If you’re a Sony fan, you’re in luck: a couple of Xperia models can now have early access to the much-awaited Android Nougat update.
One of these models is the Sony Xperia Z3, which has been eligible to receive the Android N developer updates since their initial release. This has come as a surprise to many since these updates are usually available only to Google devices; in fact, for Android Nougat, the developer previews are made available only to Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Pixel C. Only two devices on the list stand out like sore thumbs: General Mobile 4G (Android One) and Xperia Z3.
So, if you own a Sony Xperia Z3, you can have access to a beta version of Android Nougat. Take note that only two variants of the Z3 are compatible for the beta test: D6603 and D6653. If you have one of these, you can download the Nougat beta by installing the Sony Xperia Companion software in your computer, connecting your Z3 to your PC or Mac, and pressing down the Alt key on your keyboard. Choose “Software repair” then follow the instructions that would appear on screen to download and install the Android Nougat beta.
Another Sony device that can receive Android 7.0 now is Xperia X Performance. Unlike the Xperia Z3, it’s not a part of Google’s official beta test, but it can have access to Android Nougat through Sony’s Xperia Beta Program. Sony used this to test for Android Marshmallow, and it’s now reviving the program to do beta testing for Nougat.
If you own an Xperia X Performance and would like to have access to the Android Nougat beta, you’ll have to download the Xperia Beta Program app from the Google Play Store and sign up for the program. Take note, though, that the program is only available to those who live in certain European countries (including Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands). Also, signing up doesn’t mean that you’re automatically accepted in the program since Sony will chose who will get to become a beta tester.