Xperia Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware (14.3.A.0.681) review

by XB on 27th March 2014

in Android, Featured Content, Firmware, Reviews, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1


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Xperia Themes_KKSony recently commenced the Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware update for select Xperia handsets. The first models to get KitKat include the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia Z Ultra via build number 14.3.A.0.681. Sony has said that other models in the Xperia Z range will get the update from the middle of Q2 2014.

In the following review of this firmware, we have extensively compared what new changes that the new Xperia KitKat update brings. By now, we already know that some of the most anticipated features from the Xperia Z2, such as tap to wake and 4K recording, did not make it across. However, the following review will give you a good sense of how much has changed by moving from Android Jelly Bean to KitKat.

Xperia Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware (14.3.A.0.681) review

For reference, in the screenshots below you will see the Android 4.3 update on the Xperia Z1 compared against the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update on the Xperia Z1 Compact. We have included both ‘before and after’ pics to give some context on the changes.

PLEASE NOTE: Jelly Bean pictures are on the left and KitKat pictures are on the right. Look at the battery indicators if you get confused (the green battery icon shows Jelly Bean firmware).

About screen

This review focuses on the latest KitKat firmware update for the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia Z Ultra with build number 14.3.A.0.681. We are comparing it to the 14.2.A.1.136 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware.

About_JB About_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Home

One of the most immediate changes you will notice is the use of the transparent elements that Android KitKat brings. This includes the status bar at the top as well as the app tray at the bottom.

Home_JB Home_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

The KitKat app drawer removes the frame around the apps that can be seen in the Jelly Bean firmware.

Screenshot_2014-03-26-16-37-48 2014-03-26 16.38.25
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Lock screen

The new KitKat lock screen requires a simple swipe to unlock. The ‘blind effect’ animation from Jelly Bean is gone and replaced by sparkles that track the finger as you unlock the handset. You will notice that the transparent status bar is also present in the KitKat lock screen.

The quick launch camera button has moved towards the bottom in KitKat. This requires a swipe up (similar to launching Google Now) which creates an arc to unlock to. Lock screen widgets are also possible, although this option can be removed in the settings.

Lock screen_JB Lock screen_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Notifications

The notifications menu could require some extra work in our view. First of all, the drop-down menu is now broken down into two parts. When you swipe down you can see all of your notifications, you then have to click across to access the quick settings.

This can be a bit cumbersome and adds an extra step to what was previously a one click process. One way around this is to use a two-finger swipe down to access the quick settings menu directly. However, this won’t help you if you are using your phone one handed.

We also feel that the pure black notification screen goes against some of the transparent design language found in Kitkat. Hopefully, Sony changes this in future updates.

Notifications_JB Notifications_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Power off

We surely can’t be the only ones that are so excited to see the “Take screenshot” option make a return in the power menu? It is long overdue and makes it much easier to take screenshots, especially since some cases make it very difficult to use the volume down + power button trick.

Power off_JB Power off_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Charging indicator

The charging icon moves outside of the battery icon in KitKat, which does make it easier to glean when the device is charging.

Charging_JB Charging_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

SONY MEDIA APPS

Sony’s suite of media applications have all been updated in the KitKat firmware build, but some more substantially than others.

Album

The Album app moved its build number marginally from 5.4.A.0.20 to 5.4.A.0.22. We noticed no changes in functionality between versions.

Album_JB_2 Album_KK_2.
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Movies app

The Movies app moved its build number more significantly from version 5.3.A.0.20 in Jelly Bean to 6.1.A.0.16 in KitKat. One of the major additions is the Movie Creator functionality that allows you to edit your videos (more on this below).

The front-end of the app shows no difference between versions.

Movies_JB Movies_KK
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

The settings menu between both versions are broadly similar. The screenshots below chop off the “Background playback” setting at the top featured in both versions. We did this to show some of the reshuffling that Sony has done with the settings that sit below Background playback.

Sony also changed “Hide recent videos” to “Hide last played video” i.e. moving from multiple videos to one.

Movies_JB_3 Movies_KK_3
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

The UI for viewing recorded videos has changed in the Kitkat update. The rewind/forward buttons have been removed and you need to use the scrollable indicator to navigate your videos. The full video detail (date, time, video length, video size) information also seems to be removed. We now only see date and time that the video was taken.

In the new update, you will also notice the film board icon in the top right. This will take you to the Movie Creator feature.

Movies_JB_4 Movies_KK_4
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

The Movie Creator feature puts some simple editing functionality at your fingertips. Once you’re happy with your creation you can save and share it.

Movies_KK_5

Android 4.4.2 KitKat

You are able to trim the video to a custom or predefined length. Much like the Timeshift video functionality, you can also select part of your video to run at a slower speed. There are options to run at 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 the speed.

Movies_KK_6 Movies_KK_7
Android 4.4.2 KitKat

WALKMAN

We noticed no significant changes in the WALKMAN app’s front end. The build number has moved from 8.1.A.0.3 to 8.1.A.0.6. One of the changes includes the ability to automatically share songs that are playing to Facebook. There also appears to be a toggle to turn Music Unlimited on/off.

