Who doesn't love a refresh? Samsung's upcoming One UI makes it easier to use your device with one hand and adds a fresh coat of paint to the formally "Samsung Experience" skin. While you're probably looking forward to installing One UI on your phone, not all Galaxies are equal — your device could be one of the first to receive the update, or it could never see One UI at all.
To be clear, One UI is not yet available on any Galaxy device, at least officially. Samsung devices are notoriously slow to receive Android updates, so even the most recent of Galaxy phones are still running Oreo as opposed to the Android Pie update that drives One UI. Of course, if you're growing impatient, you can always download the Android 9 beta. The open beta isn't quite here yet, so you'll need to put in a little extra elbow grease to get your S9 or S9+ running Pie.
Those who purchased Samsung's latest and greatest — at least as of the time of this article — will be first in line to receive the update. One UI is coming to unlocked Galaxy Note 9 devices in January, with carrier variants — Verizon, T-Mobile, etc. — to follow closely behind.
Carrier variants issue their own updates, rather than letting Samsung take the reigns. Unlocked devices are not at the mercy of any particular carrier, so they will typically be first to update.
If you opted for the Galaxy S9 or S9+ over the Note 9, don't worry — these devices will receive the update at the exact same time as the Note 9. Unlocked devices will get the update in January, with carrier variants following that.
It pays to be in the most up-to-date device cycle, even if the Note 9 is newer than the S9 devices.
Galaxy Note 8 owners are not as fortunate as 2018 flagship users. While the Note 8 is only from 2017, Samsung has no official One UI release date for last year's phablet.
That being said, connected Samsung leaker Ice Universe received confirmation from a Samsung executive that the Note 8 would also be receiving the One UI/Android Pie update. There's no word on a timetable, but based on Samsung's track record with updates, its possible Note 8 owners will see One UI hit their device in Q2 2019.
The story is the same for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Ice Universe also confirmed that these devices would be getting One UI, as per a Samsung executive. Again, though, there's no timetable. So just as with the Note 8, however, expect the update to follow soon after the 2018 line of Galaxy devices, possibly Q2 2019.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to upgrade a phone every one or two years, as older phones today work well into old age. The caveat, however, is that OEMs like Samsung stop updating phones after a couple years. That's why we don't expect the following Galaxy phones to get One UI, although we're open to the possibility that they will:
- Galaxy S7
- Galaxy S7 Edge
- Galaxy S7 Active
- Galaxy Note 7 (no longer supported)
- Galaxy S6
- Galaxy S6 Edge
- Galaxy S6 Edge+
- Galaxy S6 Active
- Galaxy Note 6
As for midrange phones that have released in the past two or three years, we're sorry to say you'll likely never see One UI. The cost margins are so thin on these devices that Samsung can't justify keeping a team of software developers around to update their firmware.
- Galaxy A9
- Galaxy A9 Pro
- Galaxy A6
- Galaxy J3
- Galaxy J7
As we learn more specifics, particularly with the 2017 flagship models, we'll update this guide with ETAs and specific launch dates, so keep checking back!
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