In the world of mobile technology, 2017 could be the year we’ve all been waiting for– the year that the slate form factor becomes obsolete and new technologies transform what we consider to be a smartphone. Of those devices that currently have circling rumors, we’re going to look at three: the iPhone 8, Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy S8. Here’s what we know so far about these upcoming phones.
iPhone 8 ushers in iPhone’s tenth anniversary
The iPhone turns ten next year, and to celebrate its success, Apple is expected to give its biggest money earner a facelift. While Apple hasn’t said a word about it, it is the among many tech rumors doing the rounds. So what could we expect Apple to provide us with in 2017?
According to many a rumor, Apple could introduce a bezel-less design with the iPhone 8. If this is accurate, Apple fans would be happy; they’ve had to put up with the same design since the iPhone 6 in 2014. The rumor suggests that the display would fill the space left behind by the bezel. It’s thought that OLED technology could, at last, make its way to the handset.
For a long time, the rumor mill has talked of the iPhone getting this tech, but instead, the Apple Watch and Mac got it first.
Speculation about how many iPhone 8 variants has led some to suggest that there will be three. Nikkei suggested recently that there will be an iPhone 8 Plus and 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch handsets, with the Plus variant being the most premium device of the three and the one that gets an OLED display.
Rumors suggest that TSMC has already begun work on what will be an Apple A11 chip. This chip will apparently be built using a 10-nanometer process, and will be ready for validation in early 2017.
Ming-chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, is almost an insider at Apple, so much so that his predictions are mostly accurate. According to his latest report, the iPhone 8 will get a suite of biometric sensors which will include an iris scanner and facial recognition. It’s unclear why so many layers of security are needed on the next iPhone. However, some weight has been given to the iris scanning tech due to Apple admitting that it’s sourcing the chips from Taiwan-based Xintec.
Galaxy Note 8
If you haven’t seen the rumors, Samsung is not going to kill the Note phablet, which, considering that the Note 7 cost it lots and lots of money, is a surprise. The latest rumors suggest a Galaxy Note 8 may be in development, and what’s even more surprising about this is that the handset could be ready for January. If this is accurate, it could really throw a wrench into Apple’s iPhone 8 plans. Here’s what we know:
Unfortunately for Samsung, it spent millions on developing this tech for the Note 7, only to see it fall short of its potential due to battery problems. So you’d expect the South Korean tech giant to give it another chance, and apparently it will. As with all rumors, Samsung has not given any indication about this, so we’ll have to wait and see what materializes.
One would hope Samsung would learn from its past mistakes, and it may have. While the actual cause of the explosions has not been discovered, the battery is still the number one suspect. So rumors are suggesting that a move back to removable batteries is likely, and we suppose this is one that could help negate any fears of future explosions.
While iPhone 8 users may get new display technology, a new patent describes a foldable Note 8. Early last week, Samsung filed a patent for a foldable display technology. This tech would allow a screen to be folded in half, much like old flip phones used to fold. However, what’s new is that part of the folding process would be done automatically, and when complete, a new display would be activated.
Last week The Wall Street Journal wrote that future Samsung phones would get a much improved digital assistant that would far outclass Siri, found on the iPhone, or Google Assistant. This assistant is apparently AI and gives the ability to dictate messages, order pizza, reserve tickets, and even respond to voice queries.
Right now it is clear to see that Apple has taken the lead in smartphone camera technology. To combat this and to beat whatever the iPhone 8 gets, Samsung, according to rumors, will introduce a dual-lens camera. Last month the Korean Herald reported that the Note 8 would likely get a dual-lens camera setup.
The theory behind this assumption was that Samsung updates its flagship camera tech once every year. However, the better argument would be that it needs to be the best to recoup its losses. As for specification of this camera setup, the only available rumor about it suggests two rear 20MP sensors with at least the abilities of the iPhone 7 Plus camera.
While the release of an iPhone 8 or another numbered handset is practically guaranteed, it’s not so regarding the Note 8. During the aftermath of the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung found itself in a tight spot, but thanks to the emergence of Galaxy S8 rumors, it was able to deflect what was bad social and press attention. Now it seems as though the device is real, so here’s what we know about it.
Earlier in the year, Google announced that Android Nougat would have VR support built in. Called DayDream, this feature demands that compatible handsets meet certain spec criteria. However, right now, it’s not clear what that criterion will be. But according to rumors, the Galaxy S8 will be DayDream-ready, meaning that it will be VR-compatible, unlike its direct competitor the iPhone 8.
A recent report suggests that the Galaxy S8 will be Samsung’s first handset to feature a pressure-sensitive screen. Right now Samsung handsets lag behind those made by Huawei and Apple, even though it is Samsung Display that supplies the technology to competing manufacturers. That being said, this means that it won’t be hard for Samsung Mobile to implement it’s own version of 3D Touch into the Galaxy S8.
Samsung could be about to release two S8 variants like it did with the S7. Bloggers all over the world are suggesting that tipster Evan Blass leaked the information a few days ago. According to that information, the viewing of two model numbers, SM-G950 and SM-G955, indicates this is true. They reportedly correspond with two S8 variants which come in two sizes: a 5.7-inch model and a 6.2-inch behemoth.
A bezel-less design has been the holy grail of the current smartphone form factor for many years, and as with the iPhone 8 rumors, the Galaxy S8 also has its own bezel-free rumors. This rumored edge-to-edge display would use an OLED panel, something that Samsung supplies to other manufacturers. As for the specifications of this panel, nothing as of yet has been announced, and even the rumor mill is unsure of this. However, according to insiders at Samsung Display, the panel will take up more than 90% of the face of the Galaxy S8.