WALKMAN_JB_2 WALKMAN_KK_2
Left – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; Right – Android 4.4.2 KitKat

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  • roeshak

    The update reminds me of the 4.2.2 update for the Z. Almost nothing noteworthy

  • asghj

    Except the bugs and problems :)

  • fried_egg

    they have to sort out the recording volume on videos at gigs. they got it right eventually on the S but the Z1 has been too loud and distorted from the first version.

  • Karri

    i actually dislike the notification pulldown, homescreen, lockscreen and app drawer changes, but meh those are purely preferential.

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  • Jinnn

    I experienced the sound bug but was gone once I’d factory reset my phone also the camera lag, somehow it lags whenever the menus are shown

  • agoNITE

    No mention of the new email app with 2 columns?

  • G.U.Y.

    This looks Charming but boring! I want 3D effect like Vita OS’s UI.

  • ray

    How about camera output differences?

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  • 3rdflyleaf

    I don’t like the camera icon placed at the bottom of the lockscreen and the word “Notifications” and “Quick settings” at the top of Notification panel. They should have made it just a “quick settings ICON” so it would look cleaner.

  • Arull Izzy

    try to add changes, about ”gaming experience” in jelly bean navigation bar is show at all but in kitkat is hidden now, and phone boot animation is changes too…
    :-)

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  • marwan balu

    I suffer from lag of camera….and some time sound being internal speaker rather than external…we want bug fix. And Xperia z2 feature

  • Glenn141

    Anyone having ptoblems with changing lockscreen background? If i wanna change It to something It auto goes back to the standard moving background

  • Dmitry Perets

    Same for me…
    – I don’t like this transparency. App.tray in the bottom looks much better without it.
    – The “blind effect” on the lockscreen was one of the most stylish and recognizible parts of Sony UI.
    – Notification bar was very good on 4.3 (almost the only good thing about Sony’s 4.3). Don’t see how the new one is better, seems worse…
    – Themes are uglier. Some really good colors from 4.1-4.2 are no longer there. Choosing between pink, purple and high-contrast blue? Common…
    – Even on/off switches in settings were better IMHO. But this is really minor.

    Just proves my point. The most stylish and recognizible Sony UI was in 4.1-4.2. Ironically, it was also the most stable, at least on my devices. Since then… looks like Nexus, works like Chinese Noname… more and more ridiculous easily seen bugs and stability issues, that don’t get fixed.

  • Michael Ngo

    the lockscreen can’t be changed. There’s an issue there :/

  • jokensy

    Same for me.

  • unknown13x

    No problems changing lockscreen background here. Z1 Compact on 4.4.2

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11049698/Screenshot_2014-03-27-13-32-34.png

  • JOHN RAMBO

    THIS REVEIW IS A FUCKING BULSHIT, THE LATEST UPDATE LAGS LIKE HEL IN HOME SCREEN AND PHONE RINGS WITH EARPIECE ! FUCKING CRAP

  • cherry

    im sold.

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo

    Camera is battery-killer now due to overheating which is 4.4 native bug

  • Jan

    I think u never had genuine Xperia experience, moron. If u tryin this Sony kk firmware on shitsung then im not surprised it lags.

  • xperia_z1

    I had the same problem. Just install the firmware again via phone companion.

  • Sam Albalushi

    Waiting for xperia zr

  • xperiaz6603swe

    not so much changes, but i want it anyway , because ICE, and battery icon transparent noti list and settings black and white i like , sony roll out for xz c6603/02 , damn it

  • Sam Albalushi

    can any one tell me when for xperia zr

  • Joab

    THE SPEAKERPHONE BUG IS DUE TO GOOGLE CHROME, IT HAPPENS ON ALL FUCKING PHONES.

    CAPS LOCK IS FUN.

  • Siv Ratha

    Sound bug on my Z1!!! Speaker sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t! Anybody has this problem??? :'(

  • Mirrorpurple

    Sony, you really ruined my phone big time… FASTER FIX THIS

  • Yasir Fawad

    today got new app “TASKS” from sony, (z1 compact), much like reminders app.

  • the_black_dragon

    It works after full wipe… its a known issue after non-wipe Update :(

  • hansip

    Battery lifetime is improved imho. But the quick toggle is not as good as 4.3 solution. And i can confirm that the sound department is a bit buggy.

  • MrKoek

    Nah, Lame last update for the Xperia Z, going to check the Lumia…

  • sTEVEN

    Same for me…sometimes rings louder, sometimes don’t.

  • Hadi AZ

    Kitkat update was a huge disappointment to me….I reinstalled 4.2.2 on my device.

  • afzal zainal

    If xperia z will recieve 4.4 on late april i wonder when xperia zl will get it as everyone know ZL had c502/503/506 version…. :-)

  • ??????? ????????

    z ultra. ??? ???????, ?? ????????? ??????? ?? ????? ???????((

  • Diego S

    What’s a full wipe?

