A number of Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus models running Android 8.0 Oreo have recently been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, hinting that the final Oreo release for last year’s flagships is drawing nearer. Among the certified models are the international, Korean, and European variants, as well as a couple of models for Singapore and India. The unlocked models in the US carrying the model numbers "SM-G950U" and "SM-G955U" also received the same treatment, though no carrier-specific variant has yet been certified by the WFA, presumably because network-bound versions of the phones will need to be subjected to additional approvals from mobile service providers in the country.
Samsung began rolling out the first Android 8.0 Oreo beta for the Galaxy S8 series in early November, and over the past couple of months, the OEM pushed the smartphone lineup through several beta stages. In mid-November, the second Oreo beta landed in the United States, however, this particular release was halted once it was discovered that carrier-branded models were experiencing signal issues. Testing in the US was resumed a couple of weeks later so in the end, there should be no problems with the distribution of Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy S8 series in the US. Nevertheless, carrier-branded models usually gain new updates a bit later than unlocked, international models, and this might be the case with the final Oreo build as well. It’s unclear why no carrier models in the US have yet to be approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance and only time will tell whether this will translate to a later public Oreo launch for the device in the country.
Samsung has yet to disclose an exact launch date for Android 8.0 Oreo but that is to be expected given the nature of beta programs. The idea behind these early releases is to test the software before it spreads across the consumer market, and iron out any possible flaws that could affect the user experience in a negative manner. Nevertheless, the OEM is expected to start distributing Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy S8 series before the end of January at the earliest, or in February at the latest, that is, assuming no other issues will be found in the current beta build. With the WFA certificate out of the way, it could be that Samsung might now be concluding final preparations for the rollout, at least in certain markets.