Though Sony may have revamped their vision of the Xperia lineup with the Xperia X, the Xperia Z lineup is still getting some love in the form of updates. Specifically, many Xperia models have beta updates available that, on top of granting Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow to some aging devices, brings new Sony features that haven't even hit the flagships just yet, such as a more advanced implementation of Android's classic ability to move apps to the SD card. Xperia betas normally contain a number of tweaks and fixes, along with one major headlining feature. The update that's begun rolling out as of today, version 23.5.A.1.238, is no exception.
After receiving and taking this most recent update, owners of the Xperia Z2, Z3 and Z3 Compact will find that their default launcher now sports landscape support and a good number of bugfixes and speed tweaks have their phone humming along faster and more stably than ever before. The biggest feature on show, however, is called 'Soft Charging'. Designed to extend the overall lifespan of a device's battery, the feature allows for slightly slower charging at a lower max capacity. Since the battery's limits aren't stressed and the slower charging helps with temperature control while charging, the battery holds up a bit better in the long run, though battery life per charge will suffer just a bit. To what exact degree battery life will degrade was not touched on, but the number is unlikely to be terribly high, since lithium ion batteries tend to "dislike" discharging to a very low level too often. To toggle the setting, simply turn on "charging optimization". When it's off, you'll receive a notification saying that Sony recommends that you turn it on.
The update is rolling out right now on a gradual basis and should be available to all owners of compatible devices in the beta program within the next few days. If you go a while without seeing the update, checking for it manually or rebooting may do the trick. The update is a bit on the light side at only 236.8 megabytes, but could still eat up a decent portion of some lower-tier data plans. The new battery setting should be an interesting and somewhat welcome addition, if it makes it into the final build of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow for these devices. Carrying a sealed-in battery, the Xperia models eligible for the update may be better served with a longer battery lifetime than a longer time between charge cycles.