Galaxy S8 Rumor Roundup—Here's the Latest on Samsung's Upcoming Flagship
The internet world is abuzz with speculation regarding Samsung's upcoming flagship handset. With the amazing implosion that was the Note7, all eyes are firmly fixed on Samsung's future and the Galaxy S8. The Korean tech giant will need a spectacular release to win back consumer trust, and it's already looking like the S8 won't disappoint.
Here are the significant rumors that are swirling through the internet right now. We'll continually update this post as we find out more.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung let the world know that it would be officially unveiling the Galaxy S8 at a standalone event in New York on March 29th, 2017. We'll know more about its availability as we get closer to that event, but ETNews from South Korea claims that Samsung plans to actually release their new flagship on April 21, 2017.
New rumors however, suggest that the S8's release date has been pushed back a week, to April 28, 2017. According to leaker extraordinaire Evan Blass, Samsung's flagships are still set to be announced as scheduled, but their official release for sale will be delayed by a week, due in part to poor yield rates of the new 10 nm Snapdragon 835 chips that's set to power the S8.
Whether or not this new development will affect the S8's rumored preorder date of April 10, 2017, still remains to be seen, but we'll keep you updated as soon as any new developments surface.
The S8 will come in two different screen sizes, similar to 2016's Galaxy S7. It's highly unlikely that Samsung will continue on with its trend and make a traditional flat screened S8 along with its Edge line. Chances of this are slim if Samsung opts to make variants based on screen size (more on that next).
With the S8's unveiling just weeks away, leaks about screen size and resolution have now coalesced into being around 5.8 inches for the standard version and 6.2" for its bigger brother, with a screen resolution of 2960 x 1440. Pixel densities slightly differ, and are said to be around 567 pixels per inch for the S8, and 531 PPI for the S8 Plus.
The latest news suggest that the displays on both Galaxy S8 flagships will have an official name. According to Android Authority, Samsung has been granted trademark rights for the term Infinity Display by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
A radical and exciting prospect that's gaining traction is that the S8's screen-to-body ratio (how much real estate the display occupies in relation to the whole front) will be more than 90%. Compare that with S7's 72.1%, and mind blown.
There's an unconfirmed rumor that the screens will boast rounded corners, but this grainy video of what purports to be the S8 seems to support this claim. This would help to explain the confusion on the exact screen size numbers, because these are normally measured diagonally from corner to corner.
While Samsung has been rumored to be working on a fingerprint sensor that hides underneath the glass on the front of the phone, that technology probably won't be ready in time for the Galaxy S8's launch. A far more likely solution is that Samsung will put the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone like other manufacturers do.
Latest leaks confirms this. According to The Investor, Synaptics, the California-based company tasked by Samsung to develop this new feature, basically ran out of time perfecting the technology to embed a fingerprint scanner under the screen. To meet production schedule, Samsung finally had to resort to placing a conventional fingerprint scanner alongside the rear camera module last minute.
It's widely expected that the S8 will run on Samsung's own Exynos 8895 in some regions, but their U.S. models will utilize Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835. Built on 10 nanometer architecture that's potentially 30% faster than its 14 naonmeter predecessors, the Snapdragon 835 is also VR and 4K ready.
A recent report gives further credence to this. According to Forbes (and confirmed by The Verge), Samsung has secured all of Qualcomm's initial production run of its Snapdragon 835 processors, pushing out LG and HTC, who will now have to furnish their flagships with the older 821 series to meet their deadlines.
According to TechTastic, sketchy reports are coming in from Weibo users suggesting there will be a 256 GB version of the Galaxy S8. If this is the case, then there's reason to believe that lower capacity options (64 GB, 128 GB, etc.) will also be available. Will it have expandable memory like the S7? Now that's the $64,000 question.
As for RAM, we may be in for a treat. As TechTastic notes, the S8 will come equipped with a whopping 6 GB of RAM, putting Samsung's new flagship on par with the OnePlus 3T, the only other phone in the U.S. to have this much memory.
Recent reports have shot down an older rumor that said the S8 might have 8 GB of RAM (likely based on the fact that the Snapdragon 835 supports 8 GB), so we're now fairly confident in the 6 GB number. However, even more recent rumors claim it will only have 4 GB of RAM, so we might just have to wait and see.
Snapchatters rejoice! A front facing camera equipped with auto-focus might also be in the works for the S8. EtNews reports that Samsung has come up with a new type of camera actuator that will make front-facing auto-focus possible while saving precious space.
Auto-focus is usually limited to the rear-facing camera on smartphones because of a technology called Voice Coil Motor (VCM). VCM has coils that encircle the lens to enable auto-focus features, but this setup is generally too bulky to use in the limited space provided for front-facing camera modules.
However, instead of using VCM, Samsung will use a new encoder-type actuator that'll have the coils on the sides of the camera module itself to help keep a slim profile, thus paving the way for front-facing auto-focus. As exciting as this sounds, one thought lingers in my head....
A Weibo tipster by the name of Ice Universe alleges that Samsung plans to bypass the rear dual-camera setup in favor of a more traditional mono-lens design, at least for the smaller 5.1" S8. He hints that a the dual-camera setup could be employed on the larger 5.5" variant, similar to the route Apple took with their iPhone 7 line.
Earlier reports did say that the S8 would feature a two camera setup with 12-megapixel Samsung and 13-megapixel Sony modules, so we're not really sure what to expect here.
A company called Viv, which has created a cutting-edge virtual assistant capable of working seamlessly with apps and services, was acquired by Samsung back in October 2016. Developed by the creators of Siri (which Apple purchased in 2010), Viv has been hailed as Siri's more powerful and extensive little sister.
Renamed Bixby, it's been confirmed that Samsung will incorporate this AI into the S8 line in order to better compete with Apple's Siri and Google's new Assistant. Bixby will make its debut on the Galaxy S8's reveal event on March 29, and will reportedly have specific features that Samsung claims will set it apart from the rest of the crowd.
Bixby is purported to be all-encompassing, and will have access to all the file systems and apps within the flagship. The assistant will also give the user unprecedented ability to interact with the S8 by being able to switch seamlessly between voice and touch commands, and is said to have the ability to even understand incomplete phrases to complete tasks through cognitive tolerance.
Samsung purchased Harman International, a world leading audio system specialist, for $8 billion back in November 2016. Harman is famous for furnishing and providing connected audio system solutions for the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, and Bentley, among others.
A recent report from Fonearena suggest that the Galaxy s8 might come fully furnished with Harman-branded stereo speakers. It makes a lot of sense for Samsung to utilize Harman's expertise in audio tech and fully incorporate it into their premiere line of handsets.
Just like the S7, the S8 will almost certainly sport an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating.
That's all the major gossip regarding Samsung's upcoming flagship handset that's out as of now. As exciting as these rumors are, they are just that. As such, we will keep you updated as more juicy tidbits seep through the cracks.