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(Help) Unlocked carrier phone with a greyed out OEM

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zach183323

Member
Dec 30, 2019
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So I bought a unlocked google pixel 3a on ebay a few months ago and the OEM is greyed out. It says under the OEM that it can't be unlocked because it's carrier locked but I checked and it let me switch carriers. I'm not sure what's wrong with it and any help would be great.
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
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Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
So I bought a unlocked google pixel 3a on ebay a few months ago and the OEM is greyed out. It says under the OEM that it can't be unlocked because it's carrier locked but I checked and it let me switch carriers. I'm not sure what's wrong with it and any help would be great.
There is nothing out of place in your description, what you are asking about is not an issue, it is a matter of you not understanding the difference between bootloader unlock and carrier/network/SIM unlock.

OEM unlock setting and network unlock are two different things.

The OEM unlock setting deals with unlocking bootloader in order to use unapproved/modified software and/or root android devices.

Carrier/network/SIM unlock deals with switching to a different country/region/carrier/network.

You can have a carrier unlocked device while also having a locked bootloader. In your case, your device is not network locked "to" a specific carrier, it is merely bootloader locked "by" a specific carrier.

If it is a US Verizon branded Pixel 3a, the bootloader is locked and cannot be unlocked. I believe the US AT&T Pixel 3a is also bootloader locked, but I could be wrong.

What is your Pixel's exact model number? Is it a carrier branded device? If so, what carrier name is printed on the device or what carrier name shows during boot animation or what kind of carrier bloatware is on the device?

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zach183323

Member
Dec 30, 2019
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Thanks for the response, my model number is "G020C" and on the ebay page says the locked version is locked to sprint however there aren't any sprint bloatware on the device nor is there any carrier name on the boot up animation just the google logo. Do you think it still would be possible at all to unlock the bootloader at all?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
14,848
5,164
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Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Thanks for the response, my model number is "G020C" and on the ebay page says the locked version is locked to sprint however there aren't any sprint bloatware on the device nor is there any carrier name on the boot up animation just the google logo. Do you think it still would be possible at all to unlock the bootloader at all?
I'm not familiar with your specific device. It seems to me that it is probably a Sprint Pixel 3aXL(your model number shows up as a Pixel 3aXL, not as a Pixel 3a as referenced by your posted above) but has been flashed with the Vanilla Google stock firmware instead of a bloated Sprint stock firmware.

As for unlocking bootloader, you should be able to unlock it, but, you will have to research the exact method to unlock the bootloader, sometimes devices require a method that is specific to that device, the generic bootloader unlock methods do not work on all devices.

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zach183323

Member
Dec 30, 2019
8
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I'm not familiar with your specific device. It seems to me that it is probably a Sprint Pixel 3aXL(your model number shows up as a Pixel 3aXL, not as a Pixel 3a as referenced by your posted above) but has been flashed with the Vanilla Google stock firmware instead of a bloated Sprint stock firmware.

As for unlocking bootloader, you should be able to unlock it, but, you will have to research the exact method to unlock the bootloader, sometimes devices require a method that is specific to that device, the generic bootloader unlock methods do not work on all devices.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk

Okay that actually explains a lot, do you think it would be possible to enable the OEM from a pc? I'm just having trouble finding a guide to unlocking the bootloader because a lot of them require the OEM to be unlocked in the developer options.
 
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Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
14,848
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Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Okay that actually explains a lot, do you think it would be possible to enable the OEM from a pc? I'm just having trouble finding a guide to unlocking the bootloader because a lot of them require the OEM to be unlocked.
You may have to wait for a certain period of time before you can enable OEM unlock. Some devices just require being in a powered state with a constant mobile data connection for at least 7 days straight, then the OEM unlock setting can be enabled. Some devices have other additional requirements for unlocking bootloader.

What you probably should have done is unlock the bootloader before you switched the device to a different network, then, after the bootloader was unlocked, then you could have switched networks. An incomplete SIM unlock can cause the OEM unlock setting to be grayed out, correctly or completely unlocking the SIM might make the setting available.

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zach183323

Member
Dec 30, 2019
8
0
You may have to wait for a certain period of time before you can enable OEM unlock. Some devices just require being in a powered state with a constant mobile data connection for at least 7 days straight, then the OEM unlock setting can be enabled. Some devices have other additional requirements for unlocking bootloader.

What you probably should have done is unlock the bootloader before you switched the device to a different network, then, after the bootloader was unlocked, then you could have switched networks. An incomplete SIM unlock can cause the OEM unlock setting to be grayed out, correctly or completely unlocking the SIM might make the setting available.

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Yeah I heard about that you have to use a device for a certain amount of time for certain carriers, but I've been using this phone for months now and the option hasn't been available yet. I'm not sure what requirements I have to do since the device is carrier unlocked now. Could I hard reset it and before I put the sim card in would the OEM option be available?
 

Droidriven

Senior Member
Jan 27, 2014
14,848
5,164
NC
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
HTC Thunderbolt
Yeah I heard about that you have to use a device for a certain amount of time for certain carriers, but I've been using this phone for months now and the option hasn't been available yet. I'm not sure what requirements I have to do since the device is carrier unlocked now. Could I hard reset it and before I put the sim card in would the OEM option be available?
You would be better off to ask your questions in the Pixel 3a XL Q&A subforum, the members there are users of that device and would know more about the specifics involved for your specific model number/carrier.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/pixel-3a-xl/help

Here is a link to the complete Pixel 3a XL forum, search through the subforims for more information about your specific model number.

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