The Sony Xperia U which is one among those devices that were denied official Jelly Bean update is now receiving some good ROM ports. Sony’s official Jelly Bean firmware that was ported from Xperia P works pretty well if you can ignore the front camera bug. However, I couldn’t use Sony’s firmware for long due to bad RAM management. XDA recognized contributor DevSwift1, who also developed MIUI ROM for Sony Xperia U has now come up with a new ROM – the XNovaThor Project which is based on Android 4.1.2 Open Source Project (AOSP) repo.
I have tested this ROM on my Xperia U and it truly gives you a much better smartphone experience than Sony’s official firmware. Why? Because it is smooth and is the pure Android OS that Google releases. This gives more free space on the RAM, better power management and hence a smooth experience.
At the time of writing, front camera, native WiFi tethering and FM Radio don’t work. Everything else seems to work well. For better performance, the developer recommends you to turn off automatic brightness and dialpad touch sounds. (I don’t know why).
Steps to Install Android 4.1.2 AOSP ROM on Xperia U
You can download the ROM from the original thread, to make sure you download the latest version of the ROM. You don’t need Gapps separately as they are included in the ROM itself. Obviously, you need CWM on your Xperia U. Download the zip file and place into the internal storage. Boot your phone into CWM by turning it off and continuously pressing volume down button while you turn it back on. In the recovery mode, wipe data, cache and dalvik cache and then go to “Install zip from SD card”>”Choose zip from SD card” and select the ROM zip file you placed in the internal storage of your phone. After flashing is complete, go back and select “Reboot system now”. Your Sony Xperia U will now boot into Android 4.1.2 OS – completely stock from Google.
No tweaks are included in the ROM, it is clean and extremely smooth. Let me know your experience with the ROM in the comments below.