How to Update Sony Xperia Ion (LT28at/LT28i) to ICS and Get Root Access

Xperia Ion users might be a little unhappy since only few developers who willing to work for this phones, this may be the device is still locked bootloader so there’s no development of custom ROM/kernel, and we must realize that Sony smartphone is less popular in the US market. Even this android phone already released for a long time, it still has not received an official update to Android 4.0 ICS, especially devices that distribute in the U.S. with AT&T (LT28at) and the international version (LT28i) as released Rogers in Canada, update to the Ice Cream Sandwich is currently only available for LT28h which available in China, but without 4G LTE feature.

How to Update Sony Xperia Ion LT28at LT28i to ICS and Get Root Access

Fortunately, there is a developer from xda with username ganeshbiyer who has managed to gain root access and also let you flash the stock Android 4.0 ROM on Xperia Ion, he utilizes a root toolkit that adopted from Xperia S root method. Before doing this, verify that you are on stock Gingerbread 2.3.7 firmware which don’t have a root access (unrooted), if you already on rooted Gingerbread/ICS ROM it means you have to reflash your Sony Xperia Ion to stock Gingerbread.

Update: Official update for AT&T/Rogers/International Xperia Ion (L28at/LT28i/LT28h) has been released now, check out here.

Update: Want to know how to root current ICS firmware ? head to new root method for ICS and Jelly Bean.

Here are some settings you have to do on your device before performing root and flashing:

  1. Allow ‘Unknown sources’ on Systems > Application Settings.
  2. Allow ‘USB Debugging’ and ‘Stay awake’ on System > Application Settings.
  3. Adjust ‘Screen timeout’ to 30 minutes on Settings > Display Settings.
  4. Charge your Xperia Ion battery at least 80%.

Listed below are some tools and files you need to prepare before the flash ROM and rooting ICS LT28at/LT28i:

  1. Make sure your phone currently still on the stock Gingerbread ROM (6.0.F.0.111), for at&t user you still have to flash 6.0.F.0.111 firmware. You also need to download Generic International ICS firmware LT28h (6.1.E.1.19), both firmware can be downloaded here.
  2. Download Bin4ry & Androxyde Flashtool here, to flash stock Sony Xperia firmware, either ICS or Gingerbread firmware.
  3. Make sure Android SDK installed properly and ADB can run on your Windows PC by following this tutorial.
  4. Download Root Toolkit here, this toolkit was made for Xperia S but can also work for Ion.
  5. Install .Net Framework 3.5 or later to be able to run toolkit and flashtool on Windows PC (optional).

Now it’s time to make the process of rooting and flashing ICS ROM, keep in mind that you should on the stock Gingerbread now, and then follow the steps as below :

  1. Extract Root_Toolkit_v.1.0.2.rar and run Step1.bat and wait till finish and then ‘Prees any key to continue…’ and the CMD window will be dissapear.
  2. Install Flashtool on your PC and then flash ICS LT28h firmware, Important! without wipe data – wipe cache – wipe apps log by unmark that options before flash process, for those who have no idea how to use Flashtool, check this guide.
  3. Once flashing process done, manually turn on your Xperia Ion.
  4. Re-allow ‘Unknown sources’, ‘USB debugging’, ‘Stay Awake’ and also set ‘Screen timeout/Sleep’ to 30 minutes on phone Settings.
  5. Now run Step2.bat
  6. Done

Now your Xperia Ion (LT28at, LT28i) updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and rooted although it still on locked bootloader. Since this ROM build for China market there’s no LTE feature on it, but don’t worry just follow a guide to activate 4G LTE (AT&T/Rogers) features on your Sony Xperia Ion.

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