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How to Update Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony’s latest flagship, the Xperia XZ 2, is going to receive official support for at least another two years. During this period you will be able to receive official notifications and perform different other update operations whether you want to keep everything as default or go wild by applying certain tweaks. Anyway, the most important thing will be to know how to perform such update procedures and that’s why we are here to make it all clear.

So, this step by step guide can help you better understand the ways in which your Sony Xperia XZ2 can be updated. In that matter, this tutorial will be structured into three different sections, where we will detail three different update operations. As you will notice, we will talk about OTAs, about manually flashing the stock / official firmware file and about installing custom ROMs such as Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android.

Each update procedure will be detailed and explained so that each aspect is learned correctly. Thus, among other info we will review the risks implied, the advantages related with each flashing process, the pre-requisites that must be followed and the actual steps that will guide you through the installation operation. In the end, you should be able to choose how to update your Xperia XZ 2 and when to apply certain firmware packages; also, based on the info detailed below you should be able to learn how to take full advantage of your phone’s performance by using a dedicated custom ROM software. Anyway, let’s see what it’s all about.

How to smartly apply OTAs

Like on any other Android based device, on your Sony Xperia XZ 2 you will receive OTAs, which are official updates that are developed and released by Google and by your OEM. Most of these updates are minor ones that are provided to fix reported bugs, to address Android issues, to add stability improvements and to secure the overall Android system. And, among these minor patches you will also receive major firmware packages that will introduce new features, capabilities and functionality.

Unfortunately such updates are usually released gradually and for limited markets only meaning that some users will receive their notifications sooner than others. Additionally, an OTA can embrace your Sony Xperia XZ2 only if on your phone the stock Android OS is already running and only if tweaks weren’t applied. So, in some situations the best will be to choose to manually install the software OS, a process that will be described and detailed during the next section of this guide.

Flashing an OTA is an official operation supported by Sony and by Google. So, when completing the installation process you won’t have to worry about anything: the warranty won’t get void, you won’t lose access to built-in apps, you won’t have to use third party apps or risky programs and you won’t lose your personal data, info, accounts and files.

One thing must be ensured though: you have to charge your handset before starting the update operation if the power left is currently lower than 50%.

Good; now, during the following steps we will review the methods that can be used when OTAs are released for your Sony Xperia XZ2:

How to try to force down a new OTA

  1. First of all, power on your smartphone.
  2. Then, make sure that you have more than 500 MB of free space left on your device.
  3. Also, enable a WiFi connection before doing anything else.
  4. Now, from your main screen go and access Settings.
  5. From general Settings switch to System and then pick up Software update.
  6. Run the search engine and wait while the system tries to find new OTAs.
  7. If an update is available for your smartphone you will be prompted with the notification.
  8. From that step just follow on-screen prompts and resume the update operation.

How to Manually Update the Sony Xperia XZ 2

As already outlined, in some cases, the best thing to do is to manually install the new update that’s available for your Sony Xperia XZ2. Do note that in this situation you will have to use the full firmware package – it should be made available by Sony or by your carrier.

Now, the manual update process can help you keep your smartphone updated when you are tired of waiting for the OTA roll out, or when you have a rooted device, or a phone that was tweaked in any other manner. Also, the same update operation can be used as a downgrade process if you want to revert the current Android build platform.

Additionally, the manual flashing process will restore your smartphone back to its factory state. So, shortly, you can use the steps from below as dedicated troubleshooting solutions through which to address problems like boot loops, lags, bugs, hangs, screen freeze, battery drain, heating situations, signal strength issues, total blackouts and so on – these issues are usually caused by a malware, by unresponsive programs, by inappropriate tools or by similar other software glitches.

Finally, you can apply this particular update solution if you want to revoke tweaks on your Sony Xperia XZ2. In a few words, after taking care of the steps explained below you can manage to revoke root access, relock the bootloader, reinstall bloatware and so on.

Now, during this update operation your personal files might get corrupted or wiped out – that can happen only rarely but since the risk exists, the best is to be precautious. So, before doing anything else you should choose to backup your contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords and so on.

Also, a few other pre-requisites must be considered at this point: a computer, your smartphone and its USB cable are all required; on your phone you need to enable Developer Options which can be done by tapping repeatedly on Built Number (do that until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message); also, from Developer Options (it can be accessed by going to Menu – > Settings) check the USB Debugging feature; one last thing – charge your device before choosing to resume the steps from below of its power is currently lower than 50%.

