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How to Update the HTC Sensation XL with Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM

HTC Sensation XL

Time has come for another rather old timer to get its share of Android 4.0 ICS. And this time the vanilla Android 4.0.3 is also topped with a pretty darn nice Sense 4.0 skin. The handset in question here is the HTC Sensation XL, the first HTC made Android smartphone to carry a 4.7 inches wide screen. The major downside of this HTC was the fact that is only spotted a single core processor, apparently the same one as the new HTC One V has.  As such, it was only a matter of time until some dedicated developer ported the ROM from the One V to the XL. In this article you will find an easy and secure way of installing this Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM on your HTC Sensation XL.

Just like any other ported ROM out there, this one has a couple of drawbacks of which the most major one is that it will void your warranty if applied. This means that if you are going to proceed further you should be ok with the fact above. In any case, we will also show you our disclaimer: This software is not our own 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. The software we will be presenting in the lines below has been thoroughly tested and it should install and work flawlessly on the Sensation XL, but there are still some risks that you must accept.

As far as we know there is still no official word about any Android 4.0 ICS with Sense 4.0 update for the Sensation XL, but if we are going to look at this device’s sibling we are willing to bet that if an update comes it will have Sense 3.6 on top. Below you are going to find a short list of what is currently working and what’s not so please read it carefully before deciding to upgrade:

  1. What doesn’t work:
  • Loudspeaker doesn’t work with audio playback
  • Camera preview function does not work (the camera itself works)
  • Wi-Fi is not functional
  1. What works:
  • The rest of the features are in working condition

As you can clearly see in the list above, there are still a couple of things that are not working, but they should be fixed in the next versions of this ROM. Still, this ROM might be worth trying as the speed improvements it brings are considerable over its Sense 3.6 brothers. Most of these non working features are a common problem when older HTC models are given ported ROM’s, but usually developers find a way to restore complete functionality given enough time. You can also take a look on the screen shots below if you think they can help you make up your mind:

Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM

Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM

Next up we are going to discuss a little the issue of your personal data. As you may know, once you flash a custom ROM on your HTC Sensation XL, all your personal data stored on it will be erased. In the following list we will be providing you with some third party apps and procedures that will help you backup your data and restore it once the update is complete. We are not using the official HTC Sync software because it does not offer support for any of the custom or ported ROM’s out there. We have also added some very important hardware related precautionary measures to the list below so please make sure you read and follow them:

  • 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”
  • Be sure to charge your HTC Sensation XL to full or to a minimum of 60% to ensure that the phone will not power off during the updating process. If it does power off during the procedure there is a high chance of it turning into an expensive brick.
  • We saved the most important requirement for last: You need to be running a rooted ROM before proceeding and you also need to have the Clockwork Mod Recovery installed.

In the last part of this article we will be covering all the information you need to know in order to successfully update your Sensation XL with the Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM made by Alex-V. The updating procedure is not very hard to follow but please read all the steps below and follow them as otherwise you greatly reduce your chances of a successful update:

  • We will begin by downloading the HTC Sensation XL Firmware Package to your computer.
  • Then you will have to move the Zip file to the root of your Sensation XL’s memory card. The root of the memory card means that you must not place the archive in any sub folders.
  • After this you will have to power off your HTC Sensation XL 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. One it is there 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. The HBOOT screen will look almost like the one below:


  • This next step is all about some cleaning up you have to do before installing theSense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROM. You will have to select the Wipe data/factory reset & Wipe Cache partition options from the recovery and wait for them to finish.
  • The fifth step is the one where you will install the Sense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROMAll you have to do is to select the option: Install zip from sd card > Choose zip from sd card, and then choose theSense 4.0 ICS One V Custom ROMZip that you have placed on your microSD card.
  • The last step involves waiting, quite a lot of it as you will have to be patient until the update finishes, and when it does you will have to press the back key to navigate to the previous menu in the recovery console and select the Reboot now option to restart your Sensation XL.

If you happen to encounter any issues during the updating procedure you should try to restart your device into Recovery mode and do the steps above one more time. It might also be a good idea to restore an earlier nandroid backup before doing anything else. If you are still unable to get your Sensation XL to work please write us a line below and we will try to help you.

If the update has been successful you should rejoice as there are still not a lot of devices out there that run an ICS custom ROM, let alone one that also has the nice Sense 4.0 skin on top. With this update your HTC Sensation XL is a little step closer to reaching the level of accessibility offered by the latest HTC One series.