Update [May 04, 2017]: Asus Japan is now beginning to distribute Android 7.0 Nougat to its flagship Zenfone 3 Ultra. Though it took quite a while, Asus has finally done it. From improved performance to a redesigned user interface, Nougat will provide the user with a refreshing new user experience. The update also features new additions like improved Doze mode for longer battery life, bundled notifications, quick reply from notification shade and lots of other under-the-hood performance improvements.
Update [January 19, 2017]: Asus has confirmed that because of the unforeseen issues, the Zenfone 3 Nougat update has been halted for the time being. The company did not provide an estimated date sadly, when we could expect the Asus Android 7.0 rollout to resume.
Update [January 09, 2017]: Asus has finally released its first Android 7.0 Nougat update, and it arrives for the regular Zenfone 3. Asus is yet to confirm its plan to release the Nougat OTA for Zenfone 3 variants like Laser, Max, Zoom, Ultra, Deluxe, etc. but the Nougat builds shouldn’t be very far from release for those sets too now.
Let’s start with one cold truth about Asus and updates: you cannot expect Nougat on even devices that aren’t yet two years old. That’s a bad way to start about the Nougat roadmap, but however astonishing that may seem, it’s the truth. Here’s why.
The company played it totally lame with the Marshmallow update, period. Not only the likes of Zenfone 5 were left out of the update, which raises doubts on Zenfone 2 Nougat update as well, but those that received it had to make do with serious issues having negative impact device’s day to day usage.
So, quite admittedly, when it comes to Nougat release, we don’t have any high expectations from Asus at this moment. We hope that changes, but until Asus is able to update its latest flagship in Zenfone 3– and its so many variants — to Nougat, in a timely manner, without issues after the update and such, it’s just futile to be excited about Nougat release from Asus.
Also read: Redmi Note 3 Nougat release
Here’s what we think about the Nougat scenarios with respect to Asus devices. Which one will get it? And also when could you expect Android 7.0 to release?
Asus Nougat update release
Here’s what and how we expect the Asus Nougat release. We don’t think any devices other than Zenfone will be given Nougat love. And we’re not baseless in our ice-cold assumption, just look at the Asus devices which received Marshmallow — it’s hard to find non-Zenfone 2 sets therein.
It will be really ironical when the device released in 2016 itself — the same year as Google released the Nougat update — won’t be bestowed Nougat blessing.
What are your thoughts on this?
Zenfone 3 Nougat update
Well, we included only Zenfone 3 and its variants in our list of Asus Nougat devices. Although not confirmed by Asus (a moderator did edit the thread at Asus forums which mentions Zenfone 3 sets, BTW, so it’s some word on this), the Zenfone 3 sets were released only a while ago, and are company’s flagship sets, making them obviously compulsory for Asus to release Android 7.0 Nougat on.
But the timing of the release date is what that matters the most now. With Marshmallow and Zenfone 2, it was bad. It took company more than size months or so to bring the update to Zenfone 2. While some of the variants of Zenfone 2 received it earlier, it wasn’t any early: we’re talking Q2 2016.
Also read: OnePlus 2 Nougat release
We would hope Asus is able to release the Nougat update for Zenfone 3 by Q1 2017. That’s not early by any means, though, let us tell you that, as we’re expecting Galaxy S7 Nougat release by October, while that for Galaxy S6 (2015) by December or January.
HTC has promised to update its three devices in HTC 10, One M9 and One A9, to Nougat, before the end of this carrier, including all carriers version in US — which is great! While Asus is yet to comment on its plans. Sony too has come forward with a list of devices to receive Nougat update.
Anyway, all Zenfone 3 variants should be receiving the Nougat update, no matter when it arrives, including: Zenfone 3 Deluxe, Zenfone 3 Laser, Zenfone 3 Max and Zenfone 3 Ultra.
Zenfone 2 Nougat update
Given Asus’ records, well, this is all we’d say: Zenfone 2 users will be lucky if they get to run Android 7.0 Nougat officially.
Sure, they would get to enjoy their share of Android 7.0 fun via ROM like CM14, which is a custom ROM that we expect to be available for many devices. But that unofficial update is not what you seek, right?
Also read: Galaxy S6 CM14 and S7 CM14
Last year, Marshmallow released back in October, and it took Asus their flagship in Zenfone 2 until August 31 to update to 6.0.1. Lame, isn’t it? Nexus devices were running official Nougat update by then!
All the while, company’s very successful devices like Zenfone 5 were left untreated to Android 6.0.1. This is hardly acceptable. Released back in April 2014 — with KitKat, which was a lame start, of course when Lollipop was available for 7-8 months — the device should be getting updates released within two years of its release. But no, it’s Asus for you.
So, there are slimmest of chances Zenfone 2 users will get to run official Android 7.0 update.
Zenfone 4, 5, 6 Nougat update
Even though these devices are Asus hits — one that made many fans for the company, and gave Zenfone 2 an excitement, and goo start at launch, only to be ruined first by bugs/issues with the device, only increased by updates — and were yet to cross two years of age when Marshmallow released, Asus these didn’t bring 6.0 love to them all.
So, there is no chance of Nougat update by either, which is actually fine too.
Also read: Moto G2 Nougat release
When do you expect Asus to start rolling out the Nougat update for Zenfone 3 sets?