Maybe we should lower our expectations for the Galaxy S8

With the Galaxy S8, Samsung’s biggest task is reminding consumers that its smartphones are still safe to use, that the battery issues that plagued the Galaxy Note 7 and made it prone to burning up are something that will never be repeated. Samsung has revealed its plans to perform extra testing on the Galaxy S8 before unleashing it on the market, which is the reason why the flagship won’t be unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

But more than reassuring consumers about the safety of its smartphones, Samsung has two very crucial tasks at hand: differentiate its next flagship from the competition in just the right way, and catch up in areas where its competition has left it far behind. The catching up will no doubt be done in the field of artificial assistance, with Samsung’s Bixby made out to be the company’s answer to the likes of Google Now (which was recently rebranded as Google Assistant) and Apple’s Siri.

The differentiation? That comes in the form of large curved, near bezel-less displays in what are supposedly handsets similar in size to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Quite a few Chinese manufacturers have gotten on-board the dual-edge smartphone bandwagon, so simply riding out the wave with another Edge smartphone like the S7 edge or the Galaxy Note 7 wouldn’t be enough for the Korean giant. The Galaxy Note 7 was as close to perfection as a smartphone can be, and maybe there isn’t a lot Samsung can do to make the Galaxy S8 a force to reckon with in such a short while.

A lot has been said about the Galaxy S8 (and the Galaxy S8 Plus). They said it would have 6GB of RAM, but that’s not confirmed for every market. A fingerprint sensor under the glass up front? Nope, Samsung seems to think an out-of-reach position beside the rear camera module is a better idea (although this might be a deliberate decision). Dual cameras on the back? Please, why should Samsung go through the pain of taking another major step forward in smartphone imaging, when it already has a top-notch camera on its flagships, one that hasn’t been beaten by the competition in any meaningful way? Just forget about larger batteries, as it seems manufacturers are simply not interested in offering more than a day’s worth of battery life on their flagship smartphones.

Where am I going with all this? There was a report earlier today saying that Samsung’s Bixby is possibly based on S Voice, and one of our readers wondered why the price of the S8 is expected to be higher than previous flagships if the company isn’t bringing us the innovation that has been hinted by the leaks and rumors. That got me wondering: maybe we are all getting too hopeful of what Samsung has in store for us.

I’ll say it again: The Galaxy Note 7 was pretty much a thing of perfection, and expecting Samsung to hit it out of the park with the Galaxy S8 just six (or eight) months later would be rather unfair. When you have a device that can take on everything else on the market and come out on top all things considered even a few months later, it isn’t wrong to step back, focus on improving things that aren’t up to the mark (like that iris scanner), and aim for a galactic leap at a later time.

Even if the leap doesn’t come with the Galaxy S8, the device will bring a couple of important changes to Samsung’s smartphone lineup. Samsung is finally moving to on-screen buttons (necessitated by the larger screen), and the device will reportedly feature a level of voice control not seen on any other smartphone (or mobile operating system), with Bixby expected to have a dedicated button on one side of the device.

The Galaxy S8 will also put an end to flat screens on the company’s flagship line, and maybe even bring the S Pen out of its Galaxy Note exclusivity. In fact, even the camera experience might be drastically improved or different. There is next to no information available on what Samsung is doing with the cameras on its next hero device, except that it will add autofocus to the front camera and might not adopt the dual camera trend that has permeated the market.

It’s very easy to think that Samsung could pull off the feat of adding so many new features and improvements to the Galaxy S8, but perhaps we should be realistic in our expectations for the upcoming device. Samsung could very well be focused on just a few things instead of aiming for everything the rumor mill has churned out. I’m not sure even the placement of that fingerprint sensor is final despite the barrage of leaked images, as it would be a defiant move on the company’s part to make such an important function hard to reach for many users.

Without a look at the final product, or a leak that puts an end to all speculation, the least we can do is to temper our hopes that the Galaxy S8 is going to be the one device to rule them all. Bixby might not be anything more than a glorified S Voice that still can’t properly understand your accent, the camera could simply receive improvements to the image processing algorithm, and that iris scanner might just continue to be as imperfect as it was on the Note 7. Harman Kardon audio? That’s probably a ways off from being properly implemented in Galaxy smartphones.

There’s no telling what will go down, and it would be best for everyone to calm down now than be disappointed by what Samsung shows off a couple of months later.

Opinion 39
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3 months 14 days ago

@”…Samsung’s biggest task is reminding consumers that its smartphones are still safe to use…”
I do not agree: reminding people that now smartphones are safe is the same like reminding people that there was a problem.

The better solution is simply to do best smartphone ever with stunning hardware and software
: MIT’s 6000 mAh li-metal removable accu, BB hub, hi-speed 1000fps Sony camera or light-field camera, build-in Deskop Experience with dock station in the box, iris scanner, hi-res audio, noise reduction, new design: maybe something like : trapezoid S7 renders or P900i keyboard and more.

Imho, there is nothing interesting since S4 (with pressure, humidity sensors) and Note 4.
If they continue this soap-like design i will be forced to replace my Note 4 with something else… TCL Mercury maybe.

