If you happen to own a Nexus S 4G and you feel half bad for being on the Sprint network because you have no option of freeing your device from the now aging Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread you are in luck. This how to is aimed at helping you install the latest version of the custom MIUI ROM, which comes as a flavor of Android 2.3.9 Gingerbread plus some added tweaks and functionality from the more recent Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Apart from improving the software that manages the Nexus S 4G, this MIUI ROM also comes with many graphical changes and a simplified interface which should make the smart phone even more responsive. As a bonus installing a custom ROM in favor of the official one usually improved the overall battery life. Be sure to check out the official change log of the MIUI ROM to see what benefits you might get from installing it in your device.
Before we move on you should know a couple of very important aspects regarding rooting any Android device. Rooting your Sprint Nexus S 4G will most likely void the warranty, so if you are uncomfortable with this, you should probably stop here. If somehow, something goes wrong, you are on your own. Neither we nor the developer of this software can be held responsible for any damage that might come to your device by following this guide. By all means, you should not be discouraged by the above statement, as everything in this article should work thanks to the unlocked factory state of the Nexus S 4G. Thanks to the guys over at androidadvices for finding this procedure.
The first point of this tutorial consists of the steps needed to be taken before the actual flashing process. While these steps are not mandatory, we strongly advise you to follow them, as they mostly refer to backing up the information that is already on your device. This is done in order to prevent the loss of any kind of personal data if anything should go wrong.
As in any other backup procedure it is advisable not to use the official backup software that came with your device as it does not support the custom firmware files out there. There is also a big chance of it not recognizing your Sprint Nexus S 4G after it has been flashed with the MIUI ROM so please use or install the apps below to do the backup.
- Text messages – Install this app: SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – These can be synced via your Gmail/Google account or by exporting them to the micro SD card
- Call Log – Install this app: Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos, Files etc.– Copy to internal memory card
- Internet & MMS Settings – Backup all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
As a general rule, none of the information stored on either the internal memory card or the external micro SD card can be affected by the rooting process. Just to be sure you should also back up this information to your PC or MAC.
Before proceeding to the flashing process, you must do the following in order to maximize your chances of success:
- Charge your device to full or to a minimum of 60% to ensure that the phone will not power off during the install process.
- Enable the USB debugging in your Nexus S 4G. This can be done from the following: Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging. The USB Debugging option should be ticked.
- Turn Off all the antivirus as well as Firewall tools in your computer as these tools tend to interrupt the process of firmware update.
- You must also root your Nexus S 4G and install the ClockWorkMod Recovery before proceeding any further.
The second part of this tutorial is actually the hard part, as it covers the whole flashing process. Many people tend to think that flashing your phone is a risky and dangerous business, but if done properly it actually poses less of a risk that installing an app. Gaining root access to your device also means that you will be able to back up the entire phone in a couple of clicks so that no harm can come to it from failing any other flashing procedures.
- The first step requires you to download this MIUI Firmware Package to your computer and then copying it to the root of your Nexus S 4G inbuilt memory. Be sure not to place the file in any subfolders.
- The second step involves disconnecting the USB cable and rebooting your device into Recovery mode. The Recovery mode in the Nexus S 4G can be entered by Pressing the Volume down button and the Power button simultaneously after the device has been shut down.
- The third step is actually some cleaning that needs to be done by selecting Wipe data/factory reset & Wipe Cache partition options in order to clear some important areas needed by the new custom ROM.
- The fourth step is the one that actually installs the MIUI custom ROM. All you need to do is select Install zip from sd card > Choose zip from sd card, and then choose the “MIUI Firmware Zip package” which you have conveniently placed in the root folder of the phone’s internal memory.
In the unlikely case you encounter problems during flashing you should follow the steps above again and re apply the firmware update.
If everything has gone smoothly you can rest as you have successfully installed the 2.3.9 MIUI ICS 4.0.3 Custom ROM on your Sprint Nexus S 4G. Feel free to enjoy the benefits of the latest built of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and of some of the added functionality from Android 4.0 ICS.