  • René Christensen

    You forgot the new podcast app, can be found in the film app

  • the_black_dragon

    reinstall firmware with PC compagnion (or do a factory reset in settings). This will delete all user data but it will work again.Some other bugs are fixed this way too

  • sTEVEN

    That’s a shitty app. It’s kind of Google Keep. The only difference is that from Keep you can save the tasks to Google servers.

  • XperiaFanFan

    Well, to speak the truth there’s one more bug which is annoying as hell… A SLOWER overall performance. Yesterday, with just the stock applications it went to like 1.6 GB used. I mean, really? That’s how much my Windows 7 uses at the moment. The lag makes me feel I’m holding a cheap 100$ unit in my hands, not one of the Sony flagships…

  • Brian Byron De Guzman

    I was frustrated about the sound bug! It was very annoying. But after restarting my phone, I never encountered it again! (not sure if I’m just lucky)

    Have you tried turning off then on again your phone since the update to Kitkat?

    EDIT: My phone’s a Z1

  • Micro

    If you had some animated wallpaper on home screen (from sirius maybe?), this can happen to lockscreen (weird).
    Fix: change theme to anything but the first built in one (Air theme), if prompted select you want static wallpaper, apply, and then apply the first (Air), same way, with static WP.

  • starkiller306

    there is not much you can call as an update with KK for xperia. it’s got more bugs, more lags, lesser performance and many more problems yet to be discovered. all in all it’s a downgrade, imho.

  • sisore

    I was expecting, but it seem that it wasn’t paid off :/

  • Brad Williams

    After all the expectation and hype, everything I have read since it came out tells me I wont be downloading it. I am happy with 4.3 on my XZ. I don’t want to download trouble.

  • Stephen

    i hate the position of the close all ap
    i used the apk in jb4.3 and it was at top left
    but now its awkward down bottom

  • Brkxpra

    Do you think sony is going to give “tap to wake” to z1, z1c and z in future updates or they will use that feature as a trump card for selling new phones?

  • Raymond De Guzman

    I’d rate the update as 8/10. I like the changes e.g. the notification area, the transparent home screen and app tray, lockscreen music widget, etc. But it’s somehow like a rushed rollout as there a bugs on it though yes every update has new bugs coming up but the bugs on this one kind of make me a bit disappointed. There are lags (e.g. home screen, camera, apps, etc), some apps are force closing that weren’t present in 4.3, the sound that’s coming from the ear piece or internal speaker rather than the external speaker. I hope Sony will rollout a bug-fixing firmware immediately to solve these bugs. But then again it was a good update.

  • Do you often make calls? I had the exact same problem twice in a row after leaving the Walkman app play in the background for example. However, this occurred just minutes after I received a phone call. When I rebooted I never experienced the issue again, nor did I call or get called again.

    Side note: I’m not much of a caller (:

  • Scott Nufc FitzGerald

    Not sure if anyone has asked this but has anyone heard about a kitkat release for Z1S? I see all stories about Z1 etc, but not Z1S.

  • Timbo1

    Don’t know if its been mentioned but the battery drain issue for the camera is a known issue in Kit Kat that is being addressed by Google. Hopefully once Sony gets the fix we will get it soon after.

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  • paul

    U forgot to mention they removed simultaneous downloads, the notifications center now takes atleast 20 seconds to open up an app and or the app will crash, resulting in you having to find the app interested first place!!! So annoyed at this update!!

  • Boris J

    I was expecting the update but decided not to update. Sony should roll out a new firmware soon so can I update to that directly or I have to update to this one first and then to that? Is that how it works?

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  • sadness and disappointment

    Very, very good post from xperiablog. Great breakdown of changes with jellybean vs kitkat analysis. No tap2wake, so i wont be updating my xperia z from 4.3 to 4.4.2. Blind effect in the lock screen will be gone, thats another thing i wont be able to tolerate. Kinda disappointed that htc sense6 will enable htc one to have tap2wake, even gesture unlocking.

    Btw, one thing im curious is, about the RAM usage after kitkat update. And, is the UI more buttery than 4.3?

  • fuckgoogle

    fuck kitkat its soooooooooooo shit

  • Sourav Banerjee
  • Zengetsu Espino

    I’m an xperia SP user if they can manage to update it with less glitches then its fine. But I would rather choose 4.3 with stable updates. :)

  • Michael Hernandez

    You must to wait for T-Mobile update, i think so. The Z1s is a Z1 T-Mobile exclusive, and Sony are updating the international phones at first, after the carriers.
    Good luck.

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  • Berg

    Since that feature is hardware dependant, it seems silly to assume it can be enabled in an update..

  • Paul M

    A really great review, thanks for writing it up.

  • Paul M

    I wish android was more consistent in the settings menus where it sometimes uses checkboxes and other times sliders/switches. I would much prefer it to use sliders throughout, the checkboxes can be hard to see when inactive.

  • Vincas Algirdas

    Xperia Z1 compact. Update is terrible. Overall performance is worse. Esthetics are debatable so I wont touch this topic.. The battery dies quicker than twice after the update, basicaly in 10-12hrs almost on idle, it’s madness. Even the camera doesn’t work anymore : error camera not available. I could go on and on about whats wrong with this update, but I just wanted to point out the most ridiculous fails. Hope sony fixes this mess soon. Until then I’m not using this absurdly unpredictable device.

