A bunch of Galaxy phone users got a bit of a head start on the December 2020 security patch when Samsung released the update two weeks ahead of schedule. While that update was meant for some international beta users testing out One UI 3.0, Samsung kick-started the stable rollout of the latest patch in the US at the beginning of the month. The first device to get bumped to the December 2020 level was Verizon’s Galaxy S20 FE, most recently followed by the Tab S6, Tab S4, and the S8 Active.
Samsung devices haven't historically been the quickest to receive OS updates. This week, Android 9 Pie came to the T-Mobile variant of the extra-durable Galaxy S8 Active, nearly a year and a half after the Oreo update.
Most of you are probably familiar with AT&T's very misleading initiative to dub an enhanced version of 4G LTE "5G Evolution." As the top comment on that post predicted, the "5G E" icon has begun to roll out very quickly, already hitting both the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy S8 active less than two weeks after the announcement.
Samsung recently promised to speed up its Oreo rollout, and it appears to be doing just that. After pushing Oreo out to several more Note 8 and GS8 variants, the time has come for T-Mobile's Galaxy S8 Active to get a taste of Oreo. The update was approved on March 29th, but it seems to have only started hitting phones in the last day or so.
All four major US carriers have now rolled Android 8.0 Oreo out to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but we hadn't heard much about the often-forgotten third sibling, the Galaxy S8 Active. That changes now, as AT&T has become the first carrier to roll Oreo out to the rugged S8.
It's getting to be the gift giving season, and does it really matter whether that's a gift for yourself or a gift for someone else? It is our position that it does not. T-Mobile customers can now give themselves a gift in the form of a new Galaxy S8 Active, LG V30+, or Revvl Plus. All three of those phones are now live.
The Galaxy S8 was launched simultaneously on all carriers earlier this year, but AT&T had a few months of exclusivity on the S8 Active. There have been rumors the Active variant would come to other carriers, and now that's official. The Galaxy S8 Active will be on Sprint and T-Mobile later this month.
Samsung's Active line of flagships has been an AT&T-only zone for years. Since the first S4 variant launched in 2013, big blue has held exclusivity to the rugged flagship. (There was one Sprint S5 variant, but it wasn't called Active.) But the days of AT&Tyranny for the Active line are coming to an end. It looks like the durable IP-68 version of Samsung's flagship is headed to T-Mobile. At least, someday.
The Galaxy S8 Active is the fifth Samsung S phone to bear the Active name, and it's easily the most refined take on the concept yet. Currently, the S8 Active is only available on AT&T, and that's the model we've received for review, but eventually, Samsung has less than subtly implied it will make its way to other carriers here in the US, as well to the unlocked market.
What's new compared to the outgoing S7 Active? Frankly, everything.
There are no more hardware navigation keys. The Active key is gone, too. It also doesn't look like it was styled by someone at the local army surplus, either.