Xperia Z1 can be easily updated with both stock / official Android firmware and with custom ROMs software. But, each update procedure implies in using different methods, as the OTA release can be applied in one way that is different from the manual installation procedure of an official Android OS, or from the flashing process that is required when talking about a custom ROM like ParanoidAndroid, AOKP or CyanogenMod. So, if you want to learn how to easily and safely update your Sony Xperia Z1 don’t hesitate and use this step by step guide.
Of course, applying an OTA update is the easiest flashing operation to perform on your Xperia Z1. But, as you know the OTA releases are quite rare not to mention that the roll out is being offered for limited markets and gradually – not all the Xperia Z1 users will receive the Android notification at the same time. So, because of that, probably you will want to manually update your Android smartphone with stock or official Android OS. In that case, this tutorial will be more than helpful for you as I will teach you how to update any Sony Xperia Z1 by using an easy to follow and to apply guide.
The steps from below are recommended for those who want to downgrade their Android device to stock Android OS, for those who want to install a leaked Android OS, or for those who want to flash an official firmware manually. Thus, the following guidelines can also be used for fixing your bricked Sony Xperia Z1, or for getting a stable and smooth platform. At the same time, by installing an official update you will be able to restore the warranty on your phone, you will be able to revoke root access and to relock the bootloader, which means that you are dealing with an official operation that can be applied on both locked and rooted Xperia Z1.
On the other hand, if you are looking into flashing a custom ROM firmware, then you should know that you can update your Xperia Z1 only after gaining root access and installing a custom recovery image on your phone – on that matter you can anytime flash CWM or TWRP recovery. Then, use the steps from below and learn how to easily update your Xperia Z1 with a custom ROM such as AOKP, ParanoidAndroid or CyanogenMod. Do note that when installing a custom update the warranty of your device will get void – this is happening because you are applying an unofficial operation; for restoring the warranty you just have to apply the stock Android OS.
But before installing a custom ROM you should make a backup for saving everything from the internal storage memory of your Xperia Z1. By using CWM recovery or any other custom recovery image for flashing a custom Android update, all of your data will be wiped out. So, because of that don’t hesitate and complete the backup for saving your contacts, call logs, market apps, internet settings and even the current ROM by making a Nandroid backup. In that matter use compatible backup and restore apps from Google Play – most of the tools are free distributed so don’t worry.
Moreover, for both updating Xperia Z1 with custom ROMs and updating the Xperia Z1 with stock or official Android OS manually, a computer is being required. On that computer first of all you have to deactivate or disable the security tools, because the antivirus programs might interfere with the installation process. On your smartphone you should go to menu – settings – developer options for enabling the USB debugging option – because a connection between your devices will have to be established. Your phone should be charged or you should plug in the charger if the battery status displays less than 50% power left – else you can end up in bricking your Android device while trying to update it.
Good; now it is important to know that this step by step guide is compatible only with the Sony Xperia Z1 and with no other Android based smartphone or tablet. So, don’t use the guidelines from below for updating a different device as you can end up in bricking your handset.
How to Update Sony Xperia Z1
Use OTA update
If you want to apply the OTA update but you don’t know how, here is what you need to do.
- First of all make sure you are using a WiFi connection and not you network data plan.
- Then take your phone and go to menu and tap on settings.
- Up next go to about phone and hits Software version.
- There you will be able to check for a new OTA update.
- If a new Android OS is being available, just download the same and wait while the OTA is being automatically updated on your Sony Xperia Z1.
Manually Update / Downgrade Xperia Z1 to Official / Stock Android OS
- On your computer download the firmware file for your Sony Xperia Z1 – you can get it from Sony’s official support web page or from any other source.
- Then, on your computer download latest Flastool from here.
- Install Flashtool on your computer by following the on-screen prompts.
- Now copy-paste the .ftf file you have just downloaded to folder „Firmware“ included in the XPERIA Flashtool.
- Open the Flashtool program, select the flash option and pick the firmware file for your Xperia Z1.
- Then turn off your smartphone.
- When the Flashtool pop-up is being displayed connect your handset (hold down volume down button while doing the same) with your computer by using the USB cable.
- Now just wait while official Android OS is being installed on your Sony Xperia Z1.
Install Custom ROMs on Sony Xperia Z1
- First you have to root and install a custom recovery image on your Android smartphone.
- Then you have to download the custom ROM file on your computer.
- Also download the Google Apps package if the same isn’t included on the update file.
- Don’t unzip these files – connect your device with your computer and transfer these files on your phone.
- Turn off your smartphone and enter recovery mode on Xperia Z1.
- From recovery select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Then select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the update file and flash the same.
- Repeat the process and install Google Apps package.
- In the end select “reboot system now” and you are done.
Congratulations; you now know how to update your Sony Xperia Z1. Remember that this guide is compatible with any version of the Xperia Z1 and can be used for installing both OTA / official Android OS and custom ROMs based on stock Android firmware. Do use the comments field from below if you have questions or if you want to talk with us.