The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are currently taking the smartphone world by storm. That said, shape is beginning to form around the Galaxy S8, which should appear in Spring of 2017. Here's everything else we know so far about the Galaxy S8 price, release date, specs and features. Hit the links below to jump straight to those topics or scroll down to learn more. The latest rumor is that the S8 will have no headphone jack, and may have an RGB Super AMOLED Quad HD display.
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- Samsung Galaxy S8: price and release date
- Samsung Galaxy S8: technical specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S8: features
Amid the production halt of the Galaxy Note 7, a possible launch date for the Galaxy S8 was leaked by serial leaker Ricciolo. In a tweet, he claimed the unveiling will be February 26 at 7pm CET in Barcelona. This came from an 'Unpacked' photo in the tweet. You can view it below.
Each year Samsung presents its latest Galaxy S line at Mobile World Congress. The Galaxy S devices are essentially the most important devices to be launched at a large and widely publicized tech conference. While the conference is in February, the market launch should begin in early April.
The price for the Samsung Galaxy S7 was up there with the priciest phones around. It currently sits at around $579 but started out in the $700 range for most vendors. Since the Galaxy S7 improved the specs of the S6, and the price reflected this, we could expect to see a similar price progression for the S8. This would be the natural course for Samsung to take, so their 2017 flagship might come with a price tag that breaks the $800 mark. While this would make this an expensive option Samsung has many devices to choose from, so you don't necessarily have to go with its flagship.
Of course, that price tag is likely to vary around the world (as will the release date) and current rumors suggest that in India, for example, the Galaxy S8 will cost between Rs. 54,000 – Rs. 60,000. According to the somewhat spurious sounding GalaxyS8Info.com, it's due to go on sale in March, rather than April as had previously been reported. It's probably best to take information like this pricing and release date in India with a pinch of salt until a more trustworthy source has information to share.
An insider leak from China says the S8 will be getting a dual camera. The primary rear camera will be 12 MP, and it will have a 13 MP secondary camera. With two sensors, you can create what is called a Bokeh effect, which will help with better depth of field effects. There will also be an 8 MP front camera for selfies, a welcome upgrade from the outdated fixed-focus 5 MP on the S6, S7 and Note 5. According to the Korean website ETNews, the front camera will have an auto-focus feature typical of rear cameras. Samsung has figured out a way to make it small enough to keep the camera from protruding from the phone, by mounting the actuator on the side of the lens rather than in the middle.
AndroidPIT assessment: The rumors about the dual rear camera seem plausible, since there is stiff competition and the S8 will need to stand out.
Overall design: The Note 7 may indicate what we could expect with the Galaxy S8. While the S7 made improvements to its design from its predecessor, it had similar specs to the Galaxy Note 5 that had been released six months before. And this follows previous releases of the Galaxy Note series, so the former Samsung phablet generation is usually a preview of the specs for the next Galaxy flagship.
The Galaxy Note 7 more closely shares design DNA with the Galaxy S series, with the convergence of edges – whether large or small – across all Samsung flagships.
Edge display: More purported details of the S8 have leaked, suggesting that the next phone in the range will have double-curved edges on the front and back, but that there will be no 'regular' model without a curved screen. There's even some suggestion that the screen sizes could jump to 6.2-inches for the larger model.
The Korea Herald wrote that Samsung planned to consolidate its flagship lineup, with next year's phones being honed down to curve-only displays. This could pave the way for a single Galaxy S8 edge device, the way the Galaxy S line was produced until the Galaxy S5. If this claim proves to be correct, it would mean a significant change for one of the world's most popular smartphone families. A change like this would signify that curved-edge displays had become the more popular choice for Samsung customers.
RGB Super AMOLED Quad HD display: There are already rumors about a 4K display, or a Bezel-less OLED display, but the latest rumor is that the Galaxy S8 will be getting an RGB Super AMOLED Quad HD display. According to SamMobile, Samsung is planning to ditch the Diamond PenTile pixel arrangement for one with sharper image quality. An RGB arrangement will bring around 11 million pixels, while the old layout was only around 7.3 million. This will make a profound difference for VR applications.
Bezel-less OLED display: The Korean Herald spoke to a Samsung Display researcher who said “Samsung Display would roll out a full-screen display whose display area ratio [...] reaches more than 90 percent next year”. The Samsung employee declined to officially confirm this full-screen adoption but there are reports that Apple is working on implementing this technology into its iPhone 8.
