The Android 8.0 Oreo upgrade for the HTC U11 will start hitting unlocked variants of the flagship starting tomorrow, November 27th, HTC Vice President of Product Management Mo Versi said earlier this week, thus confirming rumors from late October. The Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer has been testing the Oreo update for its high-end phablet for over a month now, having initially rolled it out to users in its home country in mid-November. The upcoming launch is understood to be gradual in nature, as is usually the case with over-the-air updates for contemporary smartphones. Mr. Versi didn’t specify which countries will be prioritized by the upcoming rollout and how long is the entire process expected to take, though Android 8.0 Oreo may not be available on all unlocked units of the device until early 2018.
With HTC’s own Oreo build for the U11 now being ready for deployment, the company’s wireless carrier partners are also already in the process of optimizing their own versions of the firmware and should begin distributing them in the coming months. Owners of unlocked HTC U11 units will be notified about the availability of the update via a push notification which will provide them with the option of instantly triggering the installation or scheduling it to be performed overnight. Manually searching for the update is also an option that can be performed by tapping the corresponding command in the “About Device” section of the HTC U11’s Settings app. The initial version of the firmware distributed in Taiwan was approximately 1.3GB in size and the global build of the OS is likely to be around that same weight mark, though HTC has yet to detail the software in any capacity.
Originally released in May, the U11 is HTC’s first true 2017 flagship that came shortly after the U Ultra one which was also advertised as a premium device but shipped with the 2016 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 instead of the Snapdragon 835. The company already followed up on that offering with the HTC U11 Plus that has yet to be released in most parts of the world and is expected to start shipping next month. Besides a more bezel-free aesthetic and an 18:9 display, the U11 Plus is largely the same handset that the U11 is from the inside, but it runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.