An experimental version of Android 8.0 Oreo-based Samsung Experience for the Galaxy Note 8 leaked online earlier this month, having originally appeared on Reddit. The software package is identified as the firmware version N950USQU2CQL1 and is reportedly only applicable to select variants of the phablet sold in the United States, i.e. the ones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC. The operating system build doesn’t appear to be a beta one as it’s said to be significantly more unstable than Samsung’s mobile betas usually are. Users interested in manually flashing the newly leaked software can only do so if they’re already running the N950USQS2BQK2 build. While only unlocked models sold by Verizon feature this particular software, you can flash the Android 7.0 Nougat-based build onto any other unlocked unit powered by the Snapdragon 835.
Doing so may still not be worth it as the existence of the firmware implies that a beta version of Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy Note 8 may not be too far away and is likely to be significantly more stable than the newly leaked build. The most prominent problems with the leaked firmware pertain to Samsung Pay and the Google Play Store, both of which are said to be experiencing frequent crashes, with the former being essentially unusable, according to some users who tried the software. The Amazon Prime Video app is also prone to crashing, as is Samsung Connect. The software itself is likely to be filled with minor bugs, many of which will presumably also be present in the initial beta version of Android 8.0 Oreo. The overall behavior of the firmware also isn’t as smooth as the Android 7.0 Nougat-based Samsung Experience, according to some users. If you’re still adamant to flash the firmware, you can download it by referring to the banner below but be aware you’re doing so at your own risk.
While Samsung usually prioritizes its latest flagships when it comes to developing and distributing major operating system upgrades, the company made a small exception this year as it first launched an Oreo beta test for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus which are now expected to receive the stable version of the firmware before the newer Galaxy Note 8 does. The tech giant’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus that are scheduled to be unveiled in early 2018 should both run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and thus support Project Treble, whereas the feature isn’t part of the Oreo package for either the Galaxy Note 8 or the Galaxy S9 lineup.