Xperia ZR might be a 3 year old phone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still update your device to latest Android built. Unfortunately I am not talking about an OTA released by Sony, but about a new custom ROM that is provided by those of xda-developers – we have to thank them for this step by step guide.

Therefore, if I have aroused your attention, don’t hesitate and check all the guidelines from below. If you do so, you can learn how to update your own Sony Xperia ZR to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow firmware. In that respect we will use the new CyanogenMod built, thus I will show you how to flash CM 13 on your phone.

The present CM 13 firmware is not offered by those of CyanogenMod because the Nightly built of the mentioned Marshmallow ROM isn’t yet available for your Xperia ZR. So, that’s why you will use a ported version of CyanogenMod, which is developed by the xda-developers team – the official development page can be accessed here.

Now, the CM13 platform represents a free aftermarket distribution of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS which is only based on the stock Android firmware. That means you will update your Sony Xperia ZR with an unofficial version of the stock Android software. That’s why you will lose the warranty of your phone if you will resume the guidelines from below. Also that’s why you have to prepare your smartphone before doing anything else – an unofficial ROM can be installed only in certain conditions, which will be detailed in a few moments.

But before doing so, first let’s talk a little bit about the Marshmallow update that you are about to flash on your Xperia ZR. The ROM is stable enough for a daily use, but it is not fully stable, which means that you might still experience minor bugs, lags and other software related issues (further info can be found on the official developer webpage from above). However, all these issues will be resolved by the devs and you will then be prompted with a smooth Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS.

Now, in order to avoid any unpleasant situations, before installing the CM 13 software, you should make a Nandroid backup. Through this dedicated backup process you can now save the current Android OS that powers your Sony Xperia ZR. Therefore, afterwards, if the Marshmallow will not run properly, you can choose to downgrade back to stock by using your own Nandroid backup file.

The Nandroid operation can be completed only if on your device a custom recovery image is running. The same software will be then required on the update operation as the ROM will be provided in form of a .zip file. Thus, before doing anything else install CWM or TWRP recovery on your Xperia ZR.

Moreover, you have to know that CM 13 can be flashed only on unlocked devices, which means that root access must be ensured on your smartphone. So, once more, before heading towards the steps from below, gain root access on your Sony branded device.

After ensuring all these processes, take care of your data or else you are going to lose everything. You see, when adding a new Android system above the stock one, you have to wipe everything or else you won’t be able to use the new CyanogenMod platform. Thus, you will have to clear app data cache and a hard reset will also be implied (further info are being detailed during the steps from below). Thus, make a general backup and save everything that you might use afterwards – both personal and general data like contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings and so on.

After doing so, ensure that you can use a computer as several files must be downloaded there – if you will have problems with the antivirus tool, temporarily deactivate the security protection from your computer. Then, on your Xperia ZR access “menu – settings – about phone” and tap several times on Built Number in order to gain Developer Options. Next, access Developer Options from “menu – settings” and check the USB Debugging option – without doing so you might not be able to connect your phone with your computer when that will be required.

Finally, check the battery icon that is displayed on your smartphone. If the power left is lower than 50%, before installing the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow CM 13 custom ROM, you should plug in the charger in your Sony Xperia ZR – otherwise your phone might get powered off, and bricked, while you try to update its system.

How to Update Sony Xperia ZR to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with CM 13 custom ROM

  1. Access this page and download the CM 13 firmware file.
  2. Then go here and get compatible Google Apps.
  3. Save the files on your computer, preferable on desktop.
  4. Use your phone’s USB cable and establish a connection between your smartphone and your computer.
  5. Transfer the downloaded files on your phone and then remove the USB cable.
  6. Power off your device – press power and select “power off” or press and hold power for a few moments.
  7. Reach recovery mode on your Xperia ZR.
  8. Wipe the system and clear cache by choosing “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  9. Return to main menu of recovery and select “install”; pick the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow ROM and also load the Google Apps package.
  10. Resume the flashing process by following on screen prompts.
  11. When done, reboot your device by choosing “reboot system now”.

There you go; you can now test and use Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS on your own Sony Xperia ZR as the CM 13 custom ROM has been successfully installed. Enjoy.

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