“Rounding up all the rumours about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8”
2016 has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for Samsung. While the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were highly successful in capitalising on the flagship smartphone market, the Note7 marked one of the biggest smartphone recalls in recent history, marring Samsung’s image as a trustworthy brand and also incurring massive losses to its customer base and wallet alike.
However, we do understand that mistakes happen. And that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 could be the company’s chance at redemption. While the official launch is expected towards the end of March, there’s already a heavy flow of rumours for the Android flagship. Have a look at (and don’t forget to bookmark) this post containing all the leaks and rumours regarding the Galaxy S8, as we would be constantly updating this article to accommodate newer leaks as they arrive.
Design and Display
Samsung was the first manufacturer to bring a curved display with the Galaxy Note edge (review) and it evolved that to dual-curved edges with Galaxy S flagships. With the upcoming Galaxy S8 however, the edges should be available in the normal variant itself, and the brand might just do away with the flat screen variant. The curved edges would allow users to access contacts, apps and more, along with a news ticker. Similar to the Galaxy S7 edge (review), the Galaxy S8 is expected to be built around a 5.8-inch QHD Super AMOLED display. These two models are codenamed Dream and Dream2 inside Samsung, sources have revealed.
Samsung Display recently released two videos showing off the brand’s latest AMOLED screen technology. The videos show what looks like a purported prototype of the Galaxy S8. The device in the videos features slim top and bottom bezels and lacks a physical home button. The brand is expected to embed the fingerprint sensor of the phone beneath the screen itself. The prototype of the phone in these videos appears to sport a flat screen panel, while the earlier reports have pointed towards a dual-curved display.
The word on the street is that the company will be implementing a wraparound, pressure-sensitive, bezel-less OLED display and replacing the physical home button with a virtual button, much like the recently-announced Xiaomi Mi MIX. New leaked renders suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will sport narrow bezels on top and bottom of the screen. Just like the iPhone 7 Plus (review), the S8 is also expected to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of USB-C audio connectivity. According to a report by The Investor, the Samsung flagship will carry the highest level of dust- and water-resistance – IP68 certification, which means the smartphone will be able to survive in up to 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes.
Lee Kyeong-tae, Samsung’s Vice President of Mobile Communications revealed to Wall Street Journal that the upcoming Galaxy flagship will flaunt a “slick design” along with “an improved camera”. In addition, the Samsung executive has revealed that the phone will come with “an enhanced artificial intelligence service”. Another report from China suggests that Samsung is working to put an optical fingerprint sensor for biometric security on the Galaxy S8. This will reportedly help Samsung achieve a truly full-screen device as the fingerprint sensor will be placed inside the display itself. It will eliminate the need to place the fingerprint sensor inside the home button. Samsung’s long-time fingerprint scanner supplier Synaptics recently announced its Natural ID optical-based sensors for smartphones and tablets. Speculations indicate that the Samsung may end up using this optical fingerprint sensor. The Natural ID optical-based fingerprint sensor by Synaptics, dubbed FS9100, can be embedded underneath the screen itself, thus eliminating the need to integrate it into the home button. This sensor can be placed even under 2.5D curved glass and can work even with wet fingers. Some reports suggest that in addition to the sides, the Galaxy S8 will be curved on the top and bottom edges as well.
The live image of the Galaxy S8, posted by Evan Blass aka @evleaks on Venture Beat, reveals that the phone will not sport a physical home button, a first for the Galaxy S series. The phone’s fingerprint sensor appears to be relocated to the back panel alongside the camera module and a 3.5mm headphone jack seems to be present as well, contradicting earlier reports for both the features. According to the tipster, the device will also house an iris scanner.
Fresh 360-degree renders of the Galaxy S8 duo suggest that the devices will feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, an Iris scanner, an 8mm thin body and a USB Type- port. They will flaunt metal frames and glass back panels. They will also get a physical key on the right side, which is believed to be dedicated for the brand’s new voice assistant, Bixby.
According to a report by CNet Korea, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will feature rear-mounted fingerprint sensors, which will be located beside the camera. The phones will feature highly-narrow bezels and dual-edged curved displays.
The Galaxy S8 will be a compact offering, and will be 131.58mm long and 68.05mm wide, even with its rumoured 5.8-inch display. It will be considerably smaller than its predecessor. The Galaxy S8 Plus, on the other hand, will be 159.53mm long and 78.5mm wide. It is expected to be equipped with a 6.2-inch display. It is tipped that these dimensions will give both the devices an aspect ratio of about 18.5 : 9.
With Google’s DayDream VR becoming a benchmark for new flagships in the market for VR content, the Galaxy S8 is expected to carry enough firepower to support the platform. Interestingly, rumours point towards the inclusion of a 4K resolution panel on the device, which would make it an excellent choice for media consumption, if not for battery life. While a bit far-fetched, it has also been reported that the company might squeeze in a projector inside the smartphone.
