Google’s new phones, especially the Pixel 2 XL, looked to build upon the success of the original Pixel, but instead they have been repeatedly crashing and burning due to unforeseen issues. There are many good reasons to buy a Pixel phone, but for many, it’s the unlockable bootloader that’s most appealing.
According to the previous report some Pixel 2s purchased directly from Google seem to have locked-down bootloaders. Thankfully, it looks like the issue has been fixed on Google’s end. This issue only affect the smaller Pixel 2, not the larger Pixel 2 XL. This was a bit weird to see, since that option is usually grayed out for Verizon models, and enough people had this problem to warrant its own page on Google’s Issue Tracker.
Thankfully, Google says the issue is now fixed, with affected owners advised to factory reset their devices and connect to the internet during startup. Once they do that, they should see the OEM unlocking option no longer grayed out in settings.
A number of users have replied to say the issue disappeared once their factory reset their devices, and Google considers the issue done with, since it was marked as fixed on the Issue Tracker page.
Having an unlockable bootloader means you can flash whatever you want to the phone. This is an option for all Pixel (and Nexus) phones, except for the ones sold by Verizon. On phones affected by the bug (only the smaller Pixel 2), the OEM unlocking option in developers settings was grayed out. So, people were buying the Pixel 2 from Google, but the bootloader was locked down like a Verizon phone.