Following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Samsung is leaving no stone unturned to make its next-gen flagship Galaxy S8 the safest and best smartphone of 2017. Ironically, the Korean company is yet to figure out the cause of the Note 7 explosions. A new report coming out of South Korea claims that Samsung will start testing the Galaxy S8 in January 2017.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Image Credit: Jami3.org/Flickr

Will Samsung delay the Galaxy S8 release?

Supply chain sources familiar with the matter told The Investor that Samsung had asked its key suppliers to provide an initial batch of components for the S8 from January. The initial batch will be used to assemble the first prototypes and start testing the handset. Full volume supplies will kick off in February, said sources. However, they were not sure about the Galaxy S8 launch schedule.

Samsung traditionally unveils the new Galaxy S device at the Mobile World Congress in February before launching the handset globally in March. Sources told The Investor that the phone could launch as usual in March. But a report from the Wall Street Journal claims that it could arrive as late as April. The WSJ has learned from its sources that Samsung was adding a dedicated new button for the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant to the new device.

Galaxy S8 to come with ‘Bixby’ AI assistant

The Galaxy S8 is expected to feature an AI assistant from Viv Labs that Samsung acquired last month. A trademark filing indicates that the AI assistant could be called “Bixby.” Viv Labs was founded by the same people who built Siri and sold it to Apple in 2010. Viv (or Bixby) is said to be capable of writing new code on its own to handle new tasks as it evolves. Samsung executives have indicated that Viv’s technology will be incorporated in the Galaxy S8.

It’s been more than two months since the first reports of Galaxy Note 7 started surfacing, but Samsung engineers have yet to find out the cause of explosions. In a full-page ad earlier this week, Samsung apologized to customers for the Note 7 debacle and assured them that it would invest all the time and resources needed to get the right answers. The Galaxy S8 release could be pushed back if Samsung fails to find the cause of Galaxy Note 7 overheating soon.

Galaxy S8 to have 90% display-to-body ratio

Another report from Android Pure claims that the Galaxy S8 will feature a 5.1-inch Quad HD display with 2K resolution, an iris scanner, and a dual camera system on the back. The home button and fingerprint sensor are said to be incorporated in the display itself. The S8 would be almost bezelless with 90% display-to-body ratio. Most smartphones available in the market have an 80% display-to-body ratio.

The Galaxy S8 is expected to be powered by a 10nm chip. Last month, Samsung started mass production of 10nm chips using FinFET technology. The S8 is said to use Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 depending on the region. Samsung’s new 10nm chips are up to 40% more power efficient and 27% faster than the 14nm chips.