Questions about software and firmware updates

What is the difference between locked / unlocked bootloader?

In der Regel werden bei uns alle Geräte mit einer China / EN Firmware Version als locked versendet. In manchen Fällen gibt es auch Geräte mit einer globalen Firmware Versionen als unlocked. EU Versionen, die man direkt aus dem EU Lager kauft, sind in der Regel alle locked.

Locked Firmware = The bootloader is locked and you can only reopen it by binding the device to a Mi account. This is usually needed to install custom roms or alternative firmware versions. A locked firmware has no disadvantage and all services and apps work without problems.

Unlocked Firmware = The bootloader is unlocked and custom roms or alternative firmware versions can be installed without problems. Since Xiaomi has changed the process, most China devices with Global Firmware are unlocked. The only drawback at the moment is that this firmware cannot be unlocked again and Google Pay does not work. Apps like Netflix, Pokemon or Banking Apps have no influence on this. They usually work.

What does OTA Updates mean?

OTA means Over The Air and means that updates can be downloaded and installed easily via WLAN. You don't have to download Rome and install it in a complicated way, but always get the latest updates via the download.

What is the difference between the stable and developer versions of Xiaomi?

On the one hand there is the stable rom. This is the official and recommended rom version by the manufacturer. The stable version comes out every 2-3 months and does not offer root privileges.

Then there is the Developer Editon (= German developer version). This is actually, as the name already says, intended for developers. It does not differ much from the stable, but you get weekly updates. This version is just as stable as the other one, but offers the possibility of root privileges (by unlocking the bootloader).

Last but not least, there are roms from These are unofficial Miui roms with several languages (including German) and without China apps.

What about updates for China Smartphones?

That cannot be said across the board, but most Chinese manufacturers have noticed that long-term updates are important for the customers. Most large companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, Redmi, Asus, Nubia or Meizu usually offer 2-3 years of software updates and even longer security updates. Thus, the devices from China have no restrictions and usually get the updates quite simply OTA (Over-The-Air) on the device. No matter where you are in the world.

Where can I get updates for my Xiaomi devices?

Either via OTA (= Over The Air dt. directly via the device itself) or via our site. Your smartphone will alert you to the upcoming or possible installation, but you can choose the time of installation yourself.

Of course you can also find these updates in the well-known forums like, download them and install them yourself. Xiaomi also publishes updates every Friday at the Developer Rom.

One good site for all possible Xiaomi devices and their Firmware is

What is the difference between (TWRP / Fastboot) and Xiaomi Global Firmware

Basic differences are as follows: 

  • Xiaomi.EU (Fastboot) = Forum Custom Firmware, no OTA Updates (manual), Saftynet Passed, Widevine Level 1 usually, Multilanguage
  • Xiaomi.EU (TWRP) = Forum Custom Firmware, OTA Updates, Saftynet Passed, Widevine Level 1, Multilanguage
  • Xiaomi Global Firmware = official Xiaomi Global Firmware, OTA Updates, Saftynet Failed (in the new versions, therefore no Google Pay), Widevine Level 1 usually
  • Xiaomi China Original = official Xiaomi China Firmware, OTA Updates, Saftynet Passed, Widevine Level 1 usually, only Chinese + English language

What does no OTA updates (manual) mean for Xiaomi.EU firmware?

- With the Xiaomi.Eu firmware, you download the firmware to your PC, connect your PC to the smartphone, put the smartphone in fastboot mode (volume down + hold power button until the Mitu male appears) and then you can flash the custom rom. There is the first_install file (for Windows, MacOSX, Linux) with which you install the Rom the first time or the update file (for Windows, MacOSX, Linux) with which you can update the system every time. During an update no data is lost, everything remains, only the software is updated. 

What does Saftynet Failed or Passed mean?

- The Saftynet test checks whether the device is also intended for banking apps such as Google Pay. If the test fails, Google Pay will not work. Other banking apps might not work either, but that depends on the app. Kontist or ING Diba do work, but DKB refuses the service. 

