Samsung Galaxy S8 : Everything we know so far

So the Galaxy Note 7 has hurt Samsung where it hurts large conglomerates the most, which is their profits. Samsung’s Q3 earnings showed their lowest profit in eight years. But the year hasn’t been all bad for Samsung because if it was, Samsung might have been in so much more trouble because of the Note 7. While the Note 7 tanked, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have been enjoying tremendous sales even after the launch of iPhone 7, LG V20 and the Google Pixel. This helped Samsung retain the number one spot as the largest smartphone manufacturer.

Samsung is no longer manufacturing the Note 7, and is telling users to keep their phones turned off, so many customers will be keen to bag themselves a Samsung Galaxy S8 next year. Samsung is also offering an upgrade plan to the Galaxy S8.

That said, we’re still months away from the expected launch of the Galaxy S8 but this thing’s shaping up as something special. According to early leaks, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will play host to everything from a 4K display to an iris scanner. It might be facing some short delays and copy the iPhone 7 in ditching the 3.5mm headphone port though, boo. Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 so far.

Samsung Galaxy S8: launch date

The most logical prediction currently is that the Galaxy S8 release date will be February 26.  How can we say that? Here’s a quick look back at previous Galaxy phone launches:

  • Galaxy S7 release date – March 11, 2016
  • Galaxy S6 release date – April 20, 2015
  • Galaxy S5 release date – April 11, 2014
  • Galaxy S4 release date – April 27, 2013
  • Galaxy S3 release date – May 29, 2012
  • Galaxy S2 release date – May 2, 2011
  • Galaxy S release date – June 4, 2010

As is evident by the launch pattern, April has tended to be the most popular month for release. However, the Galaxy S7 arrived a little earlier in 2016. That was because the phone was actually announced in February at Mobile World Congress, an event that’s usually held in March. However, MWC’s timing this year meant that the Galaxy S7 was forced to land sooner than expected. It could be the same situation this year too, as MWC 2017 is set to run between February 27 and March 2 – which suggests we’ll see the Galaxy S8 announced a day before, on February 26.

Availability will likely be within 2-3 weeks of the announcement.

Samsung Galaxy S8: price

We can only guess at the Galaxy S8 price at this stage. Unsurprisingly, the Edge-variant Galaxy phones tend to cost between 5% and 10% more than their more traditional counterparts. The Galaxy S7 was slightly more expensive than the Galaxy S6 and considering that Samsung is pulling out all stops with the Galaxy S8, it is likely that we’ll see a slight bump in the cost but then, with the Note 7 debacle, Samsung might want to keep costs the same as the Galaxy S7 so as to attract the most customers possible.

That would be $669 for an unlocked regular version with 32 GB of storage or $769 for a 32 GB Edge variant. Some rumours though suggest that 64GB could be the base option for the Galaxy S8 and also that it will have only edge variants just in different sizes. If that’s the case, the prices might be a bit higher.

We’ll have to wait for some leaks nearer to the Galaxy S8 release date before we can put our finger on the price with any degree of certainty.

Samsung Galaxy S8: specs

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The Galaxy S8 is expected to be one of next year’s most exciting smartphones, so it’s likely to have seriously top-end specs. While nothing is certain this early on in the Galaxy S8’s development timeline, we have a very good idea about much of what the phone will feature.

The current crop of Galaxy S8 spec rumors doing the rounds include a 5.1 inch QHD and a 5.5-inch 4K Super AMOLED display variants both featuring a Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 chipset and 6 or 8 GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S8: camera

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Samsung’s flagship phones have long been known for their impressive cameras. Why should the Galaxy S8 be any different? After all, the Galaxy S7 has one of the most innovative and impressive phone cameras we’ve ever seen, better even than the well-received Galaxy S6. According to the latest reports out of South Korea, Samsung is opting for two 16 MP cameras on the back with an 8 MP front-facing camera, and Samsung is also rumored to be working on a new camera with a super-wide f/1.4 aperture. There are also many other reports about the megapixel count of Galaxy S8 camera. Basically, you can pretty much pick any number between 12 and 30 and you’ll find a report to match.

Samsung Galaxy S8: design

Samsung might be planning a major design overhaul for next year’s Galaxy S8. More than a little is yet known about the “slick design” recently promised by Samsung’s vp of mobile communications. A new report by the Investor is among the latest to claim an edge to edge (not just the sides) display for the Galaxy S8, with a 90% screen to body ratio.

A report out of Korea published in October says the Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature a number of notable design changes compared to the Galaxy S7, including the removal of the home button. ETNews reports that Samsung wants to ditch the button, instead integrating the functionality – including fingerprint scanning – inside of the display. A recent rumour also suggests the Galaxy S8 may be the first smartphone to feature an optical finger print sensor.

Building on the existing fingerprint checker, the S8 is expected to copy the Note 7 and add an integrated Iris scanner, with this additional biometric measure to let you unlock your phone simply by looking at it.

This will allow Samsung “to fill all of the front of the galaxy S8 with just screen”. The report goes on to say that Samsung is “planning to eliminate even top and bottom edges of display for Galaxy S8”.

Samsung could also follow Apple’s suit and ditch the headphone jack on the Galaxy S8 – à la the iPhone 7. The USB Implementors Forum recently published its Audio Device Class 3.0 specification, which details a standard for phone makers that allows audio to be transmitted via USB-C.

But considering the Note 7 scenario, I’d think even if Samsung had such plans, they are likely to hold it back for now because ditching the headphone jack might not go down well with a lot of potential customers.

Samsung Galaxy S8: features

Samsung’s vp of mobile communications also went on record promising an “enhanced artificial intelligence service” for the Galaxy S8. We’ve also had rumours before about the inclusion of the AI in the Galaxy S8 called Viv. but it might also be a little too late in the game to completely replace S Voice or even just integrate Viv’s tech into Samsung’s existing voice assistant.

The Galaxy S8 is also expected to support Google’s Daydream VR platform and will of course make the shift to USB Type-C, meaning it will also be compatible with Samsung’s newest Gear VR. While there are no rumours about the Galaxy S8’s water proofing status, it is safe to assume it will at least feature an IP68 rating, and I’d be very surprised if that is not the case.

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It could even squeeze in an X16 LTE smartphone modem which can provide your phone with internet speeds greater than those achieved by your home’s fibre connection. We’re talking download speeds of 1Gbps – when the infrastructure’s in place, that is.

 

Are you excited for the Galaxy S8? What feature are you looking forward to most? Any other smartphones that you are most excited for in the coming year? Let us know in the comments.

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