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Unlocked Galaxy S8 and Note 8 will get Oreo in 2-3 weeks

Over the past couple weeks, all four major carriers in the United States started pushing Android Oreo to the Galaxy S8 on their networks. This came as exciting news for people that purchased the phone through these companies, but those rocking unlocked models have been left in the cold. Thankfully, a Samsung employee recently shed some light (opens in new tab) on what's going on.

On the official Samsung forums, moderator SamsungTrevor shared the following message –

We understand that many of you have Unlocked Galaxy S8/+ and Note 8 devices and may be wondering why those with Carrier models are seeing the updates first. The reason for this is that Unlocked devices must go through more rigorous testing than Carrier-specific devices because we need to make sure there is proper network functionality across ALL supported networks. (Ex. Carrier-specific devices are made to handle that one network. Unlocked devices need to be able to handle ANY / ALL compatible networks. Thus, they require some more preparation.)

After further explaining the process that goes behind software updates for unlocked models, SamsungTrevor then said –

We're working with our Carriers to get Oreo out to ALL eligible Galaxy S8/+ and Note 8 devices within the next 2-3 weeks. Although we can't guarantee an exact date as its pending final testing, we promise to update this thread (and your devices!) the moment it becomes available.

I can't imagine unlocked Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners will be too pleased knowing they may have to wait another 3 weeks before getting the Oreo update, but at the very least, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

