A Newbie’s Guide: Updating Motorola Photon Q LTE to Jelly Bean (Custom ROM)

Motorola Photon Q LTE was released in July, the device is preloaded with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Still no word when Sprint will provide an official Jelly Bean update for this device, if they finally give an update, you will likely have to wait until the coming year. For those of you who really want a taste of Android 4.1 running on Photon Q, you can install the phone with custom ROMs.


Installing a custom ROM (CM 10, MIUI 4, AOKP JB, etc.) is fairly easy on this phone, since the device has been supported by a Motorola Unlock program that allows you to unlock the phone’s bootlader.

photon q lte jelly bean android 4.1

Image Credit: Motorola/Sprint

Here’s a guide for those who want to update their Sprint Photon Q LTE (XT897) with Jelly Bean custom ROM:

  1. This android phone’s bootloader needs to be unlocked first, fortunately device has been supported by Motorola Unlock Program. You can follow unlock guide here.
  2. To install / flash custom ROMs you need a custom recovery like ClockWorkMod (CWM). To install a custom recovery you can see a guide here, follow the guidelines no 1-5. If you want root access you can follow step 6 to the end.
  3. Download Jelly Bean custom ROM you wish to be installed / flash on Motorola Photon Q LTE (XT879), and transfer the file that has been downloaded to the SDcard.
  4. Do not forget to backup the data stored on the internal storage apk + data including apps, contacts, bookmarks, call logs, etc with MyBackup Pro or Titanium Backup apps.
  5. After successfully installing CWM or TWRP recovery you are advised to perform a Nandroid backup previous ROM, Nandroid backup useful in case you have problems with with the newly installed ROM, it allow you to go back to the previous ROM. To make a backup you should enter into bootloader mode by turning off your phone, then pressing and holding the three buttons simultaneously (vol up + vol down + power button). After entering the bootloader, scroll down and select the RECOVERY menu, after that you will go into custom recovery (CWM) main menu and then choose “backup and restore” menu.
  6. Before installing a new ROM, you will need to wipe data / factory reset and wipe cache partition in CWM recovery.
  7. Now it’s time to flash custom Android 4.1 ROM, return to the CWM main menu, select install zip from sdcard > choose zip from sdcard and select the ROM file that you have downloaded before.
  8. After flashing process is complete, return to the main menu and select “reboot system now”.
  9. Done.


Your phone will reboot, boot time may be slower than usual. In case you are experiencing bootloops, you can repeat the process wipe (step 6) and re-flash the ROM (step 7).


Filled Under:Basic How To
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One Response

  1. Dan M
    February 21, 2013 at 9:12 AMReply

    I don’t see a link to this 4.1 Jellybean Rom. Do you have one? Thanks.

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