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CWM recovery | Custom Clean ROM | Tweaks for Android watch phone Z1 (MT6516)

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Z1 (brand unknown) is wrist watch phone with Android OS. It was first released in 4/2012 and it is Android 2.2.1. It has WiFi, AGPS, GSM/EDGE, 2 MP camera, mic, speaker, loudspeaker, capacitive touchscreen, display of 320x240, SDHC & SIM card slots etc.

As most Chinese phones it has SoC from MediaTek, MT6516 (armv5).

See my Czech review for photos:

Tweaks/tips for stock ROM (2.2.1)
  • Market/Google Play is missing in stock rom but it cam be added if you follow instructions on the page: (included in Clean ROM)
  • Default DPI is 120 however most controls are too small. Change it to 160 which will make all icons sharp. (included in Clean ROM)
  • Typing on tiny QWERTY soft keyboard is a pain, Flit Keyboard makes entering text much easier. (included in Clean ROM)
  • To enter engineering mode, dial *#*#8787#*#*
  • ADWLauncher EX works even better if you (see):
    Disable all animations including scrolling homescreen
    Disable dockbar and use swipe up instead (included in Clean ROM)
    4x3 icon layout for home screen and 5x2 for drawer (included in Clean ROM)
    Use something like Extended controls for toggles
  • Use No Lock if you don't need swipe to unlock feature.
  • Remove alternative Chinese markets and Chinese network account/sync providers from /system/app (included in Clean ROM)

Creating flashable dump
Use MT6516 BackUpTool for dumping your stock rom.
Use MTK_Rom_Studio_1.0.0a for converting dump into flashable format.

Basically you need the driver: "MT6516_YuSu_USB_VCOM.inf" and flashing tool: "SP Flash Tool v1.1110". All tools can be found on the internet when searching for "MT6516 flash tools". The only necessary tools reuploaded can be found also here. (I'm not sure about the legality of these tools though.)
You have to use 32 bit Windows (I only tried XP in both VirtualBox and VMware but it could work with 32 bit Vista or 7).
Power off the watch, connect it directly to PC (no USB hub or extention cable) - new device will connect for few seconds - use it to install the driver. Unplug watch. (You may retry that few times because the watch disconnect within few seconds) Open flashing tool and select files to flash (I would recommend not to flash anything other than boot/recovery/system/data/logo), hit start and quickly connect the watch - flashing will start automatically.

First build of ClockworkMod seems to be working however all its features were not tested yet!
Recovery can be flashed with "SP Flash Tool" (use provided scatter file).
Rebooting to recovery from launched Android using "reboot recovery" works but I wasn't able to find working button shortcut to launch recovery directly from cold start. Please help me if you find a way!

Custom Clean ROM based on stock 2.2.1
  • Removed alternative Chinese markets and Chinese (social) network accounts
  • Integration of Google apps (sync, Google Play, setup wizard etc)
  • DPI changed to 160 which makes the watch easier to control and the icons sharper
  • Preconfigured ADW Launcher, Flit keyboard
  • Includes root with Superuser, Busybox binaries
  • Minor clean-ups
So far this ROM doesn't include anything power user from XDA wouldn't be able to customize but this ROM is afford to save other users time with experiments.

Important notes:
  • Backing up your current ROM + data is highly recommended (use the above listed MT6516 BackUpTool)
  • The seller says you shouldn't do factory reset because of IMEI lost - I can't confirmed that - IMEI is kept even during factory resets so it doesn't seem to be stored in user data partition. BUT backup your current ROM anyway cause I might be wrong.

Clean ROM notes:
  • The first boot is slow. After the first boot, I recommend not touching the watch for 5-10 minutes because dalvik cache is rebuilding in the background and the setup wizard may lag a lot.
  • The default ADW launcher is configured to not have app drawer button - swipe up to open drawer
  • Known issue (to be fixed later): Because of DPI change - Bottom row of button in Dialer is smaller, however all buttons can be pressed
  • Known issue (to be fixed later): Because of DPI change - Superuser (root) confirmation dialog buttons aren't readable however the buttons are partly visible and can be pressed (press bottom left button to allow root acces)
  • Known issue (to be fixed later): Because of DPI change - There is small graphical glitch on the lock screen which however doesn't break anything

Flashing recovery is not needed at all. Just make sure you flash both partitions (it will erase all your data on the watch but not on SD). Follow instructions above on how to flash.

ROM download:

WIP, first build of CyanogenMod 7 (2.3.7) booted so I continue testing/evaluating. So far I only used stock kernel but I have source for MT6516 kernel.
Notes: WiFi chip - MediaTek MT5921 - no open source driver
Currently on hold.


Attached Files
File Type: zip - [Click for QR Code] (3.23 MB, 1937 views)
File Type: apk Z1 Backlight Toggle v01.apk - [Click for QR Code] (37.4 KB, 789 views)
Last edited by moneytoo; 21st January 2013 at 07:39 AM.
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19th July 2012, 02:19 PM |#2  
ffinder's Avatar
Thanks Meter: 7
Flit Keyboard
Originally Posted by moneytoo

Typing on tiny QWERTY soft keyboard is a pain, Flit Keyboard makes entering text much easier.

