The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are currently taking the smartphone world by storm. That said, shape is beginning to form around next year's Galaxy S8 and it could be released early to offset the Note 7 fallout. The latest speculation is that Samsung could seek help from LG for the S8 batteries. Here is everything else we know so far about the Galaxy S8 price, release date, specs and features.
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Samsung Galaxy S8 specs
The Galaxy S7 had more or less standard specs for flagship devices released in early 2016. The US version came with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (Exynos 8890 in Europe). This top-of-the-range processor was backed with 4GB RAM and the device performed exceedingly well in our benchmark testing.
October 26: 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. While that's good news, other rumors say that Samsung has no plans to bring the launch of the device forward.
October 20: 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 the deal is already signed between the two. This would not be the first time that Samsung looked to LG for partnership.
October 5: The S8 could bring smartphone performance to even greater heights with its two chipsets. Half of the Galaxy S8 devices could be packing a Snapdragon 830 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.
September 26: The Exynos 8895 processor might be used in some of the Galaxy S8 smartphones. 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. 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.
September 15: The S8 might come with an Exynos chipset that is said to be capable of up to 4 GHz speeds. 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.
While the S7 made improvements upon its design from its predecessor, it had similar specs to the Galaxy Note 5 released six months before then. And this follows previous releases of the Galaxy Note series. So the previous Samsung phablet generation usually gives us a preview of the next Galaxy flagship specs.
The Galaxy Note 7 has been announced and we've already had a chance to test it. Suffice it to say, we're impressed. One thing that's very clear is that the 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.
A high-resolution Daydream
Google announced at its I/O developers' conference earlier this year that Android Nougat will have VR support baked into 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 rumor, coming via phoneArena.com, suggests that Samsung wishes to future-proof the device by equipping it with a 4K display. Indeed, the rumored codename 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 price and release date
October 10: Amid the production halt of the Galaxy Note 7, a possible launch date for the Galaxy S8 was leaked by serial leakster 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.
We'll let you know as soon as we have more information on a launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
September 14: Speculation has emerged that the Galaxy S8 release could be fast-tracked as a way for Samsung to offset the fallout from the Note 7. With the new Note's exploding battery issue leading to a recall that has cost the company millions of dollars, along with the damage the company has taken to its brand image, analysts from KB Investment & Securities speculate that Samsung could release the S8 early to try and repair some of the damage that has been caused, along with injecting a revenue boost that might offset the losses and appease investors.
While this sounds like a good theory, each year Samsung presents its latest Galaxy S line at Mobile World Congress. The Galaxy S devices are essentially the most important devices launched at a large and widely publicized tech conference. It would be an unusual move for Samsung to forego using MWC as a launchpad, but is still entirely possible.
The price for the Samsung Galaxy S7 was up there with the priciest phones around. It currently sits around $579 but started out in the $700 range for most vendors.
Since the Galaxy S7 improved upon the specs of the S6 and the price reflected this we could expect to see a similar price progression to the S8. This would be the natural course and the 2017 Samsung flagship might come with a price tag that breaks the $800 mark. While this would be expensive Samsung has many devices to choose from and you don't have to go with its flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S8 design
We've already seen rumors suggesting the Galaxy S8 could come in two variants, which sounds believable considering the S7 came as two devices with different processors. But now we have leaks showing a Galaxy S8 with different displays and sizes as well as processors.
The perpetual Chinese leaking forum, Wiebo, reported that there will be two different sizes for the variants. One could come with a 5.1-inch curved Super AMOLED display and the other a 5.5-inch 4K display. Also suggested in the leak is that Samsung could replace S Voice with Viv AI in the newest S-series device.
A report suggests that all future Galaxy S phones could come with curved edges, with flat slate phones like the Galaxy S7 potentially being relegated to the tech trash heap. 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 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.
We hope to see big changes in 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.
Samsung Galaxy S8 features
So far, speculations about the features of the Galaxy S8 have been futuristic. Of course, the Galaxy S7 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.
An interesting feature that could accompany the Galaxy S8 is a new laser dedicated to measuring the heartbeat through the skin. This came to us via SamMobile from a patent they spotted. The device would perceive the pulsation of the arteries and calculate 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.
What are you hoping to see from the Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments.