Nokia Starts Rolling Out Android 8.1 to the Nokia 8, Includes Android February Security Patches

Nokia Starts Rolling Out Android 8.1 to the Nokia 8, Includes Android February Security Patches

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Nokia has been on top of things when it comes to keeping its smartphones up to date. Back in October, we learned the company would be performing beta tests for upcoming Android updates via its new Beta Labs Program, following the example set by Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and other OEMs. Nokia 8 owners were the first to get an over-the-air beta update based on Android 8.0 Oreo, and shortly after the rollout, Nokia announced that the official update would be pushed to devices toward the end of November 2017. After less than a month of beta testing, a stable version of the Android 8.1 Oreo update is hitting the Nokia 8.

The update comes with new battery-saving navigation buttons, a revamped power menu, a redesigned settings menu, battery percentage information for Bluetooth devices, and Android’s February 2018 security patches. It weighs in at just over 1.5GB in size, so be sure you’re on a stable Wi-Fi connection before you begin downloading it.

HMD Global, the Finland-based company that manufacturers the Nokia 8 and a number of other Nokia-branded smartphones, has been impressively consistent with regards to major firmware upgrades.  The Nokia 5, for example, got Android’s September security patches before Google’s Pixel lineup. And while most OEMs only update high-end and popular mid-range smartphones to major new versions of Android, HMD Global has bucked the trend, promising to update all current Nokia smartphones not only to Android Oreo, but to Android P, too, when it becomes available.

That’s not to suggest HMD Global is perfect — the company still hasn’t released kernel sources or enabled bootloader unlocking on any Nokia-branded phones, which is a clear violation of the General Public License v2 governing Android’s underlying Linux kernel — but it’s leading the charge when it comes to over-the-air updates.