Sony claims it's not at fault for not releasing Android 7.0 Nougat for Xperia Z3

Sony claims it's not at fault for not releasing Android 7.0 Nougat for Xperia Z3
Japanese company Sony confirmed last week the smartphones that will receive Android 7.0 Nougat updates at some point during the year. Unfortunately, one of the most popular high-end Xperia smartphones has been left out from the upgrading list, the Xperia Z3.

At the moment of the announcement, Sony did not say why the Xperia Z3 was skipped, but the company felt the need to explain its decision.

According to Sony developer Ola Olsson, there are two reasons that Xperia Z3 won't be getting an official Android 7.0 Nougat update. The first is a technical one and it's related to some “unforeseen platform limitations” that did not allow Sony to push the Developer Preview 5 update to the Xperia Z3 devices.

Apparently, since Sony hasn't been able to deliver that final update for Xperia Z3, it won't be allowed to upgrade the smartphone to Android 7.0 Nougat even if it wanted to.

Just before the Japanese company could release Developer Preview 5 for the Xperia Z3, Google updated its CTS (Compatibility Test Suite) requirements. The search giant introduced a requirement that removes lots smartphones from the compatibility list: support for either Vulkan or OpenGL ES 3.1.

Sony claims it's not at fault for not releasing Android 7.0 Nougat for Xperia Z3


Since Xperia Z3 comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor and an Adreno 330 GPU that support Open GL 3.0 ES only, it makes it impossible for this smartphone to pass the CTS test. This would be the legal reason that prevents Sony from providing Xperia Z3 users with the long-awaited Android 7.0 Nougat update.

Naturally, Sony Xperia Z3 won't be the only smartphone that won't be getting the Nougat update since it comes with an older chipset inside. Many other devices that pack Snapdragon 800 and 801 CPUs will not be able to pass Google's CTS test.

In case you missed our previous report, here is the list of Sony smartphones and tablets confirmed to receive Android 7.0 Nougat upgrade soon: Sony Xperia Z3+, Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony Xperia Z5, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia XA, Sony Xperia XA Ultra and Sony Xperia X Performance.

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13 Comments

1. aznhachi

Posts: 212; Member since: Apr 12, 2016

800 and 801 not 810

2. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Xperia "X3". Come on, dear writer.

4. cosmin.v

Posts: 47; Member since: Aug 22, 2016

Fixed. Thanks!

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5560; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Vulkan or OpenGL ES 3.1 is not a requirement of Nougat The General Mobile 4G has gotten Nougat yet it has the SD 410/Adreno 306, which doesnt support Vulkan or OpenGL ES 3.1 One theory is that its to do with encryption But we wont know for sure unless details of the CCD or CTS become public (the CCD will probably be public soon, but I dont believe the CTS gets released)

6. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

True, Android N Preview 4 works on my Xperia Z3 and only reboot issues (Wi-Fi and mobile data) so far. It's totally not related to Vulkan API. *sigh

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5560; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep And it took like less than a day for someone to make a decent ASOP N ROM for the Nexus 5 From what hear, its actually pretty stable, lots of people over at r/Nexus5 are using it as their daily driver, similar performance and battery to Marshmallow

7. vuyonc

Posts: 1087; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Sony/Google are probably doing what Microsoft is doing for mainstream flagships. "DX12 is Windows 10 only" "Vulkan/OGL ES 3.1 is Nougat only"

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5560; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Except they aren't Otherwise the General Mobile 4G wouldnt be able to run Nougat officially And Google aren't stopping anyone from porting Vulkan to older versions of Android e.g. Marshmallow on the S7/Note7, Shield Tablet, Nexus Player, ...

11. vuyonc

Posts: 1087; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

That's why I only mentioned mainstream flagships. Vulkan/OGL ES 3.1 support isn't necessary on Nougat and is possible on older versions, but they want the average customer to upgrade anyway. Plus Qualcomm reportedly won't release Nougat drivers for SD800/SD801 so planned obsolescence at the high end seems most likely.

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5560; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Or it could be that the SD800/801 don't support acclerated encryption But we wont know for sure unless details of the CCD or CTS become public (the CCD will probably be public soon, but I dont believe the CTS gets released)

5. rkoforever90

Posts: 405; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Xperia z3 is well over 2 year old I don't think any oem bother to update their phones from 2014,heck even Note 4 won't be getting N

10. ullokey

Posts: 172; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Obviously you do not own a Z3. It was the only Non-Nexus/Android one phone to receive 7.0 Developer Preview and apart from that there is a dedicated team from Sony working on something called Concept sofware (a seperate launcher, near stock Android), the love that Z3 has been receiving from Sony is unbelievable (also consider that there was Z3+, Z5, X after the Z3)

13. AlikMalix unregistered

It is apples fault, damn it. Apple ruins it for everyone. If stupid sheep only bought more android devices then they'll have more money to take care of their devices. Stoopeed sheepS!!!

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