Restore Lost Functionality on Your Unlocked Xperia Device

Restore Lost Functionality on Your Unlocked Xperia Device

If you unlocked your bootloader on a recent Sony Xperia device, you probably know that the potential loss of warranty is not the only disadvantage you have to accept. Another fairly hidden issue is related to various proprietary features such as the X-Reality color mangement, BIONZ image processor and the active noise cancelling techniques.

Once you decide to unlock your bootloader, the process also removes a piece of data referred to as the DRM keys. These are tied to various services (such as streaming video and the like) offered by Sony but are also required for the features mentioned above to work properly. Put simply, once the keys are gone, you’ll face issues such as decreased low light camera image quality and the lack of the X-Reality mode.

However, XDA Recognized Contributor jimRnor is here to help. He worked on a mod that restores most of the lost functionality through edited system files. For those of you interested in how to get back your features, head over to the thread. Make sure to read everything carefully and flash the provided zip file in your recovery as detailed.

For the more technically interested people, I dug a bit deeper and uncovered in detail how this mod works – and more importantly, what this actually means for owners of recent Xperia devices. So let’s start with what exactly is touched by the mod. The contents of the zip are mostly modified system files, most of them being code libraries, but also some binaries and an Android Package file. Here are some examples:

  • drmserver
  • credmgrd
  • CredentialManagerService.apk

As you can see, all those files are in some way related to the DRM services of your device. While not really surprising, the sheer amount of modded files (more than 30) stands out quite a bit. Another important point to note is that nothing else besides the system files is being modified, no changes to the TA partition or other things like that. The mod solely relies on modifications to your system partition.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and check out Part Two for even more information.

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