Will 2017 be the year of redemption for Samsung after the chaos caused around the Galaxy Note 7 last year? The first flagship phone for this year is anticipated to be the Samsung Galaxy S8. As far as tradition is concerned, Samsung usually unveils its new ‘S’ series flagship sometime in February, however according to latest reports, there might just be a delay especially due 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. 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 South Africa.
The price of the Galaxy S8 is still a mystery, but reports have suggested that due to the major changes, the smartphone will be priced a little higher than the Samsung Galaxy S7 – possibly a rise by up to 15 to 20 percent compared to its predecessor.
The Galaxy S8 looks very much certain to feature a dual-edged curved display with almost negligible bezel. From the latest photo leak suggests that the top bezelwill be housing the speaker, front camera, and the sensors, while the bottom bezel seems like it will only house the logo. In terms of specifications, the smartphone could possibly feature a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of about 806ppi… Very impressive!
The device is also set to feature two screen size variants – 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch. The larger variant is expected to be called the Galaxy S8 Plus. The Home Button seems like it will also be ditched in this model with an all-display front. So you may ask yourself, “Where is the fingerprint scanner now?” Well, the fingerprint sensor could reside at the back of the phone like we see in other mobile brands which have recently introduced… or will it sport an optical fingerprint scanner that will enable reading thumb print through the display? Hmm!
Samsung looks to take full advantage of its Viv Labs acquisition to introduce “an enhanced artificial-intelligence service” in the Galaxy S8 with developers of Viv having founded Siri which is now Apple’s digital voice-assistant. Samsung is calling the male voice of the assistant ‘Bixby,’ while the female voice will be called ‘Kestra.’ This will be used in mostly all the native apps that will come pre-installed in the Galaxy S8.
There will be two variants of processors on the Galaxy S8, One featuring a Snapdragon 835 SoC from Qualcomm while the other being Exynos 8895-based. This could also be paired along with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.
Samsung may integrate a pressure-sensitive display technology in this handset with Samsung Tech expected to work similarly to Apple’s 3D Touch tech introduced with the iPhone 6s. So how does this technology actually work? Basically, you will be able to distinguish between a light tap and deep press, giving you access to more functions just by pressing harder.
There is strong speculation that the Galaxy S8 could feature a 256GB storage variant. At the moment, it’s not very clear whether this will be the only storage option, or one of the storage variants made available in South Africa. Could this mean that the expandable storage will fall away? Don’t hold your breath on that one!
With regards to the camera on the device, there has been strong rumours suggesting that there will be a dual camera setup at the back, one 16-megapixel lens and another 8-megapixel lens. However, this could all be thrown out the door especially with the large display in the front, a dual camera setup will be quite hard to cram in. The camera will definitely see an upgrade and may finally become the company’s first smartphone to feature autofocus functionality on the front camera?!
Looks very likely 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. Seriously Samsung, Seriously?!
The Samsung Galaxy S8 might also launch with a new feature called the Samsung Desktop Experience, 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.