The Android P update is official and you can grab it right now if you own a Pixel, Pixel 2, or a select device from Nokia, Essential, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Vivo, or Oppo. If you own a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, we’ve got some bad news.
Google typically confirms new Android updates at its annual developer conference. This year the company decided to do things a bit differently and confirmed Android P ahead of Google I/O.
Android P, official name unknown as of right now, delivers several notable changes to Google-branded devices and, at some point down the road, devices from third-party manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.
Unfortunately, it looks like Nexus-branded devices will (officially) stick around on Android Oreo.
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. Other supported devices include the OnePlus 6, Essential PH-1, Sony Xperia XZ2, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and Vivo X21/UD.
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 most likely 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 the release of the latest Android P Developer Preview
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 Google Pixel 3 which should run Android P out of the box.
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 2018 patch rolls out, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P users will be on their own.
Wait for the Best Software Support
If you want the best version of Google's Android P software paired with the best software support, you should think about holding out for the Pixel 3.
Google's Android P update is currently in beta ahead of a wider release later this year. The new operating system doesn't come with an overhauled design, but it does come with an assortment of useful tweaks and enhancements.
The new Pixel 3 will almost certainly run Android P out of the box and there's a good chance it'll come with some exclusive features that 1) aren't included in the beta and 2) won't be available for other Android phones at launch.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL arrived with some exclusives including support for AR Stickers, Google Lens support, and a new built-in Pixel Launcher.
Google's Android 8.1 Oreo update brought some Pixel 2 features to older devices weeks after the devices launched.
If you want immediate access to Android P's best features, you should think about waiting for the Pixel 3 launch.
Google's Pixel 3 will also come with the best software support.
While you might be tempted to go with a cheaper device like the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, or an original Pixel, software support for those phones will end much sooner than support for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3.
It's also worth noting that newer devices often get major software updates days, sometimes weeks, before older devices so you can expect the Pixel 3 to be first in line to milestone Android P updates.
If you plan on keeping your phone for several years and want to be first in line to major Android releases, you might want to hold out for the Pixel 3.