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How to Update the HTC One S with the Bravia Engine Onyx Custom ROM


If we take a closer look to the trio of fastest Android smartphones announced in the recent months, we will see three very popular names: Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X and HTC One S. The latter one of this trio is the only new Android smartphone packing a dual core CPU that can handle and even surpass the performance of the quad core processors in the flagship models from both HTC and Samsung. Unlike its bigger brother, the Krait packing HTC One S relies on an older, but not necessarily poorer Super AMOLED display. Although it only packs qHD resolution, that is 540 x 960 pixels wide, it can still compete with the former flagships and current ones thanks to the diagonal of that marvelous display: 4.3 inches. This makes it as big as the former Android flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S II, but with a lot of added bonuses all over the spec sheet. And all of these bonuses will be greatly enhanced thanks to the latest Bravia Engine Onyx Custom ROM.

As its name suggests, the Bravia Engine Onyx ROM is the first custom developed port of Android 4.0 ICS for the HTC One S to pack the patented Bravia software engine technology from Sony. This software enhancement is one of the best dynamic color adjusters available under any form, and it can really get the best out of the AMOLED display of the One S. By following this article you will be able to find an easy and secure way of updating your HTC One S with this custom ROM, and unlocking its true potential.

We will begin our guide with a short summary of the main features the Bravia Engine Onyx Custom ROM brings:

  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Sense 4.0
  • Deodexed
  • Fully zipaligned
  • De-bloated
  • Rooted
  • Stock kernel
  • Optimized for fluid performance and usability
  • Remaped buttons (Long press Home -> Recent apps, Recent apps -> Menu)
  • Disabled onscreen menu
  • Enabled unlock carousel effect
  • Enabled cubic transitions effect
  • Enabled landscape mode Rosie
  • Improved boot.img (Thanks xkonni)
  • Black boot/down animations
  • Fixed Google Play
  • Fixed Wiper
  • Other minor fixes and tweaks
  • Added new kernel
  • Added APM (Advanced Power Menu)
  • Added Volume Wake
  • Added Bravia Engine
  • Extended Quick settings (Swipe carrier name left or right.)

Having gazes upon these features, it now time to let you see some screen shots of the actual ROM. Hopefully these will help you imagine how the actual software looks like:

HTC One S Onyx Custom ROM

HTC One S Onyx Custom ROM

With this, we will end the presentation of the ROM, and we will move on to our disclaimer notice before anything else: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. Proceeding any further into our guide means that you have understood the risks above and that you have agreed with the conditions.

The Bravia Engine Onyx ROM can only be applied on a rooted HTC One S. If you have already rooted your device, you know what the procedure implies, but if you are still running on the stock ROM you can follow our HTC One S Rooting guide and then you can simply follow this guide from this point on.

As always, updating any Android running device with a custom ROM means that the personal data you have stored on it will be erased. To avoid this we have prepared a short list with apps and third party procedures that will help you both backup all your important data and retore it once the update has been applied successfully.

  • Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
  • Phone Contacts –  You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
  • Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
  • Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
  • Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”

Next up, you will also have to make sure that your HTC One S meets the minimum requirements stated in the list below:

  • You must make sure that your HTC One S is rooted and has the ClockWork Mod Recovery installed. If you don’t know how to install the ClockWork Mod Recovery please check out our guide here.
  • Your HTC One S must be charged to at least 60% in order to prevent it from accidentally powering off during the procedure. If it does power off, there is a serious risk of it turning into a very expensive brick, so please charge it up prior to this procedure.

The last part of this guide is going to be the one that actually covers the whole updating process. For everything to turn out nicely, you should not skip any of the steps below and you should also make sure to follow them in order. If the procedure seems difficult, you can always ask a friend to help you or you could even write us a line in the comments section below:

  • We will begin by downloading the Onyx Custom ROM package to your computer.
  • Next up you will have to transfer the archive you just downloaded to the root folder of your HTC One S’s internal memory card. By root I mean that you will place it directly in the internal memory, without placing it in any additional subfolders. This will make it easier for you to find it later.
  • After this you will have to power off your HTC One X and restart it in recovery mode. The easiest way to do this is to do so is to press the Volume Down button + Power Button and wait for the HBOOT screen to appear. Once it has appeared do not touch the device for a couple of seconds, until some green text flashes. After this simply select the Recovery option by navigating with the Volume Up and Volume Down keys, and press the power button again. Alternatively, if you are already running a custom ROM you could select the option to reboot into recovery from the shutdown menu.
  • The fourth step is very important as it is the one where we will be making a nandroid backup of your device. One in the ClockWork Mod Recovery you will have to select the Backup and Restore option and on the next screen selecting again Backup. This will be your backup in case something goes wrong during the update. After finishing this step please return to the main menu of the Recovery.
  • Next up you will have to do some cleaning up to prepare your One S for the new Onyx Custom ROM. For this, you will have to select the Wipe data/factory reset & Wipe Cache partition options from the recovery and wait for them to finish. Once they are done you will have to return to the main menu of the ClockWork Mod Recovery by pressing the back key.
  • The second to last step is the one where the Onyx Custom ROM will actually be installed. All you have to do now is to select the options: Install zip from sd card -> Choose zip from sd card, and then choose the Onyx Custom ROM Zip file that you have placed on the internal memory card in step 2.
  • And now we have finally arrived at the last step in our updating guide. Here, you will just have to be patient for a while, until the ROM has finished installing. After it finishes you will have to return to the main menu of the Recovery and select the Reboot now option in order to restart your One S into the new software.

The whole installing step should now last longer than 10 minutes but in the worst case, please let it run for at least 30 minutes before pulling out the battery. If it does take longer than 30 minutes it means that something went wrong, and the first step you need to take is to restart your One S into the ClockWork Mod Recovery and restore the nandroid backup you made earlier to get a functional device. After this you should retry the updating procedure from step one. If you still can’t get it to work, please leave us a line in the comments section below so we can help you.

If all went well you should now have a HTC One S running on the first Android 4.0 ICS custom Rom with the Sony Bravia Engine for it. If you want to see the difference that the Bravia tech makes, all you have to do is to go and check out a picture in your gallery. As always, you let the Rom settle for a couple of hours to see how fast it is before arriving at a conclusion. If you take our word, the Onyx Rom is one of the best available for the One S.

HTC One S Articles