Xperia Z1 gets pen mod – use a pencil as a stylus

by XB on 20th February 2014

in Tips & Tricks, Videos, Xperia Z1

Pencil tipThe Sony Xperia Z Ultra was unique in that you could navigate the display by using a pen or pencil. For once you didn’t need a capacitive stylus to do the same thing. Now apparently the Xperia Z1 also supports this feature, but Sony disabled it for one reason or another. A new mod enables this, bringing pencil/pen stylus support to the Xperia Z1.

The mod comes courtesy of RyokoN from XDA. AOKP originally introduced the mod, but RyokoN has enabled it on stock Sony Xperia ROMS. To install it there is an apk (download here), although root is required. When using pen mode it increases the sensitivity of the touchscreen, so you’ll need to use the toggle switch to turn it off when not you’re not using a stylus. For further information click here.

Xperia Z1 pencil stylus_1

Xperia Z1 pencil stylus_2

Thanks Kevin and Miron!

  • ycleft xperia

    Great , I love my z1

  • Micro

    Holy shit! Awesome! =D

  • agujeronegro

    Maybe this kind of mods could fix the Xperia Z1 (SP, Z1C, Z1t) touch problems?

  • SonyFan

    Is there something like that for the Xperia Z ?

  • jumbo3220

    anyway to get the sketch app’s apk file?

  • Guest

    Cant install it on my Z1 :/

  • Ado Kanashii

    watch for scratches on the screen, after all our z1 is protected by a non replaceble plastic film over a shitty non oleophobic”scratch resistant glass”.. man ! when are they gonna use gorilla glass!!!???

  • Kamil1308

    It works perfectly on my Z1

  • Jimvest

    Worked great with tempered glass screen protector

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  • koolman

    Wow! Sterange! Does it work with any pointy thing such as a normal pen or it needs a special pen?

  • lärarSaskia

    Would this work for z1 compact?

  • costunga

    Would like to know that too.

  • Kamil1308

    Seems to work with pencils, pens and any sharp obcjects.

  • koolman

    It requires root.

  • koolman

    So, it’s a leak hidden feature. Should we expect than Sony enable it in the next update ?

  • koolman


  • koolman

    So, it’s a leaked hidden feature in Z1. Should we expect that Sony enable this feature in the next update?!

  • hansip

    Supposedly, they are more/less on the same generation and Sony declares that they just increase the sensitivity on the Z Ultra, so it’s pretty probable.

  • hansip

    While S4 owners doing the floating hands style over their phone like mime, the Z1 owners is writing on the screen with ordinary pen. Let’s brag now lol :D

  • met

    Does it work with Z1 compact too?

  • Mac

    Oh nice now we really gonna make some nice scratches on the shatterproof sheet..

  • Mac

    Oh nice now we really gonna make some nice scratches on the shatterproof sheet..

  • sony

    your phone is outdated, please buy a more recent one, you dumb

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  • Julio Spinoza

    I don’t know but when I use my fingers (first image) nothing happens, but after using a pen /pencil the option to open notes and sketch appears on the notification bar(second), I guess is automatic the toggle because I don’t notice any difference

  • Chris

    Works perfectly on my z1. I’d be careful using a pen to write with, it might scratch the screen protector. Pencil graphite is much softer so less chance of scratching.

  • inspire

    Graphite: the second hardest thingy after diamond! Just saying. :p

  • Michael Hofmann

    If disabled on the Z1 perhaps we’ll see it on the Z2 as a “new feature” and the Z1will get support with KitKat

  • arrow

    wow, it works with a knife too

  • beta

    No… graphite is just another allotrope of carbon. Hardness for both of them are entirely different.

  • Mohammed Khired

    fuck , i don’t wanna root my phone

  • beta

    That’s a little rude don’t u think

  • NorthWood

    At least Japanese variant of Z1 compact has it. It also have glove mode.

  • sony

    It may sound rude, but I have to tell him the truth

  • Micro

    why not? it doesn’t hurt if you don’t mess with the bootloader :)

  • jag

    Yep.. It is automatic when you’re in pen mode like in Z ultra

  • Penk?n?i?f?e?

    Awesome! Now my pocket Penknife can be used as a pen too!

  • Julio Spinoza

    Yeah I can figure it that. But in the article it says that after using the pen you need to toggle off the stylus but in my case ( I don’t know if others) is.not.necessary because is automatic. Regards!

