Sony XA2: how to revert back and install *droid- base OS


I am a life-long Nokia fan and Linux Admin by trade. Couple years ago, I’ve jumped into SFOS and installed version 3 on Sony XA2. I didn’t mind a rough experience of running SFOS (T-mo USA) on my primary phone: voice call quality, crippled texting (no group messaging), dropping connections, semi-functional browser, etc.

But I kept the bigger goals in mind: security, privacy, simplicity, FOSS. However the toll is too high for me to keep running it, and I am looking for alternatives.

So I am considering to revert my XA2 back to its original state so I can install somethings else (a potential candidate: /e/ OS).

  • I’ve tried a recovery mode (downloaded recovery image v4 since this Sony got updates couple months ago) but the command line were stack at .
  • And there is Sony’s Emma tool that promises to re-install Android OS 9, but I am not sure if I can move pass that and install custom image.

Anyone is willing to share his experience and/or point to the proper write-ups?


Don’t know whether you have come across this resource in your travels:

I did carry this out upon XA2 a few months ago, but I remember that one of main problems is that Androxyde flash tool no longer launches Xperifirm as API have changed so needing to use Newflasher instead after downloading firmware with latest version of Xperifirm

I seem to remember having great difficulty getting device into “bootloader mode” i.e. blue LED not green and can mean that USB type C connector has to be inserted very quickly and positively at the right time.

I’ve used the Emma tool to return my XA2 to Android 8.1 (what it originally came with) when I’ve needed to test out a Sailfish issue and needed to eliminate the hardware as the problem. I kept it there for a number of weeks for a thorough test, but was surprised to find that, in this state, I couldn’t get any Android updates (patches, not Android 8 to 9) whatsoever. This could be something to do with the fact that it still had an unlocked bootloader but I’m no longer technical enough to say.

I used Emma to revert my XA2 to android 8 per jolla wiki

  • I only got offered android 8, not android 9. (there were more options back when I first installed sfos)
  • it seems to be an old version (2018) not a current update: Android 8.0.0 Security patch level 1July18 50.1.A.10.51
  • within android, I can’t connect to sony’s update server, due to certificate date error

This is kind of annoying as I assume it means that if I now re-install SFOS it will be on the oldest and buggiest android base.

Anyone have any idea what to do to get any up to date android services, either through emma, or android updates?

Have you looked to see which firmware is available for your XA2 via Xperifirm?

You can then use Newflasher:

The forums are also a good resource re: android alternative flashing and the use of xperifirm alternative tools. They’re pretty helpful there (as long as you don’t re-ask questions that have already been answered sufficiently previously).

I appreciate everyone’s very helpful insight.

At this point, I think I will take the easy route … keeping XA2 as a technological memorabilia and purchasing a phone with pre-installed-OS-of-my-choice. Luckily, I am gainfully employed and can afford such trade-off.

Thank you again

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