That Android Q, or Android 10, if you may, is here with us, is not in dispute. The latest version of Android, which is expected to exit testing and go official later this year, has been under testing since mid-March when the very first developer preview arrived.
While that has been so, only Google’s own Pixel smartphones have been invited to the party.
Now, 3 beta versions later, Google is confident enough to allow several of its device-making partners to join the party with at least a device each being accepted into the test programme.
According to Google, devices from 12 different Android device makers (of the over 180 partners Google has around the world) will join its own existing lineup of 6 Pixel devices from the first 3 generations as well as the latest 2 announced yesterday at Google i/O 2019, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Here are all those devices:
- Asus Zenfone 5z
- Essential PH-1
- Nokia 8.1
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- LG G8
- OnePlus 6T
- Oppo Reno
- Realme 3 Pro
- Sony Xperia XZ3
- Tecno Spark 3 Pro
- Vivo X27
- Vivo NEX S
- Vivo NEX A
- Xiaomi Mi 9
- Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 XL
- Pixel 3a
- Pixel 3a XL
This list is interesting for a couple of reasons. Borrowing from the trend started last year, Google has doubled down on the number of devices included that are from device makers that aren’t known for indulging in its Android One programme, thus not running any form of near-stock Android software builds. This is the case for Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, LG, Huawei, Asus, Realme and Tecno.
Sony, Essential, Xiaomi, Nokia, Vivo, OnePlus and Oppo have become some sort of regulars since their devices also had an early peek at Android Pie while it was still under testing last year while LG has been a long time partner when it comes to this. It made a Nexus under the previous Android regime and its LG V20 smartphone was the first one to arrive running the-then new Android 7.0, Nougat back in 2016.
Asus, too, enjoyed a similar status to LG’s in the days of Android Jelly Bean on the Google I/O stage, 6-7 years ago.
Huawei had its day with the beautiful Nexus 6P.
It is Realme and Tecno that are breaking new ground here.
In the case of Tecno, this is even more interesting as the Tecno Spark 3 Pro, included in the Android Q beta 3 programme, is, alongside the Realme 3 Pro, one of the most affordable devices on the list. It is representative of the progress that Google has made in terms of getting most of its partners to commit to speedy updates much as it is a testament to Tecno’s efforts to improve its handling of software updates which has often been woeful in the past.
Even better, devices like the Tecno Spark 3 Pro and Nokia 8.1 are officially available on sale in the country and their listing will go a long way in boosting their profile in the eyes of savvy users who know what they want from Android devices.
The Essential phone, which makes it to the list is the only device, bar the members of Google’s Pixel lineup, that was there last year when the Android P developer preview was coming out that still makes it to the Q testing phase. The list is dominated by devices released in the final months of 2018 and some, like the LG G8, Oppo Reno, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, Xiaomi Mi 9 and others, are fresh from 2019.