A good number of OEMs have already started rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to their devices, but those rocking phones from the leading smartphone vendor in the world, Samsung, are still in the dark and full of unanswered questions. Whether it’s the newer Galaxy Note 8 or the older Note 5, be it the Galaxy S8 or the 3-year old Galaxy S6, no Samsung phone has received an OTA update that installs the stable Oreo.
Every affected Galaxy smartphone owner wants to know if and when they’ll receive the update, but what are Samsung’s plans in regard to the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 Oreo updates? Well….
It’s not looking good for Galaxy S6 and Note 5 users
If you own any of the Galaxy S6 handsets or the then phablet Galaxy Note 5, we have some news for you – probably bad news.
In November last year, a report surfaced online suggesting that Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge might be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo alongside the S7 and S8. Even before this information sunk in, another interesting development appeared online as well, suggesting that Samsung has plans to effect a 3-year software upgrade schedule, something similar to what Google does with the Pixel phones.
This got many excited about the prospects of receiving Android 8.0 Oreo on the 3-year-old Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active and even the Galaxy Note 5. The initial hope for Oreo on the S6 emerged from a conversation between a Redditor and a Samsung rep, with the latter assuring the former that there’s an S6 Oreo update in the works.
Samsung reps are often less informed when it comes to matters of software updates. But then another concerned Galaxy S6 user took the same direction to ask more about the Oreo update status of the phone. Despite dealing with a different Samsung rep, the same info was conveyed – that the Galaxy S6 Oreo will be rolled out at some point this Q1 2018.
Two wrongs don’t make a right
As noted, Samsung reps are the last persons on earth you should trust when it comes to information on software updates. As clueless as they can be, it seems they are quite resolute with the message they are passing around with respect to the S6 Oreo update.
The fact that two different reps are speaking the same language comes with a glimmer of hope. However, it’s also possible that both reps could be wrong and we all know two wrongs don’t make a right.
For instance, the claim that the Galaxy S6 Oreo update will be ready for release in “January and February” is absurd. As of this writing, the S8 and Note 8 have yet to see the Oreo treat head their way. Even so, after the 2017 duo, Samsung will turn attention to the 2016 S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active and the refurbished Galaxy Note FE that came out last year. It’s only after this group of phones that Samsung can turn attention to the S6 and Note 5, but somewhere in there, the company still has to update a flurry of other budget and midrange devices from 2017. You can see where this is going, right?
This, coupled with how slow Samsung can get with software updates, suggests that the 2015 series of phones might not receive an update to Android Oreo. Besides, by then, the tech giant would be working on Android P updates for the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, effectively ruling out any chances of Oreo for S6 and Note 5 users.
No Oreo plans for Galaxy S6 and Note 5
Typically, Google rolls out two major OS upgrades to its flagship phones – and so does Samsung and a series of other Android OEMs. While there might have been claims of a 3-year upgrade policy, this may have a lot to do with monthly security updates and not OS upgrades. Given that the Galaxy S6 series will be three years old in a few weeks’ time and will be quickly followed by the Note 5 in the summer, expecting an Oreo update seems a little too fanciful, especially from one Samsung.
To add more weight to this argument, a list of Samsung phones that will reportedly be upgraded to Android Oreo recently surfaced online and noticeably missing was the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5. Are you surprised? Well, we aren’t, but it gets even more interesting.
The list includes the Galaxy A8 2016, a phone that is powered by the same hardware specs as the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 family. So, why are the Note 5 and S6 handsets missing on the list yet an equally powerful A8 2016 is included?
Well, in case you didn’t know – or maybe you’ve forgotten – the Galaxy A8 2016 came preinstalled with Android Marshmallow out of the box. Since then, the phone has been upgraded to Android Nougat and since it falls within the company’s 2-year OS upgrade schedule and that it has flagship specs, it’ll also be receiving an upgrade to Android Oreo, the second and final OS upgrade.
Despite sharing the same hardware specs as the Galaxy A8 2016, the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 are already outside Samsung’s two-year OS upgrade policy. The pair came preinstalled with Android Lollipop and has since received two OS upgrades – Marshmallow and Nougat. That’s it!
So, unless you are willing to go the geeky way and flash a custom ROM based on Android Oreo on your Galaxy Note 5 or S6, there won’t be Oreo for you. On the brighter side, the eligibility of the A8 2016 tells us that the 2015 flagships can handle Oreo, so there won’t be any performance issues even when using custom ROMs.