroidTips will not be responsible for it.

Below are the steps to unlock the bootloader on the Pixel 3a and 3a XL;

  • Firstly, turn OFF your device and boot into the Fastboot mode by following any of the above-mentioned methods.
  • Now, connect the device to your PC/laptop with the USB Cable. We would suggest you use the original USB cable that came in with the device.
  • Open the ADB tool on your computer and execute the following code:
    fastboot flashing unlock
  • Now, the process of unlocking the bootloader on the Pixel 3a/3a XL will start.
  • Your phone will automatically reboot once, the bootloader has been unlocked.
  • Voila! You have successfully unlocked the bootloader of your Pixel device.

Once the bootloader is unlocked, you will be able to flash custom ROMs and modify the firmware of your Pixel 3a and 3a XL.

Conclusion

There you have it from my side in this post. You have now successfully unlocked the bootloader of your Pixel 3a and 3a XL. Though it is a long procedure, it is advised that you must follow each of the steps very carefully because if you skipped any of the steps above, you might brick or permanently damage your device. Also, once again it is my duty to remind you that please make a backup of all the data of your device because this procedure will wipe of your device storage.

Let us know in the comments how was the experience of unlocking the bootloader of your Pixel device, and also mention if I have missed any of the steps which will benefit the users who are trying to unlock their bootloader. Until the next post…Cheers!



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