As popular as Samsung's smartphones are, they're not always the first choice for Android enthusiasts. A lot of that has to do with the company's spotty track record with regard to Android updates.
GalaxyClub has unearthed a Geekbench listing for a Galaxy S9+ running a Samsung-specific version of Android 9 Pie. While we fully expected Samsung to eventually update its flagships to the next version of Google's OS, this report is surprising for two reasons.
First, as BGR's Zach Epstein points out, this is a significantly faster turn around than anyone could've imagined. Consider that Samsung only delivered Android 8.0 Oreo to Galaxy S8 and Note 8 series products in mid-March — a full seven months after Google launched the software for its Pixel handsets — and today's leak suggests that Galaxy S9 and Note 9 owners may see the latest rendition of Android before the end of 2018. It also could mean much faster updates for the Galaxy S10, likely to arrive next spring.
Second, while testing doesn't necessarily equate to a full release, the fact that an S9 running Pie has already made it to Geekbench suggests that Samsung is reasonably far along the process. How? Well, besides the possibility that Samsung could be prioritizing Android updates more highly this go-around, there's also the factor of Project Treble to consider.
Treble was a new initiative introduced with Oreo that fundamentally changed the manner in which updates were developed and distributed, by separating manufacturer software customizations from the core Android experience developed by Google.
Because of this, phone makers have been able to push out Android updates much more quickly, without messing with their own UI tweaks. It's the reason why the Android 9 Developer Beta launched on many more handsets than Google's own, including devices from Sony, Xiaomi and OnePlus. And if Samsung is fully invested in taking advantage of Treble, perhaps Android loyalists will have a new reason to consider the firm's products.