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Monday, 28 July 2014

Living with and fixing the Sony Xperia ZL C6503 - Battery Sudden Death problem

Owning a Sony Xperia phone is like being married to
a super model. There are times where it is beautiful, stunning and world class.

Living with a Sony on a day to day basis is a different story though filled with ugly moments that we don't talk about.

For example, your first visit to the can in the morning. You know the routine, sit down, switch on, check Facebook, Feedly, News24, personal email, work email and then leave the throne. And what we don't mention? Your battery is now at 85%

The battery on a Sony is paltry, pathetic and most disturbingly, unstable.

There is one problem that really plagues the Sony Xperia (Z*) models and that is the so called "SUDDEN DEATH" Huh? Yes, it's true. The battery in your Sony can fail at any moment without cause or provocation!

Here are some links:
There is nothing you can do to remedy this apart from fitting a new battery.

How to test for "Sudden Death": If your phone keeps dying, suddenly switching off, and you can not power it up again, basically it seems dead, connect it to a power source or external battery and try again.

If it starts up ok then it is about 80% certain that you are going to have a bad day. Wait for it to charge up, disconnect the power source and go to the camera. Take a picture (all ok?), now change the settings, for example force the flash, and take a picture. Kablamo? Bummer, your super model has just let you down.

This problem will now get worse and worse and there is nothing you can do about it.

If your Sony is under warranty then just report it as battery sudden death, do not take no for an answer, send it off, wait ages and get your phone back.

The bad news is that Sony will "upgrade" your firmware and your data will be gone. Gone gone gone, bye bye. The other bad news is that Sony does not seem to understand that your mobile phone is your life these days so living without a smartphone is like loosing a limb and they will take their sweet time on repairs.

Also, you can only get a warranty repair done in the country you bought your phone. Were you under the impression that if you bought a Sony, for piece of mind as Sony is international, you could get a warranty repair in any country?

You fool, did you not read the small print!   Bwa haaaa haaa!

As you won't have root the chances of your restoring any meaningful back up is very low indeed.

My phone was sent back to Malaysia in December and I got it back in February. Fun fun fun! Did I mention that you have to pay for a courier both ways?

Well 2 weeks ago I was back in Sudden Death land. How very disappointing.

I had a few options like send it back for a warranty repair, get it repaired in the UK by some Sony experts or buy a battery off Ebay and do it myself. Now let me think...Duh!

Here is how to replace the un-replaceable battery!

Check out some videos on You Tube. Xperia ZL Disassemble

Go and buy a battery from ebay. Here is one I bought:

Start the process: Pictures taken with a Samsung Note 2.

From the label you can see that Sony Malaysia "fixed" the phone. Well the good thing about sending it to Malaysia was that it went in as a C6502 (non LTE) and came back as a C6503 - Possibly LTE capable.

My previous Sony main board : C6502 - EP73142K0K - 1270-1854_R1C - 1266-7597_10.4.B.0.569 - GLOBAL

Two screws under here.

The blue tool is my old Ipod tool for removing the Ipod battery. The back of the Sony ZL is lightly glued with a foam adhesive and has 3 and 2 clips on the side. Just take you time prying it off.

7 screws all together. There should be 8 by Sony Malaysia messed up. Ah well.

Ready to remove the camera module.

Removing the camera module takes patience. Watch out for the earphone plug. 

Main board removed showing the "quality" battery.

13W45 Sony Li Polymer Battery. 4.2V 3.7V min 2300mAh at 8.6Wh.

New battery installed. Patience is required. Ham fisted people should not attempt this.
12W26 Sony Li Polymer Battery. 4.2V 3.7V min 2330mAh at 8.7Wh. 
Sample? Who cares.

The Samsung Notes 2 battery is 4.35V 3.8V min 3100mAh at 11.78Wh. Much better! 

Main board back. Final checks complete.

 And it lives! Yee Haa. 

Stage two. Clear the OS and migrate back from a Samsung Note 2 at 4.3 to Kit Kat. But that is a story for the next blog post and if you did not have a headache now you will have one when you read the next post that will take you through rooting, CWM recovery, loading the latest rom and recovering your data. Fun fun fun!

Here some good resources:


  1. I think it is because your battery is made in China but one which I bought is made in Japan

  2. Hi, did you actually use a Samsung Note 2 battery? Is it fitting?


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