Android Nougat-based MIUI 8 beta applications have begun for the Xiaomi Mi 5 first for people in China, then those who own the global ROM version were allowed to apply at the MIUI website.

The only requirements for testers were to be active in the forums (to share their experience in the QQ alpha group with other members) and to know something about ROMs. Once the Nougat testing for the Mi 5 will be over, the update will start rolling out.

It seems that Xiaomi has also accepted applications for owners of the global Mi Max 32GB and the Redmi 3S/Prime phones, in order to beta test the new version of MIUI 8, but the company won’t release Android 7.0 beta for these two devices. The application deadline was on November 30, so if you’ve missed the sign up for the beta, you will need to wait for the official rollout of MIUI 8 to the aforementioned smartphones.

As for the Xiaomi Mi 5 owners who have joined the Xiaomi MIUI forums, they must discuss the Nougat experience in QQ App and to have some knowledge in the installation process. Xiaomi has worked on a new interface for MIUI 8 and it also made some improvements on the Mi 5 battery life. Once the beta-testing will be over, Nougat will officially roll out with new features such as split-screen mode, Doze on the Go, new notifications orders and many more.

The Android 7.0 Nougat will most likely be released next year, as the company hasn’t made any announcements about a specific date, which means that users will have to wait until the firmware will be confirmed stable.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 was released in April 2016 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and MIUI 7.0 on top of it. The phone has a 5.15-inch IPS LCD Full HD display, it’s powered by a

Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor that’s backed by 3GB or 4GB of RAM and offers three variants of internal memories: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Its primary camera supports a resolution of 16 MP, and includes features such as phase detection autofocus, OIS (4-axis) and dual-LED (dual tone) flash, while the secondary camera is 4MP. The battery is non-removable and has a capacity of 3000mAh.