Isn’t it nice when flagship smartphone features actually make their way down the ladder to owners of flagship devices from a year or two ago? This is exactly what Sony Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact users are experiencing right now when Android aficionados from the XDA Forums announced this week that 4K recording – famously available on this year’s Xperia Z2 – will also be available to their year-old units, after a fashion.

With mobile network bandwith increasing exponentially – LTE currently gives premium smartphones an average of 17Mbps download speeds – it goes to follow that higher and higher data density will soon be available for streaming over mobile networks. Enter 4K video – that’s four times the resolution of your normal 1080 full HD video – a feature that has now began to make its way to flagship smartphones. It started with the Acer Liquid S2 incorporating native 4K recording to its features. After that, Samsung, LG and Sony dutifully followed suit.

This capability can now be ported to the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact through the efforts of some senior members and developers from the famous Android community, the XDA Forums. The port will need your Xperia Z1 to be rooted, deodexed, and of course have the SuperUser app/mod installed. The forumites have provided the port via a ZIP file that can be flashed to your phone using custom recovery. The features are meager, with native 4K recording allowed and 120 FPS video recording also made available using an app called Timeshift. The known bugs include SteadyShot mode in 4K resolution, so that part has been disabled for now.


The telling part of this port is the hardware, with the developers taking advantage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset and processor (quad-core processing and Adreno 330 GPU) in the Z1 and Z1 Compact. It is rather logical then that their next step is to bring the port over to the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the phablet sharing the same processor and chipset.