  • sruba

    disable/ uninstall / reinstall smart connect. fixed it for me

  • Mac

    Clean install?

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  • Scott Nufc FitzGerald

    That’s what I figured, but I just wanted to see if anyone had heard of a possible date because I haven’t been able to find details on the z1s specifically anywhere.. Thanks

  • ????? ????

    The 4.4 KK update brings so many bugs:

    -mixup of the speakers – sometimes they don’t launch at all, or the
    tingtone of incoming call/message plays in the earpiece speaker used for
    calls (not the main speaker)

    -extreme battery drain (probably realted to the heating problem) –
    battery last not even a day instead of usual 2-3 days while the phone
    feels like on fire

    -probably a reduced camera noise, but flash bleeding is horrible (while
    shooting distant objects and flash goes automatically off, no problem
    with close objects)

    -the phone feels slower, it freezes once in a while, whch is completely unacceptable due to the SD800, 2GB RAM etc..

    -GPS disconnects periodically once every 4-5 minutes and spends tens of seconds to reconnect

    -the quick settings in the notification bar stopped being quickly accessible, takes more clicks now

    -the option”reject a call with a SMS” opens a menu instead of quickly sending an SMS as it used to be

    ..and many more things relating to kitkat.

    Sony really screwed this update up, they prepared it for months and they
    release such a buggy version. I really like Xperia phones, they feel
    premium, but I’m truly disapponted with the insides of my new Z1C and
    the attitude of Sony, not even putting an effort into respond on
    official forums. Also, I was realy disapponted to see how secretly Sony
    changed the description of the “Not-anymore-glass-rearside” of Z1C.

  • Martin de Hell

    I have discovered some issue in phone mode ;/ there is no recent calls in recent calls option ;/

  • marwan balu

    Yes when I reastart my z1 the sound being good…but the camera I think sometimes lag…but kitkat more beuatiful than jb

  • marwan balu

    What problem with smart connect.????

  • Dejan

    This is the worst update ever receive, toooo much expensive phone with this pure SHIT update, there is NOT new feature in it, only design is change. No Z2 feature although both phone have same hardware…
    THIS IS SHAME FOR sony MULTI BILLION company, who liar ones again us customer who spend alot money on their CHEEP fucking phones.

    SAMSUNG S2 have better feature then Z1…
    NO MORE sony phones and equipment in my house FOREVER…

  • Legolas

    no tap to wake nor smart call handling…just for Z2 thats not gonna help sony….come on….we need that too

  • Xperia major fan

    Since updating to KitKat on my Z1 yesterday I am experiencing MAJOR volume problems, when phone rings the volume is so quite yet turned up maximum in settings!!! When I turn phone off and the back on the volume is ok for the first ring but then goes back to quiet and it is doing my head in as missing calls!!!!! GET IT FIXED AS IT IS RUINING A SUPERB PHONE!!!!!!!

  • Maxx Tan

    when did sony publish any promise of updating these devices with features from their future flagships? have some common sense before you display your stupidity to the whole world.

  • sone knows i like it clean i’ve also attached a little concept i did of what i would want my homescreen to like like

  • Diego S

    Thanks! I reinstalled the firmware using SUS and now I’m able to change the lockscreen wallpaper and noticed an improvement with the lagging.

  • NBJ

    My Z1 Compact started to overheat, I dont think i’ve even used the camera.

  • MC-ARNIE

    Z1 compact, Official kitkat update, phone occasionally rings out of ear piece instead of loudspeaker (VERY quietly/miss calls), camera seems to lag “slightly”, and phone temperature seems a little higher than usual. Some feedback would be nice, as i know others are having similar problems. Otherwise seems an okay update.

  • liampaulmassey

    The Z1 actualy has a slightly better screen quality with 1080×1920 pixels because it is 441 PPI and is 5 inch’s, the Z2 which is a 5.2 inch screen is 424 PPI, the Z2 is 1080×1920 the same amount of pixel’s on the screen even though it is 0.2 inch’s larger, what I mean is the whole screen on Z1 and Z2 have the same amount of pixel’s even though the Z2 is slightly larger

  • sTEVEN

    Same problems with my Z1. Waiting a.s.a.p. for a new firmware to fix this.

  • Rune Christiansen

    Havent had any problems. My z1c lasts about two days, like before the update, camera Works fine, no crashes and everythings is as snappy as before…

  • Vincas Algirdas

    Lucky you. I fully charge it at night around midnight and every morning ~8-9 a.m. I find it cold dead. I leave it with mobile and wifi networks switched off, bluetooth too, I switch on the stamina mode and yet it can’t keep up through the night without dying. And no one is calling me during the night too. The NFC is all messed up too, I find it hard to connect my sw2 I mean sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Anyway I bought this phone only for it’s waterproof abilities and now I went back to using my iPhone as my main device.