Force touch: According to industry sources, Samsung is considering putting pressure sensitive technology in the Galaxy S8. The technology, also known as Force Touch or 3D Touch, allows software to react to different levels of pressure being applied to the screen with a finger. For example, it can allow pressure to be used to adjust a brightness setting or zoom in on a photo. An anonymous Samsung supplier said, "Samsung is considering adopting the force touch technology partially from the S8 but the full adoption will come in one or two years … It is a matter of time before other major Android smartphone makers deploy the technology that will help enhance user interface." This implies that while the S8 edge may have the hardware technology ready to implement, full software integration could take up to one or two years. Phones that are already using this technology include the iPhone 6s and the Huawei Mate S.
AndroidPIT assessment: There's a lot of contradictory information floating around with regard to the display size, a frameless design, and the possibility of only having an Edge variant. The facts remain to be seen, and all we can do is speculate at this time.
SamMobile has confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will not have a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. And like the iPhone 7, the USB Type-C port will be used instead, meaning you won't be able to charge your phone while using headphones and you'll need an adapter for any headphones you already own.
There is another rumor from Fonearena about the S8 getting stereo speakers, but this is far less likely. Samsung took over Harman Audio, but they said themselves that Harman Audio coming to the Galaxy S Series was just a thought for 2018.
Processor: The S8 edge could bring smartphone performance to even greater heights with two chipsets. Half of the Galaxy S8 devices could be packing a Snapdragon 830 or a Snapdragon 835 processor while the others might come with the Exynos 8895 that was previously rumored. This comes as no surprise as producing devices with different chipsets is nothing new for the Korean smartphone giant.
This information comes to us via etnews in Korea in a story that also speculates that the processor could be made with a new Samsung 10nm process. If the Exynos 8895 is made with the same 10nm process then the differences between the two might be minimal – just like last year.
The Exynos 8895 processor, which is said to be capable of up to 4 GHz speeds, might be used in some of the Galaxy S8 smartphones. The rumored Exynos 8895 would provide an estimated 30 percent performance improvement on the Exynos 8890 found in the Galaxy S7 (in some regions) if the claims are accurate. The chipset makes use of ARM's newest Mali-G71 GPU, which is rumored to be 1.8 times faster than the Mali-T880 MP12 GPU found in the Galaxy S7.
Sammobile reports that an executive from Samsung was arrested by South Korean police for attempting to steal company information about the S8's newest chipset. The arrest report might have revealed the 10-core processor Samsung will be using in its upcoming flagship next year.
RAM and internal storage: According to information posted on Chinese social network Weibo, the Galaxy S8 will reportedly deliver a 5.5-inch 4K display geared for VR and will come with a whopping 6 GB of RAM. Leaks from China via SamMobile also suggest it could come with up to 256 GB of internal storage, and the leaks corroborate the 6 GB RAM claim.
Battery: The Note 7 battery doomed the phablet and put the South Korean smartphone giant in jeopardy. We can expect that Samsung will pull out all the stops to ensure that the Galaxy S8 goes off without a hitch. So it came as no surprise to us that the company could be looking externally for help with the S8 battery. The Korea Herald reported that a Samsung executive said that the company is "looking at diverse suppliers, including LG Chem" for help with the Galaxy S8 battery. This has not been confirmed by either company, but there are sources who say a deal has already signed between the two. This would not be the first time that Samsung looked to LG for partnership.
AndroidPIT assessment: The Galaxy S8 will definitely have high-end hardware and impressive performance, but it remains to be seen if it will have the Snapdragon 835, 830 or the Exynos 8895 processor. It is likely that it will have 6 GB of RAM though.
Rumored specs at a glance
The Galaxy S8 is rumored to have the following specs, which include the latest version of Android and the also rumored Snapdragon 835 processor:
|Specifications||Galaxy S8 Specs|
|Dimensions||145 x 72 x 6 mm|
|Battery Size||4,200 mAh|
|Screen Size||5.1 inches|
|Screen||1,440 x 2,560 pixels (576 ppi)|
|Front Camera||9 MP|
|Rear Camera||30 MP|
|Android Version||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|RAM||6 GB or 8 GB|
|Internal Storage||64 GB, 128 GB|
|Removable Storage||up to 256 GB per slot (single and dual SIM models)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or 835|
|Number of Cores||8|
|Max Clock Speed||3 GHz|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, USB 3.1|
So far, speculations about the features of the Galaxy S8 have had a futuristic note about them. Of course, the Galaxy S7 also had some cool features, like waterproofing. The Samsung S7 Active took its durability a step further. We hope to see the 'shatter-resistant' display on the Active in the Galaxy S8, among other things.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Bixby digital assistant
The S8 will likely come pre-installed with a digital assistant, Samsung's new equivalent of Siri, named Bixby. But, Bixby differs from other AI helpers in that it will be a third-party open platform. Bixby will run on many devices, like appliances and wearables, and become the control hub for your smart home. Recently acquired Viv Labs, Inc. and Samsung both agree that AI assistants are the next major revolution in IT. Samsung may even add a special button to the phone to activate Bixby.
