Every time I buy a phone, it's because I want the phone and the software that comes with the phone... WITHOUT the pre-bundled carrier rubbish. I simply just don't trust carriers tinkering with software and adding bugs. Plus it's always better to get it from the manufacturer because you can get updates right away.
The process is sometimes referred to as "debranding", but quite simply all you're doing is flashing the stock firmware back onto the phone.
Sometimes it's easy to get rid of, other times it's not. Fortunately for us, the guys who made Flashtool has made our lives VERY easy (compared to the loops I had to jump through with Samsung Galaxy phones...)
What you'll need
What you should NOT use is Sony's "Flash tool for Xperia™ devices". It requires registration and well...
- Flashtool - Xperia device flashing is what you want. The speeds were slow, so I got mine from here. It's a big download (176mb) at slow speeds so leave this downloading while you set up the rest. At time of writing, I used v0.9.18.1.
- You'll need at least 4.3gb of FREE space for the process. (mine took 4.11gb)
- It's useful to know the region ID and carrier branding for your device before-hand. This isn't necessary, but helpful when deciding which firmware to download (carrier specific vs generic without branding). You can find more information about regions on this page.
In my case, for Australia you have Generic (1281-3422) vs Telstra (1281-1039). The Telstra one is the branded one that came with my phone, so I will choose the generic one to remove all the extra crud.
- As always, be sure to make a backup and also back up your DRM keys in case something goes pear shaped.
- Run the "flashtool-0.9.18.1-windows.exe" installer
- Install it to C:\Flashtool\ (or any folder of your choice, but my instructions will assume this)
- Go to that folder and run flashtool.exe (or flashtool64 if you're on a 64bit o/s)
- Let the program update itself with the latest settings from online
Getting the stock firmware
- Click on the Devices menu > Check updates
- Double click the phone model "D550X Sony Xperia Z1 Compact"
- Double click your region to check for the latest version (v14.4.A.108 at time of writing)
The wording may be a little confusing, but "(1281-3422 Customized AU)" is the stock firmware, also known as generic Australian firmware without carrier branding.
- Right click > Download > Wait. Best tool ever!
- When the "Bundler" window appears, select everything EXCEPT for the .ta files (should be cust-reset.ta and fota-reset.ta, and maybe simlock.ta)
- Click the right arrow button
- Click Create and wait.
- When it's done, you'll have your TFT file!
Flashing the stock firmware
- Turn off your phone
- Click on the flash icon in Flashtool
- Select flashmode
- Select your firmware from before (14.4.A.108 Customized_AU)
- Hold the VOLUME DOWN and plug in the phone to get into flash mode
- Should be a green LED light on the phone (briefly)
- Check the status logs to see that it connected in flash mode properly
- Click Flash (If you wait or take too long, the phone just boots up normally and you'll have to restart the process)
- Now just wait a few minutes until it finishes flashing.
- Turn on phone
- Enjoy your new firmware!
If needed, here's my guide on how to root a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (D5503) and unlocking your Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (D5503) bootloader.
- Z1 Compact Resource Thread -|-Rooting-BL Unl… | Xperia Z1 Compact | XDA Forum
- Flashtool | Xperia device flashing
- Unrestrict.li | Flashtool | Unrestricting your links!
- [INFO] Z1 Compact firmware customizations (r… | Xperia Z1 Compact | XDA Forum
- [GUIDE] Download ANY firmware customization … | Xperia ZL | XDA Forum
- (don't use this) Flash tool for Xperia™ devices – Developer World