Sony xperia Z1 compact kitkat update issues

Are you experiencing Sony xperia Z1 compact kitkat update issues?

Sony xperia Z1 compact kitkat update issues   I’ve found the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact to be a superb smartphone. No doubt you have seen all the reviews about this phone bucking the trend of modern smartphone manufacturers by offering a smaller handset with all the premium features of a flagship phone.   For the most part that is correct, the Z1 compact is the smaller version of the xperia Z1, the only downsides being the smaller screen (with resultant lower resolution) and plastic back rather than glass. In everyday use you’ll find the screen resolution entirely acceptable with its 720 resolution and pixel density higher than Apple’s retina displays and the back still looks premium even though it’s plastic and easier to scratch. Having read many reviews of this phone myself I don’t think it is as small as the reviewers make out. It is noticeably bigger than, for instance, the diminutive iPhone 5s but you will find it much smaller than the Z1, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and 5 and the HTC One variations. I find it very much fits into the sweet spot of physical size versus screen size; it looks and feels like an expensive, premium handset; it is amongst the fastest Android smartphones available today; and you can safely drop it down the toilet with no ill effect!. Read about it on Sony’s website.   However, it was released, rather disappointingly, with Android Jelly bean version 4.3 but I can report that Kitkat has been released as an upgrade on nearly all world markets and carriers. Mine is on EE’s 4G network and received an update last week via the “Sony PC Companion” software and now reports Kitkat version 4.4.2   Sony xperia Z1 compact kitkat update issues I found the update process to be far from smooth though. I would much rather receive these updates OTA (over the air) rather than having to use proprietary software like the Sony PC Companion because you don’t receive any notification that there is an update available – you just have to keep plugging in the phone to your PC until an update is reported.   That said, though, the update did eventually arrive and was installed over the top of the previous operating system so all the settings and apps were preserved.   I found that installing the upgrade over the top of the existing operating system caused nothing but problems! Apps were force closing all the time; the phone was getting very hot; it was shutting down for no reason; it was basically unusable, and that is why I would always recommend you perform a full wipe before upgrading.  

Upgrading without wiping usually causes problems

By ‘wiping’ I mean resetting your phone to factory defaults and that WILL erase everything. Most problems reported by people upgrading OS versions are usually corrected by starting over again after a full wipe. In the case of my Sony xperia Z1 compact, though, even a full wipe wasn’t enough as I’ll explain later.   You MUST make backups of everything before upgrading! Your Google account will restore many of your settings and apps but it does not back up your call logs or text messages (Why not, Google?). I have found recent versions of ‘Sprite Backup’ and ‘SMS backup+’ work well with Kitkat. The aforementioned Sony PC Companion is also capable of backing up these and everything else on your phone. Remember to remove your microSD card if you have one so there is no risk of you selecting the option to erase it!   To perform a full wipe go to “Settings / Backup & Reset / Factory Data reset” and follow the instructions.   Then plug your phone back into Sony PC Companion and install the update all over again. If you’re lucky that should be all that is required to make your phone work perfectly with Kitkat version 4.4.2  

Sony PC Companion Repair option

  In my case, even a full wipe didn’t ensure a perfect upgrade. I was still experiencing various issues, the main ones being:
  • phone wouldn’t shut down because the long press power button menu option to “Power Off” didn’t do anything
  • phone got hot in normal use
  • battery drain was excessive whilst using the phone but it entered deep sleep and was OK when the screen was off
  • the phone kept waking up a lot so the screen on time was far less than the Awake time
  • the camera would lock up occasionally and always when using the camera button to wake up the phone
  So, having read up on the issue I found others were experiencing the same problems and the recommendation was to use the Sony PC Companion software to ‘Repair’ the OS installation.   Therefore, you need to:    
  1. backup everything on your phone.
  2. Connect the phone via USB to Sony PC Companion and wait for it to be recognised
  3. Select the “Support Zone” option
  4. Select ‘start’ under “Phone / Tablet Software Update”
  5. Click on “repair my phone/tablet”
  Your phone will be fully wiped and Android 4.4.2 Kitkat will be re-downloaded over your broadband connection and re-installed. You’ll need to set up your phone all over again.   Finally, I found this to correct all issues. I’ll wait a few days to see how it performs but already I can tell that the battery is hardly draining at all, the phone remains cool and the Power Management screen in Settings is saying the estimated standby time is 2 days 4 hours! The camera app now works flawlessly even when started up using the camera button from standby and the ‘screen on’ time closely matches the ”Awake’ time. Also, the power off menu item works as it should.   If you are experiencing Sony xperia Z1 compact kitkat update issues I recommend following these steps to fix all issues. I’m interested in knowing whether these issues are common. Leave a reply below to let me know if this helped you.    


  • Nicola Reply

    I had the same problem with my Sony Xperia Z1. I performed the PC fix as suggested ( by sony also), unfortunately my phone won’t even turn on anymore after the ‘PC Fix’ …….will not be getting another phone from Sony, am totally disappointed.

  • JO BISHOP Reply

    I’ve just upgraded to kit kat 4.4.4 from jelly bean and it’s completely s*****d my phones performance! Is there anyway at all I can restore the phone back to jelly bean. It’s just ruined EVERYTHING I used to be able to do with it and on it . PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hELP. Thank you.

    • Garry Kelsall Reply

      Hi, Jo, don’t panic, I’m sure it can be sorted.
      Firstly, 4.4.4 is really nice and my phone upgraded this time without any issues (unlike when it upgraded to 4.4.2). It is running 4.4.4 without any issues whatsoever.
      I would firstly advise that you follow my instructions in the article at “Sony PC Companion Repair Option” to repair your installation of the new 4.4.4 update using the Sony Companion software on your PC. I’m sure you’d rather be running the latest version as long as it is working properly. Remember your phone will be wiped of all data so you need to make a backup first (Sony PC Companion lets you do this as well).
      If it doesn’t work for you come back to me and we’ll take it from there.

  • kevin Reply

    Thanks for the help garry, article was great too.

    • Garry Kelsall Reply

      Any time, Kevin, and thanks for your kind words.

  • Garry Kelsall Reply

    Hi Kevin, thanks for reading the article. In relation to the kitkat update issues on the Sony Xperia Z1 compact I don’t think you need worry. I just checked Sony’s website and it is listed as shipping with Kitkat now so the issues I experienced updating from Jellybean 4.3 won’t affect you. I can certainly recommend the phone over the other two you mention. Good luck with your first smartphone, Kevin.

  • kevin Reply

    hey,garry. I’m thinking of buying a smartphone for the first time. my choice is the s4, 5s and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. I like the sony but am worried about the probs associated with the updates. how are you finding your Sony Xperia Z1 Compact?

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