  • Raaj

    I didn’t find on my Z1 compact the “Clear all” option under running app

  • DNNDV

    after seeing the review and comments, I’m not sure if I upgrade to kitkat, I have a xperia z1 and feel that the performance is good there are some changes that I liked of kitkat but i’m not sure

    recomend the upgrade to 4.4? or wait for another update to fix some problems with the upgrade comes out?

    sorry for my english

  • JohBPhillips

    The most stylish and recognizible Sony UI was in 4.1-4.2. Ironically, it was also the most stable, at least on my devices. Since then… looks like Nexus, works like Chinese Noname… more and more ridiculous easily seen bugs and stability issues, that don’t get fixed. http://qr.net/rtcX

  • Turki Saadi

    Guess what!!
    I ve put my phone in safe mode and what i can say it was perfect all that bugs has disappeared.
    So what do u think is the problem?

  • Samuel

    “Upgrade” to the previous 4.3 firmware with Flashtool, there is no other way,

  • suresh

    How to put the phone in safe mode??

  • Turki Saadi

    Turn off your phone and turn it on again, when xperia logo appear hold volum down and dont release it until you see your main menu, now you should be on safe mode. And if u wanna be sure if u did it in the right way,you will find the word of “safe mode” in the left down corner.

  • me

    The battery, the bar, worse :(

  • Simon Collins

    Since updating my Z1 to kitkat, the alarms are really quiet when they first go off. The volume only becomes load when I touch the screen trying to find the snooze button on a morning. I’ve already slept through it once since I upgraded. Hope they fix this soon!

  • update at ur own risk

    Why fix something that’s not broken?

  • Toni Junior

    Bugs, bugs and + bugs of 4.4.2

  • Batmin

    Since the KitKat update I can`t connect to my Polar H7 BLUETOOTH SMART :(((

  • adam

    Sounds crazy but the sound bug is caused by the latest version of chrome, settings/apps/chrome and then uninstall updates

  • adam

    hold power button till options pop up to power off, silent, take screenshot and tap and hold power off till it pops up with reboot into safe mode

  • Zhyriel ZA

    To all the guys that having a problems with KitKat 4.4.2, i think thebest way to update is to do repair on pc companion or update using SEUS where it will wipe up all your data and apps…to be like new phone…..than you will never face the bugs…….

    How with our data and apps? I think you may using the ‘Back up & Restore’ app which Xperia provide us.

  • Dimitar Mihov

    Today I upgraded my Xperia Z1 with PC Companion. I’ve read all the coments below and I was worried about the update. BUT all is just perfect, and I don’t suffer the bugs all are talking about. I should say Android 4.4.2 is the best for me so far, surely much better than the old one 4.3. The overall performance of the device is awesome, much quicker than it was before the update. The new version also lets more RAM free for different programs. Good work Sony!

  • daffydkjones

    This is really dumb, you are comparing a Z1 to a Z1 compact, so it’s not apples to apples. Some of the changes you posted are bogus e.g. being able to switch Music Unlimited off in the Walkman app – that option was and still is there on my stock 4.3 Z1 compact with the original walkman app

  • arceon

    Z1C user here. Thinking about updating but the bugs and external SD card issues hold me back.

    Anyway, anyone here know if the quality of photos is better with this firmware? I find the camera of this phone a bit disappointing and I was hoping that the update would somehow improve things camera-wise.

  • Sandeep Kumar

    err all the tine sad this :( { in my Z1 }

  • pius

    The 4.4.2 update has been a hit and miss for me. I love some features and I have trouble adapting to some. such an example could be the notification tray, a big step backwards from 4.3, I love the simplicity and ease to turn off and on a few settings, the transparency in 4.3 was much better than the pure black in 4.4.2. Also, why aren’t the themes in the notification tray white instead of following the themes you have already picked (e.g heat)?
    What I love about the update is the messaging app, simple and classy. The camera puts 15.mp in 16:9 ratio, just wonderful.
    If I could have the chance to downgrade back to Malaysian 4.3 firmware. I’d love to, but I can’t find it in the internet.

  • shiva kumar

    same for me too. happens only when i play video. Works fine with mp3’s

  • shiva kumar

    how did you go back to the previous version. I too frustrated with speaker and camera lag probelms. Any steps to update back to Jelly bean is appreciated. thanks

  • shiva kumar

    This has been worst update ever by sony. Wish i never updated my z1 from 4.3 to 4.4.2. My phone really sucks now.
    Speaker bug is really annoying and I am missing many calls.
    Cant play Videos beacuse of Speaker bug.
    Camera has lags and some time is shows java.lang.nullpoiner exception.
    Battery drains like as my phone has a 1200mah even after having 300mah
    Sincere suggestion to all new xperia owners, wait for a stable Kitkat release else you end up with above bugs and start using an alternate phone till sony fixes the Sound bug, atleast and asap.
    I agree with 4.4.2’s improvised features with look n feel and camera clarity but this comes with the cost of not usable phone.

  • Hadi AZ

    Well there are some files and programs you need and some steps you should take:

    Please read them all before proceeding any further!

    1- Download Flashtool from http://www.flashtool.net/download.php and install it. Also install the drivers from drivers folder of Flashtool installation path if it does not appear automatically. It is a huge pack and you should pick what you need but if you don’t know which ones are required you can install them all which can take couple of minutes.

