Samsung has experienced a rather eventful period in its existence for all the wrong reasons recently, and will want to get back on track with the release of the Galaxy S8. The next generation smartphone is expected for the early months of 2017. Here ValueWalk assesses all the latest rumors and information about this flagship device.
Galaxy S8: Curved displays
The first notable leak regarding the Galaxy S8 that Samsung is set to ditch all flat panels in favor of dual-curved despite across every model of the series. Samsung has released a separate Edge version of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone over the last two years, but reports from East Asia suggest that it is set to go curved-only in 2017. An edge-to-edge design is also possible.
A Korea Herald report indicates that the Korean corporation has already decided that this next generation smartphone will only feature a curved display. This is notable, as the publication is well known to have strong links within Samsung.
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Reports from Korea also suggest that the Galaxy S8 may launch in two separate models. The first of these will feature a 5.1-inch curved display, with a second larger phablet-sized version featuring a 5.5-inch screen. Apple may release four separate iPhone 8 models in 2017, and it seems that Samsung feels the need to compete with its great rival by diversifying.
Reports also indicate that Samsung will incorporate a pressure-sensitive display when the Galaxy S8 is released. This would obviously be a response to the 3D Touch functionality which Apple has debuted in the iPhone 6S generation. Consumers should then expect similar functionality in the galaxy S8 to that already included in the iPhone 7 range, which enables iPhone users to access certain features via varying levels of pressure applied to the smartphone’s display.
Samsung may enlist Synaptics to be involved in this technology, after the company previously issued a press release indicating that it had developed a ClearForce touchscreen display controller capable of measuring varying levels of pressure.
In order to deliver this technology, Samsung is also being linked with Huawei. The Chinese telecommunications giant has already linked up with Samsung in the past, and it is thought that the Korean corporation may seek out its assistance once more.
It has also been suggested by several sources that Samsung will develop an artificial intelligence assistant to be released in its smartphone range in 2017. This would obviously be a response to Apple’s existing voice assistant Siri. Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs, the company formed by creators of Siri, obviously points to this conclusion.
Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus has been quoted as indicating that Samsung will move into this niche sooner rather than later.
“Samsung is setting its sights on becoming a major player in software and services, and specifically AI. Samsung Pay has already proven to be one of the most successful mobile payment platforms in the market and SmartThings is another software acquisition signalling their conviction. And they have installed a new cadre of senior SW-savvy management stretching all the way to the top with a mission. You will soon come to see the utter seriousness of Samsung’s intentions. And like us, they aim to win,” Kittlaus commented.
And thus we may see this new AI assistant debut in the Galaxy S8, as well as featuring in the Galaxy Note range in 2017.
Other rumors have focused on the suggestion that Samsung will significantly redesign the Galaxy S8 when it is released next year. This is prompted by the fact that it will have been two years since the flagship has been tweaked physically, following the design introduced with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
One of the notable aspects of the recent iPhone release has been the decision of Apple to ditch the headphone jack, which had been a feature of the smartphone since its inception. Now some analysts believe that Samsung will also eliminate the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone port when the Galaxy S8 is released. In its place will be a proprietary port, compatible with the USB Type-C technology included in the smartphone.
Reports have also suggested that Samsung will include a touch-based power button when the Galaxy S8 is released. Smartphone designers from all of the big players in the marketplace have been working out how to eliminate physical buttons for some time, with the power button being a particular focus. It seems that Samsung may have solved this issue already, and thus will debut this new design when the Galaxy 8 is released.
Wireless charging is already common in Samsung products, but it is suggested that the corporation has discovered a way of improving this feature in the Galaxy S8. The technology could be speedier and more convenient to use when this flagship device is released.
Fans of Android devices would love to see Samsung push the boat out and produce a 4K resolution Galaxy S8, but the likelihood is that the corporation will stick with quad HD resolution. OLED displays will naturally be retained from previous generations.
It is anticipated that the Galaxy S8 will include the Android Nougat system, as it is thought that Android O will not be available in time for the release of this device.
The Galaxy S8 will also include an improved camera, with 6GB of RAM memory being linked with the smartphone in some quarters. A powerful Snapdragon 830 processor is also likely to be included, ensuring that this smartphone is unquestionably one of the most powerful available on the market.
It is likely that Samsung will once again debut the Galaxy S range at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. This event will begin on February 27 this year, so Samsung fans will be glued to this high-profile trade show. However, recent reports have also suggested that we may have to wait until April for this flagship.
It is possible that Samsung will reduce the price of the Galaxy S8, following the slowing down of the smartphone niche and its recent well-documented problems.