White Nokia Lumia 800

Nokia Lumia users are reporting that certain Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 devices have entered the market with stock Qualcomm bootloaders that provide full access to the handset’s onboard memory. That means the device can easily be unlocked by flashing an unlocked ROM, and it gives you the opportunity to install unsigned apps, and possibly even Google’s Android operating system.

One user on the XDA Developers forum reports that almost all Lumia 710 devices can be hacked, simply by downgrading the handset’s bootloader to the stock Qualcomm firmware. However, only certain Lumia 800 devices with hardware revision 2.3 or lower are eligible.

You can check whether or not your device is eligible by shutting down your handset, holding down the volume up and power buttons, then plugging it into your PC via USB. If you’re running a Windows machine, you will be asked if you’d like to format a USB drive — you’ll want to click no. If you see a “NOKIA DLOAD” error message, then your handset cannot be downgraded to the stock Qualcomm firmware.

If you don’t get that message and you’d like to unlock your handset, you can follow the instructions on the XDA Developers forum. But of course, this is a risky process that could lead to a bricked device, so you should only attempt this if you fully understand what you’re doing. And be sure to make a backup of your handset first.

Once your device is hacked, it opens the door for unlocking and the ability to install unsigned apps (those that weren’t obtained from the Windows Phone Marketplace), and possibly even a future build of Android.

Will you be attempting to install the Qualcomm ROM on your Lumia?

[via The Verge]