One of the newest if not the most recent smartphone launched by Sony is the Xperia sola, and although it officially isn’t part of the NXT line up, it sure shares a lot of features with the next generation Sony line up. Unfortunately, it also shares the NEX’s line up biggest weakness, its Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. Naturally, even though the smartphone is surely capable of running Android 4.0 ICS, it still has to wait a month or two for the official update to take place, so if you would want to buy one and upgrade it to the latest version of Android you would have to turn to the dark side of the Android world, that of the custom ROMs.
With this mind, we have summed up the requirements needed in order to successfully unlock the bootloader of the Xperia sola. As you might know, unlocking the bootloader is the first step towards rooting your Xperia sola and installing a custom recovery. If you really want to move to the custom side of the Android world this is the first step you need to take, so let us move on to the important stuff.
We will start with a word of caution: If you unlock the bootloader of your Xperia sola, your warranty will become void, so if you are not ready to make this step you should stop reading this guide now.
Next up we will talk about our disclaimer notice: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. By going further into this guide you have accepted the risks and terms above.
Now, unlocking your bootloader is normally a procedure that does not affect your personal data, but in this case, it is always better to back it up. If for some unknown reason something goes wrong at least you will have your data safe and sound. To this extent we have summed up a list of third party apps and procedures that will help you both backup your personal data and restore it at any point after completing the procedure:
- Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
- Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files - Simply copy them to your microSD card.
- Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
With your data safe and sound, you only have to worry about the requirements that your PC and Xperia sola need to meet in order to successfully complete the procedure. We advise you to read the following lines carefully, as skipping any of these requirements might mean that the procedure results in a bricked device instead of an unlocked one.
- You will have to charge your Xperia sola to a minimum of 60% or even to full battery capacity. This will prevent it from accidentally powering off during the procedure.
- The second requirement concerns your computer so you will need to disable any antivirus and security related software on your computer because these tools tend to interfere with the updating program, and might cause it to misbehave, which could in turn result in a bricked Xperia sola.
- Next you will have to enable the USB Debugging feature that you can find by going to Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging. This option must be enabled for a successful communication link between the Xperia sola and the PC.
- Now you must dial *#06# code, which will show you the IMEI number of your phone. After doing so please write it down so you can rewrite it back if something bad happens.
The last part of our guide is the one where we will present the steps you need to undergo in order to unlock the bootloader of your Xperia sola. You must be very careful while following the next lines of text and make sure you do not write any wrong numbers as this is a very delicate procedure. If you do not know your way with Android devices, it would be better to ask a friend of yours to help.
- The first step requires you to visit the Sony Ericsson Xperia Sola Bootloader page and one there, click on the blue button labeled “Start unlocking the bootloader”.
- In the page that appears we advise you to read and do all the steps there before pressing the “Continue” button on the bottom of the page.
- After doing that a new page will open and it will contain some important legal information about the procedure. Read the prompts and if you agree with them click “Yes, I am sure”.
- Now another page will open where you will have to tick the two boxes present and then finally click the button labeled “I accept”.
- Finally, a form will appear, and you will have to fill it with your name, with your email address and with whole IMEI number that you previously got from your Xperia sola.
- Now you should reopen the terminal windows you opened in step 2 and enter the following command: fastboot -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY. You will also have to replace the “KEY” in the command with the actual code that you received from Sony after completing that online form.
After doing this you will notice that your Xperia sola will have an unlocked bootloader, so you can start flashing a custom recovery image. From here one you will only have to enjoy the benefits a rooted handset brings. If anything doesn’t go according to plan please write us a line in the comments section below and we will be more than happy to help you.