Released as a high-end Android device by Sony in March 2014, the Xperia Z2 (codename Sirius) is water- and dust-proof with an IP rating of 55 and IP58. The device has a 5.2″ IPS LCD display, with a resolution of 1920×1080, rocks a Quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, with 3GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage and a microSD slot. The Z2 boasts a 20.7MP camera, with 4K video recording at 60 frames/second. All this is powered by a 3200mAh battery.
I’ve had my Xperia Z2 for a year now and it’s been a good phone when it comes to modding, and has quite a community online. Specifically chose it for modding, anything newer lacked stable ROMs or community. Here’s what a year of trial, flashing, soft-bricking and restoring has come to.
Running inside is the latest nightly of CyanogenMod 12.1, based on Android 5.1. CyanogenMod was once the most popular Android custom ROM, sadly the project was shut down in December 2016 and taken over by LineageOS. Rooting CyanogenMod is a breeze, literally a single tap in the Developer’s Option menu.
Unlike many previous devices , the Xperia Z2 does not have a dedicate recovery partition, that means you’re stuck with whatever recovery is on your ROM (in my case CWM which isn’t quite the epitome of recoveries). However there are some Stock ROM based custom ROM which pack dual recoveries.
Inside the system runs the amazing Xposed Framework. Brought to life by XDA Recognized Developer rovo89, the Xposed framework uses root access to directly access core Android resources and utilise them to run different modules on the device that bring new features and customisation scope to the OS. The potential is virtually unlimited. One of the must-install modules is Gravity Box which includes the most popular Android tweaks that you can enable and disable to fit your needs.
INTERFACE & USER EXPERIENCE
While modding my phone did offer some performance improvements, most of mods are for user experience enhancements. Having unique looks, a clean and debloated ROM with some snappy featured makes the Android experience one of the most enjoyable ones.
On my homescreen is Nova Launcher which allows you to make your Launcher look and act the way you want it to look and act. This goes beyond the basics you’ll find with other launchers, and dives deep into some micro-management style settings to allow for control of just about everything from icons, drawer styles and gestures.
Wallpaper’s managed by Muzei Live Wallpaper, which is expandable through its extension system, allowing developers to bring content from all kinds of sources to the app. Once you choose your source, Muzei will cycle through images and offers a soothing blur on demand.
Some other apps , in order of appearance in the screenshots:
- Android N-ify (Xposed Module)
Next move would definitely trying out Paranoid Android (AOSPA) on the Xperia Z2, anot
her popular popular ROM based on Android Open Source Project. In mid-year 2016, PA came up with their Paranoid Android 6.0 ROM, packed with features and a beautifully crafted UI.