South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung lost a lot more than just billions of dollars last year with its Galaxy Note 7 showdown. A large part of 2016 was spent scrambling to make amends to Galaxy Note 7 owners, fixing its its tarnished reputation, and trying to find the root cause of the exploding units. The worldwide recall is certainly a phase that Samsung would like to erase from their memory, and just move on onto the Samsung Galaxy S8.
2017 is assumed to be the year of redemption – a year Samsung cannot risk faltering. The first flagship from the South Korean firm is anticipated to be the Samsung Galaxy S8. Traditionally, Samsung usually unveils its new ‘S’ series flagship sometime in February, but now the latest reports claim a delay – thanks to the events that unfolded after their last year’s Galaxy Note flagship unveil.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been rumoured heavily ever since then, with very high expectations, given the circumstances. We have rounded up all the rumours so far, to give you a comprehensive understanding of all that’s expected from the 2017 flagship:
While Samsung was expected to be on schedule and launch the Galaxy S8 in February, recent reports indicate a delay due to the Note 7 fiasco and major design changes. The smartphone was expected to be unveiled at MWC this year, but Naver reports a further delay. The most recent pegged launch date is at April 18, and Samsung will launch the Galaxy S8 at a dedicated Unpacked event. The Samsung Galaxy S8 release date is not known, nor its release date in India.
The price of the Galaxy S8 is still a mystery, but a few reports hint that due to the major changes, the smartphone will be priced a little higher than the Samsung Galaxy S7. Goldman Sachs predicts that the Galaxy S8 will see a rise in prices by up to 15 to 20 percent compared to its predecessor.
The smartphone is pegged to have a dual-edged curved display with almost negligible bezel. There was an early report that pegged the [screen-to-body ratio at 90 percent. The recent photo leak shows that the display takes up all the space, and only the top and bottom bezel are seen. The top bezel houses the speaker, front camera, and the sensors, while the bottom bezel only houses the logo. As for specifications, one report indicates that the smartphone will feature a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) Super AMOLED display and will boast of an impressive pixel density of 806ppi.
However, a separate leak also suggests that the company could launch its next flagship smartphone in two screen size variants – 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch. The larger variant is expected to be called the Galaxy S8 Plus. More recently however, screen sizes of 5-inch and 6-inch were tipped for the same models.
No Home Button
Samsung is expected to ditch the Home Button, and have an all-display front. The iconic capsule shaped button at the bottom will be ditched, along with the capacitive buttons as well. A recent photo leak testified to this rumour further, but the image strangely didn’t show any on screen buttons either.
Traditionally, all Samsung smartphones have integrated the fingerprint sensor underneath the Home Button, but because the Home Button is being let go, the fingerprint sensor may reside at the back of the phone. Another report notes that the device may sport an optical fingerprint scanner that will enable reading thumb print through the display as well.
Samsung is widely leveraging its Viv Labs acquisition to introduce “an enhanced artificial-intelligence service” in the Galaxy S8. The developers at Viv previously founded Siri which is now Apple’s digital voice-assistant on mobile devices. Samsung is calling its version Bixby, and will use the new virtual assistant in mostly all the native apps that will come pre-installed in the Galaxy S8. A separate rumour indicates that the male voice of the assistant will be called Bixby, while the female voice will be called Kestra.
The Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone will likely be powered by the recently announced Snapdragon 835 SoC from Qualcomm while an Exynos 8895-based variant is also being rumoured. It will be paired with a 6GB of RAM or an 8GB of RAM.
Pressure sensitive display
Following Apple’s lead, Samsung may integrate a pressure-sensitive display technology in its next flagship. Notably, Samsung’s technology is expected to work similarly to Apple’s 3D Touch tech introduced with the iPhone 6s. The technology will be able to distinguish between a light tap and deep press, enabling access to more functions just by pressing harder.
The Galaxy S8 is also rumoured to sport a 256GB storage variant. It is unclear whether this will be the only storage option, or one of the storage variants made available in the market. If Samsung follows tradition, then a separate microSD slot for further expansion of memory will also be offered with Galaxy S8. Just to put things into perspective, the predecessor was offered in 32GB and 64GB storage variants only.
Early leaks point at a dual camera setup at the back – one 16-megapixel lens and another 8-megapixel lens. However, the latest leaks hint that due to the large display in the front, a dual camera setup will be hard to cram in. The camera, however, will see and upgrade and the Samsung Galaxy S8 may finally become the company’s first smartphone to feature autofocus functionality on the front camera.
Just like the iPhone 7 rumours, the audio jack leaks of the Galaxy S8 have been aplenty. Reports indicate that Samsung is getting rid of the old 3.5mm audio standard, and will bundle a 3.5mm-headphone-to-USB Type-C adapter, just like Apple. A separate report also hints that Samsung will launch wireless headphones alongside as well.
Lastly, the Galaxy S8 is also tipped to come with something similar to the popular Continuum feature seen on Windows 10 Mobile devices. This means that you could use your smartphone on your PC by connecting the device to the monitor, and the keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth (presumably). According to the leak, the feature is being called the Samsung Desktop Experience.
Samsung is expected to price the Galaxy S8 at a higher price point than the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S8 price is said to be 15-20 percent higher due to the cost of raw materials. Of course, for now, what the the Samsung Galaxy S8 price in India will be is not known at this point.