Sony is famous for pushing stable and bug free Android firmware updates than any other Android manufacturer. This explains the popularity of its Xperia smartphones around the world. Many Android fans prefer Sony Xperia phones solely because Sony releases secure and error free firmware updates. The Xperia series of smartphone get the best Android firmware update compared to Android devices from other OEMs. Sony, in order to keep its Xperia mobile firmware bug free, relevant and packed with latest features, releases regular updates, often one after the other, which may confuse some users as to which firmware update is the latest, which one they should install and which update is available in which region or country. Sony rolls out firmware updates via OTA release or on the official Sony PC suite, which is released sometime after the OTA update in different regions. Some updates are region specific, or released in only a handful of countries with no clear mention of when the rest of the regions will get the same update, which can greatly upset Xperia enthusiasts who prefer to keep their device updated with the latest firmware. In order to help you to keep your Xperia device as relevant and updated as possible, here’s a step-by-step guide using which you’ll be able to download and create official Sony Xperia Firmware file in FTF format.
Manually updating Sony Xperia device is recommended if the latest firmware update isn’t released in your region on time and you can’t wait to enjoy latest feature, or you want to avoid issues associated with OTA update method including missing or broken OTA files that get downloaded via over-the-air update and could result in bloatware bugs and errors later on.
With manual stock firmware installation method, you can install region specific firmware on your device anywhere in the world, but do note that installing region specific firmware could result in bloatware getting installed on your device, which can be fixed later on, but still care should be exercised when attempting to manually flash the region specific firmware on your device.
Sony offers an official tool called Flashtool which makes it possible to flash the firmware files on your Xperia devices. There are different channels from where you can grab latest FTF file for your Xperia device, one such forum is XDA where developers upload firmware files as soon as the new update is released, you can also search the internet to find the required FTF firmware file for your device model, but sometimes locating the right FTF files for your device could take a long time or may not be available on the internet right away after the firmware update release. In such cases, you can download the stock firmware file from Sony’s servers, manually create FTF file and flash it on your device to update to the latest firmware version. Which is what we are going to show you in the guide below.
However, before starting the process, its would be of great help to you if you know a little bit about an tool called Xperifirm by XDA member LaguCool. Using Xperifirm, Sony Xperia device users can scan the entire globe to find the region where the latest firmware update has been released along with the compatible devices list and firmware model, which saves you quite a lot of time searching on the internet. With Xperifirm, you can easily choose the desired firmware version, directly download its FILESETs and then create the FTF files in order to flash it on your Xperia device manually. In the guide below, we are going to explain this process in simplest possible terms for everyone to grasp the method.
In the method below, you are going to learn how to download FILESETs to create FTF files easily for the desired firmware for your device. The process involves two steps: first download FILESETs firmware files and then create FTF files for flashing on your device in the next step.
How To Download Sony Xperia FILESETs For Official Firmware Using Xperifirm Tool
1 – Before anything else, check the latest available firmware update for your device from official Sony site.
2 – Download XperiFirm tool and install it on PC.
3 – Launch XperiFirm app on PC.
4 – Within the Xperifirm app, you’ll see a list of devices, click on your device model. Be careful to select the right device model number.
5 – After selecting the device model, in the next box, you will see firmware details related to your device model with the following tabs – CDA: Country Code, Market Region, Operator: Firmware Provider, Latest Release: Build Number.
6 – Find the latest firmware build number and the region from where you want to download it.
Note: A firmware with the operating name ‘Customized IN or Customized US’ is a universal firmware, meaning it is free of any geographic restrictions from carrier’s side. Other firmware types will be carrier linked with geo location restrictions.
7 – Select the correct firmware for your device. Do not download a Carrier Branded firmware for an open device as it will lock your device to that carrier, and also, avoid downloading a customized firmware on a Carrier Branded device if you don’t want to lose exclusive services from your carrier.
8 – Double-click on the select firmware. In the same window, look at the third column where you will see firmware build number for your device, click on it and then click the download button in the next pop-up window.
9 – Select the download path where you wish to save the FILESETs on PC. Create a new folder if you to save downloaded files.
10 – Once download is complete, See the next part for creating FTF file for flashing firmware on your Xperia device.
How To Create FTF File Using Sony Flashtool
1 – Download Sony Flashtool and install on PC.
2 – Open Sony Flashtool and navigate to Tools > Bundles > FILESET Decrypt.
3 – A new Directory Chooser box will open, select the folder where you downloaded the FIRESETs using Xperifirm above.
4 – After selecting the source folder, find the FILESETs under the ‘Available’ box.
5 – Select all files (3 to 4 in total) and move them into the ‘Files To Convert’ box, and click on Convert button.
6 – Wait for the conversion to complete. It takes usually around 10 minutes.
7 – Now a new interface screen named ‘Bundler’ will open from where can create FTF files.
8 – If you don’t see Bundler window or closed it by mistake, you can still open it manually from Flashtool > Tools > Bundles > Create and select the Source folder where you downloaded and decrupted FILESETs.
9 – From the Device Selector, select the click on the empty bar in front of device. Next, click Firmware region / operator and enter firmware build number.
10 – Move all the files to Firmware Content except .ta and fwinfo.xml files and hit the Create button.
11 – Wait for the FTF file creation process to complete.
12 – Once done, you can locate FTF file from the installation directory > Flashtool > Firmwares.
13 – You can now flash the firmware on your Xperia device using the steps in our Sony Flashtool guide given in the link above.
14 – That’s all.
Note: FTF files for Xperia devices are also available in Torrent format, which you can find over on the web. If you’re having issues in following the steps in the guide above, send your queries in comments below. Like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, or add us on Google+ to get the latest news, updates, information, solutions & help related to Apple, Android, Windows, and tech.