However, its policy on how long its Xperia devices are supported for has been somewhat vague. We can’t criticise Sony too hard, as this is no different to most other manufacturers out there. Only Google is very clear on how long its Pixel devices are expected to receive both Android upgrades and security patches for. Through experience, we’ve seen that Sony’s flagship models tend to be supported for around two years, while Sony’s mid-range devices are often dropped before then.
Well to put matters to rest, we now have Sony’s official Android upgrade policy, which confirms that its premium devices are supported for two years after the device has launched. For mid-range devices, the length of support is less clear, with Sony saying that it may not choose to upgrade if "testing does not meet our exacting standards and we feel the hardware isn’t capable of delivering a stable user experience. "
The moral of the story is that if you’re one of those people who want to be assured of longer software support, then pick one of Sony’s flagship devices. Sony has also confirmed which Xperia devices will receive patches for the 'Meltdown’ and 'Spectre’ CPU vulnerabilities. You can see the full list below.
“We aim to support all premium range devices with the latest Android updates for two years after the device has launched. We may choose not to upgrade a mid-range or entry-level device if testing does not meet our exacting standards and we feel the hardware isn’t capable of delivering a stable user experience.
“We provide a range of easily accessible resources within device settings, but also online to ensure users are able stay up to date with the latest information around Android on Sony Xperia products, these include:
An "Xperia and Android" page showcasing our latest Android features
Individual product support pages, where users can enter their device IMEI number to see full upgrade history and upcoming updates
A support forum where Sony staff and experts are on hand to help with issues, as well as provide advice on getting the most out of Sony Xperia devices
“Our Security Update Program is an on-going initiative to make regular protective patches available against the latest risks, vulnerabilities and flaws, including: Android security (released by Google), those from relevant third-party vendors and any Xperia-specific issues. Depending on timing and situation, security updates may be released separately, as part of firmware maintenance or within a full Android OS upgrade.
“Because the Security Update Program is available to our entire premium line, select mid-range devices – timing and phasing may vary by carrier.”
“For the issues known as "Meltdown" and "Spectre", we will / are in the process of making patches available for: Xperia XA1, Xperia XA1 Ultra, Xperia L1, Xperia XA1 Plus, Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, Xperia L2, Xperia X Performance, Xperia X, Xperia X Compact, Xperia XZ, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs, Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. Patched devices will have Android Security Patch dated 2018-01-05.”