For readers who have their Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus in the company’s Android Oreo beta program, you have a second beta build coming your way. The new beta is build R16NW.G955FXXU1ZQLE and is just over 600MB in size. The updated beta has been released but it could take a few days before all beta testers see it on their phone.
This new build contains a significant number of bug fixes and performance improvements over the first beta and seemingly nothing on the device was left untouched. The new beta addresses issues with Bluetooth connectivity, smart device connectivity, Bixby issues, profile issues… it goes on. This update should also address general unresponsiveness of the device in all situations and uses. It isn’t uncommon for manufactures to offer a lot of updates to things in their 2nd beta builds and this one certainly is no exception.
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The release team at T-Mobile has been quite busy it would seem preparing updates for multiple Samsung Galaxy devices on their network. Late yesterday the carrier released multiple updates for Galaxy devices, bringing overall improvements as well as the December Android Security Update patch to them.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the first ones to get updated. The S7 will be receiving build G930TUVS4BQL2 while the S7 Edge will be getting build G935TUVS4BQL2. For both devices, the OTA updates are less than 50MB and is primarily the December security patch although there could be some undocumented improvements brought to the devices.
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T-Mobile customers who are carrying the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, there is a new software update that has been released for you. The update brings the December Android Security Update to the devices but nothing else is mentioned in the release notes by T-Mobile. It likely contains some performance fixes and bug fixes, especially given the size of the update files.
For the Galaxy S8, your new build is G950USQS2BQL1 and is 130.66MB in size. For S8 Plus owners, you are getting build G955USQS2BQL1 and it is slightly smaller at 127.11MB. The updates have been released by T-Mobile so you should start seeing the OTA updates for them as soon as today.
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As part of their Black Friday sale, Samsung has dropped $150 off the unlocked variants of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus through their Amazon Storefront. These are the unlocked variants of the phones and they have 64GB of onboard storage which can be expanded.
Samsung Galaxy S8 – $574.99
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus – $674.99
These are by far the lowest prices on the Samsung flagship phones since their introduction earlier this year.
The 5.8″ Galaxy S8 is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor running four cores at 2.3GHz and the other four running at 1.9GHz. It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD card. The display renders at 2960 x 1440 QuadHD with an impressive 571 PPI. Powering all of it is a 3000mAh battery which is charged with inductive charging.
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If there has been once consistent complaint from owners of the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Note8, it has been the dedicated Bixby button. Bixby is Samsung’s personal assistant and it was rolled out well after the Galaxy S8 was released. While Samsung did a fair amount of hyping of the AI-based assistant, it somewhat fell flat and users almost immediately began trying to figure out how to remap the dedicated button for the assistant on the phones.
Samsung squashed most of those but have finally given into customer demands. There is a new update in the Galaxy App store that should roll out to all S8 and Note8 owners that will disable the button.
Note that this will disable the button. You still can’t remap it, officially at least. Samsung won’t let you remap the button to say Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
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As rumored, Samsung has begun the public beta testing of their Android Oreo build for the Galaxy S8. The program officially kicked off today and is expected to run for at least a couple of months. It is good news for S8 owners as Samsung is notoriously slow about getting major updates out to their devices. It would see, at least with Oreo, Samsung is trying to reverse the trend.
Unlike the beta program for Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices, Samsung is being very limited in the number of Galaxy S8 owners who get the beta & who have signed up for the program. In talking to their technical support team today, I was informed that a small number of users who had signed up for the beta were randomly selected and were offered the OTA update to the beta. When I asked if this would be expanded later, the support agent indicated it was possible but that she could not comment.
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It looks like owners of the latest Samsung Galaxy devices have a bit of a wait before they see the Android Oreo update. The company’s Turkish site has posted that the testing of the new Oreo build has begun and that it will begin rolling out next year.
Our work on our pilot model for Android 8.0 (Oreo) has begun. We aim to present the new operating system to you at the beginning of the new year.
The problem, of course, is when exactly it will be in the new year but this all-but confirms that the update won’t hit in 2017. Samsung has been very quiet about a timeline on when the update will roll out and this is the only confirmation that has been seen to this point.
If it is indeed 2018 before the Galaxy S8 phones and the Note8 see Oreo, it will once again make Samsung one of the last of the major OEMs to get the update out to their current devices. Huawei, OnePlus, LG, Sony, HTC and Moto have all confirmed that at least some of their devices will get the update prior to the end of the year.
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