Sony rolled out an update, namely 23.0.1.A.0.167 Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the Xperia Z2 and the Z2 tablet. The new update came with many features including PlayStation 4 remote play, STAMINA mode, high-resolution audio playback, headphone settings and more. Most of you have already updated to the new software version and are looking for root access. The great news is that it is possible. However, it doesn’t come easily, nor straight forward with a standard root package.
Rooting phones and tablets takes away the default factory restrictions imposed by the device manufacturers. To get the most out of the OS we must unlock the bootloader and unlock the system internals so we can start installing custom ROMs and other applications. You can download countless of these rooted apps from the Google Play Store. It doesn’t need a separate “repository” like the iPhone does with Cydia and the Big Boss.
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
- As usual, there are several essentials to consider before applying the steps. You must find a computer since a connection between the phone and computer must be made with a USB cable. Search for the USB cable that comes out of the box and is often associated with the phone charger. You may use the same wire connecting the charger daily without realizing.
- You should charge the battery on the phone or tablet so that the battery icon from the status bar reads at least 50%. You can only read the status bar after turning the device on and looking. Most of you have the USB charging feature working, therefore the battery chargers up while plugged into the computer. However, if this feature is not working for you it’s important to make sure the device doesn’t shut down before the flashing is finished. You risk soft-bricking the device if it shuts down.
- Bear in mind that the steps are only for the Z2 series and not for any other. Do not attempt flashing and unlocking the system internal on the Z1 or the Z3 as you risk bricking the device.
- Enable the USB Debugging Option on the handset. Find the Developer Options menu that comes from the Settings menu. Inside is the USB Debugging option. Moreover, you want to have the up-to-date USB Drivers. If you plug the phone or tablet into the computer and can get access to the data from the internal or external SD card, you know the drivers are working.
- Since we understand that Sony do not permit rooting, we run considerable risks when deciding to follow the steps. The main risk is that it can result in bricking of the device. Secondly, it automatically voids the rest of the warranty. You can restore the warranty so that it’s working again by flashing the stock software update and revoking the root access.
- You must backup the phone to the internal or external memory options such as the SD card with Google Drive. If you don’t want to use Google Drive try using the Helium application available from the Google Play Store. Backup the phone contacts, market apps, videos, text messages, pictures and any other personal data you don’t want to lose. The device is wiped when following this guide.
How to Root 23.0.1.A.0.167 Firmware on the Xperia Z2 smartphone and tablet
1. Downgrade the firmware once again to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
You must find the firmware version and region from this page and follow the guide.
2. Root the device using the Xperia root kit here.
3. Install the Dual recovery.
– use the Philz Touch ClockworkMod recovery and TWRP recovery from this page.
4. Lastly, create a rooted Android 4.4.4 KitKat image and flash that image to the Z2 by following this thread.
After finishing the steps you may have some problems. The chief concern is getting stuck in the boot loop. If that happens to you, you must boot up in recovery mode and select the “wipe data factory reset” option followed by “wipe cache partition”. Now go back and select “advanced” and select “wipe dalvick cache”. Go back to the main recovery menu and select the “reboot system now” option.