Xperia SP is unlikely to receive any official Marshmallow update from Google, as the company's 18-month software support period for Sony's former flagship phone has already expired. Besides, the company ceased software support for the phone, due to technical constraints such as lack of sufficient system memory (RAM) to run the Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware on the ageing hardware.

Nevertheless, Xperia SP users can enjoy Android 6.0 Marshmallow update on their smartphone with due credit to third-party custom ROM developers, who have released the CyanogenMod 13 (CM13)-based Marshmallow custom ROM for the smartphone.

Folks at The Android Soul have confirmed that the CM13 ROM for Xperia SP is fully functional with only a few minor bugs to be fixed, as the ROM is still under beta testing and development. IBTimes UK reminds users that it will not be held responsible for any damage to device, during or after the firmware installation. Users are advised to proceed at their own risk.


  • Instructions in this guide are meant for international variant of Sony Xperia SP only. Verify device model number by navigating to Settings > About Phone
  • Ensure the phone has at least 80% battery charge to prevent unexpected device shutdown (due to battery drain) while installing the ROM
  • Back up data and settings using a recommended custom recovery tool, like ClockworkMod (CWM) or TWRP, as it creates a complete image of the existing phone setup. In Recovery, choose Backup and Restore and tap Backup
  • Verify if correct USB drivers for the phone are installed on the computer (download Sony Xperia SP USB drivers)
  • Enable USB Debugging mode via Settings > Developer Options (if running Android 4.0 or above) or Settings > Applications > Development (if running Android 2.3 or earlier)
  • Ensure that the device is rooted with CWM or TWRP recovery installed and its bootloader is unlocked

Downloads required

CyanogenMod 13 Android 6.0 ROM for Xperia SP

Google Apps for Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Steps to install unofficial CyanogenMod 13 Android 6.0 ROM on Sony Xperia SP

Step 1: Download the CM13 ROM and gapps zip files from the links provided.

Step 2: Connect your phone to computer and copy the ROM and gapps zip files to it. Disconnect the phone after copying the necessary files to a safe location on the computer.

Step 3: Boot the Xperia SP into recovery mode using Quick Boot app (requires root) from play store or manually boot it into recovery mode as follows:

  • Turn off the device and wait for 4 to 5 seconds, once the display goes off.
  • Then turn on the device using Power button and then tap the volume up or down key repeatedly once the LED light starts blinking on the device.

Wait until the phone boots into TWRP in recovery mode. If an android with exclamation mark, or 3e recovery appears on screen, then you need to reinstall TWRP recovery on the phone.

Step 4: In TWRP, take a backup of your device. Tap on Backup, and then choose all the partitions for backup. Perform the swipe action at bottom to start creating a backup of your user data and settings on the phone.

Step 5: Now do a Factory Reset and then return to TWRP's main screen. Tap on Wipe, and then do the Swipe up from the bottom of screen to confirm the action.

Step 6: Return to TWRP's homescreen and tap on Install. Then locate the ROM file and tap on it to select it. Then do the Swipe at the bottom of screen to begin flashing the update.

Step 7: Hit the Home button to return to the recovery homescreen. Now, install the Gapps like the way you installed Marshmallow ROM earlier on your Xperia SP.

Step 8: Once gapps is installed, tap on Reboot system button to restart the device.

[Source: The Android Soul]