There is some great news for Xperia Z3 users, as the industrious custom ROM developers have unleashed the popular CyanogenMod 12 (CM12) ROM with Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Sony's flagship smartphone.

Sony is reportedly busy with the development of the official Lollipop OTA update for the phone, while discerning users can already enjoy the first-hand experience of Android 5.0 features through CyanogenMod 12's custom Lollipop ROM.

Though CM12 is traditionally the most stable custom ROM available in the market, it may not yet be ready for daily use as it is still in beta or nascent development stage.

However, interested users can go ahead and install the Android 5.0 based CM12 ROM on their device, using the step-by-step guide given below.

IBTimes UK reminds readers that it will not be held liable for any damage to device during or after the firmware installation. Users are advised to proceed at their own risk.


  • The instructions provided in this guide are limited to Sony Xperia Z3 and will not work with any other model. Verify your device model from Settings > About Phone.
  • Ensure your phone has at least 80% battery charge to avoid inadvertent shutdown during the installation process.
  • Make sure the correct USB drivers (download here) are installed for the phone on the computer.
  • Enable USB debugging on your phone from Settings > Developer Options.

Downloads Required

CyanogenMod 12 Android 5.0 Lollipop ROM for Xperia Z3

Google Apps

Steps to update Xperia Z3 with Android 5.0 Lollipop via unofficial CyanogenMod 12 ROM

Step 1 - Download CM12 Android 5.0 ROM and Google Apps for Sony Xperia Z3 to your computer and extract boot.img from the zip file separately.

Step 2 - Connect and mount your Xperia Z3 USB mass storage on the computer via USB cable.

Step 3 – Copy the downloaded Android 5.0 ROM zip and Google Apps zip files to the root folder on your phone's SD card.

Step 4 – Then copy/paste the boot.img file to android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools directory.

Step 5 - Power off your phone.

Step 6 – Boot into the Bootloader Mode by pressing and holding Volume Up while reconnecting with USB cable. Your phone LED will turn blue, which indicates progress into Bootloader Mode.

Step 7 – After entering Bootloader or Fastboot mode (on your phone), navigate to android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools directory (on your computer) and launch Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt).

Step 8 - Type in the following command and hit Enter.

fastboot flash boot boot.img

Step 9 - Then, type the following command and press Enter.

fastboot reboot

Step 10 - Now boot into Recovery Mode: Power on the phone while tapping Volume Up or Volume Down buttons a few times when the LED light turns pink or any other colour on your phone.

Step 11 - Once in CWM Recovery, perform a full data wipe by selecting "wipe data/factory reset" option. Use Power button to select options and Volume buttons to navigate up or down in Recovery Mode.

Step 12 - Then, perform a cache wipe by selecting "wipe cache partition".

Step 13 - Then perform a dalvik cache wipe to prevent boot loops or any other errors. From CWM recovery, go to 'advanced' and then select "wipe dalvik cache".

Step 14 - Return to the main recovery screen and select "install zip from SD card".

Step 15 - Now select "choose zip from sdcard". Use volume keys to go to the Android 5.0 ROM zip file that you copied earlier to your SD card and select it by pressing Power button. Confirm the installation on the next screen and the installation procedure should begin.

Google Apps: Repeat the previous step to install Gapps on your phone.

Step 16 - Once the installation completes, go to "+++++Go Back+++++" and reboot the phone by selecting "reboot system now" from the recovery menu as show below.

Your Xperia Z3 will boot now and it might take about five minutes for the first boot to complete. So, please do not interrupt the process.

Your Xperia Z3 should now be running Android 5.0 Lollipop via CM12 custom ROM installed on your phone. Go to Settings > About phone to verify the ROM installed.

[Source: Team Android]