Sony launched a new firmware update recently for the older Xperia Z, tablet Z, ZR and ZL that updated the software to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The build number is 10.5.1.A.0.283. Today we’ll run through how you can successfully gain root access running the new software update with a locked bootloader. You should understand the update comes with better battery performance, improvements to MMS, WiFi, Calendar, bug fixes and email stability.

Since you already know that after installing the latest firmware your device will have fixes to the black screen during the unlocking process, fixes for the settings lag, What’s New and Play Music applications implementations and fixes for the battery when connecting with Bluetooth and headsets, we don’t need to run through the amazing quality of the firmware. You are more interested in unlocking the internal hardware and applying custom ROMS for tweaking the OS.

When allowing for rooting the innovative Android platform it is imperative to find an appropriate help guide and exploit. You can’t use the same files you used for the previous version since many of the newer firmware builds come with patches that block the past exploits. That’s why the Devs must work hard in finding a new exploit and take advantage of it within the new unlocking file. As much as the folks out of the Googleplex say they don’t mind people unchaining the OS, they do a great job of continuously sealing the internal system up again so that the internal hardware is locked up once more.

Xperia Z


What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.

Details of Note

  • Firstly, it’s important you understand that you can’t apply this method using the ZL or ZR since the files are for the Xperia Z only. It causes soft-bricking on the wrong devices.
  • Moreover, take your mobile and from “Menu > Settings > Developer Options” enable the USB Debugging mode option. We must apply this setting for connecting to the computer. You must use a computer during the steps since we are using the Flashtool. We recommend using the Flashtool with Windows-based computers only. If you must use a Mac, you ought to download the Sony bridge so you can connect via the bridge.
  • All users want the latest USB Drivers. You can install the drivers manually by visiting the official website and downloading the file or you can install the Sony PC Companion and download them that way. You can test if the drivers are working at any time by connecting the phone to the computer and trying to get access to the data. If you can open the phones data on the computer you know the drivers are working great.
  • Performing complex customization techniques on mobile phones is best for people with lots of experience. If you are not experienced Android users we hope you find a family member or friend who is so they can help you complete the steps. If you must go it alone it’s important to read through all the instructions carefully. That way you cut the chances of making a mistake.
  • Furthermore, everyone wants to back up the smartphone or tablet. Make use of clever applications available from the Google Play Store. Apps such as SMS backup+ help store the text messages you don’t want to misplace. Helium for Android does a great job of syncing the phone contacts and backing up the market apps so you don’t have to download them again from the Play Store. Countless people like to store their pictures on the computer and make the copies that way. Titanium is amazing for people with root access already. Others prefer using Google Drive — a native Google service that stores data in the cloud. It’s free for a limited amount of GB’s and after that charges apply depending on how much space you want for storing the rest of your data.
  • Make sure the Xperia Z has enough battery power to see through the steps without shutting down. We know that we are connecting to the computer for much of the steps, but not all. Therefore, you will rely on having some natural juice from the battery. USB charging will not handle all of your power concerns. Don’t start unless you have 50% battery power saved up. You can check the battery levels by looking at the battery icon from the status bar.

How to root the Sony Xperia Z on Android 4.4.4 KitKat 10.5.1.A.0.283 Firmware

  1. Download all the tools you need from this XDA Developer page here.
  2. Start with the power off on the Xperia device.
  3. Flash the Xperiaz_10.5.A.0.230_kernel_only.ftf file using the Sony Flashtool
    a. open the tool on the computer
    b. press the lightning bolt icon.
    c. pick the “flashmode’ option.
    d. upload the kernel.
    e. press the “flash’ button.
    f. Power down the phone.
    g. connect the phone to the computer with the USB cable and hold the Volume Down key.
    h. release the Volume Down key when the flashing finishes.
    i. wait for the prompt to let you know it’s safe to disconnect.
  4. Choose from rooting with Easy Root, the root function available in the flashing tool or using towelroot.
  5. Once you have done that, it’s time to power down the handset.
  6. Open up the flashtool once again.
  7. Flash the XperiaZ_10.5.1.A.0.283_kernel_only.ftf  file.
  8. Boot the handset.
  9. Download SuperSu and install it from the Google Play Store here.
  10. Update the binaries from SuperSu if prompted.
  11. Open the Google Play Store application and download the root checker app to make sure it’s working.

Sometimes users are faced with the “unfortunately SuperSu has stopped” error. You want to download the Superuser.apk from here if that happens to you. Use the desktop of the computer. Connect the phone or tablet with the computer and transfer the APK to the internal memory on the Xperia device. Install the file using the file explorer. Navigate to Settings and find “clean up menu”. Now tap the re-install button and it will clean up the recent installations. Go back to the Play Store and install SuperSU.