Sony might not be known in quite the same way as say Samsung and LG are when it comes to Android smartphones, but they’ve been delivering high-end devices in the form of the Xperia Z line for quite some time now and while the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3+ have left customers wanting more, Sony certainly have something up their sleeve for later this year. One indication of such a thing might be the fact that Sony is looking for beta testers of new software in Sweden, where Sony Mobile is based. New software from manufacturers like Sony often means big things are in the works, which is just what could be on the horizon for the end of 2015, early 2016.
For years now, Sony has become known for offering a relatively stock experience when it comes to Android. Their latest version of software for the Xperia Z series, running on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, fully embraces Material Design across of their apps, and behaves just like stock Android, albeit with Sony’s own touch on top. For many, Sony’s approach is one of the best out there, with themes being applied to the overall look and feel of the software, rather than outright changes that we’ve seen from HTC, LG and Samsung over the years. The beta test is only open to Xperia Z3 owners in Sweden and will run from July 27th to September 13th 2015.
From the looks of their formstack page, those with an Xperia Z3 Compact need not apply, and it looks like they’re going to be using Google+ for their beta community for the duration of this test. Users will lose personal data whens tarting and finishing the software trial, which suggests something of a big change in software, rather than just an incremental change. We know that this isn’t going to be Android 5.1, as Sony have already said this will be coming towards the end of this month. The formstack page describes the test as a chance to take a look at a “new Android concept from Sony”. Whether or not this means that Sony is moving away from their light touch on Android into something more comprehensive remains unclear, but we might found out more when the beta actually starts in a week’s time.