Android N arrives on its first non-Nexus phone: the Sony Xperia Z3

Android N

Last week, we received a hint that non-Nexus Android phones might soon have access to the Android N developer preview. Now, Google has announced that the Sony Xperia Z3 has been added to the elite grouping of products compatible with the upcoming OS, Android N.

Although it seems like a rather strange choice, especially when you consider that there are other, much more popular Android smartphones out there, like the HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7, it makes perfect sense for Sony.

The Xperia Z3 is likely the model that has attracted the biggest number of users. Sony's newer smartphones, the Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z5 in particular, haven't had the chance to reach people all over the globe, either due to a staggered global release, or in the case of the Z4, not being released at all in the US, and being sold in the UK under a totally different name: the Sony Xperia Z3+ (confusing, right?)

A Google representative confirmed that Xperia Z3 owners can flash their devices now by following this link. However, keep in mind that the compatibility is apparently limited to two specific Z3 models: the D6603 and D6653.

Once you update, you'll have all of Android N's new features at your disposal, like native multi-window view, bundled notifications and messages that are much easier to reply to. There are also a lot of interesting, under-the-hood tweaks, like the battery-saving Doze and memory-relinquishing Project Svelte that make Android N worth trying out if you have the chance.

And if you own a Sony Xperia Z3, you now have that chance.

Android N

Google extending its hug around a third-party manufacturer for its Android N software preview program is a big deal. It could very well signify that Android N will see larger numbers than Android 6.0 Marshmallow's abysmal adoption numbers, or at least that its widespread release might not take so long.

For owners of the Xperia Z3, this is obviously big news. But Google doesn't seem to be stopping there. Google stated that it is "working toward giving you more options for early testing and development." Fingers are crossed that we'll hear much more at Google IO 2016.

Which phone are you hoping gets access to the Android N developer preview?

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.