Google typically confirms new Android updates at its annual developer conference. This year the company decided to do things a bit differently and Android P is both official, and live in beta form, ahead of Google I/O.
Android P, official name unknown as of right now, is set to deliver several notable changes to Google-branded devices and, at some point down the road, devices from third-party manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.
The update is starting with Google’s stable of devices though and those with the appropriate device can try the update out right now.
With that in mind we want to take you through the most important things you need to know about Android P if you’re a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P user.
No Nexus Android P Beta
The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P were included in the Android Oreo beta, but neither device is part of the Android P beta and we don’t expect that to change. Also missing are the Pixel C tablet and Nexus Player.
On the list are the Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2, Pixel, and Pixel XL. If you own one of those devices you can manually install the Android P update right now.
For more information about the beta, take a look at our guide.
Nexus 6P & Nexus 5X Won’t Get Android P
Google’s confirmed the official Android P release date for the third quarter. This means it will be released sometime between the start of July and the end of September. When Android P arrives, there won’t be a surprise release for the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X.
According to Google, the two devices will stay on Android Oreo. In addition, the Pixel C tablet will also stay put on Android 8.1 Oreo. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Last year, Google said it couldn’t guarantee Android version updates for the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X after September, 2017. Unfortunately, the company is staying true to its word.
How to Get Android P (Nexus)
If you own a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P and you want to try Android P, you’ve got a couple of options. One will be free, the other will cost you.
While Google Android version support for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P ends with Android Oreo, support from third-party developers won’t end.
Both devices still have a large development community and we expect developers to put together stable Android P ROMs for both devices.
If you’re interested in trying out Android P’s features, keep an eye out for stable Android P ROMs as we push away from today’s release date.
Your other option is an upgrade to the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, or Pixel 2 XL. These devices are four of the best Android phones available and they’re all much cheaper than they once were. You could also wait for the rumored Pixel 3 which should run it out of the box.
If you own a Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X and don’t consider yourself a power user, you might want to look into an upgrade this year.
This isn’t the end of the line for the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P.
Google initially said it planned to stop security updates for the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X in September, 2018. However the company changed those plans back in 2017.
The company now says it plans to roll out security patches to the Nexus 5X through November 2018. Once the November patch rolls out, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P users will be on their own.
March Nexus 5X Android 8.1 Oreo Impressions
Before we get into an early look at the update's performance on the Nexus 5X, a few notes about the installation process.
If you're currently running the Android 8.1, and we assume most of you are, it shouldn't take you too long to transition from an older Android 8.1 build to this one.
It took us just a few minutes to download and sideload the software onto our Nexus 5X.
We've been using the March Android 8.1 Oreo on the Nexus 5X for a few days now and the update is performing well in key areas including battery life, connectivity, and UI speed.
Battery drain is a common Android problem, but we haven't noticed anything on our Nexus 5X. Battery life is about the same as it was on the last build.
If you do start to encounter battery life issues, take a look at our guide to fixing bad Android Oreo battery life.
We've been able to connect the Nexus 5X to multiple routers including eero mesh Wi-Fi. Speeds are fast and reliable. We've also successfully connected the Nexus 5X to several Bluetooth devices including headphones and speakers.
The Nexus 5X feels snappy with the new Android 8.1 build on board. It's still early, but animations and transitions are smooth and we haven't experienced any lag or general sluggishness.
So far so good. That said, if you're feeling leery, you probably should wait for the OTA. If you're feeling especially nervous, wait for long-term feedback to arrive.