AndroidPIT assessment: Samsung wants to get in the AI assistant game with Apple and Microsoft, and build a platform out of it. Bixby could end up a flop if it doesn't get any unique features.
Samsung Galaxy S8: iris scanner
The S8 will likely feature an iris scanner. The Note 7 was released with one, and it would be a shame to let the feature end there. The iris scanner offers an extra level of security which can't be faked, and an API would allow third party apps to use the iris scanner as a way for users to unlock sensitive files.
AndroidPIT assessment: the iris scanner is a done deal. Whether or not people need it is another story.
Samsung Galaxy S8: goodbye mechanical home button, hello subscreen sensor
For many years, Samsung has stood by hardware buttons in its design, though Android has moved on to using virtual buttons. With the Galaxy S8, we could see a change. Samsung just filed a patent application to recognize swipes on the home button. Then you could maybe launch apps by swiping left or right on the home button. It's not clear whether there will be a mechanical button or not on the S8, as Samsung has not yet chosen a supplier for a button.
AndroidPIT assessment: Apple has said goodbye to the mechanical button, and Samsung is expected to follow suit.
Samsung Galaxy S8: a high-resolution Daydream
Google announced at its I/O developers' conference earlier this year that Android Nougat will come with VR support installed in the OS. This platform is called Daydream, and for devices to support it, they have to meet a certain specs sheet defined by Google.
While these specs have not yet been made public, several devices have already been confirmed or even released that are certified Daydream-ready. Among these devices is the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe, which has a Full HD display, suggesting this to be the minimum requirement on the display front.
However, the latest Galaxy S8 edge rumor, coming via phoneArena.com, suggests that Samsung wishes to future-proof the device by equipping it with a 4K display. Indeed, the rumored code name for the Galaxy S8 project – Project Dream – points flirtatiously towards Daydream, so a focus on VR does not seem at all unlikely.
Samsung also recently showcased a 5.5-inch 4K display, suggesting serious headway is being made towards placing such a display inside the next generation of the Galaxy S series.
Samsung Galaxy S8: heartbeat-measuring laser
An interesting feature that could accompany the Galaxy S8 is a new laser dedicated to measuring the heart rate through the skin. This came to us via SamMobile from a patent they spotted. The device would perceive the pulsation of the arteries and determine your pulse. You can see the patent below.
The camera system of the Galaxy S8 could incorporate the iris scanner from the Note 7. This came to us from The Korea Herald, who reportedly spoke to a Samsung official on the condition of anonymity. This source claimed that "Samsung never uses the same camera for its flagship models [...] so there surely will be an improvement" for the S8 camera.
The official also claimed a dual-lens camera – technology we've seen in other high-end flagships this year – could accompany the S8. He didn't indicate whether there will be a different camera system for the rumored variants. We do hope that the S8 won't incorporate too many features from the Note 7.
Another rumor we have for the camera of the S8 is from PhotoRumors. They say the phone could come with a CMOS sensor 1/1.7-inch aperture that could come with a resolution between 18 to 24 MP.
Samsung Galaxy 8: concept designs
We hope to see big changes with the Galaxy S8, and we're not the only ones. The designer Steel Drake threw his hat into the ring for designing the new flagship device and we hope to see some of these in 2017. We've seen some interesting design concepts for the S8 already but we desperately want these.
As you can see, the front would have the Samsung logo at the bottom along with the front camera at the top. Missing is the physical home button and fingerprint reader. This makes the screen take up far more of the front of the device and a welcome look for those wanting a better screen experience.
To us, the back of the device in the design renders are equally interesting. The back has a brushed steel look. This would be a complete change from the Gorilla Glass back on the Galaxy S7. At the top of the device Steel Drake also included a projector, which is interesting but probably not practical for a smartphone as it could be too taxing on the battery.
What are you hoping to see from the Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments.