Xperia 1, Xperia 5 get Android 11 update a month early

With very few smartphones released each year, you'd think that Sony would have a handle on getting Android updates out fast. Its reported timetable for Android 11 rollout, however, didn't give that much hope. Now it seems that Sony is picking up the pace and has just started pushing the latest Android version to its nearly two-year-old smartphone, perhaps sparking hope that the company is indeed turning over a new leaf.

Sony has had a rather curious history and relationship with Android. It is one of the extremely few smartphone makers that encourages and even supports the development of third-party ROMs on its devices, give or take a few proprietary compromises. But despite having turned away from its heavily customized UI to something closer to stock Android, the company's track record when it comes to pushing Android updates hasn't exactly been that commendable.

The company's reported schedule for Android 11 updates didn't do much to fix that image. In addition to being late to the party, it didn't even include mid-range models like the Xperia 10 or the even lower Xperia L. To date, only one model, the Xperia 1 II, has received such a major software upgrade.

That's what makes this surprise update for the Xperia 1 and Xperia 5, well, surprising. Initially slated for a February rollout, the two are now receiving Android 11 along with the December 2020 security patches. Disappointingly, Sony hasn't at all published a changelog of what else has been added on top of plain Android 11.

More curious, the updates for the Xperia 5 II and Xperia 10 II are nowhere to be seen. These two are supposed to get Android 11 starting at the end of this month. There's still plenty of time for that to happen, of course, just not what some might have expected Sony to do.