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Install Android 4.4 on Motorola Photon Q using SlimKat custom ROM

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is maybe one of the best QWERTY slider Android based smartphone available on the market. Now, even though this QWERTY slider Android device is a little bit outdated (we have decent but not high end specs and features) you can still enjoy your Photon Q 4G on full power. How? Well, quite easy as all is possible as soon as you decide to update to Android 4.4 KitKat OS. I know that there isn’t an official OTA update released for your device, so because of that, during the guidelines from below, I will show you how to easily install SlimKat Android 4.4 custom ROM firmware on your Motorola Photon Q XT897.

But first you should know a couple of things about this new update that can be anytime applied on your QWERTY slider Android device. First of all, it is a custom ROM, so you will not install the official Android 4.4 KitKat software on your Motorola Photon Q. Then, the SlimKat firmware is being developed by third party devs, in our case those of xda-developers, so we have to thanks them for this step by step guide. Furthermore, this is an unofficial variant of the SlimKat platform, which means that there are still minor bugs or issues included on this Android 4.4 system.

Anyway, don’t worry, as according to those who flashed the Android 4.4 SlimKat ROM on the Motorola Photon Q 4G, the firmware has only minor problems, so you can apply the same for a daily use. Also, the problems will be resolved by the devs and you will be updated with a stable version of SlimKat OS soon. Beside that, this update is coming with great features – both stock and extra ones. Most of these features can’t be found on the default version of Android 4.4 KitKat system and can be used for improving the performances of your Photon Q.

How? Well, first you will be able to access the internal system of your device – you can remove / add inbuilt and custom programs; then you will be able to overclock your Photon Q 4G for obtaining more power and improved speeds; furthermore, you will be able to enjoy a redesigned Android user interface (you will not get the pure Android 4.4 KitKat UI as SlimKat is featuring its own looks) along with an improved web browsing experience; finally you will be able to enjoy an upgraded battery life and all thanks to the features and capabilities that will be added on your Photon Q XT897.

Of course, for obtaining all that, first you will have to complete this step by step guide. But before installing Android 4.4 SlimKat firmware on your Motorola Photon Q 4G you need to prepare your handset for the update process that will follow. And for being able to properly update your Android device I recommend you to follow and complete the pre requisites from below – skip the steps from below if the operations explained there have been already completed.

  • Unlock the bootloader of your Motorola Photon Q 4G; the bootloader is a small program that loads the OS and in built programs from the ROM memory into the RAM one each time you power up your device. Now, if you want to update with a custom ROM you have to unlock the small program which is dubbed as the bootloader.
  • Also, on your way you need to root your Photon Q 4G. This is the next step to do after unlocking the bootloader as now you will unlock the internal system of your smartphone. In this way you will properly prepare your phone for the update that will follow.
  • Up next, install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery on your device. When dealing with custom ROMs, the stock recovery image can’t be used. So, if you want to install Android 4.4 OS on your Motorola Photon Q first you will have to flash a custom recovery image on your phone – remember that you need to use the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery.
  • These aren’t official operations. So, when applying the same, the warranty of your device will get void. This aspect can’t be avoided though you can restore the warranty afterwards – just revoke root access and relock the bootloader by downgrading / updating your Android smartphone to stock / official Android OS.
  • Good; now after completing these operations you should also make a backup for saving everything that’s there on the internal storage memory of your phone. This is only a recommended operation, so you can skip the same.
  • On the backup you should save at least the contacts list, call logs, market apps, text messages, personal data, info and accounts and also the current ROM – maybe the SlimKat OS will not be on your taste and you will prefer the old firmware instead.

These are the essential pre requisites. But since you will follow a manual update procedure you still have to ensure that you can use a computer, your Android device and its USB cable. Furthermore, on both Photon Q and computer you first have to disable the antivirus or any other security protection – do that because the mentioned programs might interfere with our work. Also, you will have to connect your devices, so on your phone the USB debugging option must be enabled – go to “menu –settings – developer options”. Finally, on your device you need to check the battery status: charge your phone if there is less than 60% power left.

This step by step guide is showing you how to install Android 4.4 KitKat SlimKat custom ROM firmware on the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE model number XT897. Therefore, use the steps from below only if you own the mentioned smartphone; else you can end up in bricking your Android device.

How to Install Android 4.4 on Motorola Photon Q using SlimKat custom ROM Firmware

  1. From this page download the update file.
  2. Then, from here download the Google apps package.
  3. You need to save these files on your computer – preferable on desktop; don’t unzip any of the mentioned files.
  4. Up next, you need to use the USB cable for connecting your phone with your computer.
  5. Then, just transfer the files from desktop on your phone’s SD card.
  6. Finally, unplug the USB cord.
  7. Turn off your device.
  8. Wait a few seconds and then enter it in recovery mode.
  9. From recovery mode, the first this to do is to wipe the system and clear the cache.
  10. So select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”; also choose “advance” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
  11. Return to recovery menu.
  12. Select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
  13. Pick the Android 4.4 KitKat firmware file and install the same on your Motorola Photon Q.
  14. Now, repeat the process and install Google apps on your phone.
  15. When you are done, from recovery select “reboot system now” and that’s it.

So, what do you think, are you satisfied by the new ROM? Do remember that now, on your Motorola Photon Q 4G a custom version of Android 4.4 KitKat OS is running since you have successfully installed the unofficial SlimKat firmware. Use the comments area from below if you want to talk with us or with other users who might consider in following the up explained step by step guide.

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