Are you thinking in updating your Sony Xperia ZR to Android 4.4 KitKat? Even though the official OTA update will be rolled out by Sony for the Xperia ZR only next year (if we are to believe the recent leaked info during February or March) you can flash the latest Android OS without waiting for the official release. As you might be thinking, this can be possible only by applying a custom ROM firmware. Considering these aspects, if you have decided to forget the stock Android and go for the custom one instead, then you can use the present tutorial as during the guidelines from below I will show you how to easily install Android 4.4 KitKat CM 11 custom firmware on your Sony Xperia ZR.
As you know, CM 11 is being developed by the CyanogenMod team, the update being based on stock Android 4.4 KitKat software. Now, CM11 represents a free aftermarket distribution of Android OS which means that the same has nothing to do with Sony or with Google. So, CM 11 is not an official Android 4.4 KitKat OS that has been provided for your Xperia ZR. So, keep that in mind when reading and applying the lines from below.
Considering the up mentioned aspects, you should know that CM 11 is bringing stock and extra features for your Xperia ZR. Furthermore, the custom ROM is coming with custom looks, so you will not be able to enjoy the pure Android 4.4 OS, as this in a ported and modified version of the same. Luckily for you, this update has been customized and optimized especially for your Xperia ZR meaning that with CM11 your phone will run faster and better.
Actually, after flashing the Android custom update you will notice that the speeds has been improved, the battery life upgraded, the web browsing experience optimized and the performances powered up. Also, you will be able to use great apps, features and capabilities that cannot be found on the default Android 4.4 platform.
Another thing to mention is that this version of CM 11 is not the official one so the same isn’t coming from CyanogenMod team. So, as usual, those of xda-developers (we have to thanks them for the present guide) had provided us with a beta variant of the system, which can now be safely installed on the Xperia ZR. Because of that, on this variant of the firmware there might be some minor bugs or issues included. Anyway, don’t worry, because those who have already flashed CM 11 on Sony Xperia ZR declared that the software is smoothly running.
But before being able to test the update by yourselves, you need to prepare your smartphone for the installation procedure that will follow. In order to properly do so, you have the list from below; complete the tasks from there and only after that proceed to the proper update tutorial.
- Unlock the bootloader of your Sony Xperia device.
- Root your Sony Xperia ZR.
- Install a custom recovery image on your phone; make sure you use the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery because these were the apps used by the devs when testing the CM 11 custom ROM.
- Make a Nandroid backup if you want to save the current ROM.
- Also, backup everything that’s saved on the internal storage memory of your device.
- A computer is being required.
- On the same time you need to make sure that you can use your handset and its USB cable.
- On both computer and device you need to deactivate the antivirus, antimalware and Firewall protection.
- On your phone the USB debugging option must be enabled from path “menu – settings – developer options”.
- The battery level on your Xperia ZR must be higher than 50%; else you need to charge your handset before going any further.
- Apply CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat firmware by using this tutorial only if you own the Sony Xperia ZR model number C5502/03, because this guide is compatible only with the same.
Now, on a few words I will detail the steps from above. First, you have to unlock the bootloader. Achieve this because this is the only way in which you can proceed to the next step, which is gaining root access. These operations are used for unchaining the internal system of your phone. Now, both are unofficial procedures and by performing the same the warranty of your handset will get voided. That’s why you need to use suitable tutorials as if you mess things up you can end up in bricking your ZR.
The warranty can be restored though as for the same you only have to choose between: downgrading to stock Android Jelly Bean OS, or waiting for the Android 4.4 KitKat OTA to be rolled out. Either way, you should know that on rooted devices, the officially firmwares can be installed only manually via PC companion.
Then, you have to install a custom recovery for replacing the stock one. It is important to know that CM 11 like any other custom ROM can be installed on an Android device only by using such app. This is the easiest way in which you can complete this tutorial, so installing CWM or TWRP recovery is a must have for you. A Nandroid backup can be completed by using the custom recovery image. Making the same is recommended because we are dealing with an unofficial version of the CM 11 firmware; so if you will not like the new software, you will be able to easily restore the previous and stable OS.
Furthermore, a backup is required because on the update process you will have to wipe the system and clear the cache. So if you have something that is important saved on your Xperia ZR, the best will be to use backup and restore apps from Google play for saving your data, personal info and accounts along with the market apps, contacts list and so on. Now, disabling the security protection is required because the antivirus programs might interfere with our work, while the charger must be plugged in because it is possible to brick your device in case it gets turned off in the middle of the installation procedure.
Good; now you can safely begin the proper step by step guide, so stick to the guidelines from below and try not to mess things up.
How to Update Xperia ZR with Android 4.4 KitKat CM 11 Custom ROM Firmware
- Download the CM11 software file by going to this page, or by using the link from here.
- Also download the Google Apps package from here.
- Don’t unzip these files, just place them on desktop.
- Take the USB cable and plug it into your Sony Xperia ZR.
- Then connect your phone with your computer.
- Transfer (copy-paste or drag and drop) the downloaded files from desktop on your phone’s SD card.
- Disconnect the devices by removing the USB cable.
- Turn off your device and wait a few seconds before going any further.
- Enter your Xperia ZR in recovery mode.
- Wipe the system and clear the cache by using the recovery mode menu: select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition”; go back, choose “advance” and pick “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Return to recovery and select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
- Select the CM11 Android 4.4 KitKat OS from the SD card and flash the update on your Xperia ZR.
- Do the same and install the Google Apps package on your phone.
- When done, go back to main menu of recovery and from there select “reboot system now”.
- That should be all; if there are problems, use our dedicated step by step guide and learn how to easily resolve the issues.
Good job, you have applied our tutorial. Now you know how to update your Sony Xperia ZR to Android 4.4 KitKat firmware. CM 11 custom ROM is running on your device, so the best will be to test the software in order to see how it performs and if there are bugs or things that aren’t working properly. That was all for today, but stay close as we will bring more tutorials for you and of course for your Android based device.