The Android 8.0 update – what many are calling Android Oreo – will bring the next major version of Android to our devices, likely beginning in August. It will arrive first to Google devices, namely the Pixel, Pixel XL and supported Nexus devices, and then to other Android phones made by the likes of Samsung, LG, and more.
How soon your phone will get the update depends on a variety of factors: your phone manufacturer’s update track record, how new (and expensive) your phone is, whether your phone is unlocked or carrier-branded, your region, and so on. But, given past performance, we can draw some fairly accurate predictions of when you can expect to get the Android O update on your phone.
What follows is broken down into Android OEMs, based on how fast they got both Nougat and Marshmallow out, so just jump to the relevant section to see when the first Android 8 update should hit that company’s devices.
Google Pixel/Nexus Android O update
Google has not officially confirmed the final build of Android O will roll out in August, only that it is due in Q3. We expected it to arrive in late August, but Android Police editor David Ruddock has it on good authority that it could be out in the first two weeks of August instead. Either way, August is looking to be the month to keep an eye on for Android 8.0 – what this means for the announcement of the Google Pixel 2 is anyone’s guess.
For all non-Google devices, you’ll have to wait until well after the official launch of Android 8.0 to see Android O on your device – somewhere between three months and a year depending on your handset manufacturer and carrier.
We previously shared details of the fastest OEMs and carriers to update to Android Nougat and we’ve now taken a second, mid-rollout look at OEM update performance. Perhaps not too surprisingly, the podium finishes for the first update aren’t always backed up by update performance over time. Updating mid-range and budget devices is never a particularly appealing prospect for device manufacturers or carriers unfortunately.
As always, we encourage you to do a little homework when planning your next Android purchase, especially if rapid updates are important to you. Some manufacturer and carrier combinations are more responsive than others, and the upcoming Google Pixel 2 will be at the top of the pile for the next two years. With that said, here are our predictions on when your device is likely to get Android 8.0 based on historical performance.
Note: All predictions below are based on Android 8.0 arriving in mid-August. Adjust the predicted update arrival dates accordingly if you think Google will drop it sooner or later than mid-August.
Samsung Android 8.0 update
Samsung isn’t exactly speedy when it comes to rolling out Android updates, and we sadly don’t expect that to change significantly with the Android 8.0 update. In our mid-rollout assessment for Nougat, Samsung is near the bottom of the score sheet. Yes, the company has near limitless resources, but it also has the largest product portfolio by far and countless carrier agreements spanning the globe to slow it down.
Flagships come first and the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be on the top of the update list alongside the Galaxy Note 8, due to be officially unveiled in late August (it’s feasible, if unlikely, that the Note 8 could launch with Android O on board).
Looking at Nougat, Samsung got the first updates out to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in China and the UK 143 days after Google released Android 7.0. The update took a grand total of 180 days to reach US shores, landing first on T-Mobile, followed by AT&T the day after and Sprint two days after that. Verizon hobbled across the finish line a couple of weeks later.
But what about the year before? For the Marshmallow update, Verizon actually got there first, delivering Android 6.0 to the Galaxy Note 5 after 156 days. Carrier performance can fluctuate year to year and device to device, but based on these two efforts, we can expect the first update to Android 8.0 for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to arrive between 5-6 months after it is released by Google – around January or February 2018 if the Oreo update lands in August.
Korean S8 owners will likely get it at least a month earlier than the US, and of course, both Samsung and its carrier partners could either speed things up this year, or slow them down even further. But a 2017 Samsung Android 8.0 update looks unlikely.
Best case scenario: 5-6 months after Android 8.0 arrives (January/February 2018)