Samsung Galaxy S8 rumours : Dedicated assistant key, capacitive power and volume keys, no home button

Rumours are pouring in for the Samsung Galaxy S8 today. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the firm is considering adding a dedicated button for the Siri like AI service to next year’s Galaxy S8.

“The latest internal prototypes of the premium Galaxy S8 handset include a button on the side edge of the smartphone that would be used to launch a beefed-up virtual assistant,” revealed the WSJ in a post published on its website on Monday, November 7.

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This follows a report from Reuters that the company’s AI assistant will be incorporated not only into Galaxy smartphones, but also the company’s home appliances and wearables.

Such a move signals that the company wants to make it not only a major marketing point for their next smartphone, but also your first stop for getting virtual help on your phone. But I fear Samsung would actively try to undermine Google Now in this manner. It’s totally within their right to do so, but I’m hoping the company has plans to let users customize that button in case they aren’t too satisfied with the Samsung equivalent.

For the past three years, Samsung has unveiled its latest handsets at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. However, as you may remember, the Galaxy Note 7 happened, and Samsung does not want to take any chances with the Galaxy S8 and as such will be conducting extensive and thorough tests which according to the WSJ report is expected to delay the launch until April.

But that’s not all, if you remember there were rumours that Samsung might ditch the home button on the Galaxy S8, some new rumours claim that no component vendors have received any orders for parts that would be used for a home button suggesting that for the first time in the history of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, the home button might actually not make an appearance. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean Samsung will go the software button route, it could just use smaller capacitive keys, anything’s possible.

As for what happens to the fingerprint scanner, an Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that works right on the display is a very major possibility, like Qualcomm’s SenseID, however a rumour earlier also suggested that Samsung might opt for an Optical Fingerprint sensor.

In terms of design, Samsung is said to be cutting down on clutter and push the envelope with a full screen display. As such a report published by ETNews suggests the company might be opting for capacitive buttons for the volume and power buttons giving its next flagship a smooth and flush design. This contradicts the report by WSJ, in a way, because if Samsung is putting a dedicated key on the side for its assistant, then the supposed “smooth and flush” design isn’t so smooth. Also, I’m not sure how they can pull off touch sensitive Power and volume keys, is it even practical?

The same report also suggests that Samsung will integrate 3-coil wireless charging thus improving the charging range and efficiency further. Given that Samsung’s wireless charging hardware for the S7 and S7 edge can top them up for the record two hours, I can’t wait to hear how fast will the S8 be charged wirelessly.

Samsung is also expected to use an upgraded OLED material – known as “M8″ for the spring flagship’s displays. This new material composition is said to have improved lifetime and efficiency.

We’re still several months away from getting official word from Samsung ourselves, but as the weeks move on I reckon we’ll be hearing more and more about the device and we’ll start to get a more accurate picture of what to expect.

Even if half of these rumours are true, to say that Samsung is pulling out all stops will be an understatement, what do you think?

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