  • hansip

    You know what’s softer? Take a cheap chopstick, cut them like pencil with pencil shaver, and dip it into water and make it a bit dry on the outside to prevent spills on the screen and then use it as pencil. I guarantee there won’t be any scratch mark. :) proved with my XZU at least..

  • JG



    Can this mod work on Xperia zr?
    Please contact the developer and let me know.
    Also is there an easy way to root zr on 4.3?
    i mean not flashing method but toolkit method.

  • Berg

    ZR is not the same platform as Z Ultra and Z1, so no..

  • Berg

    Ignore the idiots below.. The Z is still a great phone.

    However.. Xperia Z is a completely different platform than Z1, Ultra and Z1 compact so this will not work on the Z.

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  • Mohammed Khired

    without messing with the boot loader !!

    How my man ?!

    can u give me link ?

  • Micro
  • SonyFan

    my phone is not outdated.
    if that mod would be for my phone…i will use it 1 time to show it my friends.”Look what my phone can do!”….thats it….and for that it isn’t worth to buy a new phone. Do you draw yoour masterpiece artworks on your phone ? No!… who is the dumb? You!

  • SonyFan

    Thanks for your reply.
    The idiot bellow got his answer :)

  • Mohammed Khired

    thanks man …

  • Mohammed Khired

    this guide needs unlocking the bootloader

  • Micro

    you’re right, I found that too, but on XDA there are much more options, for both locked and unlocked BLs. The downgrade will be required first though.
    But still, you don’t need to touch bootloader to root – doomlord’s easy rooting kit allows it (one of previous fw), VROOT works great too (I rooted my XS with it in seconds, and it have unlockable BL). So it is possible, only not on every firmware.

  • Micro

    …and the example from XDA – (this one doesn’t need unlocking)

  • Darren Gaspé

    Omg I want this feature on my Z1 so bad but don’t want to root/or no how to root

  • Mohammed Khired

    the difference is we need to root our xperia z1 in order to get this feature

  • Micro

    dude, you really should try it, it’s AWESOME! I have rooted it without touching BL, and in fact, now I can make a backup of it’s state lol (the whole TA partition) :D
    Oh good days, welcome back! The precious Android 4.2.2 and its Bluetooth work again FLAWLESSLY! :D and this pen thing, I love it! I don’t care about 4.3 anymore, the worst android I had so far, and even Sony can’t change this sh*t, even with themes. I’m officially waiting for 4.4 with the perfect Z1-4.2.2-rooted & ready to take some scratches haha >:)

  • Mohammed Khired

    and the camera ? lol

    i don’t care about the bootloader anymore , but im stuck on it…

    i didn’t know unlocking the boot loader is so damn hard !!!

  • Micro

    actually unlocking the BL would be the easiest thing on the planet :P (assuming you got unlockable one and you’ve sent your imei to sony and asked for code)

    and the camera is still cool :D (oh, word caution if you actually want to do this, downgrading below 4.3 can/most likely will break your IMEI, you have to use the NUT’s firmware to downgrade, you will find it on XDA)

  • Mohammed Khired

    yeah , i have win 8 , which make it harder i think…..

    cuz the fastboot.exe doesn’t recognize the phone

  • Micro

    don’t bother about this mate, unlocking it will prevent you from getting OTA updates and can brake things, no need to go that far.
    The whole thing is just 3 steps long:
    1. make your backups of everything
    2. get this ROM:
    just flash it with flash tool, simple as that
    3. root it with this (with debug mode on):

    that’s all :) takes an hour with all the downloads, no need to mess with BL ;)

    and if you want newer firmwares you go additional 2 steps more (both updates, in the exact order 534 -> 290, and then 290 -> 134):

  • Mohammed Khired

    ok , is the camera work perfectly ?

  • Micro

    not the way you didn’t notice before :P yes, it works great (nothing changed)
    camera breaks after BL unlocking on android 4.2 (they fixed it in 4.3 though), rooting doesn’t affect it (if you ask about this)

  • Indian

    What the hell. says there is no download for my region to root Z1.

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  • Divya Bharathi

    Very interesting thing I just come across at – I could choose any number of jewellery items (from the list) at very heavy discount rates (up to 75% off online) – more we buy more discount – I never seen this before.

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