The Xperia Z5 might be a three-year old device but it still manages to perform extremely well on a daily basis even when complex apps or processes are initiated. So, if you are still planning to use your device as your main driver, I have something that might cheer you up a little bit: the latest Lineage OS build is now available for the Sony Xperia Z5, meaning that you can now successfully update your smartphone to Android 8.1 Oreo OS.
This is great especially since Sony stopped the official support for its Xperia Z5. Therefore, this update opportunity will help you test and install the latest features, apps and capabilities on your device without having to change your handset with a newer one. Of course, the update process is not official as you won’t use an OTA or a file released by Sony. Lineage OS 15.1 is a custom ROM developed by third party devs and only based on the stock Android 8.1 Oreo firmware – the software is nothing but a free aftermarket distribution of the official Oreo platform.
That’s why, one thing must be clarified at this point: you are going to lose your Sony Xperia Z5 warranty if you choose to follow the steps from below for installing the new Lineage OS 15.1 custom ROM firmware – the warranty flag can be restored only if you choose to reinstall the stock Android Nougat OS on your device.
Now, the Lineage OS 15.1 ROM for your Sony Xperia Z5 represents a stable update that can be used on a daily basis without experiencing further software-related problems. This Android 8.1 Oreo based OS will be running smoothly and with the help of specific and dedicated features you will be able to customize, optimize and personalize your Android experience. Moreover, with the Lineage OS 15.1 ROM installed, your Z5 should run better and faster than it used to – you can apply different tweaks that can bump speeds, upgrade battery life and improve general performance.
Now, for being able to complete the Oreo update operation you first have to apply these additional operations:
- You have to unlock the bootloader on your Sony branded device.
- You have to gain root access on your Xperia Z5 – with root enabled you will manage to unlock and prepare the Android system for the custom update operation.
- You must install TWRP recovery, or any other similar custom recovery image, on your smartphone – the Lineage OS 15.1 ROM can be flashed only through a custom recovery environment.
As you will see, during the Android 8.1 Oreo flashing process your personal data, info, accounts and files will be erased – that’s happening because a full wipe must be initiated and completed; otherwise the new firmware won’t run properly. Therefore, a backup is more than recommended at this point especially if you have important files saved on your Sony Xperia Z5. Shortly, you should consider in securing what’s essential: contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and similar other packages. Now, that sort of backup can be easily completed: you can sync certain files with your Google account, you can save other packages by using built-in cloud storage platforms or you can download and use backup and restore apps from Google Play.
Additionally, you can further secure your Sony Xperia Z5 before testing this new custom ROM software. In that respect you can make a Nandroid backup for saving the current Android OS that runs on your smartphone. In that way, if for example you will not like how the new Lineage OS 15.1 is running, you will be able to use the Nandroid backup package for going back to stock Android OS.
This is going to be a manual way in which you can update your Sony Xperia Z5 to Android 8.1 Oreo. And since a custom ROM will be used in the respect, before doing anything else you should review the essential pre-requisites explained during the next list:
- Make sure that you can use a computer or a notebook for downloading the files which will be used during the update operation.
- Your Sony Xperia Z5 and its official USB cord must be near you as a connection between your devices will be also required.
- On your smartphone you need to check the USB Debugging field which can be found under ‘Menu – > Settings – > Developer Options”.
- For enabling Developer Options in the first place you will have to navigate towards About Phone from where you will have to repeatedly tap (for 7 or 10 times) on Built Number – do that until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message.
- It’s imperative to ensure a minimum of 50% power on your handset. Below that value the power might not be sufficient meaning that your Xperia Z5 can get switched off while you try to install the Android 8.1 Oreo based Lineage OS 15.1 custom ROM firmware.
- Do note that in case a sudden shut down occurs, you can end up in soft-brick your Android based devices – malfunctions can be caused within the Android core system.
- Apply the steps explained below only if you own the Sony Xperia Z5 as the Lineage OS package that will be offered below is compatible only with this particular Android based device.
How to Install Lineage OS 15.1 on Sony Xperia Z5 and Update to Android 8.1 Oreo software
- Power on your computer and enable a WiFi connection.
- Next, go towards this page and download the Lineage OS 15.1 file that’s available for your Sony Xperia Z5 – we must thank those of xda-developers for this firmware file (update: the download links have been removed for now as the software is under development stage, but you can bookmark that page as you will be able to download the update soon).
- Also access this page and download compatible Google Apps – this package is not pre-loaded on the Android 8.1 Oreo custom ROM file so it will have to be flashed separately.
- Place these two files on desktop.
- Switch off your Android smartphone and wait while the shut down operation is completed.
- Afterwards, reboot recovery mode on your Sony Xperia Z5 – from recovery you need to make a hard reset and clear app data cache. So, select ‘wipe data factory reset’ followed by ‘wipe cache partition’ and by ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
- Next, reboot your device into Android mode and connect it with your computer with the help of the USB cable.
- Transfer the downloaded files from desktop to your smartphone and when done remove the USB cord – the computer is no longer required.
- Switch off your phone again and, once more, go to recovery mode.
- In recovery, this time tap on Install and load the Lineage OS firmware package – if TWRP recovery isn’t used, choose ‘install zip from SD card’ followed by ‘choose zip from SD card’.
- Resume the Android 8.1 Oreo update operation and in the end repeat the last step and install Google Apps on your Sony Xperia Z5.
- When done, from main menu of recovery pick ‘reboot system now’.
There you have it. That’s how you can update your Sony Xperia Z5 to latest Android 8.1 Oreo firmware. So, go and test the new Lineage OS 15.1 ROM and try the new features, apps and capabilities. Do tell us everything about the new Android experience and functionality and also tell us how the update process worked for you – in this way you can help other users who are thinking in using this step by step guide (for getting in touch with us you can use the comments field from below).