Sony Xperia L has become one of the first few Sony smartphones to get the taste of Android latest recipe, Android 5.0 Lollipop. Because of open source nature of Android, developers are able to port the latest versions of Android to those devices which have not been officially updated by their manufacturers. Sony Xperia L has been updated using AOSP based custom ROM, Android 5.0 Lollipop. It is the pure Android 5.0 with no additional mods. Android 5.0 is based on material design which is a completely new makeover to the Android operating system. It looks much cleaner and sharper than any other Android version. Google also introduced large number of APIs with this version, which makes it the best and most prominent Android release yet.
Sony Xperia L is a mid range device but it can easily compete with some high-end devices when it comes to gaming performance. It has been officially updated to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and it will not receive any more updates. To update Xperia L to Android 5.0 Lollipop, you must update your device to Android 4.2.2 official firmware first. Flashing this firmware over 4.1.2 or older firmware might cause unwanted crashes. This update guide is for two variants of Xperia L: C2104 and C2105. If you own another variant, then you should probably not use this guide.
If you have installed a custom ROM previously, then you should flash the official firmware first. Doing a dirty flash for the first time will give unwanted errors and crashes. There can be unexpected bugs, for which only the method of flashing will be responsible. It should be installed with a clean flash. A clean flash means that cache, system, boot and data partition are wiped before installing this firmware. The first three partitions will be wiped automatically. The data partition must be wiped because system settings are stored from previous ROM and they can conflict with the settings of newly flashed ROM. It will cause bugs like loss of Wifi connectivity and loss of signals maybe. System UI might crash several times and battery drain might be unrealistic! Before flashing this custom ROM, make sure that:
- You should flash it over the latest available official firmware
- Wipe cache, dalvik partition and do a factory reset
Install ADB and Fastboot Tools
To install this custom ROM, and unlock bootloader, fastboot mode will be required. This is built-in function of the phone. To connect the phone to PC in fastboot mode, fastboot and ADB drivers must be installed. This is a generic term which is used for almost all Android devices. Same tools are used for all Android devices which use fastboot mode. There are two guides for installing ADB and Fastboot tools on PC. The first one given below is the comprehensive one which requires heavy downloads. If you do not want to use this, then use the second guide to install Minimal ADB and Fastboot tools which is, as the name states, minimal package of the ADB and Fastboot tools. It is very small in download size as compared to the full fastboot tools. It can get the job done just like the other tools. In case, these tools do not work, then you will have to install the full ADB tools.
Also note that you should use Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or 8.1 on your PC. The fastboot tools do not work with Windows 8. You will get connection errors on Windows 8.
Install Xperia L USB Drivers
This is the installer package which makes the installation of USB drivers pretty easy. Install device specific drivers with fastboot and flashmode drivers.
Installing this custom ROM will require a custom kernel which requires unlocked bootloader. The bootloader of Xperia L can be officially unlocked from the Sony’s website. If you have not unlocked the bootloader yet, then visit the Sony website to unlock it. This ROM cannot be installed on a phone with locked bootloader.
Backup Files on Internal Storage:
Installing this custom ROM is going to wipe everything stored on the device, because of clean installation. If there’s anything stored on your device’s SD Card that you do not want to lose, then it is the time to make a backup of that data on a PC or some other suitable device. Once flashed, the data might not be recoverable. Copy all of your media files to a safe storage before starting to flash this custom ROM.
Backup Contacts and Messages:
If the contacts are stored in the phone memory, then you should make a backup of those contacts right away. If you do not how to, then follow the below given guide to make a backup of all the contacts stored on your phone. Using this guide users can also make a backup of their messages. This guide includes backup of text messages. To make a backup of Whatsapp messages or any other messaging application, simply copy its files stored on the internal storage along with the media files(as described in the previous step).
If there is a larger number of applications installed on your device and you cannot afford to lose those (including save files of games) then here is the solution for it. You can make a backup of all applications installed on your device along with the data of these applications. It requires that your device should be rooted. If you have not rooted your device yet, then follow this guide to root it. Once the device has been rooted, follow the guide given below to make a backup of all the applications along with data.
Make a Nandroid Backup:
This is perhaps the most important step and very useful before installing any custom ROM or custom mod. A nandroid backup can be renamed as the ultimate backup of an Android device. Users can make a nandroid backup using a custom recovery. This backup includes the entire system firmware, system apps(with data) and user installed applications(with data). Nandroid backup is used if you do not like the newly installed custom ROM and wish return to the point where you came from. It is like a restore point. It can be used anytime and it will completely recover the device. If you do not know how to make a Nandroid backup, then use the following guide.
Install Custom Recovery:
To make Nandroid backup in Xperia L, a custom recovery like TWRP or CWM is required. If you have not installed a custom recovery on your device yet, then you can install one using the link given below. Use this custom recovery to make Nandroid backup but not for the installation of custom ROM. Once the backup has been made, continue with the ROM installation procedure.
Before you continue with the installation, you should know few important things about this custom ROM. This is an early build, which means it is not stable and it is not recommended to use it as a daily driver. Users should know that there are some bugs in this custom ROM, which should be fixed as the development in this custom ROM continues. Following is the list of working and non-working features of this custom ROM which are directly from the developer’s forum. These bugs should be fixed as the development on this ROM continues.
- Hardware Acceleration
- System audio
- Hardware Media Decoding/Playback – Audio and Video
- All sensors – Auto brightness, magnetic, accelerometer etc
- Camera – Front and Back
- GPU Rendering
- Internal Storage
- External Storage
- Wifi, Bluetooth, RIL and GPS
Here are some screenshots from the custom ROM.
- Xperia L C2104 / C2105 Android 5.0 Custom ROM
How to Install Android 5.0 Lollipop on Xperia L
- Before continuing make sure that your device is charged to 50% at least. The phone or PC must not turn off during the flash process
- Download and placed the ROM zip and extract it anywhere on PC
- Now turn off your device completely
- Connect USB Cable with PC only
- Hold volume up button on Xperia L and connect the USB device
- The phone should enter fastboot mode
- If LED changes and phone starts charging, then retry the whole method
- Once the phone has successfully enter fastboot mode, proceed to next step
- Copy the extracted files to the fastboot folder(If installed full ADB Tools) or Minimal ADB installation folder
- Open the folder
- Hold shift button on keyboard and right-click on mouse
- Click on Open Command Prompt Here
- Type fastboot devices and press enter
- You should see your device in list
- There should be only one device
Now type fastboot flash boot boot.img and press Enter
Type fastboot flash userdata userdata,img and press Enter
Type fastboot flash system system.img and press Enter
After flashing is complete, type fastboot reboot and press Enter
- The first reboot will take longer than usual. Be patient.
- That’s all!
Got any question? Ask me in the comments below