Undoubtedly the two big smartphone releases of 2017 will be the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8. Both are expected to incorporate a raft of exciting new features as the two main players in the mobile niche jockey for supremacy. So here is a rundown on all we can expect from the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 this year.
There is still some debate on whether the iPhone 8 will herald the introduction of wireless charging. But reports this week suggest that the Californian corporation is indeed leaning towards implementing a sophisticated system in the next generation iPhone.
According to Apple Insider, Energous has developed a simplified version of its WattUp wireless power transmission system, and this could be heading to the iPhone 8. If this is the case then not only will wireless charging appear in the iPhone 8, but it will be delivered at a longer range than any previous example of the technology.
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In order to facilitate this wireless charging feature, Apple will fundamentally alter the way that the iPhone 8 is constructed. Central to this will be the introduction of a glass back to the smartphone.
It is also likely expected that Apple will remove the Home button from the device, replacing it with a screen-based feature. This will enable Apple to reduce the size of the iPhone 8, while still retaining the same screen size, and even including the largest ever display in the iPhone range if rumors of a third model come to fruition. But more on that later.
In accordance with this suggestion, it is also expected that Apple will really slim down the bezels of the iPhone 8, and that the device may benefit from an edge-to-edge display. It is also expected that Apple will introduce curved screen technology with the iPhone 8, with this having been patented previously.
And a new speaker design will ensure that this is the slimmest iPhone ever. Producing ever more wafer-thinner devices has been a particular focus for Apple, and the iPhone 8 is set to impress in this department.
OLED will finally be introduced into the display of the iPhone 8 as well, while the resolution of the smartphone series is set to be bumped up.
Recent rumors have also suggested that a laser sensor will be included for gesture recognition, and that this will have practical benefits in security, while also delivering new functionality.
Apple will also embrace virtual reality when the iPhone 8 is released, with the technology becoming increasingly important in the consumer electronics marketplace. Apple VR technology has not yet been established, but we could see links with one of the major VR projects already on the market, while Apple toys with its future strategy.
Finally, Apple will likely released three separate models of the mainstream iPhone for the first time. It has been suggested that the new version of the iPhone will be larger than the two traditional models, possibly featuring a 5.8-inch display. Spec increases to RAM, storage, processor speed and cameras can also be anticipated.
The Galaxy S8 will be an extremely powerful performer if the existing rumors about the Samsung flagship are to be believed. For starters, a 3.5 GHz Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895 have been linked with the smartphone, with different geographical regions receiving separate models. This powerful processor will be backed up with 6GB of RAM according to some reports, making an extremely formidable combination. One report has even suggested that Samsung has achieved peak speeds of 4 GHz with his new processor, a truly mouth-watering prospect.
Samsung has listened to consumers’ concerns about the flexibility of the Galaxy range, and thus it is believed that a 3,000mAh removable battery will be included in the Galaxy S8. This will enable fans of the Android-driven device to fit a battery of their choosing; potentially souping up the smartphone and its lifecycle. The Galaxy S8 could deliver as much as 24 hours of usage on a single charge.
It is believed that Samsung will eliminate the headphone jack in the Galaxy S8, essentially following the lead of Apple from last year. Some keen Galaxy consumers have called for the headphone jack to be retained, but a wireless-based music system is more likely. USB Type-C will also form part of the makeup of the Galaxy note 8.
Samsung is also expected to remove the Home button from the Galaxy S8 when it is released, and reports have suggested that a fingerprint sensor will be built into the display of the smartphone. This will help with security, and also follow general general trends in the industry, with the major manufacturers now clearly moving towards smaller devices.
While Samsung will change the way that music is listened to privately, dual-stereo front-facing speakers will ensure that the Galaxy S8 delivers a powerful audio system.
There have also been some eye-catching rumors related to the photographic capabilities of the Galaxy S8. Some reports have suggested that the Korean manufacturer will include a 30-megapixel camera in the next-generation smartphone, truly blowing rivals out of the water. Samsung has pared down the megapixel rating included in the Galaxy S range over these last couple of years, but it could be ready to reverse this policy following a challenging year during which the Galaxy Note 7 caused enormous problems.
Finally, smartphone users are in for a treat this year, as both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 are likely to be frozen in price. Samsung simply doesn’t have enough capital in the marketplace at present to do otherwise, while Apple is likely to follow the lead of its great competitor and ensure that the iPhone is competitive in price terms. Both of these giants of the technology world are set to release ambitious smartphones at affordable prices in 2017, and we can only conclude that the consumer will be the winner.