With Samsung’s Android Pie roll out picking up speed, owners of older devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are wondering about the future.
Samsung’s released the official version of Android Pie for the Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy A series, Galaxy J series, Galaxy Tab series and many other devices with more upgrades planned in the weeks ahead.
Older devices like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 and mid-rangers like the Galaxy A series have made their move to Android Pie, but popular devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are still stuck on Android Oreo.
Samsung and its carrier partners still haven’t detailed their Android Pie plans in full and that’s left owners of older Galaxy phones and tablets wondering what will happen in the second half of the year.
In particular, Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active owners want to know if the device will get upgraded to Pie, when the update could arrive, and what will happen to the Galaxy S7 if Samsung decides to keep the devices on Android Oreo.
In this guide we take a look at what you can expect if you own a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, or Galaxy S7 Active.
Galaxy S7 Android 8.1 Update
Before we get to Android Pie, we want to address a question we’ve been getting about the Galaxy S7’s Android Oreo update.
A lot of Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active users are curious if the devices will get upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo, a newer version of Oreo that debuted in 2018 on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9.
As of right now, we expect all three Galaxy S7 models to stick around on Android 8.0 Oreo and here’s why.
Samsung rolled out Android 8.1, but the new version is only available on newer devices and phones and tablets that moved from Android Nougat to Android Oreo for the first time.
The company could surprise us, but we expect devices currently running Android 8.0 to stay on Android 8.0 or get bumped up to Android 9.0 Pie and Samsung’s One UI experience.
Galaxy S7 Pie Beta
Samsung used to keep its beta program exclusive to flagship Galaxy S models. That changed in 2019.
Instead of limiting the Android Pie beta to the current Galaxy S flagship, in this case the Galaxy S9, the company rolled out a beta to an array of devices including the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy A series.
If Samsung does decide to release a Galaxy S7 Android Pie update, there’s a chance it rolls out a beta for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge given their popularity.
That said, we haven’t heard anything about an imminent Galaxy S7 Android Pie beta and we aren’t expecting a one at this point.
Galaxy S7 Pie Update
Samsung typically keeps Galaxy phones and tablets updated with major Android software updates for two years before killing off support.
The Galaxy S7 started on Android Marshmallow and got bumped up to Android Nougat and Android Oreo. Unless Samsung decides to change its policy, the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active will stick around on Android Oreo.
One of the advantages Apple’s iPhone has over Galaxy devices is that it gets four plus years of continuous software support. For example the company’s iPhone 5s, a device that started on iOS 7, was upgraded to Apple’s iOS 12 operating system in September, 2018.
There’s a chance (albeit a small one) Samsung decides to change its policy this year with Android Pie, but Galaxy S7 users shouldn’t hold their breath.
We’ve seen several Android Pie roadmaps emerge and none of them list the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge or Galaxy S7 Active. This doesn’t rule these updates out, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for the future.
Up to this point, Samsung hasn’t been testing the Galaxy S7 Android Pie update behind the scenes which means an official update is extremely unlikely.
Galaxy S7 Pie Release Date
If Samsung decides to release Android Pie for the Galaxy S7, and that’s a huge if, the official release probably isn’t coming anytime soon.
Samsung’s pushed Android Pie to devices like the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy A series, Galaxy J series, and Galaxy Tab, but some users are still waiting for their upgrade.
Again, official Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge certifications with Pie on board are still nowhere to be found. This doesn’t rule a Galaxy S7 Android Pie update out, but it means the release, if there is one, is still a long way out.
If Samsung decides not to bring Android Pie to the Galaxy S7, software support won’t stop.
The Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active are still on Samsung’s list for “Quarterly Security Updates”. They’ll no longer get monthly updates, but Samsung still supports them.
It’s worth noting that Samsung recently moved them from “Regular Security Updates” back to quarterly. It’s unclear why the company made the change.
These updates are typically focused on plugging up potential exploits, but they sometimes bring bug fixes and new features as well.
Samsung recently pushed the August security update to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The updates are based on Android 8.0 Oreo.
If you want to move off Android Oreo you can root your Samsung Galaxy S7 and get some of the features from Android Pie and Samsung’s new One UI. The Galaxy S7 development community is still active and developers have already ported Pie over to the Galaxy S7.
Perhaps your best option is a ROM dubbed “BlackDiamond” from XDA member Kill-Switch. Unfortunately, it’s only for the Exynos-powered models. It’s also in beta which means there are several issues with it right now. These include problems with mobile hotspot and Wi-Fi.
If you haven’t explored the world of rooting and custom ROMs, it might be a good idea to do so because it will probably be the only way to get Android Pie on board your phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active probably won’t get Android Pie which means they almost certainly won’t get Android 10.
Android 10 is the newest version of Android and it’s heading to Google’s Pixel devices and devices from various Android OEMs later on this year.
The new operating system is chock full of new features and enhancements including expanded location controls, multitasking bubbles, and more.
For more on Android 10, take a look at our guide.
Buy If You Want the Best Software Support
If you plan on keeping your next tablet for awhile, it might be a good idea to buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
While you might be tempted to go with the Galaxy Tab S4 or a cheaper model in the Galaxy Tab S series, note that these devices will see their software support end a lot quicker.
Samsung typically keeps its flagships upgraded with major software updates for two years. The company tends to extend bug fixes and security patches for a bit longer than that, but software support will eventually stop and you’ll be on your own.
The company also tends to keep some software features exclusive to newer devices due to the hardware limitations on the older models.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes with the company's best version of Android Pie and One UI. We expect it to immediately benefit from some of the software features coming to the Note 10 and it'll get a robust version of Samsung's Android Q update.
If you want the absolute best software experience from a Samsung Galaxy tablet in 2019 and the foreseeable future, you'll probably want to pickup the Galaxy Tab S6.
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