First of all it’s worth restating that this blog is, at the time of writing, focussed on the 2010 ARMv6 based Xperia devices. This includes:
On topic devices include the 2011 Xperia small screen range; specifically:
- Xperia Mini
- Xperia Mini Pro
- Xperia Active
- Xperia Ray
From time to time news and updates for other mini Android devices will be included in the blog posts however it would be beyond the scope of this site to provide specific guidance, but hope that some of the generic concepts are easy for all.
What is a Mini Android Device?
For simplicity the easiest measure of a device is screen size, on this site we also take into account the complete device size including the bezel and thickness. For example there are some devices with smaller screens that we’re not interested in such as the HTC ChaCha; despite it’s 2.6″ touch screen the whole device is a rather large 4.5″ x 2.54″ – hardly mini!
It is worth noting that there is also another measure referred to as screen density and recorded in as dpi (dots per inch). This is important in some cases but not a measure of the device size as some devices can have small screens with a high dpi; for example the 2011 range has a much higher dpi than the 2010 devices. Often you will see the screen sizes grouped into LDPI, MDPI, HDPI and XHDPI but you don’t really need to worry about that for now.
Interested and want to read more? See the Android Developer pages on supporting multiple screen sizes.
Where do I start?
So you’ve got an Android phone, perhaps you’ve found out a lot about custom firmware or you just came across this site but there can be a number of reasons why you’re reading this page:
- You’re phone is full of rubbish software that you can’t uninstall
- You really want to run an app but it isn’t available on your phone
- You’ve heard that the great new features of newer versions of Android that your phone isn’t running
- You want to run ‘root’ apps
- The mobile operator that you got your phone from has put lots of restrictions in place that you want to remove.
With pretty much all Android devices the process is the same:
- Gain root access and unlock the bootloader
- Take a higher level backup
- Install recovery
- Backup from recovery
- Flash customised firmware.
I’ll cover each of these steps in this section. I’m in the process of writing the content so if you have any questions just let me know and pop any feedback in the comments.
Lets get cracking and start by backing up!
Of course written instructions aren’t for everyone so I’ve recorded some video demonstrations which can be found here.
In addition I have written a straight-forward guide covering the entire process.