As expected, the Android 7.0 Nougat beta is now live and the first screenshots have begun trickling in. The beta firmware is only available for the single SIM (F8131) variant of the Xperia X Performance, and comes with the build number 39.2.A.0.248.
The update doesn’t make any drastic changes to Sony’s already minimal UI adjustments, but there’s the full set of Nougat features to be found onboard, including split-screen and the new notification panel buttons. Sony has made a couple of changes to its camera software though, introducing manual shutter speed and ISO controls at the full 23MP resolution.
On top of Nougat, there’s also the October 1st security patches from Google packaged in. Sony has also fixed the long-standing gyroscope auto-rotating bug and improved the touch screen’s sensitivity.
Unfortunately, the beta is only available for the small number of users who pre-registered, and it will probably still be a month or more before Sony gets around to rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to the majority of X Performance handsets. At least the software should be a bug free experience by the time Sony’s Nougat is ready for prime time.
Original, Nov 1:
Sony has been promising to bring its Android 7.0 Nougat beta program to the Xperia X Performance for a little while now, and it finally looks as if the program is about to kick off in full. Those who registered for the beta program are beginning to receive emails confirming that the first Nougat pre-release is about to go live.
It seems that updates will be available for participants sometime within the next 24 to 48 hours. As for what to expect, Sony’s previous Xperia beta programs have maintained a reasonably stock experience, and Sony’s UI skin is one of the lightest ones around. So, we’re likely looking at a similarly slick experience with mostly just the core new Nougat features to show off.
The company has previously kicked out some more experimental features as part of its Concept for Android beta branch, but we shouldn’t expect any of that here. This is just a bug checking and reporting exercise for the core Nougat update that will hopefully begin hitting Sony’s devices before the end of the year.
Given that the X Performance and XZ were tipped to receive Nougat in October, there’s definitely now a delay in Sony’s schedule. The company has confirmed that these two will be the first handsets to update to Nougat, followed by the Xperia X and X Compact. Older flagships from the Z5 series, along with the Z3+ and Z4 Tablet are expected to see the upgrade sometime next year.
Sony says that it will send out additional details and update instructions to participants once the scheme is up and running. So, keep an eye out for those emails.