Galaxy S8, S8+, Note 8 Oreo coming to unlocked models soon

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Samsung isn't exactly known for speedy updates (though, surprisingly, it's not exactly the worse by some standards). It has, however, at least started to roll out the Android 8.0 (not 8.1) Oreo update to carrier models of its Galaxy S8 and S8+ 2017 flagships. What about the unlocked models, you ask? Samsung has finally broken its silence and is promising it will happen next month, if all goes well. It also goes on to explain why it actually takes unlocked models longer to get updated than carrier ones, which defies logic a bit.

In the grand scheme of rolling out major updates, OEMs, like HTC and Sony for example, often lay the blame on the carrier side of the pipeline. Carrier testing and certification, plus the carrier "value-added" apps (a.k.a. bloatware) are pointed out as the bottleneck in the process.

In somewhat like a reversal of roles, Samsung is saying that unlocked phones get updates slower exactly because they don't have direct carrier ties. That is, because they have to support all networks, the testing requires more time and effort in contrast to models that have to only be tested against one carrier's network. Long story short, if you want faster updates from Samsung, you'll want to get a carrier-specific model.

Regardless of whether you accept that reasoning, Samsung promises that it's working to get the Oreo update out to the unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 in two to three weeks' time. Considering the botched initial rollout of the update to carrier models, owners of unlocked phones will probably prefer that Samsung takes its time to make sure it never happens to them. At this rate, however, it's probably safe to assume that these phones will never get Android P at all.