Install Android 5.1 Lollipop on Sony Xperia Z3 using CM12.1 Custom ROM

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Android 5.1 Lollipop can be anytime installed on your Sony Xperia Z3. All you have to do for enjoying the latest Android firmware is to download and flash the new CM 12.1 custom ROM. But, should you do that, or should you stick to stock Android software? Well, during the lines from below you will be able to decide for yourself. Also, if you are considering in updating your phone to CM12.1, then during the guidelines from below you will be able to learn how to safely and easily install custom Android 5.1 Lollipop on your Xperia Z3.

First, you need to know that this CM 12.1 release isn’t coming from the CyanogenMod team. This Android 5.1 Lollipop system is in fact only a ported version of the CM 12 platform, the firmware being developed by those of xda-developers. So, we have an unofficial CM12.1 system that is also an unofficial Android update which shouldn’t be related with Google or with Sony – thus, if you choose to complete this guide, your Xperia Z3 warranty will get void.

However, using CM12.1 on your Xperia Z3 is great. The Android 5.1 Lollipop isn’t coming with ay bugs, lags or other software related issues. Moreover, the update is pre installed with important features, apps and capabilities that cannot be found on the default Android system; all these features can then be used to improve the performances of your device and to customize and optimize the Android experience that now runs on your phone – basically, in the end your handset will run better and also faster.

As you can see, using a custom ROM might be the perfect way in which you can tweak your Android device. But, for being able to enjoy all these advantages, first you have to complete this step by step guide and to ensure CM 12.1 on your Sony Xperia Z3.

But first, before heading towards the steps from below, you will have to complete a few tasks – the pre requisites list that is being detailed below.

  • Root your Sony Xperia Z3 because a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod can be flashed only if the Android system is unlocked.
  • Install a custom recovery image, such as CWM or TWRP recovery on your smartphone – the Android 5.1 Lollipop update file comes in form of a .zip file, so using a custom recovery image is a must.
  • Backup your data because during the update operation a hard reset process will be applied – without temporarily saving your data you will now lose everything that’s saved on your phone’s internal storage memory.
  • Make a Nandroid backup by using the custom recovery image that’s installed on your Xperia Z3. If the CM 12.1 Android 5.1 Lollipop OS will not run as you expected, you can then use this Nandroid backup for downgrading your Z3 back to stock Android OS.
  • Check this tutorial before doing anything else. There you will be able to read about the risks and advantages implied by this operation and you will also learn how to complete other essential pre requisites.

Good; so now you are ready to flash a custom ROM firmware on your smartphone. Just read and then apply the steps from below, or else you can end up soft bricking your Android device.

How to Install Android 5.1 Lollipop on Sony Xperia Z3 using CM12.1 Custom ROM Firmware

  1. Navigate towards this page and download the Android 5.1 Lollipop firmware file on your computer; also on the same device download Google Apps package from the same page.
  2. Don’t unzip the files; just transfer them on your phone’s SD card.
  3. When done, unplug the USB cable (disconnect your devices) and turn off your handset.
  4. Reboot your Xperia Z3 into recovery mode.
  5. From there make a hard reset and clear cache; in a few words, select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  6. Apply those steps and then return to main menu of recovery.
  7. Up next, pick “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  8. Just select the CM 12.1 firmware file and install Android 5.1 Lollipop on your Sony Xperia Z3.
  9. Repeat the same step and flash Google Apps on your device.
  10. After taking care of all these steps, from main menu of recovery choose “reboot system now”.

Congratulations, you have completed our tutorial. Enjoy Android 5.1 Lollipop via CM 12.1 custom ROM on your Sony Xperia Z3 and let us know how everything worked for you.

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Andy Stevenson

Andy is a senior editor here on Android Flagship and you can surely rely on its experience as the Android subject is more than a hobby to him. Andy is currently focusing on developing dedicated and detailed tutorials, tips and tricks, so you will be able to find its work through the “how to” section of our website. Also, don’t hesitate and contact Andy if you have questions or if you want to hear a second opinion about anything that’s related to the Android OS.