Wednesday , March 29 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8 rumour roundup

As we rapidly approach the impending release of the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S7 line, most likely to be the logically named Samsung Galaxy S8, we thought it was about time to collect all of the rumours together and paint a clear picture of where we may be at with the incoming device.

Display

If the rumours are true we may well be seeing the largest displays the Galaxy S range has seen. Rumours put them at 5.7″ and 6.2″ for the expected variants, potentially named the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. However, thanks to the anticipated near bezel-less design and the curved panel, the actual device size are expected to be similar to the 5.1- and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7s we got in 2016. A 5.7″ display in a 5.1 ” phone I’d like to see that!

Curves, all curves. The rumour mill is saying goodbye to a flat screen model of the Galaxy S8 eschewing the traditional display for an all curved range. unlike the harsh curve of the S7 Edge, we’d anticipate that the S8 will use the tighter curved screen features on the Note 7 before it’s unfortunate and untimely demise. With the Note 7 display having none of the unwanted touch issues of the S7 Edge I may just be ok with this going forward, and if they keep a similar design language to the Note 7 sign me up!

Resolution wise some rumours did discuss the potential for a 4K 3,840 x 2,160 display, which may still happen if a 6.2″ S8 Plus is released, however, most rumours are pointing to a release of the 2K 2,560 x 1,440 AMOLED display on both variants. With VR the new hotness it will be interesting to see if Samsung support both the Gear VR and Daydream VR with their incoming devices. With the Daydream spec capping screen size at 6.0 ” currently the S8 Plus may not be allowed at 6.2″?

Internals

It seems most of the recent have centred on the display and design of the device, which could well be an indication that the rest of the device will be the expected incremental improvement on the existing S7 line. We’re expecting Samsung will have two processor models, as usual, a Snapdragon 835 model and an Exynos 8895 model.

Memory wise we should see somewhere between 6 – 8 GB (or both) of RAM included and internal storage expected to range from 32GB to 256GB to match the competition. We doubt Samsung will remove the SD card slot again in a hurry so you should get one of those as well.

By now half of you must be screaming, they haven’t mentioned the lack of buttons! Yes, that’s right, it looks as if Samsung is finally adopting the on-screen buttons that were first introduced on Android phones on the Galaxy Nexus alongside Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich all those long years ago.

So where is the fingerprint sensor going? Rumour says around the back similar to the Pixel, and many other devices, however, there could be the off chance that Samsung may use an ultrasound fingerprint sensor under the display. Hey Samsung, how about both? Having a sensor around the back is handy about 85% of the time, the other times I just wish I had a front fingerprint sensor, so why not give us both!!! Please! One way or the other you can bet the S8 has a fingerprint sensor, and you never know we may even see the return of the iris scanner from the Note 7!

Rounding out the S8 will be a USB-C connector, NFC, MST (magnetic secure transmission), WiFi, Bluetooth etc. Another conflicting rumour is the presence or absence of a headphone jack. Some rumours suggested Samsung would remove the legacy standard connector in preference for limiting consumer choice. Other rumours suggest that the 3.5mm headphone port is safe, at least for a few more months. Please Samsung, don’t remove our headphone port.

We haven’t really had much in the way of camera speculation, with both the G5 and iPhone 7 adopting dual lens it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that Samsung may introduce something similar. With imaging being excellent on Samsungs since the S6 we’re expecting Samsung to continue to deliver lightning fast images and a great overall camera experience.

Software

For the Galaxy S8 rumour cycle, we really haven’t had too many rumours of Samsung “lightening TouchWiz” or moving to a more stock appearance. Could it be people are happier with the latest version? Or are people simply distracted by the Note 7?

Samsung is heavily rumoured to be releasing their own virtual assistant, to compete with the Google Assistant, called Bixby which is based on their acquisition of the Viv AI in late 2016. The promise of Viv was massive and if Samsung has delivered that promise Google should be worried, with only a small lead and almost no hardware Samsung could have more AI devices in the market than Google does in a very short space of time.

Samsung is also expected to more closely integrate both the function and style of many of their bundled apps, both with each other and with the Bixby AI. If a new app called Samsung Focus, which delivers integrated Google Now style dashboard, is any indication this new style could be a significant improvement on previous software.

The S8 will undoubtedly ship with Android 7.x and rumour has it that we may be seeing a continuum like desktop mode utilising the resizable windows built into Nougat. This could allow you o really make the phone the centre of you computing life, even when using a more traditional form factor.

With Samsungs OS slowly gaining maturity could 2017 be the year of great Samsung software to match their hardware?

Release

March, no April, no March. Look we’ve got no real idea, initially, we expected it to be released just before MWC in February, then we heard April, hell they could announce it following their Note 7 investigation Press Conference next week (this is highly unlikely). One thing is for sure, by January 2018 we will have had the S8 for a while!

That’s it for now, some rumours, some speculation and some of it fairly expected. With Samsung being one of the world’s largest mobile phone makers their devices are important to see which trends are must have and what companies are experimenting with. I for one am hoping for an excellent very successful device, the better one phone gets the higher the bar is for everyone else.

 

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

  • phantomsofthedesert

    how many times have we heard that the next Galaxy will have this, have that. we really don’t know. all this does is give Samsung free promotion. I guess the only certainty there will be an S8 & S8 edge. . lets just release it. so I can decide whether I want to update

  • Presto

    Bring it on, whatever Samsung release. As long as it has an SD slot. I’d love an IR blaster but I guess these are now considered old tech.

  • rbfx4x

    Bah. Curves are so easy to break, even in a case. My s7 edge is cracked in a corner despite being protected in a UAG case. Cracking is not so bad except when the cost to repair it is half the cost of a new phone!

  • Presto

    And no mention of the S Pen rumours… I miss my S Pen after losing my Note 4.

    • Duncan_J

      I left it out as I really don’t see them putung the signature note feature into the Galaxy S range, I could be wrong of course

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