The HTC One Max was the company’s first foray into the lucrative phablet segment and aimed to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Note range. Featuring a similar metal unibody design as the One M7 and slightly more powerful internals, the One Max was a pretty impressive phablet when it first launched. Unfortunately, HTC doesn’t seem to think the One Max customers deserve the kind of software support that One M7 owners are receiving. While the older One M7 has been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, the One M7 Max is still on Android 4.4 KitKat. However, thanks to the developers on XDA, the device has now received an Android 5.1 Lollipop port, based on Unofficial CM12.1.

The Android 5.1 Lollipop based Unofficial CM12.1 port for the HTC One Max comes from XDA recognized contributor and developer Flyhalf205. Unfortunately, the ROM is in early development stage and is thus not the most stable custom ROM out there for the HTC One Max. Currently there are test builds available for the Global GSM, Sprint and Verizon Wireless variants of the HTC One Max. There are a few issues that need to be sorted such as some bugs with text messaging, random force closes, and other minor issues. However, as you can tell, there aren’t any deal-breakers either, so most of you should be able to flash this Android 5.1 unofficial CM12.1 ROM on your HTC One Max and be pretty satisfied with it. With the future builds of the ROM, you can expect many of the existing issues to be fixed, along with stability and performance enhancements, as well as a number of CM12.1 features that are currently not available with this ROM. If you own any other variant of the HTC One Max apart from the models listed above, you should not flash this ROM on your device as there are chances you might end up bricking your device.

In this tutorial we are going to walk you through the steps involved in flashing this Unofficial CM12.1 Android 5.1 Lollipop custom ROM on your HTC One Max. It is highly recommended that you make sure you follow this guide carefully and do not skip any step or use your own judgment to do anything differently. If you make a mistake during the installation process, you may end up bricking your HTC One Max. We would also like to remind our readers to follow this guide to install this ROM on only the International GSM, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless variants of the HTC One Max. The ROM does not support any other variants of the One Max currently.

Before we get to the CM12.1 ROM installation process, we will need to make sure that your HTC One Max is ready for the installation process. Before you begin, the first thing that you will need to do is to make sure that you have a backup of all your important data ready. It is very important that you have a backup of all your personal data, contacts, SMS, and all of the apps that are installed on your device as well before you proceed with the installation of the ROM. Since you will be wiping the data on your device, all of your important data will be wiped from the device’s storage. This is why it is very important for you to have a backup ready so you can get all your data back after installing the ROM. You can back up your data by downloading a third party backup and restore app from the Google Play Store or by using the a desktop application that can back up your device’s data to your computer. Some of the popular backup and restore apps available on the Google Play Store are Titanium Backup, Helium and Mybackup. Along with backing up the data on your smartphone, we also recommend that you perform a Nandroid backup of your current ROM so you can revert to your current ROM easily, in case you find yourself dissatisfied with the CM12.1 custom ROM. A tutorial on taking a Nandroid backup can be found here.

Since the Unofficial CM12.1 ROM is based on AOSP, you are required to unlock your bootloader to be able to install it on your device. You will simply not be able to install this ROM on your One Max without an unlocked bootloader.. Since bootloader unlocking voids the warranty on your device, we suggest you keep it in mind before you decide to unlock the bootloader of your HTC One Max. It is also required to have a custom recovery installed on your device. You can install any of the popular custom recoveries such as CWM, TWRP or PhilZ recovery to be able to flash the ROM on to your device. While it isn’t absolutely required, it is recommended that you have root access on your device as well.

Whenever you install a custom ROM on your Android smartphone or tablet, you should always make sure that the battery on your device has at least 60% charge remaining. In case the battery runs out before the installation process can be completed, you will end up with a bricked device. It is fine if you know how to fix a bricked Android device, but in case you don’t, it will not be very wise to take chances. So make sure you charge your HTC One Max before you head to the installation process.

You will also need to make sure that the USB Debugging option under the Developer Options is enabled. Go to Settings – Developer Options – USB Debugging to make sure if the option has been checked. If it isn’t checked yet, don’t forget to check the option before you proceed with the installation.

Now that all the pre-installation requirements have been taken care of, we can now proceed to the installation process.

How to Update HTC One Max to Android 5.1 Lollipop Using Unofficial CM12.1 ROM

  1. The first thing that you need to do in order to get this ROM on your HTC One Max is to download the ROM ZIP file to your computer from this link. This link includes the downloads for various HTC One Max models, so make sure that you download the ZIP package meant for your HTC One Max variant. Flashing the file meant for a different One Max variant may cause issues with network compatibility on your device. Also, make sure that you download the latest build available for the HTC One Max. Along with the ROM ZIP file, you will also require downloading the GAPPS package separately as the CM12.1 ROM doesn’t come with any Google apps or services by default, much like any other AOSP based ROM. The GAPPS file can be downloaded from this link.

  2. Once both the files have been downloaded to your computer, connect your HTC One Max to the computer using the USB cable and transfer the two files downloaded above to the internal storage of your HTC One Max. It is recommended that you move the files to the root directory of the internal storage so that it becomes easier for you to find the files later when you need to flash them in a later step.

  3. After you are done transferring the files to the internal storage of your HTC One Max, disconnect it from the computer and turn it off. Now boot it into recovery mode.

  4. In recovery, tap on ‘wipe data factory reset’ and perform a factory reset. Once the factory reset is complete, tap on ‘advanced options’ and individually wipe the cache, dalvik cache, data, and system partitions. This is an important step and should be followed each time you flash a new custom ROM on your Android device. Performing a full wipe ensures that you do not face any unwanted issues, much like performing a clean install of Windows on a PC. If you are simply upgrading to a newer version of the same ROM, you only need to wipe the cache and dalvik cache.

  5. Now return to the recovery menu and tap on ‘Install zip from SD card’. Choose the Unofficial CM12.1 ROM ZIP file that you had transferred to the internal storage of your One Max and then flash the file to install the ROM.

  6. Once you are done flashing the ROM zip file, flash the GAPPS file as well in the same way.

  7. After the GAPPS file has been flashed too, tap on ‘reboot system now’ to perform a reboot.

That’s it. You should now have the Android 5.1 Lollipop Unofficial CM12.1 ROM running on your HTC One Max. The first boot is likely to take up to a few minutes, so do not panic if you notice your device is taking unusually long to boot to the homescreen.

If you wish to report any bugs related to this ROM or for any other discussion related to the Unofficial CM12.1 for HTC One Max, be sure to follow the official thread on XDA at this link.

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