    2- Download the FTF(whole stock firmware of your device) of your favorite version from this page:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2469191

    Ps: Xperia Z1 is available in various versions . Most people use C6903
    but if you are from India then you are most likely using C6902 which is
    compatible with Indian GSM providers.

    There are two versions of Android 4.2.2 and two versions of Android 4.3 all codenamed Jellybean and in my experience Android 4.2.2 with build number 14.1.G.2.257 is the smoothest one for Z1.

    At this point you have all you need to bring the GOOD OLD TIMES back to your Z1.

    After you are done with this operation, you will have a factory reset device which means all your contacts, messages and …even the data on your internal memory ( NOT THE SD CARD IF YOU PUT ONE INTO YOUR Z1) will be wiped. So it is wise to backup them by using Sonymobile PCSUIT or my phone explorer application or any other desired way.

    Eventually, turn off the phone, make sure it has at least 50 % of battery charge,Open Flashtool, connect the usb cable to your pc and press and hold the volume down of the phone while connecting the other end to your phone. The phone goes to the so-called Flashmode and is ready(when you connect the phone you should see this message in Flashtool: the device is connected in Flashmode). Then, click on the thunder icon under file in Flashtool and select Flashmode and browse for the FTF file you downloaded before. You are done: Wait for 5-10 minutes until the progress bar reaches the end and disconnect the phone from computer. Take a deep breath and turn on the device. The first boot should take a little while and At long last you can setup the device just like the day your bought it. ;)

  • Deepak

    My Lockscreen Wallpaper Doesn’t changes after kitkat update ???

  • Gabriel Voica

    very,very buggy sw update…

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  • Jon Zliver

    Sony could even implement the features of Z2 camera especially

    because they share the same hardware for purposes of merchandise preferred to degrade the good performance that had the Z1 with Jelly Bean

  • Vicky

    Are u serious …
    You call this a good update ….
    1) Battery drains out in 4 hrs while it takes 6 hrs to fully charge the phone

    2) Sound Issues
    3) Camera Issues
    4) Overheating Issues
    I Haven’t seen that many bugs in any other company’s updates !!!

  • Vicky

    You must be a sony employee or something

  • j rook

    Yeeeeeesss I thought I was the only one, it is soooo annoying this is my brand new phone, never had a Sony before and I love it, how do I fix it!!!

  • 2223

    Could you be more of a a-hole. Blind fanboys like you are nothing but a disgrace.

  • 2223
  • 2223

    Looks like the update does have some serious bugs. I thought kitkat was supposed to be easy on the RAM. Having some serious RAM issues on Z Ultra, which I never had before on my 4.3.
    http://www.android.gs/new-android-4-4-2-kitkat-update-for-sony-xperia-z1-z-ultra-and-z1-compact-upcoming/

  • 2223
  • morons

    They’re not going to give you Z2 features cause what would the point be in buying a Z2?

  • anti-fanboy

    Had 3 Xperia phones, all have had a shit experience. Explain that FONY.

  • Yee Von

    I actually own 2 Sony xperia Z ultra, and yesterday I updated one of them from 4.3 to 4.4.3, my both models are C6833, I first of all I just wanna say don’t believe in those posts down below telling u to uninstall the Sony smart or Google chrome will help fixing the internal volume problems, NO! They doesn’t help at all! Cause I did tried. The problems remain the same.

    So what’s the problems? I just discovered, the volume problems only happens when u call someone and when the phone switched on the ear speaker( speaker at the top center of the phone ), either u or the person you r calling hangs up the phone, and after that the first call that u receive will definately causing the phone to ring using ur ear speaker rather then the loud speaker at the bottom right. That is why it sound soon tiny and hardly be heard. Same thing happen to the alarm and other apps, u can try it urself, just call someone and either one of u hang up. And just press the power button to screen save mode or let it dim the screen itself, then all the notification tones and the alarm will rang using ur top ear speaker instead of the bottom right loud speaker. It happened to me this morning, my ultra z ALARM volume was soon tiny and I missed a business appointment. Kinda pissed me off, it’s a 300k business deal, and I blewup! My boss even called me 7times, and they all ends up miss call because of this crap update!

  • ArinV

    1st people demanded for 4.4 to appear, like RIGHT NOW ! Sony fulfilled their wishes and now they are blaming sony for bugs ? Guess what Rome wasn’t built in a day. Since they built and released it in such a short time give them some credit. Its new so give Sony some time to sort out the bugs and stop complaining and acting like a jerk.

    Pfff…. END USERS.

    PEACE !

  • Dewald Laurens

    If you place your finger on the status icons at the right top first, and then drag down, it will show quick settings. No need for two fingers or scrolling from notification center. An personally, I like the black notification center. This is on a z1

  • mohamed hejazi

    Battery drain very very fast compare with the previous one and the alarm i can’t stop it so i have to restart my mobile to stop it coz the screen that i stop from disappeared so kindly tell me what to do

  • Poulami Ghose

    Bingo , i uninstalled chrome that fixed the issue…thnx

  • John_Immersteldt

    I installed KK just 2 days back through the over-the-air prompt which appeared on the fone (Not via Sony PC Companion which started since ages ago). & I haven’t faced a single prob till now. It’s completely fine till now.
    Just faced high device heat which I removed by cleaning trash (incompatible, redundant data) through DU Speed Booster (Best trash cleaner IMO), Clean Master & Memory Speed Lite. I was shocked by the sudden temp drop on the device after I cleaned some 1gb of trash. Now the device is running ice cool.

