Sony Xperia SP (C5303 and C5306) users are in for a special treat, as CyanogenMod 11 ROM (created by XDA recognised developer, FXP) brings custom Android 4.4.2 KitKat features in a highly-stable release.
Sony is unlikely to release the highly-anticipated Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for this smartphone anytime soon, and hence the advent of latest CM11 ROM for Xperia SP gains precedence.
Some of the noteworthy features ported into this ROM include new apps and capabilities such as faster multitasking, enhanced Google Now, immersive mode and smarter Caller ID.
Interested users who wish to enjoy the latest KitKat features on their Xperia SP can follow our step-by-step guide given below. IBTimes UK reminds its readers that it will not be held responsible for any damage to device during or after the ROM installation. Users are advised to proceed at their own risk.
- The Android 4.4 CyanogenMod 11 ROM and the instructions given in this guide are meant for the Sony Xperia Z model only. Verify device model number by navigating to Settings > About Phone.
- 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 correct USB drivers for the phone are installed on the computer (download Sony Xperia SP USB drivers).
- Ensure USB debugging mode is enabled on the phone, by navigating to Settings > Developer Options (NOTE:Tap the phone's Build Number seven times to unlock or reveal the hidden Developer Options under Settings.) Then select the checkbox to enable USB debugging mode under Settings > Developer Options.
- Make sure the phone has at least 80% battery charge to prevent unexpected device shutdown (due to battery drain) while installing the ROM.
- Ensure the device is unlocked (not locked to a specific carrier) and rooted with latest ClockworkMod (CWM) Recovery (v126.96.36.199) installed.
- If the device is stuck at booting or experiencing boot loop issues, perform Wipe Cache Partition and Wipe Dalvik Cache a few more times before rebooting.
- Allow newly installed ROM to stabilise for five minutes before you start working on it.
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat CyanogenMod 11 ROM for Xperia SP (Filename: FXP303-cm-11-20140120-UNOFFICIAL-huashan.zip)
- Google Apps
- Fastboot and ADB Files
Steps to Update Xperia SP to Android 4.4.2 KitKat with CyanogenMod 11 ROM
- Extract the Fastboot and ADB files.zip to a separate folder on your phone's SD card and name it as "Fastboot" folder.
- Extract the contents of the ROM zip file to a new folder on the phone's SD card and then copy boot.img from it to the Fastboot folder (check step 1). The boot.img contains the CWM recovery for Xperia SP.
- Open fastboot folder and then launch command prompt by pressing Shift key and right-clicking on the empty space inside the folder. Now choose "Open command window here" option from the context menu.
- Switch off the phone. Press and hold the Volume Up key on the phone and connect it to the computer with USB cable
- Wait until the LED notification on your phone turns blue. If it fails, repeat the previous step again until the blue LED light turns on.
- Now install CWM recovery by flashing the boot.img file, using the following command at command prompt: fastboot flash boot boot.img
- A finished message appears in command prompt, once the boot.img is successfully flashed on the device.
- Enter the command to reboot the phone from fastboot mode: fastboot reboot
- Once the reboot sequence starts and the violet LED appears (lit only for 3 seconds), quickly tap Volume Up button multiple times to boot the Xperia SP into recovery mode.
- In CWM recovery, select Install zip and then click Choose zip from sdcard. Browse and select the ROM file which you copied earlier to your phone.
- Repeat the previous step to install Google Apps as well.
- Once Google Apps is also installed, perform Factory Reset (deletes all apps, settings and game progress). To do so, choose Wipe data/Factory reset and click Yes on next screen to confirm.
- Return to the CWM Recovery main menu and tap reboot system now. Your phone will now reboot automatically and it may take some time for the first boot to complete. So, leave it alone and do not interrupt the process.
Your Sony Xperia SP is now successfully updated to Android 4.4.2 KitKat using CyanogenMod 11 ROM. Go to Settings > About phone to verify the firmware version installed.