40 Comments
  • This is bullcrap from Samsung. Guess what if I want the so called very important "CARRIER CERTIFICATION" I will just buy the carrier version. The whole point of buying unbranded/unlocked non carrier version is to take out the carrier dependency and have nothing to do with those people. All I care is if it supports the necessary radios, and you have done your own testing in house to make sure they work fine. So now we have to wait for all the useless carriers to certify instead on one in case of carrier version.
    Also, for the international unlocked you don't this. For example your are not getting all carriers in Europe to certify it before releasing updates to the European unlocked model. Great job Samsung !!!
  • I don't believe this is bullcrap, seeing as how each US carrier is significantly different in their network frequencies.
    Buying unlocked in the US is way more of a software hassle for OEMs because of the different network setups. International markets aren't that device specific.
  • Oh, but it IS bullcrap. If other OEMs can roll out updates to their unlocked models prior to the carrier variants, why can't Samsung? It sounds to me like Samsung has a deal with the carriers that prevents them from rolling the updates out to unlocked models prior to the carrier models.
  • I believe this to be the case as well. My Sony Xperia XZ Premium has had Oreo since forever and even my Essential does. Only reason I also carry a Samsung is for my YouTube channel content I produce. Otherwise, it would not be in my rotation.
  • Your sony doesn't have CDMA support unlike the unlocked Samsung devices
  • Pixel has and iPhone have.
  • Pixel, iPhone, and few other devices do this perfectly fine without waiting for months on the useless carriers. I can't believe Google doing carrier certification for ever security update they release every month and platform updates. Carrier models completely understand but unlocked models shouldn't be done this easy.
  • Whatever way Samsung tries to explain, it just does not take 10 months to test this out. Either this is not a priority for them, or their architecture is that bad.
  • I read this on XDA yesterday and have a hard time buying Samsung's excuse about having to be certified by the 4 major carriers.
  • People love to rag on Moto but with the exception of the Z series (which received Oreo months ago) these phones cost 3-4 times more. And Sammy gets a pass, why would anyone buy an unlocked Sammy over a Pixel?
  • Seeing is believing
  • My S8+ was bought unlocked and got oreo about 2 weeks ago..
  • Left Samsung and went to iOS...never looked back....
  • But here we are back on an Android site...
  • Guess he got caught looking lol
  • For those that like to look at basically the same icons and such from 10 years ago you can't go wrong.
  • Lame excuse Samsung. I will purchase my next phone elsewhere.
  • I am trying to understand all the hate for Samsung having to test the unlocked devices on each carrier. Very few companies do it the way Samsung does with one firmware you can have lte voice with wifi calling etc on every u.s. network. If their is any hate it needs to be directed at carriers not implementing a set standard. I to am itching for Oreo on my note 8 but I bought this phone knowing that updates would be slow if I wanted fast updates I would have gotten the pixel or iPhone.
  • I don't think it's hate, it's just that people are upset at the delays. How big is Samsung? Yet the HTC 10 from 2016 already has Oreo, and the U11 has had it since last year. I know software is one of HTC's strong points, but surely Samsung could throw a few more engineers on the task.
  • Agreed, it's not a big job even with all the software Samsung add to the OS.
    A few interns could knock it out over a weekend.
    Custom ROMs were available within weeks of 8 being released.
    If few amateurs can do it why not a billion $ company?
  • Lol, Google needs to stop this fuckery. The reason ppl go unlocked is to get the updates without the Carrier getting in the way. Samsung needs to cut this out.
  • I don't care about unlocked. Where is Oreo on my Verizon Note8? That's the most important question!
  • Just flash the carrier variant if your that shook over the update.
  • Or just buy the carrier variant then, why bother selling unlocked phones if they are treated this way. If sim unlock it the reason, you can easily get carrier phones sim unlocked once paid.
    The point of buying is to not have a carrier firmware and get fast updates.
  • I've been using oreo in my unlocked S8 Plus for a month now, I don't understand why other people didn't got the update
  • Oh well, this just makes my decision on buying a Pixel 2 XL all the more easier, (when my financial situation is resolved) fast updates and no middle man (carriers) to intefare or delay updates and consistent monthly security patches hehe.
  • Beno if you want your best bang for your buck. Get the OnePlus 6 great hardware great software. Download the Google Camera APK and you got yourself a better Pixel
  • Where can you download the Google camera APK for the Oneplus 6? Still not that great on the 5T to be honest.
  • I was considering a OnePlus 5T but after the controversy with OnePlus' secretly storing users data in China and the bs with an update so you can play movies on netflix and Amazon prime video in HD where you have to send your OnePlus 5T back is ridiculous, plus I want consistent monthly security patches and to be first in line for updates and only the Pixel 2 XL can offer me that and that's why the Pixel 2 XL is my number one choice. Which is a shame as I like Oxygen OS and the is the best bang for buck for its price but having a camera Out of the box, fast updates and only monthly security patches is very important to me.
  • Finally! But still long day to wait.
  • I think it's ridiculous that Samsung takes so very long to update their Flagship phone. The excuse that they updated the carrier phones first because of testing is terrible. Google provided the OS the vendors long ago, yet again and still Samsung is last out of the gate. Why are they not moving to the new update platform Google created? I say move to Tizen or provide timely updates to your devices. ....Google Pixel looking to be a better option every day. Very interested to see what they have in Q3/4 with the Pixel 3XL.
  • What can't you do on your phone because it doesn't run on Oreo? Don't think about it too long.... That's right, nothing you can't do. If Oreo mattered, Samsung would have pushed it out faster. But sure, I'd like to see zero delays on the monthly Android Security Patch Level updates.
  • I got the Android Oreo update today on the Note 8 from AT&T and have the March 1, 2018 security patch as well. Not too bad considering this is a carrier version. Honestly not seeing to much difference between 7.1
  • Got Oreo over two weeks ago on unlocked note8.
  • The Oreo update scheduled by Samsung for the Note 8 on Bell Canada today.... Has not occurred yet. Do I care? No... It's only OS.... We all run apps. I'll take awesome hardware on older Android over the latest OS every time.
  • Not to mention, if it took another six months, who cares? Does the device work? Quit bitçhin', right?
  • My problem is, if they certified carrier-specific devices, then it shouldn't take so long to certify unlocked devices, because they are good for all carriers.
  • Just got Oreo Note 8 Verizon!!!!
  • Just got my Oreo update on my Verizon Note 8! Woo hoo! FINALLY...
  • Guys the official u1 update is out i got mine this morning its build CRC1 so nobody has to wait have no clue how to add pictures on here or I would show everybody