Sony’s water-resistant, eight core, super thin latest tablet – the Sony Xperia Z4 – is no slouch. In test’s by CNET and others, it performs pretty spectacularly, running through anything you throw at it was ease. In that same CNET review, the writer also mentions how customizable it is thanks to being on the latest version of Android and Sony’s own customizable UI they’ve added to it.
And while, I’m sure it’s great and all, I’m also sure I’m not the only one that would rather just have stock Android lollipop on it to really take advantage of those monster specs (without Sony’s apps and features bogging it down). I’ll save the customizing to third-party launchers, apps, etc. that I choose myself but to each’s own.
If you are one of the people out there that would like to see what vanilla Android could do on this monster spec’d tablet, then let’s discuss rooting for a second.
Rooting is the act of gaining administrative rights on a device or, in other words, getting access to be able to change anything we want about the device (including system files like the OS or UI). Rooting the Sony Xperia Z4 isn’t even hard thanks to Sony’s own lax attitude on rooting in general. You can simply request a code to unlock the bootloader of the device from Sony themselves and then once we have that unlocked we can then flash any other firmware we want onto it (the bootloader is the part of the system responsible for flashing the system of a phone essentially and so once it’s unlocked we can use it to flash our own software).
I. Before You Begin
1. This could void the warranty of your device. We won’t be held responsible for anything that happens from doing this tutorial so please proceed at your own risk.
2. You need a Windows based PC to do this procedure.
3. This should erase all the data stored on your device. So, please backup anything that you feel is important before going ahead.
4. You should have ADB USB drivers installed on your Windows PC.
5. This should only work for the SGP712 and SGP771 variants of the device.
How to Root the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
To root the device, you’ll first unlock the bootloader and then flash a custom kernel. It’ll inject required files into your device to achieve root. Here’s how.
II. Downloading Required Files
1. Download Fastboot and save it to your desktop.
2. Download AndroPlus Kernel and save it to your desktop.
AndroPlus Kernel (download the one that is for your specific variant)
III. Unlocking the Bootloader on the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
1. Head over to the Sony Bootloader Unlock website and follow the instructions for getting an unlock code for your device.
2. When you receive the unlock code via email, copy it to your clipboard.
3. Extract files from Fastboot over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.
4. Turn off your device.
5. Hold down Volume UP on your device and plug it in to your PC using a USB cable.
6. Your device should now be in fastboot mode.
7. Launch a Command Prompt Window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.
8. Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and hit Enter. Make sure to replace KEY with the actual unlock key that you received from Sony via email.
fastboot oem unlock KEY
9. Wait for it to unlock the bootloader on your device.
10. When it’s done unlocking the bootloader, reboot your device using the following command:
11. Your device should reboot.
Now that your bootloader is unlocked, here’s how to flash a custom kernel to gain root access on the device:
IV. Rooting the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
1. Extract boot.img from AndroPlus Kernel over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.
2. Turn off your device.
3. Hold down Volume UP and plug in your device to your PC using a USB cable.
4. Your device should now be in fastboot mode.
5. Launch a Command Prompt Window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.
6. Type in the following command into the Command Prompt Window and press Enter:
fastboot flash boot boot.img
7. Wait for it to flash boot image on your device.
8. When it’s done flashing boot image, reboot your device by issuing the following command:
9. Your device should reboot.
Once it does, you’ll be all set and should see the Superuser icon in your app drawer indicating you have root access.
Let me know if this worked for you in the comments below!