The much-awaited Galaxy S8 unveiling is just a few days away. Samsung has been trying to create hype around the device by releasing video teasers ahead of the Unpacked event in New York on Wednesday, March 29. Even though Samsung is yet to reveal the features and specs of the phone, the rumor mill has left almost nothing to the imagination. In the last few weeks, we have seen all kinds of leaks and reports about the phone’s design and features. Here’s what you can expect from the Galaxy S8 next week.
Galaxy S8 to come in two sizes
Samsung is going to launch its next-gen flagship in two different screen sizes. The standard version will have a 5.8-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. The larger S8 Plus would sport a 6.2-inch screen. There will be no special Edge variant this time because both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are said to have edge-to-edge curved screens.
The upcoming Galaxy devices will have a unique aspect ratio of 18.5:9, which is taller than the standard 16:9 format used in most smartphones out there. It will also be taller than the 18:9 FullVision display on LG G6. According to eyewitness reports, the S8 would measure 131.58mm x 68.05mm while its bigger sibling would be 159.53mm x 73.37mm.
No home button. Bezel-less design
Yes, the physical home button will soon become history. Samsung has opted for a bezel-less design with the Galaxy S8. There will be little or no side bezels. The top and bottom bezels have also been reduced dramatically to expand the display area. The physical home button is the obvious victim of the new design. Leaked images show that the device’s front doesn’t even have space for Samsung’s logo or branding. The logo has been moved to the rear of the phone.
The physical home button will be replaced by virtual buttons. According to Korean site The Investor, the virtual home button will have 3D Touch-like pressure sensitive technology that will offer different controls depending on how much pressure your fingers apply.
RAM, processing power, and storage
Rumors and leaks indicate that the Galaxy S8 would have 64GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded up to 256GB through microSD cards. The phones will have 4GB RAM. But phones sold in some markets like China and South Korea would have a monstrous 6GB RAM. China and Korea would also get a 128GB storage variant of the device.
The US version of the next-gen Galaxy smartphone is widely expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 835 chipset. Most Asian markets will get the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus powered by Samsung’s in-house Exynos 8895 processor. Both the processors are built using 10nm manufacturing process. Qualcomm claims that its Snapdragon 835 is 35% smaller and 25% more energy efficient than the Snapdragon 820.
Just a few days ago, the Galaxy S8 was spotted going through the AnTuTu benchmark test. The phone scored a record-breaking 205,284 points on AnTuTu, beating the iPhone 7 Plus’ 181,807 points by a huge margin. Benchmark results indicate that the S8 would be the most powerful smartphone when it comes out.
Welcome the new AI assistant: Bixby
Earlier this week, Samsung announced its Bixby AI assistant that would come with the Galaxy S8. Samsung’s R&D head InJong Rhee claims that Bixby will be “fundamentally different” from other voice assistants like Siri. However, it will have only limited capabilities at first. For instance, it will initially be able to communicate only in Korean and English. The app will work only with ten Samsung apps such as Messages, Settings, Contacts, etc.
Samsung is expected to push out a major software upgrade in the first half of the year to boost the capabilities of its new AI assistant. When Samsung acquired Viv Labs last year, the rumor mill claimed that Viv’s advanced machine learning technologies would be used in Bixby. InJong Rhee clarified in a blog post that the current version of the assistant was built using Samsung’s in-house technology. Viv’s expertise will be used in the future versions of the assistant.
The Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated button on the side to activate Bixby. The AI assistant is said to feature an image-recognition technology that would scan products using the phone’s camera and look for them online if you want to purchase it.
Authentication & security
When Samsung ditched the physical home button, it wanted to embed the fingerprint scanner in the phone’s display. But things didn’t go as planned. Samsung and its partner Synaptics were running out of time. At the last minute, the Korean electronics giant chose to move the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the handset. Yes, the fingerprint scanner will sit next to the main camera.
A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor significantly increases the chances of users accidentally smudging the camera lens while looking for the fingerprint reader. But don’t panic. The Galaxy S8 is going to have more than one method for authentication and security.
Samsung’s latest video teaser hints at the iris scanning technology, the same feature that Samsung used in the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. The iris scanner will be placed above the display. A report from Bloomberg claims that the Galaxy S8 will also feature facial recognition technology. You can use any of the three methods to verify your identity and to access different services.
We reported back in January that Samsung would introduce a Continuum-like feature that would allow users to turn the Galaxy S8 into a desktop by connecting it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It would work like a PC without the need of mirroring. The Korean company is indeed going to launch a dock called DeX. Once you place the Galaxy S8 on the doughnut-shaped dock, it would work like a full-fledged desktop.
The DeX dock will reportedly offer HDMI output at 4K (30fps). It is said to have two UBS 2.0 ports and an Ethernet socket for connectivity. It is also rumored to sport an active cooling fan to prevent the smartphone from overheating while handling PC workloads. According to Evan Blass, the DeX will be sold separately for EUR 150.
Contrary to previous rumors, the Galaxy S8 is going to retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone will reportedly have a 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera and an 8MP front snapper. Latest leaks suggest that the 5.8-inch S8 would house a 3,000mAh battery pack, while its bigger sibling will sport a 3,500mAh battery. Finally, expect the upcoming smartphone to be water-resistant.
Evan Blass recently said in a tweet that the Galaxy S8 will be available in Arctic Silver, Black Sky, and Orchid Grey color options.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (top to bottom) in black sky, orchid grey and arctic silver (left to right) pic.twitter.com/ISo7W10sYV
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 19, 2017
Galaxy S8 price and release date
Noted tipster Evan Blass has revealed that the Galaxy S8 would cost EUR 799 in Europe. The bigger S8 Plus would set users back by EUR 899. It means the new phones would cost EUR 100 more than the last year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Samsung will reportedly start accepting pre-orders for the S8 and S8 Plus on April 7th. The company expects the pre-order numbers to be even higher than the Note 7’s 400,000 units. People who purchase the device during the pre-order period of April 7-17 will get it on April 18th, even before the phone’s launch. It’s Samsung way to show its loyal customers how much it values them. The new smartphones would hit the store shelves worldwide on April 28th.