After we published this article, Samsung has reached out to a few publications to say that they do have plans to release One UI for the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8. More details below and the original article follows.
While the centre of attention of yesterday’s Samsung Developer Conference was Samsung’s Infinity Flex technology on their foldable smartphone, Samsung also took to the stage to officially present “One UI“, a re-imagining of their design language which is coming with the Android Pie update on the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note 9. There was already some confusion shortly after the keynote ended about whether the Galaxy Note 9 would be eligible for the One UI beta (unfortunately, that doesn’t look to be the case), but now it’s unclear whether the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Galaxy Note 8 will receive the new One UI interface.
The new Samsung design language, which is focused around one-handed ease-of-use and provides a built-in, system-wide dark theme, may not be coming to older devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. A Samsung spokesperson has reportedly confirmed to Tom’s Guide that the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will not be getting an update with the redesigned One UI interface:
“Disappointingly though, Samsung has confirmed to Tom’s Guide that the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 will miss out on this new modernized and streamlined software experience.” – Adam Ismail, writing for Tom’s Guide
Now, we don’t have any reason yet to doubt the validity of this report, but given what we know this simply raises a lot of questions. One UI is Samsung’s new UX that’s based on Android 9 Pie, just like Samsung Experience 9.0 was Samsung’s UX for Android 8.0 Oreo and Samsung Experience 9.5 was their UX for Android 8.1 Oreo.
Samsung has previously confirmed that Android Pie would be coming to the Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, and a handful of A series and J series phones. It seems unlikely that Samsung would backtrack on releasing Android Pie for the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8, but it also seems unlikely to us that they would roll out an Android Pie update without the new interface changes in One UI. After all, that would mean Samsung has to maintain multiple versions of their Android Pie software, and not just add/remove whatever features they deem inaccessible for older devices.
It is possible that the spokesperson gave out incomplete information, so we reached out to Samsung Mobile for clarification and will update this article if we hear back from them.
Update: One UI is said to come to the Galaxy S8/S8+ and Galaxy Note 8
Tom’s Guide has since updated their article to reflect that the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 will get the One UI software update, but they won’t be included in the One UI beta program. The same information was given to AndroidAuthority by a Samsung spokesperson and to @UniverseIce by a senior Chinese Samsung official. We haven’t heard back from Samsung yet, but it’s safe to say that these 3 devices will get the new UX with the Android 9 Pie update.