I actually have bought 3 Z1's and virtual keyboard is REALLY a pain..

Flit Keyboard makes entering text much easier ! !

Just Eight ( 8 ) >> Huge << Buttons Keyboard..

..that By Easily Sliding You Can Type:

>> All << Alphanumeric Characters And Symbols ! !

No More Accidentally Typing Wrong Characters ! !

Perfect 5..

(this Should Have Been THE Number One Android Keyboard..)

Thanks moneytoo ! !


---------- Post added at 06:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:16 AM ----------

Z1 Android Watch-Phone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

20th July 2012, 05:26 AM |#3  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
Ive been thinking about buying the watch to use as a mp3 player, would you recomend it?

Sent from my NWZ-Z1000Series using xda app-developers app
21st July 2012, 03:34 AM |#4  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 43
Yes, I'm plugging my website, but hey, it's relevant.

I've just reviewed this device at:
25th July 2012, 08:32 PM |#5  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 35
Everything in this thread has been helpful, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

DPI at 160 looks great. Unfortunately many apps will not fit, including keyboard, phone, and superuser prompt. Either find alternate keyboard and set superuser to auto-grant, or switch back and forth between 120 and 160 as necessary.
I like No Lock, but I find the phone wake-locking all the time until I turned No Lock off. I also like the fact that the time is there in big letters on the lock screen. It's very suitable for its watch functionality.
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28th July 2012, 01:48 AM |#6  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 43
I did a manual backup without rooting (No need for Z4 Root)

Download and unrar MT6516 BackUpTool, but do not install anything.

On the Linux/Mac box, open the gscript folder, and open in editor, or viewer.

Connect the watch via USB, and connect via adb shell

Cut, paste and execute each line from the file
up to and including the last dd command in the first section - in other words

dd if=/dev/mtd/mtd11 of=/sdcard/backup_/expdb.img
Obviously, you don't do the comment lines.

exit the shell


adb remount
Install yaffs2image:

adb push <your_path_on_PC_to>/Install/BackUp/yaffs_back_2.2/gen/mkyaffs2image /system/bin/mkyaffs2image

adb shell chmod 4777 /system/bin/mkyaffs2image
(Again, the above is a cut and paste from the script)

adb remount
(for safety)

adb shell
Then cut and paste the remaining 3 mkyaffs2img commands.


Copy the backup_ folder on the SD car to someplace safe.
If you want, you can remove mkyaffsimg:

adb remount
adb shell rm /system/bin/mkyaffs2image
adb remount
It's definitely more steps, but it leaves the system technically un-touched, un-rooted, and even returnable if you should have to.
30th July 2012, 06:17 AM |#7  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 35
Some more useful apps.
Orientation control to lock the screen in landscape mode; not free but worth it.
Home button for soft home button in notification tray. Free.
Off button in notification tray. Free.
Opera mini has server side compression so makes best use of the slow 3g speed, but no multitouch so zooming is difficult.
31st July 2012, 03:04 AM |#8  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 35
Originally Posted by m34n1ng

Ive been thinking about buying the watch to use as a mp3 player, would you recomend it?

Sent from my NWZ-Z1000Series using xda app-developers app

It can be done, but the MotoActv might be better, because the motoactv has a headphone jack so you can use any headphones you want. On the Z1, you have to use bluetooth headphones or a bluetooth headphone adapter.
1st August 2012, 08:19 PM |#9  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 102
I just ordered one of these last week, should have arrived today ... glad to see this exists!

Other than configuration/display-size issues, does everything work, i.e. all hardware? I noticed you had a note about the Wifi driver not being open source, but I assume that more effects if you try the MT6516 kernel. Even if it's a closed binary, I assume you could still load it and use it though. I'm not expecting any leaps and bounds in the kernel department.

As for CWM, is any part of it executed at cold boot? If so, I imagine you'd need to implement some kind of timeout menu that could optionally enter recovery before booting the watch. This is similar to what was implemented on the Kindle Fire which also doesn't have a normal stock recovery mode.

I assume you're still evaluating CM7 so you're not ready to distribute it ... but I do hope to see more from you soon, especially a HOWTO and download links!
11th August 2012, 03:35 PM |#10  
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I spent many nights trying to make GSM or WiFi working. Except few tweaks I only got the modem to start but nothing more. I have no experience with porting of binary drivers and this device has so many of them. Radio/modem and kernel modules - there are no problems with them but there are just too many dependencies on proprietary libs even from standard android native binaries.
So I'm giving up. At least for now cause I just don't have enough knowledge.

I consider making custom rom based on stock Android but I don't know if there would be any demand. Proper integration of Google apps, Chinese apps/account providers removed, tweaked launcher/drawer settings, tweaked global dpi/dpi of apps that not fit...

To have at least something, I give you very simple app "Z1 Backlight Toggle" apk (attached in 1st post) which can turn off completely display backlight. (Needs root) I use it on my bike when I have navigation running all the time cause it indeed saves battery and backlight isn't needed at all under direct sunlight, the display is readable the same.
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