The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will receive an upgrade to Android 7.1.1 Nougat at launch, a person familiar with the matter told Talk Android at yesterday's Unpacked event in New York City during which the South Korean tech giant officially unveiled its highly anticipated pair of flagships. A "product expert" said that latest stable build of Google's operating system should be ready for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus by the time both phones hit the market in the second half of April. It's currently unclear whether that means the handsets will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box or whether Samsung will release an over-the-air (OTA) update around the time they launch, though the latter scenario seems more likely seeing how all preview units of the devices that Samsung showed so far were running Android 7.0. Regardless, the legitimacy of this report has yet to be determined as the source of the information is curiously described as a "product expert" and not a Samsung official.
Overall, initial units of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus will likely ship with Android 7.0, though devices produced at a later date might be running Android 7.1.1 out of the box. Both variants of the handset will eventually be updated to Android O, though that's unlikely to happen until early 2018, just like the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge didn't start receiving stable builds of Nougat until this year after launching with Marshmallow in March 2016. Samsung will likely reveal more details regarding major and minor software updates for the Galaxy S8 lineup in the coming weeks, possibly even before both devices launch worldwide on April 21.
Regardless of the exact Android OS version the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus will be running, neither device will offer a stock Android experience as Samsung continues to stick with its proprietary user interface that changed to a significant degree in recent years. Major OS builds aside, it remains to be seen how the company will handle monthly Android Security Updates for its latest flagship duo seeing how unlocked variants of the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge so far weren't updated on a monthly basis in most parts of the world.