Sony have published certified Android 7.0 Nougat firmware builds to the PTCRB, a former cellular certification forum for American cellular operators. Sony are looking to move the firmware version from 32.2.A.5.11 to 32.3.A.0.372 and this news follows the recent announcement that Sony released the Android 7.0 Nougat software update for the Xperia X flagship series of devices. At this juncture it is not clear when the new Android 7.0 Nougat ROMs will be released for these customer devices but the hope is that this will only be a small number of weeks.
The Xperia Z3+ smartphone, Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia Z5 family (presumably encompassing the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium) of smartphones are former flagship devices. These handsets and the Xperia Z4 Tablet were released into different markets around the world in the second half of 2015, meaning that they are all approximately eighteen months old. Each device is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, which is an octa-core, big.LITTLE, 64-bit System-on-Chip with an unfortunate reputation for overheating. Each of these devices with the exception of the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact benefits from 3 GB of RAM, except for the Xperia Z5 Compact, which has 2 GB of RAM. It is encouraging to see Sony supporting its older flagship devices in line with several other manufacturers, such as Samsung releasing Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and HTC reckoned to be releasing its own software build for the European versions of the HTC 10 device by mid-February.
Android Nougat will bring with it a number of features and benefits, including new and improved animations and features, the new split screen application multitasking mode, new manual camera settings. As mandated by Google, Sony are including the underlying improvements to battery life including App Standby and the improved Android Doze mode. It’s not clear if Sony will be implementing their STAMINA power saving mode into their builds of Android 7.0 Nougat; on older software updates, Sony’s STAMINA mode appeared to be a name-changed Android Power saver toggle as seen on Nexus devices. Sony are also including Android Nougat’s improved drop-down notification panel. There’s other news in that Sony are incorporating Google Now into the home screen, something that would have required close cooperation between Sony and Google.