Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor in the world and as always, it is the South Korean company’s actions that will determine how fast the new Android 9 Pie update will gather pace. Google already did its part and made the AOSP available beginning August 6, 2018, and now it’s upon Samsung to make it happen.
If you own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet, this page has all details about Samsung Android 9 Pie update, what and when to expect it, the devices that will receive the OS and even more details on unofficial Pie updates via popular custom ROMs.
|Device||Android Pie eligibility||Expected release date|
|Galaxy Note 9||Eligible||Q1 2019|
|Galaxy Note 8||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy S9||Eligible||Q1 2019|
|Galaxy S9+||Eligible||Q1 2019|
|Galaxy S8||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy S8+||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy S8 Active||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy S8 Lite||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy A8+||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy A8 (2018)||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy A8 Star (A9 Star)||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy A6||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy A6+||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy J8||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J7 Star||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J7 Duo||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J6||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J4||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J3 2018||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy J3 Star||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy Amp Prime 3||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy On6||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy Tab S4||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Galaxy Tab S3||Eligible||Q3 2019|
|Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)||Eligible||Q3 2019|
Like Google, Samsung usually rolls out two major OS upgrades to its premium phones and at least one to its midrange and budget models. This means that the Galaxy Note 9, S9, S9+, S8, S8+, S8 Active, and Note 8 users are safe. As for the S7 series, the update to Oreo was, by design, the second and last major OS upgrade. Unless Samsung does a OnePlus, the only way to get Pie on the S7 twins would be through custom ROMs.
The Galaxy A8 2018 duo is expected to get a second major OS upgrade in Android Pie, but we don’t expect the same to happen to the 2017 Galaxy A family. As for the budget segment, only the 2018 series of Galaxy J handsets that have Android Oreo out of the box are guaranteed to get Pie. If your Galaxy J device has Android Nougat or an older OS out of the box, there won’t be a Pie update for you.
In the slates family, the Galaxy Tab S4 and Tab S3 are definite contenders to receive Pie, although the update will arrive on the former ahead of the latter. The 2018 Galaxy Tab A should also join the party at some point.
So, if your device hasn’t featured in the table above, it’s safe to assume that it won’t be updated to Android Pie via official channels.
Expected release date
Hardcore Android fans will know that Samsung is not the go-to smartphone vendor if timely software updates are a priority. This hasn’t changed much even with the current Android 9 Pie, where we saw the likes of Sony, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, Nokia, and Oppo take part in the beta testing program but Samsung didn’t even try.
Given the early access to the Pie build, devices from these companies will definitely get the update to Android Pie ahead of any Samsung phone, including the latest Galaxy Note 9. Since Samsung’s beta testing program usually lasts months, the earliest we can expect Samsung Android 9 Pie update is December 2018. But wait, Samsung hasn’t even commenced the beta testing program, which could mean the wait may go all the way to early 2019.
History tells us that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ should be the first to get Android Pie update ahead of the Galaxy Note 9 and later on the Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 will join the party, probably in Q2 2019. It’s after the update rolls out to the flagship sets from 2018 and 2017 that it will start showing up on the likes of Samsung Galaxy A8 2018, Galaxy A6, and eventually land on the Galaxy J 2018 series somewhere in Q3 2019. Now that’s a long wait huh!
Will Google’s Project Treble help ease things up? Maybe, maybe not! At the end of the day, the ball is still in Samsung’s court, with or without Treble.
Related: Will Android Pie updates roll out as easy as pie?
What to expect
Samsung has its own take on Android, known as the Samsung Experience UI, a shift from the popular TouchWiz UI formerly. With this custom skin, Android Pie won’t look any similar to how Google made it, as you see on the likes of Google Pixel and Essential Phone mainly because the latter have no extensive customizations on top of AOSP.
Either way, you can still expect to come across core Android Pie features like app actions and slices, gestures, digital wellbeing, smart replies, better notification management, and so on.
You can check out all the new Android Pie features here. If interested, you can also take a quick peek at what the future holds in Android Q.
Unofficial Android Pie update
As pointed out earlier, not all Samsung devices will be updated to Android Pie. For popular devices that will be missing out on the official update to Pie such as Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, you can always look out for unofficial updates thanks to the many custom ROM developers out there. LineageOS is one of the most popular ones and with the upcoming LineageOS 16, some Samsung devices should be able to climb aboard the Pie ship unofficially.
Related: LineageOS 16: Expected release date and device list
Which Samsung Galaxy device do you own? Does it appear on this list? Let us know in your comments below.