Believe it or not the Samsung Galaxy S6 is now two years old. That can mean only one thing: most likely it will no longer receive official updates from Samsung – at least not any major OS improvements. Shortly, your Samsung Galaxy S6 will remain stuck on Android 7.0 Nougat as the Android 8.0 Oreo will most likely not come for your handset. That’s why you should start considering in using a custom ROM – this might be the only way in which you can still update your Samsung Galaxy S6 to the latest Android build.
Using Android 8.0 Oreo on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is possible thanks to xda-senior member lukasb06 who managed to compile the AOSP firmware with success. Of course, the AOSP custom ROM is still under development but that doesn’t mean you should flash the firmware on your device. According to the dev and to the users who have already tested this software, everything is working without problems such as bugs, lags, hangs and so on.
So, bottom line, the AOSP ROM that’s based on the pure Android 8.0 Oreo system can be successfully used on a daily basis on the Samsung Galaxy S6. Now, if you somehow find issues, don’t panic. There will be only minor malfunctions which will be soon resolved too. Thus, from this perspective you and your smartphone are safe and secured.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Android 8.0 Oreo AOSP firmware is in fact a custom ROM and not an official update released by Samsung for the Galaxy S6. Moreover, this update cannot be associated with your OEM or with Google because it is developed by third party devs. Therefore, Samsung KNOX will get tripped meaning that you can lose your phone’s warranty while completing the flashing process. Also, some built-in features and other pre-loaded apps might not work properly once the new OS is installed.
Additionally, installing this Android 8.0 Oreo based update on your Samsung Galaxy S6 can be done only after other operations (tweaking ones) are completed. In that respect, for this process you will first have to:
- Unlock the bootloader of your Android device – that’s how you can begin the unlocking process that must be applied on your phone.
- Gain root access on your Samsung branded smartphone – with root, the unlock initiative will be completed, thus, the Android core system will be prepared for the update operation that will follow.
- Install a custom recovery image on your handset – I recommend you to use the latest version of TWRP recovery; through this environment you will complete the actual installation process.
You can use the custom recovery image for making a backup in order to secure your Android system. I am talking about a Nandroid backup which will save the current Android OS that runs on your Galaxy S6. Mainly, if the AOSP firmware is not running as you hoped to you can choose to go back to stock by using the Nandroid backup package that was saved earlier.
And along with this dedicated backup operation you should also save all the other files: contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, the EFS folder or the IMEI / NVRAM data. A general backup is more than suitable for this update process because a hard reset will be afterwards initiated. You see, a custom ROM can be successfully installed only if a wipe is completed during the update operation. And that’s when all of your personal data, info, accounts and files will be removed. With the backup ensured you can afterwards re-apply all your data on your phone, so you can avoid any possible problems.
Note: the most common backup and restore solutions are related to dedicated apps from Google Play (just make sure you are downloading already tested apps), to a sync process with your Google Account, or to built-in cloud storage services that are already running on your Samsung Galaxy S6.
There are other things that must be prepared too: you must use a computer with Internet connection enabled; your smartphone and its official USB cord will be used as a connection between your devices must be ensured; on your smartphone you need to have developer rights – that can be gained by tapping repeatedly on Built Number (tap on that field until you receive the ‘you are a developer’ message); on your phone the USB Debugging option must be checked (this feature is located under “menu – > settings – > developer options”).
Your Galaxy S6 can get soft bricked if its Android system gets turned off right in the middle of the Android 8.0 Oreo update operation. That’s why it’s important to check the battery level before doing anything else. As a general rule, you should charge your smartphone before starting a manual process if the power left is lower than 50%.
How to Update Samsung Galaxy S6 to Android 8.0 Oreo using AOSP Custom ROM
- Power on your computer and navigate here – download the Android 8.0 AOSP custom ROM file for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
- You need to get compatible Google Apps as this package is not included in the update file – you can download Google Apps from here.
- It’s safe to save these files on desktop.
- You now need to enter recovery mode on your Samsung Galaxy S6: start by turning off your smartphone; then press and hold the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons together, for a few moments.
- From recovery you have to wipe everything; that can be achieved by picking the following options: “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- When the hard reset process is completed, from main menu of recovery choose “reboot system now”.
- Now, connect your Galaxy S6 with your computer via USB cable and transfer the downloaded files from desktop to your phone.
- After this copy-paste process you can remove the USB connection – don’t worry, your computer is no longer required.
- You need to reboot recovery mode on your Android device once more.
- This time you have to tap on Install; then load the Android 8.0 Oreo AOSP firmware file and swipe in order to begin the flashing process – if you’re not using TWRP recovery select instead: “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Repeat the previous step for installing Google Apps.
- When done, go to main menu of recovery and tap on Reboot.
The Android 8.0 Oreo AOSP custom ROM should now boot on your Samsung Galaxy S6. As you will notice, the ROM is clean, light and fast as it ensures a pure-like experience, just like the one that’s featured on Nexus and Pixel branded devices. So, test everything and then share your observations with us by using the comments field from below. We are here if you need our further assistance. Enjoy.