Sony has just released its Xperia U on the market and many users are claiming that it’s a powerful smartphone that comes on a decent price. But for taking full advantage of this phone you should start making some changes into its system. So, if you own a Sony Xperia U handset and if you want more from its capabilities you must first learn how to unlock its bootloader. This operation can be completed in just a few minutes, all the info required being explained and detailed during the steps included in this tutorial.
The Xperia U made its debut this month, its specs unveiling a mid-range to high end smartphone, being suitable for an extended area of users. It is featuring a 3.5 inch LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen and the Android platform with Gingerbread on board. Don’t worry as ICS is planned for a soon to come release. Beside these, the U is having a dual core 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8GB of storage memory and a 5 MP rear facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, 3D sweep panorama and image stabilization. On the front there is a VGA camera which can be used for making video calls or for chatting with your friends.
As you can see, the Xperia U is having a big minus: the version of Android. Unfortunately, ICS is not included so if you want the latest Android experience you will have to wait for further updates, or of course, apply a beta firmware, or a custom ROM. But, for being able to perform such operations you must gain root access and get a custom recovery image first. Furthermore, the up mentioned tasks can be completed only if the Xperia U is having an unlocked bootloader. To conclude, you must learn how to unlock the bootloader if you want to make other operations on and with your device.
A bootloader, also known as bootstrap loader, is a small program that runs each time you power on your smartphone. It loads the ROM into the RAM memory, so that you can enjoy the interface and the features included on the OS. If you want to compare it, you can see it similar with the program that runs each time you start your computer or notebook, it’s almost the same thing. Now, almost each time you buy a phone it will come with a locked bootloader, this being a carrier restriction. You can’t root and apply updates on a handset that doesn’t have an unlocked bootloader. Again, you have all the reasons for performing this operation.
Take note that if you decide to unlock the Xperia U bootloader than the warranty will be void. That’s why you must be careful in what you do and always use and follow a step by step guide; don’t do things by yourselves as you can brick your smartphone. Furthermore, don’t apply this tutorial for similar Android powered devices. If you will want the warranty back, all you will have to do will be to re-lock the bootloader, an operation which will be described by us in the coming days.
Then, as usual, when we explain a procedure we recommend you to backup the data. So, don’t forget to save your personal info before beginning. You can backup the messages, contacts, data, calendar info, call logs, images, videos, market apps and more. There are many tools available for this procedure, choose the ones that you like the most and that are more suitable for you. You can find some tips through our previous guides too, so take a look.
After taking care of the data, you must have access to a computer and to the phone’s USB cord. For avoiding unpleasant situations you should deactivate the Firewall protection from both PC and smartphone. Then, on your device, enable the USB debugging option: “Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging”. The battery power from your Xperia handset should also be above 60%; if lower charge the U first. These were the pre requisites, so don’t skip this section. Only after completing these lines you can go and start the proper step by step guide. Read carefully and follow my directions.
How to Unlock the Xperia U Bootloader
- Go to this page (from your computer’s browser), which is the Sony Ericsson Xperia U Boot loader page.
- On the bottom of the page you can find the “Continue” option; click it.
- Click “Yes” when asked “Are you really sure?”.
- On the PC open command prompt (click on Start then type run and cmd).
- On the phone dial “*#06# “and write down the IMEI code.
- Use the USB cord for connecting the handset with the computer.
- In cmd enter the command: fastboot -i 0x0fce getvar version.
- On the bootloader page enter the IMEI of your Xperia U device and other details such as your email address and name.
- Go back on the cmd window and enter “fastboot -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0Xkey”.
- Then, just follow the prompts from the bootloader page.
Your Sony Xperia U is now having an unlocked bootloader. You can now start to apply beta and unofficial updates or custom ROMs, which can bring the Ice Cream Sandwich OS on your phone. Also, you can root and install many apps that requires root access, as the system is now unchained from the factory restrictions. Do tell us if you had encountered issues during the tutorial, or if there is an operation that you want to learn. We will try to come with a suitable guide in order to resolve your problems. Stay close and check our daily posts as we are bringing Android tips constantly.