  • Zhyriel ZA

    Wait for Sony to release the bugs fixed update since all the bugs comes from google itself….KitKat come with bugs in it…..

  • Zhyriel ZA

    agree with you…..

  • Vikram

    Still Nothing in India :(

  • Gabriel Voica

    check on Xda developers…
    also i have a tutorial on my youtube channel on how to downgrade to 4.3JB…

  • gordon brown

    Sony pushes Android 4.3 update for Xperia M Dual,the issues that I am facing … Droping calls( dialing or receiving)……. also GPS takes forever to accurately show in map….
    Wifi – showing less signal… ( to be verified in few more days)
    battery is fine, but takes longer to charge.
    Anyone find a solution yet.
    this is so anoying!!

    Android 4.3..

  • ripqhy

    I think the most f***ed up about this kitkat was that third party apps now can’t write a damn thing on sd card.. Shame on Google on this…I’m seriously considering getting back to 4.3..

  • Ed

    Yea I hate the it!! If it is really powerful, it should enable people to select back and forth the installation version of the software.
    The sound, apps, notification, screens, camera, I think overall are badly done!!!
    I just wish to install back jb. The worst update I have ever done!!!

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  • Irina

    Can’t use Bluetooth connection in my car since 4.3. In my country for 4.4 will be available next quarter only for Sony Z! So I can’t properly answer my phone when driving my car. I’m so angry!

  • Smartphone World
  • YJ

    cant change my lock screen wallpaper !! keeps changing to the default pic every time i change !! kitkat sucks !!

  • Sam37

    No notification of SMS messages in the status bar for Xperia Z1 on Kitkat (yes, I have checked all the right boxes in settings). This is very annoying, because I often only open from the lock screen when I have a message notification, in addition to having missed a few messages before realising. I don’t wish to use time or battery power finding out. I also agree with the others regarding ‘quick settings’; it was quicker on Jelly Bean, just needed room for more options. Please sort it out, Sony; test your software properly.

  • RV

    Please fix the SD Card write issue……………

  • Vivek

    A quick fix can be, Dial any number turn on speaker, now end the call, Bingo its OK now, Dial any invalid number, you just need to turn on speaker, noe bug is gone

  • Vaibhav Singh

    What is the solution to extend battery life in KK 4.4 as my phones battery completely discharged with in 7-8 hours while not used for anything

  • kslawko

    The camera has huge lag now… and I can’t write to SD card. The latter one is a showstopper to me… what the heck came into their mind to implement this “feature”. :(

  • sfordesign

    pffff idiot. you think sony will release a more bugfree software by giving them more time? try talking to a xperia s/p/u/ion user then you’ll see.

  • Qasphiel

    there is a problem while using navigation apps as well, the GPS have gone from setting, render the navigation apps and gps function in the phone useless….. what the point of having a GPS installed where u cant even turn it on or off…..

  • Antoinette26

    Can sum1 pls help me, this is so frustrating. When I still had Jellybean I did not have this problem, but after Kitkat update it started. Not sure if its a norm or what??? I chose Air as my theme, when unlocking screen it works wonders, but when choosing Vintage, Heat and the rest of the themes, when I unlock my screen, a black screen appears for maybe a split second or a second before going to homepage, it this normal on Kitkat, coz it does not happen when I have air as a theme. Please help!!! Thanks in advance.

  • es

    Thanks, now you’ve turned my phone into the laggiest piece of crap I’ve ever used. I loved my phone before this update. Every single thing lags like hell. Wish I could go back safely but I’d rather not flash etc. Waiting for a new update -_-

  • brendan bong

    Why my Xperia ZL keep flashing sony word on screen, without turning on….

  • Jaldeep Patel

    When sony release android 4.4.2 for xperia z?

  • DC

    WARNING do not install android 4.42 if you want to write to sd card. the upgrade disables access to the sd card, so no way to copy music, video or documents onto card. There should be more warning about this critical flaw. Hopefully this critical error will be fixed soon. If I buy a phone with a sd slot, I expect to be able to use it. DO NOT INSTALL UPDATE.

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  • c tbs

    I really wish I didn’t just blindly update to the new software. It’s terrible. I know “first world problems” but dang: this is a $700 phone, it lags like crazy, screen doesn’t turn on probably 15% of the time, headset controls no longer work, SD card doesn’t work, weird crackling during voice calls, apps will freeze all the time, takes about 10 – 15 seconds to send a single text, takes about 20 – 25 seconds to send a picture message, Walkman will not work with in-line headset control, voice recognition is TERRIBLE, camera is bad (still), switching between apps fails often (eg. when you end a phone call and then tap on something else, it will go right back to the “Phone” app), even the new Quick Settings UI is annoying. I REALLY liked this phone before the update and now, it’s just barely above unbearable status. It’s frustrating when the screen will not come on for 15 minutes. I’ve missed many work related calls due to this. Hopefully I don’t have to call 911 and have it fail on me.

