While manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and LG were all relatively quick to jump onboard the Marshmallow bandwagon, Sony — its seems — was happy taking its own sweet time. Following its Japan-only release, it appears as though Android Marshmallow is starting to land on international variants of the Sony Xperia Z5 series handsets.
According to Xperia Blog, firmware build 32.1.A.1.163 is live for all variants of the Xperia Z5, while firmware for the Z5 Premium and Z5 Compact is also being spotted. This update specifically features an upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and includes the February security patch release from Google.
There are a couple of things worth noting about this upgrade specifically. While it includes the same standard ‘Doze mode’ feature and granular app permissions as all Marshmallow-equipped phones, Sony has opted to follow the example of LG and Samsung by not including the adoptable storage feature. That means you won’t be able to adopt a MicroSD card as internal storage in the Xperia Z5 (or variants of).
On the user interface front, the new software seems to match closely with the software we saw running on the Xperia X and Xperia XA when were at MWC last month. That is to say, it has a new home launcher and app drawer. Interestingly, Sony hasn’t built its ‘STAMINA’ mode battery saving feature in to Marshmallow, perhaps because the baked in Doze mode and app standby controls help do what STAMINA was created for.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there’s also a brand new camera interface, Xperia Messaging app and Direct Share. All in all, it looks like a nice update from Sony. From my time with the new Xperia X phones, I can safely say that the stripped backed user interface really helps the Sony phones feel quicker, and less cluttered.