Samsung has slowly been rolling out Android Oreo to its flagship devices from last year, and last week we saw the S8 complete its rollout to major carrier variants. However, unlocked users have been left in the dark when it comes to that update, with Note 8 owners in the same boat. Thankfully, Samsung is finally acknowledging that and giving answers.

On the company’s forums, a Samsung employee posted regarding the official release of Android Oreo for the unlocked models of the Galaxy S8, as well as the Galaxy Note 8. Users of those versions of Samsung’s flagships thankfully won’t have to wait too long, as Samsung is working on delivering the updates in “2-3 weeks.” This isn’t a concrete date, but it’s good to have a roadmap in place.

…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.

The big question surrounding this, however, is why carrier variants of these two devices picked up Oreo before unlocked models. One would think that without carriers holding back the update for testing, it would arrive sooner, but it’s actually the exact opposite as Samsung explains:

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.)

So, to summarize what’s happening, Samsung is first building the update for devices. From there, it tests that update and puts it through the carrier certification process with each operator, the culprit for the delay. That’s for the best, though, as it ensures good performance for users across the board.

9to5Google’s Take

It’s great to see Samsung being more proactive in communicating with its users on these updates. With unlocked Galaxy S7 units, the company was completely silent for months between carriers rolling out an update and those same updates landing on unlocked devices. Hopefully, this process can be sped up further, but if you know you’re going to stick to one carrier and want a Samsung device, this explanation means it’s probably best to just buy the carrier variant best suited to you.

What do you think about Samsung’s updates? Should unlocked models get the update first and skip some of these network certifications? Drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.