We have discussed a number of times before that Sony is pretty “friendly” to the developer community in that there are a number of cases where it allows bootloader unlocking. This means that users will be able to install custom recoveries and custom ROMs where they would usually not be able to – which is pretty cool of Sony to allow. The downside here is that once you unlock your bootloader, you lose Sony credentials forever – which means some “Sony only” DRM protected features are lost, and they are some very cool features too. Fortunately, there is a workaround available.
Among the features you lose when you unlock the bootloader are Sony’s X-Reality (which enhances images on the screen of the device, noiseless camera algorithms only available for the Sony camera app, the audio noise cancelling feature, and Sony application updates to name a few. Sure, you get the ability to run custom ROMs, but you lose these. The bootloader unlock process erases a specific software key for these DRM features, and this is just a price Sony asks you to pay for tweaking.
Fortunately, while the key cannot be restored, it can be “simulated” with this workaround by XDA member “tobias.waldvogel”. It has been confirmed to bring back the Sony features, even on a custom ROM, and the usage of the Sony camera app is also confirmed, including the camera algorithms. All you need to do is flash the ZIP file provided by the developer via your custom recovery.
Remember, flashing this file (available at the source link) is your risk and responsibility, and it’s available for the Sony Xperia Z5 and its variants like the Z5 Compact, the Z5 Premium, and the dual SIM models. That said, it may just be worth it so you can enjoy both custom tweaks and Sony’s exclusive features. No telling if Sony will be able to patch this workaround soon, though. (For other earlier Xperia models, you might want to check out this other article we wrote.)