The latest official update for Sony Xperia SP is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and it has been declared as the final update for this device. It means that it might not receive the official KitKat update by Sony. In normal cases, users will update their devices using a custom ROM. However, to install a custom ROM users must unlock the bootloader of their devices. Many people do not update their devices just because they do not want to unlock the bootloader. Unlocking bootloader devices might not be able to claim warranty ever again. The solution has been presented already. Now Xperia SP with locked bootloader can be updated to Android 4.4.4 KitKat using CyanogenMod 11 custom ROM.
With this custom ROM, users can always go back to the stock condition, and possibly regain the warranty for the device. The rest of the features work just like the stock ROM. This CM 11 for Xperia SP has been developed and released by MrSteve555 from XDA. It is being updated weekly, so more and more bugs are fixed with every update. The current version of this ROM has pretty much everything in a working condition and pretty smooth to use. This ROM can be installed on two variant of Xperia SP; C5302 and C5303. If you own one of these, then keep reading this guide.
To install this custom ROM on Xperia SP, few tools are required. Each tool is listed below with detailed guide on how to use it. Go through all thr steps one by one. Make sure that you complete each requirement so that your phone can pass the installation procedure flawlessly.
Install USB Drivers
Some of the operations given below will require USB drivers to be installed on the computer. It is necessary to establish successful connection between mobile device and computer. Download flashtool from here and install it. Locate the installation folder and open Drivers folder inside it. Execute the drivers installer. Select flashmode, fastboot and Xperia SP specific drivers. Finish the installation. After installation is complete, connect the device to complete the drivers installation. It will also show if the drivers installed properly or not.
Phone Must Be Updated to .205 Firmware
The latest firmware build number on your Xperia SP must 12.1.A.1.205 with Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean. It is required for this ROM to work. You can check the firmware build number in Settings by navigating to About Phone in Settings app. If your devices is running any other build number, then you must update it first.
To update, if the device is not rooted, check for the OTA update. if no OTA updates are available or device is rooted, then update the device manually using flashtool. Download .205 firmware from here (C5302) | here (C5303) and use this guide to install using flashtool. After updating the device, move on to the next step.
Install latest Custom Recovery – CWM or TWRP
A custom recovery is required to flash the custom ROM’s zip file and Gapps package. It can not be done using the stock recovery. If a custom recovery is not installed on Xperia Sp 205 firmware already, then do so by following this guide. Follow the guide carefully so that you understand how to use this recovery. Both of these recoveries can be used to install the custom ROM.
Making backups of data is important if you ever want to recover the device to an older state. If above mentioned steps are followed, the phone must be rooted and custom recovery must be installed. To make a backup of all application with data, follow this guide. To make a backup of calls and messages, follow this guide. To make a backup of full ROM, that is the current OS, use this guide. Using a Nandroid backup, a device can be restored to a previous working state. It is a full restore. Other backup options work as porting data from one ROM to another.
As an Xperia user, you must make a backup of TA partition, even if not unlocking the bootloader. Use this guide to make a backup of TA partition on Xperia SP.
It goes without saying that the phone must be charged over 50% to avoid all the interruptions. The phone must not turn off during the installation or it can damage the device.
- Download ROM and Gapps (CM 11)
- Put the downloaded files on internal or external memory of the smartphone
- Now turn off the phone
- Wait for 5 seconds and then turn it on again
- Press Volume up or down button to enter the desired custom recovery (CWM or TWRP)
- Tap in Install zip
- Now navigate to the folder where ROM zip is placed
- Open that folder and install ROM zip
- It will be installed in less than 5 minutes
- In the same way, install Gapps zip
- Now go to main menu and perform a factory data reset
- Also wipe cache and dalvik cache
- Once done, again go to main menu of the recovery and reboot the device
- First boot will take more that 5 minutes so be patient
- Once booted up, wait for the new software to settle down
- That’s all! Enjoy
Got any question? Ask me in the comments below