In China, the tech blog-o-sphere and accompanying rumor mill are rolling with the assumption that Samsung has already begun work on what could be the Galaxy S8 and 2017’s flagship handset. Expected to be unveiled in February at MWC 2017, there are lots of rumors which suggest the handset will offer 4K and be compatible with Google’s Daydream VR.
Galaxy S8 – 4K?
To start with, let’s get to grips with where the origin of the 4K rumor has come from. Not so long ago, Samsung demonstrated a 4K 5.5-inch display panel at the Society of Information Displays (SID) expo. At that event, it also demonstrated what has been dubbed the Bio Blue light display. This tech is believed to be Samsung’s replacement for its current AMOLED panels, which have constantly been criticized for being too cold.
As for when and if Samsung will actually use the Bio Blue display technology in the Galaxy S8, who knows! However, what Samsung has done is show the world that it has been working hard to produce these technologies. As such, it aims to be ready for the day when it needs a VR-ready 4K display.
Will the Galaxy S8 be VR-Ready?
Samsung is not new to the world of VR; it has, in fact, got its own VR headset, the Gear VR, and that particular piece of technology has been through a few iterations to get it ready for store shelves.
As for how this VR rumor links Samsung and Project Daydream from Google, you will have to go back to mid-May when Google announced Daydream, its mobile-friendly VR platform. At the time, Google did say that there was no compatible hardware available and that it expected this to be released at some point in the near future.
There’s a rumor going around that one of these future compatible hardware devices could be the Galaxy S8, as currently there are no Android devices on the market which do support it. According to a report coming from China, the Galaxy S8’s current code-name is Project Dream, which if you believe it, does suggest that next year’s Samsung flagship could be launched with Daydream VR support as a core feature.
As with all rumors, we will have to wait a while to see what Samsung has planned for the Galaxy S8 and its display technology.
Galaxy S8 concept video
Galaxy S8 with dual-camera sensor
In late June, it was being widely reported from sources in China that the Galaxy S8 will feature a dual-camera sensor. if this is proven to be accurate, it would mean that Samsung has plans to follow recent trends set by the likes of the Huawei P9 and LG G5. As for where Samsung will source the sensor, it could decide to keep the work in-house and use Samsung Motors (a.k.a. SEMCO) to produce the component.
Personally, I think this rumor is more in line with what could be seen on the Galaxy S7. This is because technology and trends generally move at a fast pace, and I can’t see a company like Samsung dwelling on technological features that were incorporated into rival manufacturers’ handsets a few years ago.
Galaxy S8 using Exynos and Qualcomm chips
It is widely believed that Samsung will head the smartphone market with the most powerful handset available in 2017, the Galaxy S8. To do that, it is thought that the South Korean tech behemoth will use new 10nm processors. I know what you’re thinking: next year’s chips have not long been announced, so how could you even guess about it? If you look at how the smartphone and chips are released, they are both cyclical, meaning that these things can be easy to predict.
If for example, if you take the Galaxy S7, it runs on two different chips depending on where you are in the world. These chips are the Snapdragon 830 built by Qualcomm or an Exynos chip developed in-house by Samsung. Going back a little further, the Galaxy S6 used an Exynos CPU, and the Galaxy S5 used a Snapdragon processor.
Even though the cyclical nature of this is accurate, please don’t take my word for it, but I think the likeliest scenario will be that the Galaxy S8 will use the Snapdragon 821 CPU. This is because it offers 10% better performance than the current top model, the 820.
Along with the Galaxy S8, Samsung has been rumored to be planning the launch of four more handsets in 2017. One of these new handsets is rumored to be a foldable device called the Galaxy X. As it stands, I don’t have any more information on it, but I will get back to you.
As for the Galaxy S8, we’re a very long way from its possible release, and the phone itself remains a relative mystery. However, as soon as I or one of my Valuewalk colleagues knows something, it will be shared with our readers.