The Razer phones that initially launched with the Android Nougat out-of-the-box will reportedly make the jump directly to Android 8.1 Oreo.
The company apparently drew some criticism when it opted to launch its first flagship smartphone with an older firmware version. Most users expected the gaming-ready handset to come with the latest operating system due to its high-end hardware.
However, owners will be glad to know that that the device will soon upgrade its Android 7.1.1 Nougat software to the latest one offered by Google.
A Small Taste Of What’s In Store
What’s great about the announcement is the fact that users do not have to wait long for the new software to become available. Just like Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone, the company decided to skip what is in between and move directly to the software’s latest iteration.
As an added bonus, a developer preview for the new software is now available for all users, albeit with a few caveats. As the name implies, owners can expect to encounter bugs that could affect performance.
If user encounter problems or they want to go back to the original firmware for the meantime, a link to the official release image is likewise available. Preview build clocks in at 1.6 GB and requires an unlocked bootloader to install.
Additionally, the installation of the pre-release build will delete all existing data on the handset. Users are advised to back up their information before they download and flash their device’s firmware. An option for OTA updates is unfortunately not available
Getting Ready For Oreo
Razer Phone owners who opt to test out the developer preview should be aware that once the public release of Android 8.1 Oreo happens next month, they will be required to reflash their software back to the original Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It should allow them to download the new software via OTA that is normally available for smartphones on official firmware.
Since the pre-release software requires the bootloader to be unlocked, there is a real risk that users who do not properly follow the steps might brick the smartphone.
The manufacturer explicitly states that this should be done at the owner’s risk. It means that any problem that arises from the process will not be covered by the phone’s warranty.
Furthermore, users with carrier-locked units, just like the ones from the UK network carrier, 3, could experience issues with its VoLTE service, enhanced email, and Wi-Fi calling features. Pre-installed applications from carriers will be removed once the system has been flashed to the preview build.