The award for fastest non-Google smartphone manufacturer to upgrade an existing Android product to the latest major platform version goes to Sony. Not exactly a big surprise, given the Japanese OEM was also Big G’s first mobile hardware-making partner to launch new devices running 8.0 Oreo out the box this fall.

Sony stood out from the crowd with its Nougat update tempo as well, even though haste made waste on occasion earlier this year. What’s perhaps a little unexpected is the company literally just announced the Xperia XZ Premium would only get its first big OS promotion in December in Sony’s native land.

No words on specifically what markets are preceding Japan “starting today”, but the usual warnings and recommendations apply. You’re advised to not get too excited if you own the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, as “software rollouts are a phased process” and “timing and availability will vary by market and/or operator.”

Still, it’s important to kick these things off early, not to mention the all-new XZ Premium Rosso, available in “opulent red”, is launching across Hong Kong, Taiwan and Middle East & Africa regions today with Oreo goodies pre-loaded.

Speaking of paint jobs, the “old” pink Xperia XZ Premium is the lone version still going for a heavily discounted rate of $585 on Amazon, with the “luminous chrome” flavor up for grabs from B&H Photo Video at $600.

In addition to all your typical Android 8.0 enhancements and tweaks, including Picture-in-Picture mode, Autofill, instant apps, background activity minimization and improved device boot speed, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is looking at a number of proprietary upgrades “from today”, like the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact’s 3D Creator, smile detection for the camera’s Predictive Capture feature, improved sound quality, and “re-imagined” app shortcuts.

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