Unlock your phoneFirst, the ability to unlock a phone is protected in the United States under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As of 2006 the U.S Copyright Office allowed this exception because in their words: "The underlying activity sought to be performed by the owner of the handset is to allow the handset to do what it was manufactured to do - lawfully connect to any carrier. This is a noninfringing activity by the user...The purpose of the software lock appears to be limited to restricting the owner's use of the mobile handset to support a business model, rather than to protect access to a copyrighted work itself."
If interested you can download this document from the U.S. Copyright Office, and begin reading starting at Page 42, Paragraph 5.
There is quite a bit of misunderstanding about what really unlocks a locked phone and why you should even bother to unlock a phone in the first place. I'm going to get a little long winded here so bare with me...
A locked phone is one that will only operate on one particular network, like Cingular. A service provider does this to make it harder for people to leave their network for better service with someone else's network like T-Mobile. They know you love your phone too much to actually buy another one just to go somewhere else for service, so they got you.
Why do you want to unlock your phone in the first place? Many do it just because they can I guess and have no real use for it being unlocked. You would unlock a phone to switch networks and keep the same phone, or if you plan to travel out of the country and don't want to pay international roaming charges.
With an unlocked phone you can go to sites like Cellular Abroad or In Touch Smart Cards or Telestial and buy international SIMs. Or you can just buy them when you arrive in country and make your phone calls at much cheaper, local rates.
There are many monster packs and other files that are labeled as unlocked. All this means is that if your phone is already unlocked, then flashing it or flexing it with these files won't relock it.
There is no monster pack or any other flashable or flexable file that will unlock a locked phone, period.
How do you determine if your L7 is locked? A simple test with a SIM on a different network will confirm if your phone is locked. A locked phone will ask for a password to override the subsidy lock. Once you unlock a phone the subsidy password screen will go away and the phone will log onto any network it can communicate with (in our case GSM networks).
This is what a locked V3 displays if you try to use a SIM not on your provider's network. I imagine the L7 displays the exact, if not a similar screen.
Ok, now lets discuss other methods of unlocking a phone. I would first call
my service provider and try to get the unlock code from them for free.
You bought your phone from them and you pay them every month for service, it is
the least they can do and should do for you in return. Some providers make
you wait 90 days after starting an account with them before they will do this.
Sometimes they just won't give you the code.
From this point on all I'm going to say is search the Internet and you'll quickly drown in a sea of choices in your quest for an unlocked phone. You could also try local mom and pop type cell phone stores for help. I am going to take a moment here to bash a couple companies whose products I've tried and was unhappy with and felt I'd been completely ripped off by. The "Smart Clip" was a piece of shit and the morons who run the company are the most unhelpful people you will ever come across. They just want your money and want you to go away. And it shows! The Ultima Box is the biggest joke of a tool I've ever seen.
Also note, when you buy equipment like this, that there ARE NO REFUNDS. This is scary considering these devices sell for $200 and up. BUYER BEWARE!
I would next try to do the test point procedure myself, without the help of an online unlocking site. There is a thread on the MotoX forums that a reader wrote about their experience unlocking their phone. It worked for them, it may work for you. You will need to disassemble your phone though to do this. Here is a great video made by this cell phone store in the U.K. and how they did a test point procedure. Click the image to play the movie.
How to perform the testpointSomeone sent me their L7 that they had damaged and I told them I would take a look at it. It was a Cingular model that originally had R4517 and the 0A.20 boot loader on it. They'd told me the did a lot of flashing on it and wound up mistakenly putting R4513 on it and it was stuck in boot loader / flash mode.
You could also use these instructions for unlocking your phone.
I tried flashing everything but the kitchen sink (sometimes just flashing the original software onto the phone will restore it) to try to fix it. Nothing I flashed would work so I headed for my tool box...
Ensure you have no static charge on your body before you being working on the phone. First remove the battery cover, battery and SIM.
Get a Torx screwdriver in T6 size.
Remove all four screws on the panel holding the circuit board in place.
Remove the panel that covers the circuit board.
There are four cables to disconnect from the circuit board. I'm pointing at one with a screw driver, but you should use your fingernail to remove them as they are very easy to disconnect. I'll show you the before and after of every connector being removed so you know what it looks like. Here's the first connector.
Now for the second connector. I've turned the phone around to make it easier to show the connector.
Now disconnect the third connector, the coaxial cable. Be very careful when reconnecting it, it is a very delicate connection and it's easy to bend the connection jack.
Now remove the circuit board from the phone housing.
Finally it's time to remove the last connector, the camera cable.
Once the cable is disconnected, grab the camera with your thumb and forefinger and pull it to the right (as seen here) to remove it from the circuit board.
Next mark the area where you will cut into the aluminum housing.
The Dremel is going to make a lot of fine metallic dust so I taped over everything but the part I'm cutting into.
I'm using the EZ456 cutting wheel, there are others you can use to do the job too.
Time to fire up the Dremel. I like this new model called the Stylus because it's easier to hold and control for a long period of time.
I've found the safest method is to keep the speed slow so you can better control the Dremel. You don't want to keep constant pressure on the housing you are cutting into. You want to keep lifting it up so you can always see how much you're wearing down the metal. Eventually a small hole will start forming. Stop at this point. I've found you can just use an exacto knife to pierce the metal at this point and bend it upward to crack it. Repeat this process for all three sides when you've worn the metal down enough and just bend the metal up out of the way. You do not need to completely cut through the metal. This metal is thin, it's about the thickness of five to ten foil chewing gum wrappers. It peels away pretty easy.
I made one big, ugly hole here but I wanted to get a good look around since I cut a much smaller hole on my first phone. You want to take care to brush away all the debris from the area you just cut open before bending up the metal. You might want to use compressed air to make sure there is nothing on the circuit board before you do anything else with it.
I used a 4X magnifying glass so I could get a good look at which circuit board I had since there are two. Compare yours to the examples on my site so you get the right test point location.
Here are the two images that GSMServer.com provides for the test points. Your circuit board will look like one of these images. Mine looked like the second one.
Next I put the circuit board back into the phone housing. Do not reconnect any of the connector cables though. I then set it on my desk so I could easily make the testpoint connection and put tape across the circuit board and attached it to the desk so it couldn't move when I later connect the battery and USB cable. In the picture you can see I have the phone taped down, the USB cable connected and an alligator clip attached to the metal that I bent up. The battery is standing by as is the probe I'll use to ground the test point. This probe has a wire that is connected to the alligator clip.
Next I'm going to use an Ultima Box and a program that comes with it called MotoRocker. After you start the program it should detect the box and whichever COM port you've connected it to. If it doesn't (and this is often the case with this program) continue to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable going from the PC to the Ultima Box until it does.
The "Settings" tab is where you connect your box at if it wasn't automatically detected.
Click on the "Service" tab. Make sure you select your software family version of your phone and your phone model under the "Settings" section. I also checked the "Connect over testpoint (TP)" box.
At this point I connected my probe to the testpoint on the circuit board. Holding it very steady, I inserted the battery. I then removed the probe from the circuit board and clicked the "Repair" button. Several messages will appear at the bottom of the screen like repairing, flashing core, etc. Finally I got a message like: repaired ok, replug the battery. What the program wants you to do is remove the battery and then put it back in.
I closed MotoRocker and started RSD Lite. I then flashed R4517_G_08.C4.25R_GSTROYBCIN01NA1A8.shx. The flash failed, but it did get installed onto the phone and the phone worked fine.
This ends the "unlock" section of this tutorial.