The developer preview is intended to let programmers and designers ensure that their apps will work on the Xperia handsets and tablets, but anyone prepared to take the risk of flashing a new OS onto their device can take the leap.

At this stage, early adopters might still prefer to use a non-essential device for the Developer Preview of Android M.

"It's only available for devices with an unlocked boot loader and comes with some limitations," advised the Sony Mobile blog in a June 22 posting; two of those crucial functions not yet available include the on-board modem for internet access and working camera software.

Sony's announcement follows on from the Google I/O conference in May, at which Android M Developer Preview was made available for Google Nexus models 5, 6, 9 and the Nexus Player; Android L had been revealed at I/O in June 2014 before receiving a public release in November of the same year.