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I know that the Nexus S has an unlockable bootloader and that flashing a custom ROM to it is officially supported, easy and pretty much fail-safe. However, what's the warranty like? Does it get voided if I do this? I'm especially interested if I'm covered in the following situations:

  1. I software-brick my device;
  2. I successfully flash a custom ROM, but then something else fails (that renders me unable to flash the "stock" ROM before taking it to warranty)
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unlocking the bootloader will void your warranty. The first situation isn't covered by the phone's warranty, but the second might, according to your country's laws. For example in Finland, the repair company has to show that the problem is directly caused by flashing in order to deny the warranty claim. It's possible to get the phone repaired, but you have to fight with the repair shop and possibly with Samsung to get it done, and it could get tricky.

Having said that, flashing is pretty easy as long as you follow the instructions to the letter and don't rush. Bricking is pretty rare if you're cautious, so I'd say go for it :)

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