Samsung’s new Galaxy phones, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, were announced at the start of the week in Barcelona during MWC 2018. What we didn’t know at the time is the fact Samsung’s new handsets support Project Treble, Google’s software feature that allows Android system updates to be rolled out faster.
Before Unpacked 2018, we posted a poll containing all our frustrations about Samsung’s inability to provide timely Android updates on even its newest Galaxy phones. Last year’s Android 8.0 Oreo update took over six months to reach the Galaxy S8 flagships, arriving just in time for the Galaxy S9 announcement. The fact there were still problems with the software after numerous betas ultimately forcing Samsung to halt the update temporarily was downright disappointing. Even more so because the Galaxy S8 models were first among tens of Galaxy smartphones to land Google’s software upgrade.
Samsung is doing something about this to hopefully, in turn, provide faster updates to Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The inability to provide updates was starting to annoy us big time and many of you as well, so much so that it became a reason not to buy a Samsung phone. Well, we now know Project Treble is supported on Galaxy S9, so perhaps Samsung’s new phones will retain value for longer.
Project Treble was introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo (which is pre-loaded on the new flagships), but wasn’t adopted by many manufacturers in 2017 and hadn’t had an impact on the Android version adoption rate whatsoever. Essentially, Treble divides the software to include a base with core elements that hardware makers like Samsung don’t need to adjust in applying their own skin. Hence, it eliminates some of the work needed to update the system. Samsung has been terrifically bad at supplying updates in the past because of its rather large Experience UI skin on top of Android, but Treble could provide some much-needed help.
Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are the first Samsung devices to support Project Treble, and we expect future devices going forward will support this compatibility. If Android updates are a strong priority for you, defiantly still consider a Pixel or Pixel 2. This is just a little peace of mind for those in the market for either of Samsung’s latest flagships, but is not enough to make or break any buying decision.
We’re covering Unpacked 2018 and MWC 2018 entirely; stay here at Droid Turf for coverage throughout the week.
View our constantly updating MWC 2018 guide at the link below.