2017 will be a massive year for smartphones, with Apple releasing an iPhone 8 that recognizes the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range, while Samsung is looking to recover from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle with the release of the Galaxy S8. Both of these huge consumer electronics market players will be intending to innovate significantly with their next generation devices, so what can we expect from the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8?
With the Galaxy S8 appearing earlier in the year, there is more information available regarding the Samsung flagship. Any innovations linked with this device are far more likely to be concrete, with Samsung expected to unveil the handset at the Mobile World Congress in February.
Thus, it is interesting to note that a recent report has suggested that the Galaxy S8 will include Bluetooth 5.0 support. This will deliver greatly enhanced data transfer speeds, while also ensuring that longer range is possible for Galaxy S8 users.
There is still a question mark regarding whether or not this will be included in the Galaxy S8, as the Bluetooth SIG consortium, which includes Samsung as a member, stating that it will arrive within two to six months. This suggests that the Galaxy S8 could be one of the first devices to benefit from Bluetooth 5.0, but it will depend on the technological logistics.
Samsung is also expected to slim down the bezels included in the Galaxy S8, and possibly even produce an edge-to-edge display. This is becoming increasingly voguish in the smartphone marketplace, with Apple also expected to significantly reduce the bezils in the iPhone 8.
Samsung is increasingly being linked with an eradication of the Home button in the Galaxy S8, again following on from rumors associated with the iPhone 8. This suggests that Samsung will embed the fingerprint sensor within the display glass at the bottom of the device.
It is also expected that Samsung will launch artificial intelligence assistance with the Galaxy S8, and that this will be based around a dual assistant system. Samsung has already named the assistance that will be included with the Galaxy S8; Bixby and Kestra will thus provide male and female assistance as required.
Samsung has been linked with producing a 4K resolution smartphone for some years now, and it could be that this finally comes to fruition when the Galaxy S8 is released. Samsung has typically saved its innovations for the Galaxy Note series, but considering the bad press that the corporation has suffered recently, it may be necessary for the Korean consumer electronics giant to really push the boat out with the Galaxy S8.
There have also been murmurings from close to the Samsung supply chain that the corporation will massively upgrade the memory of the Galaxy S8. This would enable Samsung to ensure that its next generation flagship is even slicker than previous well-reviewed models.
Recent iPhone releases have been criticized for being a little bit…well, boring. Apple has taken a conservative approach to its flagship smartphone range over the last couple of years, and Apple fans are hoping that it delivers something more revolutionary when the iPhone 8 is released. And indeed this is expected, considering that the iPhone 8 will mark a very special tenth generation for the world’s most successful smartphone.
Firstly, Apple is reportedly working on a complete wireless charging solution for the iPhone 8. Apple has reportedly struck a deal with wireless charging company Energous, which will enable it to Include technology in the iPhone 8 which enables users to charge the device from 15 feet away.
Single sheet of glass
Another intriguing recent comment relates to Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, who reportedly intends for the iPhone 8 “to appear like a single sheet of glass”. Slimming down bezels looks like being a signature of the smartphone marketplace this year, and a wraparound display is thus being prepared for the iPhone 8.
Apple has been linked with the elimination of the physical Home button from the iPhone 8 for some time, yet Apple has chosen not to pioneer this feature as of yet. This has effectively opened the door for Samsung to deliver this in the Galaxy S8 before Apple is able to do so. But the Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be embedded beneath the glass display of the iPhone 8, if recent reports are to be believed.
When the iPhone 8 is released, consumers will have the choice of purchasing a curved screen device for the first time in Apple history. This innovation has proved hugely successful for Samsung, and now Apple wants to join in the curved display revolution.
USB Type-C connectivity
In addition to the wireless charging linked with the iPhone 8, it has also been suggested that Apple could switch from its Lightning port to a USB Type-C connection. This is perhaps has a relatively low chance of appearing in the iPhone 8 generation, but it is something that Apple is undoubtedly tinkering with behind the scenes.
Apple has also been negotiating with various suppliers with the intention of including OLED technology in the iPhone series in the foreseeable future. This could occur for the first time with the iPhone 8, with OLED offering numerous advantages over the existing LCD technology included in the iPhone 8, as well as generally being considered to provide superior display quality.
Dual lens standard
It has been suggested in some quarters that Apple will arm every device in the iPhone 8 range with a dual-lens camera. This would not be an innovation as such, as the iPhone 7 featured dual cameras. But Apple could yet produce a smartphone with dual-lens technology.
Finally, Apple is expected to seek both hardware and software solutions to producing an iPhone 8 with an increased battery life; a perennial bugbear of the smartphone range.