What does Widevine Level 1 mean?

- Every smartphone comes with a Widevine level and this is important for encrypting streaming data. Usually, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ require Level 1, so everything works without any problems. If a device has Level 3, which can happen with China smartphones, it cannot see the content at all or with Netflix, for example, only with 480p resolution. 

Does the Xiaomi.Eu Rom also get updates as long as the Global Rom?

- Yes, usually even longer, because the is based on the official China Rom. This usually comes faster and often has features that the Global does not offer. unpacks this, adds the multilanguage strings (languages) and a few mods and actually releases these on the same day every time Xiaomi does it for the last 10 years. 

Which Rom is the right one? 

- You can't give a blanket answer to that. If it is important for you to receive constant OTA updates, you should choose the Global, knowing that Google Pay will not work. If functionality is more important to you, you should go for the Rom. The advantage is that both are usually based on the stable firmware, which usually gets updates every few months and becomes rarer and rarer over time. As with all manufacturers, there are a few FIX updates in the first few weeks, then only every few months. And don't worry, if it's May and you don't have the May security package yet, the world won't end and your smartphone will become a holey cheese where any hobby hacker can rule the world right now. 

Can I flash the Firmware by myself?

- Of course, it is pretty easy. We got a nice tutorial for that on

TWRP version of for the Mi 11 Pro and Mi 11 Ultra information

If you buy a Mi 11 Pro or Mi 11 Ultra with Rom, you get a really good multilanguage Rom without a lot of bells and whistles, but you have to keep a few things in mind. 

OTA updates Yes, automatic installation, NO

The system checks automatically if new software versions are available. As soon as a new version is available, you get a notification and usually it is downloaded directly. Often customers are confused because it says if you want to boot into a system that is encrypted. Don't worry, just click on Yes. 

Then you boot into TWRP and now you have to click on "INSTALL", then select the "ZIP" version, usually at the bottom and swipe to the right to start the installation. After the installation click on "WIPE CACHE" and reboot. 

Now you have the newest version, all data is still on it and only the firmware was updated. 

TWRP is in Chinese, how do I change it?

Sometimes it happens that the TWRP is still in Chinese. This can be changed very easily. We have here in the manual some pictures, which explain in step 1 exactly where to click.

TWRP has a password, what is it?

Usually it is just your PIN. If it is not your PIN please try "password" or "default_password". If it is not one of them, feel free to contact us. 

Camera in Miui wants to save to SD Card, ERROR.

We have seen this error a few times now and it is because the firmware has not been installed correctly. If this happens, feel free to contact us or try the instructions for installing TWRP and then the latest firmware.

Does Android Auto work on China Smartphones?

As a rule, Android Auto does not work on most China smartphones. There are a few exceptions, such as Oneplus devices or Xiaomi with firmware. You can easily find out whether Android Auto works by clicking the yellow big button "Compatibility Wizard" and looking there how compatible the device is with your country. It also says there whether Android Auto is supported. 

Is it possible to install it later? NO, unfortunately not. 

Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch with Wear OS work on a China smartphone?

NO, unfortunately Samsung Galaxy Watch Wear OS mostly does not work on the China smartphones. There are exceptions like the Oneplus series or Xiaomi devices with, but on most other smartphones from Oppo, Vivo, Meizu & Co. the watch will not connect to the smartphone. Even on a China Samsung smartphone, it won't work. 

Normal Wear OS watches from other brands have no problem. They only need the Wear OS China app from and then it should work.

How important is band 20 for the 4G frequency?

If band 20 is missing, do you not have 4G? Is band 20 really that important? These are questions that often come up when buying a China smartphone, since this band is often missing. We have written a whole article with valuable information about this. 


Does the GT5 realme have a region lock and is there a solution?

Yes, we are really sorry, but the Realme GT5 has a region lock, but from 02.11.2023 we got it fixed and now all devices which are sold by us, come without a region lock. So you can use it worldwide without any problems.

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