Related read: Meet the futuristic Samsung Galaxy S8 Concept
Processor and Memory
Samsung flagships generally pack the latest in terms of hardware and the Galaxy S8 may feature the fastest processors in the market at the time of launch. It is expected to come in two variants, one being powered by the 3.25GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC with Adreno 540 GPU and the other by the home-brewed 10nm Exynos 8895 chip. The new Snapdragon chip is expected to support download speeds of up to 1Gbps. The Exynos 8895 is reported to have a 3GHz maximum clock speed and a 70 percent improvement in image processing efficiency compared to its predecessor, paired with the Mali-G71 GPU.
According to ARM, the Mali-G71 GPU is scalable from one to 32 cores and delivers up to 20 percent better energy efficiency, 40 percent better performance density and 20 percent external memory bandwidth saving compared to Mali-T880 under similar conditions. Supporting these fiery processors would be 6GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage variants with microSD card slots for expansion. Recently, SK Hynix unveiled the world’s first 8GB LPDDR4X mobile DRAM, and some speculate that this high-speed memory will debut with the Galaxy S8.
Sources also claim that Samsung recently filed a trademark for the term ‘beast mode’ in the EU. While there is no word yet as to what the feature would bring to the table, several reports claim that it will have to do something with increasing the smartphone’s raw power.
Samsung is said to be working on a new camera, which will have a 12MP sensor and have a wide f/1.4 aperture, where the Samsung Galaxy S7 (review) has a narrower f/1.7 one. That extra width could allow more light in and the jump in megapixel count could allow for more detailed images. Another rumour, originating from WCCF Tech, points to a dual-lens camera, which would probably be reserved only for the S8 Plus variant. While the purpose of a dual-lens setup is not clear as yet, the sources claim it’s being built by Samsung Motors (Semco).
A report by Korean news site Etnews seems to have spilled the beans regarding the Galaxy S8’s selfie camera. As per the source, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will sport a front camera with autofocus, which is a rarity on smartphones. Autofocus is mainly available only on the primary camera of a smartphone. The report also states that Samsung will integrate an encoder-type actuator on the Galaxy S8 for auto-focussing tasks, as it allows for slimmer camera modules.
An updated report from the same publication now suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature an 8-megapixel front shooter with autofocus and an ultra-thin lens, which will be a first for a Samsung smartphone. It further suggests that the phone will sport a single primary camera sensor, and not a dual camera setup that’s been suggested by the rumour mill. At least, the prototype has been submitted to the relevant executive doesn’t use the double camera, adds the report.
Following the Note7 fiasco, Samsung sure is going to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of its users. The battery on the Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to be a 3,000mAh unit whereas the Galaxy S8 Plus will carry a beefier 3,500mAh battery, as per some reports.
The Galaxy S8 is expected to run Android 7.1 Nougat with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI adding more arsenal to its list of features. Although it will take some time before the exact specifications of the software surface, the recent acquisition of Viv, the AI assistant from the creators of Siri, suggests significant integration of such a technology in its future projects including S Voice.
Based on a recent trademark filing, SamMobile theorises that “Bixby” could be the name for Samsung’s upcoming AI assistant, which is supposed to debut with the Galaxy S8. A new report by ETnews, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus’ voice assistant Bixby will have support for up to eight different languages.
It appears that Samsung is also planning to bring Windows Continuum-like functionality called ‘Samsung DeX experience’ to Android with the Galaxy S8. According to an alleged leaked presentation slide, the upcoming Galaxy S8 will allow you to use the phone as a desktop by attaching a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
According to SamMobile, “the new compensation program is designed to make it easier for those who exchange their Galaxy Note 7 with existing Samsung smartphones, to shift into [the company’s] next model coming next year.” Users who had to send their Galaxy Note7 phones back to Samsung in a fireproof box could be first in line for a complimentary Galaxy S8, according to Samsung insiders.
Samsung generally launches its Galaxy S flagship around the Mobile World Congress (MWC). However, Koh Dong-jin, chief of Samsung Mobile said that the long-awaited Galaxy S8 flagship would be launched later than expected. The phone is delayed because the brand has pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in the Galaxy Note7 flagship.
According to the usually reliable tipster @Ricciolo1, the Galaxy S8 will be unveiled at an event on March 29th.
The tipster suggests that the Korean tech giant will showcase the Galaxy S8 to select attendees at MWC, which is scheduled between February 27th and March 2nd. After the public unveiling on March 29th in New York, the phone will go on sale in the week between April 24th and April 30th. The source adds that the Galaxy S8 will be available starting at $849, which is roughly Rs 57,800, whereas the Galaxy S8 Plus will retail for about Rs 65,500.
Do take these details with a pinch of salt as the Galaxy S8 is expected to still be in development and no official confirmations have been provided by Samsung for the same yet.