Did you forgo buying a new smartphone in last weekend’s Black Friday sales? If so, was that because 2016’s handsets no longer attract you, or was it because 2017’s releases promise so much more? Whatever your reasons, 2017 does promise to be an exciting year for mobile technology, with handsets such as the iPhone 8, Galaxy S8, and maybe even a Galaxy Note 8 hitting the shelves.
iPhone 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 rumors
The rumor mill is rife with speculations, and smartphone fans all over the world are gearing up for what will be a great 2017. Apple is getting ready to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, and for that reason, iPhone fans are substantially more excited about September 2017 than they were about September 2016. The reason is because they believe the Cupertino-based outfit has to produce something next year which will reignite their love for the Apple brand. So will the iPhone 8 will be the exciting device they hope it will be?
The stakes are also high for Samsung and the two devices which are believed to be under development in its stables. First, we have the Galaxy S8, which is the next in line for the S series. It probably goes without saying that the Korean tech behemoth will launch this handset. However, the short lifespan of the Galaxy Note 7 threw its release date and rumored specifications into disarray.
Samsung had used the last Note to road-test a couple of new technologies, one being the much talked-about iris scanning features, which didn’t get a chance to shine. So how does this fit in with the Galaxy Note 8 rumors doing the rounds? Well to be honest, without any official word from Samsung about this, all we have is rumors.
So without further ado, let’s have a look at the rumors for each handset.
Could the iPhone 8 get a 3D camera? According to the latest speculation, it will. The Korea Economic Daily suggested recently that 2017’s premium iPhone will have an LG Innotek 3D dual-lens setup.
A source close to the situation reportedly said: “Apple is now studying how to apply its 3D camera technology into LG Innotek’s smartphone camera. Since LG Innotek also has its 3D camera and related technologies, such joint efforts will likely to bear fruit sometime soon.”
A piece of clear glass
Well-known and apparently in-the-know tech blogger Robert Scoble has published many predictions for the iPhone 8, with the most widely accepted as true being the handset looking like a clear piece of glass. It’s referred to as a “Gorilla Glass Sandwich” with additional polycarbonate materials included. It could include the much-rumored OLED display, meaning that it would have a higher frame rate and polygon count than a high-end PC.
If true, this would revolutionize the smartphone world.
One additional rumor which in one way relates to the above all-glass-design is the inclusion of wireless charging. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the glass casing is being used to accommodate wireless charging, with Apple’s supply partner Pegatron acting as the exclusive supplier of the technology for the iPhone 8.
While Apple does have solutions for wireless charging with metal cases, issues with frequency tolerances do hinder the charging process. Additionally, it has previously been reported that Jony Ive has wanted to create an all-glass iPhone for many years.
If the rumors are correct, Apple’s iPhone 8 will be a tough one to beat next year, so what do the rumors say about the Galaxy S8?
For one thing, new rumors suggest that the Galaxy S8 could feature the ultimate front-facing selfie camera. This rumor out of South Korea suggests that the camera will be the first in a Samsung device to feature autofocus. It would make an excellent selfie camera because autofocus is usually found on the main rear cameras of handsets, not the front camera. Adding it to the front camera would enable a user to take more detailed selfies than ever before.
Samsung has held the trophy for “Best Display” for a number of years now, and the latest rumors suggest it could try to retain the award in 2017. The Korea Herald has suggested that the display resolution of the Galaxy S8 is going to be bumped up to 4K 2160 x 3840. The Herald has broken a lot of Samsung stories in the past which have turned out to be accurate.
No Home button
Display-related reports from Korea’s ETNews recently mentioned that Samsung wanted to follow Apple’s lead with the iPhone 8 and ditch the Home button in favor of using an edge-to-edge display. It supposedly wants a screen that fills the entire front of the S8. The video above renders what an S8 may look like based on these rumors.
Galaxy Note 8
So we’ve taken a look at iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 handset rumors. Now we turn to a handset that Samsung may not even be planning to release. After the Note 7 debacle, it was thought by many that Samsung had dropped the Note line of phablets. However, rumors of a Galaxy Note 8 persist.
On of the stand-out features of the Note series has been the S-Pen. Samsung managed to redevelop the stylus, which most thought was old tech, into a useful tool and companion for Note devices. However, it appears that the development of this tool is not complete, with rumors of the stylus getting an upgrade which includes a speaker module accommodated in its housing.
According to those who claim to know, this speaker could work in two different ways. One is when the pen is removed from the handset, it would become the speaker, with the handset wirelessly transmitting audio to it. The other way it will supposedly work is when the pen is placed back in the handset, the audio is produced by the handset. As for why a speaker in an S-Pen is required at all is open to speculation, but we think it would be a little overkill.
Another Note 8 rumor we’ve been hearing concerns its processor. It’s said to be the yet-to-be-revealed Snapdragon 830, which could replace the current top-end 821 chip. Rumors about this chip suggest it is built using the 10nm process, which means it will be more powerful and even more power-efficient than its predecessors.
Finally, there is the impact that the rumored AI assistant could have on the smartphone market. Samsung has reportedly gotten together with the original creators of Apple’s Siri to work on what is being called “Bixby.”
This new AI assistant will combine an understanding of conversational language with the ability to conduct super-fast searches. Imagine being able to ask your phone to order you a pizza or book you a table at a restaurant. Additionally, the assistant will be able to work with third-party applications, all of which will make your life easier.
A shakeup needed in smartphones
We certainly hope these nine rumors surrounding the iPhone 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 all end up being true, as the mobile market has needed a shake-up, something to breath new life into it, for many years. And we don’t care whether it is Apple or Samsung that does it.