Technology

Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini Release: All You Need To Know

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 was a runaway success. Its sales were even higher than last year’s Galaxy S7. However, the S8 and S8 Plus largely cater to people who like phones with bigger displays. There is still a large crowd that prefers a smaller premium phone that can easily be used with one hand. Now the rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini release have started surfacing. The upcoming device is expected to target users who still prefer smaller smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini Release Date
Image Source: ITHome.com (screenshot)

Who should look forward to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini release?

Samsung hasn’t launched a Mini smartphone since the Galaxy S5 Mini in 2014. The S5 Mini was a significant downgrade over the standard Galaxy S5. However, the Galaxy S8 Mini is expected to be only a minor downgrade compared to the flagship model in terms of specs. It means the S8 Mini would be more of a premium device with a smaller display rather than a mid-range phone.

Industry sources told Chinese site ITHome that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini release could happen soon. The publication added that the S8 Mini would sport a 5.3-inch display, compared to the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays of the S8 and S8 Plus, respectively. Thanks to its bezel-less Infinity display, users would be able to operate the device with one hand.

The S8 Mini could appeal to many consumers who were not initially interested in the original releases, despite the upcoming phone being slightly less powerful. Sources told ITHome that the Mini version would retain the 18.5:9 aspect ratio of its bigger siblings. It would look the same as Galaxy S8, only smaller. There is no word yet on the display resolution.

Galaxy S8 Mini: Rumored specs

According to the report, the S8 Mini would be powered by last year’s Snapdragon 821 rather than Snapdragon 835. That shouldn’t be a huge problem considering both Google Pixel and LG G6 come with Snapdragon 821, and they are among the best smartphones out there. The Mini model would have the same iris scanner, 4GB RAM, and 12-megapixel main camera as the standard version.

However, the Mini S8 would have 32GB of built-in storage compared to the original model’s 64GB storage. Fortunately, there would be a microSD card slot to let you expand storage by up to 256GB. The leaked renders (above) obtained by ITHome show the size difference between the upcoming Mini and its bigger counterparts. The leak indicates that the S8 Mini would be much closer to the standard version than the Galaxy S5 Mini ever was.

It’s not yet clear whether the device would feature the Bixby AI assistant or not. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the first devices to get Bixby, as well as a dedicated button to activate the AI assistant. Anyway, it’s interesting to see how the smartphone sizes have evolved over the years. The original Galaxy Note was considered a “phablet” and had a 5.3-inch screen. Now a device coming with the same 5.3-inch display is seen as a “Mini” version.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini release date and price

ITHome did not reveal when the device would hit the store shelves. Currently, Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy Note 8 in late August. The Korean company could introduce the S8 Mini with the Note 8. However, the Note phablets have never shared the limelight with other Samsung smartphones. It means the S8 Mini has a limited window for launch.

The Korean electronics behemoth cannot launch it after September because potential buyers would have shifted focus to the Galaxy S9 by then, which would launch in early 2018. It means the Samsung Galaxy S8 Mini has to hit the store shelves before September. Considering that marketing materials and renders have already been created and shared across the company, the device seems to be in advanced stages of development.

It would be interesting to see which markets get the S8 Mini. Samsung may choose to restrict it only to select markets such as China and South Korea. The phone would obviously cost less than the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, though exact pricing isn’t known yet. The S8 Mini would face competition from the OnePlus 5, which offers premium specs including a dual-camera system but costs only $479.

Galaxy S8 available at $499

Meanwhile, the standard Galaxy S8 has received a price cut in the US. Best Buy is currently offering the 64GB version of the device at just $499.99, down $150 from the standard price of $649.99. However, there is a catch. The offer is valid only with a Boost Mobile prepaid deal. Best Buy is also offering free shipping. You can also choose to reserve your device and pick it up at a nearby store. Best Buy doesn’t mention how long the deal would last.