  1. On your computer download the stock Android firmware for your Xperia device (download this file from any source you prefer).
  2. There, install the drivers for your XZ 2 and the Flashtool program – you can get the flashing software from here.
  3. Now, access the Flashtool folder on your computer and from there access the Drivers subfolder – set up the right drivers for the program by executing the ‘drivers.exe’ file.
  4. Within Flashtool folder go to Firmwares sub folder and in there create a new folder.
  5. In the newly created folder copy-paste the .ftf firmware file that was downloaded before.
  6. Now, run the flashing program on your computer.
  7. In Flashtool change the source folder destination to the path where you saved the .ftf package.
  8. Now, under Firmwares list pick up your Android update file.
  9. Also, under Wipe section make sure that all available checkboxes are selected.
  10. You will be asked to connect your smartphone with your computer. Do that by using the USB cable, but first reboot your Xperia XZ 2 into flash mode.
  11. The installation process should be automatically initiated.
  12. Wait a few moments and when it’s done follow: close the flashing program, unplug the USB cord and restart your device.

How to Install Custom ROMs on Sony Xperia XZ 2

Custom ROMs are dedicated and specific updates that can customize and optimize the Android experience on your smartphone. With such firmware installed you will be able to modify built-in apps and features and to change the default Android functionality. Moreover, you will get rid of factory restrictions and you will be able to receive more power from your device – thus, mainly, with a custom ROM ensured you can unleash the true potential of your Xperia XZ2.

Custom ROMs are unofficial ports of official Android OS. The updates are free aftermarket distribution of Android and are developed by third party devs. Now, such platforms are different from the default system and are usually pre-loaded with features, apps and capabilities which cannot be found on the official firmware. With these custom features you can choose to customize how your phone runs and acts. The results are great as when a fully stable ROM is picked you can manage to bump speeds on your Xperia XZ 2, upgrade battery life and improve general performance.

Anyhow, as you can already tell, this is no longer an official manner in which you can update your smartphone. Flashing custom ROMs will void the warranty of your phone, so be careful – the warranty flag can be restored only if you choose to reinstall the stock firmware system.

Moreover, a custom ROM (such as Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android) can be applied only if your Sony branded device is rooted and installed with a custom recovery image. The root process will unlock the Android system which will afterwards be modified by the custom ROM firmware; then, the custom recovery image (I recommend you to use TWRP recovery) will be required during the actual flashing procedure – the custom ROM is offered in form of a .zip file, which can be installed only through a custom recovery environment.

In this case a backup is no longer optional as during the flashing process a wipe will be completed – clearing app data cache and making a hard reset must be applied first. Anyhow, because of that, if you’re not careful enough you can end up in losing everything that’s important for you. In that respect you can use different backup and restore solutions: you can sync certain files with your Google Account, you can use dedicated backup and restore apps from Google Play or you can use built-in cloud storage services that are already running on your Sony Xperia XZ 2.

Along with the general update process you should also make a Nandroid one. That particular backup operation will help you save the current Android OS that runs on your phone. Thus, if the new custom ROM will not run as you imagined, you can then choose to use the Nandroid backup package for going back to stock.

The other pre-requisites are similar with what we already explained during the previous section of this update tutorial: you need to use a computer; on your phone you need to gain developer rights; from Developer Options you have to check the USB Debugging field and you need to charge your handset if it runs low on power (usually, that’s required when the power left is lower than 50%).

  1. Open your computer and your phone.
  2. On your PC download the custom ROM that you want to use on your Sony Xperia XZ2 – get this file from any source you prefer (I recommend you to use the xda-developers platform though).
  3. Optional: if Google Apps aren’t included in the update package, download them too – you can get compatible Google Apps from here.
  4. Save the downloaded files on desktop.
  5. Power off your smartphone and wait a few moments. Then, reboot recovery mode on your Sony Xperia XZ2.
  6. In recovery choose to make a hard reset and to clear app data cache; so, select ‘wipe data factory reset’ followed by ‘wipe cache partition’ and by ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
  7. Return to main menu of recovery when that’s done and pick ‘reboot system now’.
  8. Now, connect your smartphone with your computer – use and plug-in the USB cord in that respect.
  9. Next, transfer the downloaded files from desktop to your phone and in the end remove the USB cable as the computer is no longer needed.
  10. Once more, reboot recovery mode on your Sony branded device.
  11. In recovery, this time tap on Install and pick the custom ROM file – if TWRP recovery isn’t used, select ‘install zip from SD card’ followed by ‘choose zip from SD card’.
  12. Wait while the custom update is being flashed and when done, if required, repeat the last step and install Google Apps.
  13. In the very end, go to main menu of recovery and choose ‘reboot system now’.
  14. That’s all.

Final thoughts

The guidelines explained above should help you better understand the update solutions that can be used and applied on the new Sony Xperia XZ2. Of course, read carefully before choosing to perform a certain flashing process and if you aren’t an experienced user, maybe the best will be to stick to OTAs and other official update solutions. Anyhow, if you have further questions or if you are currently facing problems, don’t hesitate and contact us – based on the info you provide we will try to come up with the right troubleshooting methods.

Through the comments field from below you can also share your update experience with other users who might need some extra details. Also, by using our ‘how to’ section you can learn other similar tutorials and Android related tips and tricks that are available for your Sony Xperia XZ 2. So, good luck and stay close for more step by step guides that can help you smartly use your new smartphone.