3 months 15 days ago

Click bait

Petsiotis Dimitris
3 months 15 days ago

If you can reach the heart rate monitor with ease, you can reach the fps, too.

3 months 16 days ago

Every year Sammobile does the same thing, raise expectations for a potential new model. Often they say “take this with a pinch of salt” and of course that’s exactly what you should do. I guess 80% of their forecasts are wrong or exaggerated.
Because the S7 was so good my guess is that the S8 will sell poorly and potential buyers will be reluctant to move with a Note 8 just around the corner. Even without a Note 8 the renewal cycle is quickly moving to two years on cost alone, and particularly in business. That drops the cost by half straight away which makes a good phone exceptional value.
Principal buyers this time will be those who don’t already have an S7, disaffected Apple 7 owners and the “must haves”.
The biggest driver for upgrades is the potential battery life of two years with non-replaceable batteries. It’s cheaper to upgrade every two years than have Samsung replace a battery.
I’ve seen nothing in the S8 forecast, size, battery, screen, that would make me move from my current S7 Edge.

Shawn Wade
3 months 16 days ago

Fps on back? Nope.. and i wont buy a damn phone with an edge style screen. I hate edge screen phones. (Typed on s7 edge)

3 months 16 days ago

Come on, another useless article. You are a samsung orientee website and you still haven’t understood that samsung always disappoints ? The S8 will only be a S7 with a bigger display in the same body. With the logical evolution when it comes to the soc. But same calmera, same or worse battery, same touchwizz we have seen for years…but more expensive… take a s6 and see what has really changed between that model and the coming s8. Bigger screen ratio and IP68, loss of 16:9 pictures , and that’s pretty much it with the battery.

Sulaiman Alsaeed
3 months 16 days ago

Please god dont let the fps be on the back

3 months 16 days ago

So true

3 months 16 days ago

Repositioning is still better then hold the phone in the left hand and use the right to do the finger print haha. Anyway c is still tricky coz of the cables , bad cable and your phone is on fire and u don’t have that with USB 2 or 3 . The concept phone will maybe also be rreleased and will see if it was as free years ago and I saw this concept phone in the movie passengers , looks similar like what Samsung has in mind. Then again for the finger print I bet everybody can easily reach it . My daughter from 9 can reach the sensor on her note 4 also. If people complain maybe Samsung should put it really little lower but I not think it’s necessary . But the back is still better then the front since u need to use 2 hands. Note power!!!

3 months 16 days ago

Lots of BLabla, first I not need dual cam since the note 7 cam was superior to dual cam this year , second the finger print can be reached easily and I not understand why people say it can’t be . If the finger print is in the screen that leave u need 2 hands to unlock the phone and with the finger print on the back u can unlock it with 1 hand . Same thing Can reach the heart rate sensor easily with 1 hand . USB c sucks since not every body has a cable for that if u go somewhere else and forgot your cable u be better if with USB 3 instead of c. And yes my note 7 is perfect and still use it in HK but no updates coming out . Battery but getting warm or and didn’t explode yet . I will wait for note 8 and hope it will be the same as note 7 and put in the new Sony sensor and u have a perfect phone.

3 months 17 days ago

For me, that fact that the fingerprint scanner isn’t under the screen, shows how Samsung doesn’t care about innovation as it once did. They going to play catch up AGAIN.

Someone Else
3 months 17 days ago

“For me, that fact that the fingerprint scanner isn’t under the screen, shows how Samsung doesn’t care about innovation as it once did.”

Or maybe because the technology isn’t mass produced yet before the Galaxy S8. Ever think of that? The Synaptic tech, the one that can placed the FPS under the display, would not be mass produced until Q2 2017!!

Think logically next time

3 months 17 days ago

Technology has to work before it’s implemented. It’s not just about the idea of doing it. Some people are so naive and don’t realize the difficulties in commercial production of new technologies. Of course most are not hardware engineers and don’t have a clue about what they’re spouting on about.

Renan Caparroz
3 months 17 days ago

The head of mobile and software R&D at Samsung, Injong Rhee has already pronounced about the new AI on S8, he said would feature “significantly differentiated” capabilities from its competitors, that the Assistant will be able to learn and adapt to their usage habits over time.

i don’t belive that the Bixby is only a S-voice update…

3 months 17 days ago

Everything depends on supply and demand … We buy new one for better specs…. 4GB RAM for such new UI will not sufficient . No dual camera ? It is a deal breaker ! USB 3.0 and HDMI over USB TYPE-C must have …

Samsung should know average expectation for current customers as well as other brand user’s … Other brands have better spec with better prices .

As a result, Samsung will lose its customer . Samsung acts like Nokia : No better specs but higher price with respect to average specs for such flagship devices .

3 months 17 days ago

I am waiting for the s9 so see you next year.
My s7 edge is good I am happy with it, no need to buy every year a new one.

3 months 17 days ago

Since I don’t want a huge phone with curved display and on-screen buttons, trust me, my expectations are on the floor already.