  • c tbs

    You should pray NEVER. It’s terrible.

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  • Incubus

    I am really disappointed with the new update. I had no problems with Android 4.3 on my Xperia Z, but after I upgraded to 4.4, the performance has dropped and my phone is now slower :/

    I hope Sony will fix this soon.

  • xiuexomin

    My phone is now draining its power even though I’m not using it.

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  • Mariusz

    I experienced battery drain after “KitKat” upgrade to v 4.2.2 on two mobile phones – Xperia Z. I checked the settings twice. Before, I had around 50% of battery at the evening and now it beeps @ 14%. All options that help to extend the battery life are enabled and configured properly. I want to downgrade back to 4.3. The most power is taken by “Google Services” – about 90% and very little data is transferred in the background when I do NOTHING to the phone. I assume that power is taken by CPU cores that does not switch to idle.

  • Guest

    I have some delays opening the weather foreceast via the sony widget, opening the keyboard, closing an app, opening the task manager. All this takes now 1,5-2 seconds. Scrolling up and down i can notice a frequent stuttering. All of this still after a factory reset. The previous JB firmware was way more fluent and snappy

  • maxik

    I have some delays opening the weather foreceast via the sony widget, opening the keyboard, closing an app, opening the task manager. All this takes now 1,5-2 seconds. Scrolling up and down in the settings menu i can notice a frequent stuttering. All of this still after a factory reset. The previous JB firmware was way more fluent and snappy

  • Daniela

    I hate the new notification bar. It’s so annyoing, I know it’s just one more click but it is SO ANNYOING.

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  • Dionisio Geollegue

    My update for 4.4.2 Kitkat sucks!! my phone always crashed Says (System Ui not responding) my Album loads very slow.. sometimes my Xperia Z hang up.. The notification bar is kinda laggy.. and the worst thing of all is Battery Drain Problem, Overheating, and my network Signal on phone Slow down..
    And why Kitkat didnt allow 3rd party apps to write on my Sd Card.. Many users of android have Sd Card for downloading purposes!! Sony, please release the new ang better update of kitkat soon.. Sorry but Im very very dissapointed for the Update i had.. wish i can Downgrade my xperia Z to previous 4.3 Jellybean..

  • ashish

    want 4.4.2 kitkat update for Sony Xperia SL !
    Can u please let us know?

  • jethro

    Will this work on xperia m

  • Vishal Khedkar

    I am badly disappointed with Sony for this ‘KitKat’ update. It doesn’t feel like KitKat at all. Overall UI smoothness vanishes away after prolonged use. There’s a lag in settings app, scrolling isn’t so smooth. 4.3 was consistent in this. Battery drain is obviously my issue too. I am just feeling bad that they value only those customers who have their latest flagships. Older ones are nothing for them.

    If I compare my Xperia Z to my Moto X, I must say the Moto X is way, way better. Be it smoothness, app startup time, switching between apps, and even boot up time. It excels everywhere. If Sony doesn’t release a bug fix, I’ll give my XZ back to my sister and keep using the Moto. Though my stupid fellow Indians consider the Z as a ‘higher in status’ to the Moto. I don’t care about that. It’s so stupid really.

  • Alfie

    my z1’s camera is not available help…

  • Dave*

    Should people be experiencing any bugs in such new phones and operating systems? Is it Sony? They certainly used to be full of bugs and customers received terrible or non-existant support from Sony. Is this still the case, as I am thinking of getting a Z1 Compact?
    Much appreciated.

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  • Mike

    When I select “air” theme I get a orange type theme instead of blue…any ideas why?!

  • Rana

    When I bought my ZL the 4.2 update had already rolled out and I did not get to use 4.1 at all. I think the 4.3 update ie 10.4.1.B.0.101 is the most stable, user friendly and battery friendly version out there. I had a brief encounter with 4.4.2 and the update seemed disappointing because of faster battery drain, stuttering unstable software, ugly ui (that’s purely my own opinion) and memory card issues, and after 2 days of use I was back to 4.3 (I never faced the speaker bug though).
    Now 4.4.4 has rolled out and I am hearing battery life has gone down further. So I have decided to stay back with 4.3 until lollipop launch(if at all one is there). If anybody has any opinion or different outlook please share.

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  • Sarfaraz Habib

    Android 4.4.2 is working fine on XperiaE3 but like on XperiaZ series phones icons are larger on Android 4.4.4 than 4.4.2 I hope it will soon come to my XperiaE3

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    DAMN thank u i find this , the color was so bad and the icon so small on big screen i want big icons :)

  • nick sweden

    kitkat is far better than lollipops qs, big time , sony is the only one that not has worked on a nicer look from kitkat to lolliop on the quick setting, all other happy , all others including htc has the same look as sony in 4.4.4 , in their android 5.0-5.1+

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