Update HTC Explorer / Pico to Android 4.3 with CM10.2 Custom ROM

HTC Explorer is a mid range, budget friendly Android based smartphone that comes with decent to low range specs and features. While the handset is bringing limited and poor internal storage memory and only 512 MB of RAM on a 600 MHz processor you can still enjoy a proper Android experience and all thanks to third party devs who have ported the CM10.2 custom ROM on the HTC Explorer (also known as HTC Pico). So, if you want to use your device to full power, optimize the performances, improve the speeds and upgrade the battery life, you need to follow this tutorial for applying the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean based CM10.2 Custom Firmware on your HTC Pico.

CM10.2 is the best Android custom ROM as the firmware is being used by most of the users who prefer a custom firmware instead of the stock Android experience. Furthermore the CM10.2 platform is optimized in order to work on all the handsets available out there, so the same can be installed on both low range and high end devices. Anyhow, as mentioned thanks to those of xda-developers now you can flash the nightly build of CM10.2 Android 4.3 custom software on your HTC Pico aka Explorer.

The update procedure isn’t complicated to complete as there are only a few steps to take care of. Basically, all you have to do is to get the CM10.2 update file, place the same on your HTC Explorer / Pico and then flash the ROM via CWM or any other custom recovery image. Of course, the process is a little bit more complicated, but don’t worry, as all the details needed are being explained during the guidelines from below. Ensure that you are not skipping any section of this tutorial because it is important not to mess things up.

The first this to start with is the root operation. As I have mentioned before, for being able to update your HTC Explorer / Pico to Android 4.3 with CM10.2 firmware you need to use CWM recovery or any other custom recovery image. Well, CWM recovery can be installed on your device only if the system has been rooted. So, before doing anything else root your HTC Pico (only if your phone hasn’t been rooted before). Then, of course, install a custom recovery image on your handset.

You should know that when rooting the warranty of your HTC Explorer will get void. This is happening because the binary flash counter will be increased. So, if you will need to restore the warranty you will have to reset the flash counter; in order to do that, the stock Android OS must be reinstalled on your HTC Pico. Also, when downgrading to stock firmware, the root access will be revoked, the bootloader relocked and the factory settings and restrictions reinstalled – basically your phone will be restored to its initial state.

Since you are performing an unofficial operation the best will be to backup your HTC Explorer / Pico data. Do that especially because a wipe will be required which means that your personal info, accounts and data will either be corrupted or erased. So, if you have something important saved on the internal storage memory, don’t hesitate and complete a backup. Since your phone is rooted and installed with CWM recovery you can use backup and restore apps from Google Play and you can also consider in applying a Nandroid backup for saving the current ROM on your way.

For completing this process and for safely installing Android 4.3 JB based CM10.2 custom ROM on the HTC Explorer / Pico you will have to use a computer, your smartphone and its USB cable. On the computer and on your phone you need to temporarily deactivate the antivirus and Firewall protection – the antivirus programs might interfere with our work. The USB debugging option must be enabled on your smartphone because a connection with the computer will have to be established; so go to path “menu -> settings -> developer options” and check the USB debugging section. Plug in the charger in case your HTC Explorer has less than 60% power left; else skip this step.

Finally, it is important to know that this step by step guide is compatible only with the HTC Explorer which is also known as HTC Pico. This version of CM10.2 nightly built that is based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS is suitable only with the mentioned device; flashing this ROM on a similar or different OS will probably brick your Android powered smartphone.

How to Update HTC Explorer / Pico to Android 4.3 with CM10.2 Custom ROM Firmware

  1. The update file isn’t coming with Google Apps included; so you will have to flash the same separately after installing CM10.2.
  2. That;s why, on your computer you need to download: the Android 4.3 based CM10.2 firmware file from here and the Google Apps package from here.
  3. Don’t unzip the downloaded files, just place them on desktop.
  4. Connect your HTC Explorer / Pico with the computer by using its USB cable.
  5. Take the downloaded files and copy-paste the same from desktop to your phone’s SD card.
  6. The computer is no longer useful, so unplug the USB cord.
  7. Turn off your handset as the recovery mode must be entered.
  8. Use this guide and learn how to reboot in recovery mode.
  9. As mentioned before a wipe is being required. Well, now you have to apply the same (remember to backup your data first).
  10. So, select “wipe data factory reset” followed by “wipe cache partition” and also by “wipe dalvick cache”.
  11. Return to main menu of recovery.
  12. Pick “install zip from SD card” and select “choose zip from SD card”.
  13. First, get the CM10.2 file and then flash the update on your HTC Pico.
  14. Repeat that step and pick Google Apps package and install the same on your Explorer.
  15. In the end, choose “+++go back+++” for returning to main menu of recovery and end this process by selecting “reboot system now”.

Take note that the first boot might take longer than usually; if that happens don’t panic as there is nothing wrong with your device. But, if your phone gets stuck in a boot loop, then you will have to enter recovery again; from there just select “wipe data factory reset” followed by “wipe cache partition” and “reboot system now” and you are done.

Congratulation, you have updated your HTC Explorer / Pico to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. The CM10.2 custom ROM firmware has been successfully installed on your smartphone so enjoy the same. For sharing your thoughts and experience with us, use the comments area from below.