Samsung may not have announced the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona last month, but it confirmed when the flagship is going to be unveiled. We're only a couple of weeks away from the launch event, so this is the right time for a post that tells you what to expect from the Galaxy S8. There have been a lot of conflicting reports about the new flagship recently so many are bound to be confused. This post will help you make sense of everything that we know so far about Samsung's new flagship smartphone.
This is where the Galaxy S8 is certainly going to end up surprising you. Even though there will be two models – the 5.7-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 – the design will be the same, and both will feature a Quad HD resolution dual-edge curved “Infinity Display.” Samsung appears to have made a significant leap in terms of design, at least that's what all of the leaked pictures and videos will have you believe.
The Galaxy S8 ditches its home button in favor of minimal bezels, so the handset looks like a big slab of glass from the front. No physical home button means that the fingerprint sensor has been relocated to the rear alongside the camera which might take some getting used to. The handset is also expected to feature a fourth hardware button which will be used to fire up Bixby, the virtual assistant that Samsung is expected to introduce with the Galaxy S8.
You obviously can't talk about what to expect from the Galaxy S8 without talking about the hardware improvements that it's going to bring. We already know that the upcoming flagship is going to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor that's being produced by Samsung on its 10nm process, at least in markets like the US and China.
Most variants of the Galaxy S8 are going to be powered by Samsung's Exynos 9 series Exynos 8895 octa-core 64-bit processor with a Mali-G71 MP20 graphics processor and a 5CA LTE modem. It will be coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and some sketchy rumors have suggested that a China-specific variant may have as much as 8GB of RAM.
The Galaxy S8 is also expected to feature a microSD card slot, USB Type-C port, IP68 water and dust resistance certification, an iris scanner, wireless charging, 4G LTE. It may very well be the first smartphone with Bluetooth 5.0 support, and we can expect the latest and greatest in terms of specifications across the board.
The camera is most certainly one of the things that people check out when they decide to purchase a new handset, particularly a flagship handset, so Samsung surely has to improve in this department as well.
The Galaxy S8 reportedly has a 12-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and dual-pixel autofocus as well as an 8-megapixel front camera. Samsung may have dropped a hint about a dual-camera system, but it's likely that we may not get that with the upcoming handset. Numbers are one thing, we'll only know for sure how good this camera is when we have the device in our hands.
This is something that you can place a blind bet on. The Galaxy S8 will surely be running Android 7.0 Nougat when it arrives. Samsung's Android skin, which is now called Samsung Experience, will be present. We already know what it looks and feels like on devices like the Galaxy S7 courtesy of the Nougat update, but it's possible that some tweaks may be made for the new handset, so we'll have to wait and check that out in person.
Samsung's upcoming flagship is expected to feature a new artificial intelligence-powered assistant called Bixby. It's said to have support for up to 8 languages at launch and be more useful than rivals like Siri and Cortana. It may have the ability to process payments and work with native apps. For example, if you were in the Gallery app and wanted to see pictures of dogs, you'd just ask Bixby to show you pictures of dogs.
While it was previously reported that Bixby was based on Viv Labs' technology (Samsung acquired Viv Labs, which was founded by the creators of Siri, recently), a recent report claims that it's based on Samsung's own S Voice platform and not Viv Labs' technology. We can only hope it will work great, as S Voice isn't exactly the best voice assistant out there.
The Galaxy S8 is going to be a very capable device so it's going to have quite a lot of features. Reports suggest that facial recognition might be onboard, in addition to iris scanning. It should provide an enhanced audio experience courtesy of AKG. Since the Galaxy Tab S3 has audio tuned by Harman's AKG brand, it's possible that the Galaxy S8 may receive the same treatment.
Samsung has already confirmed that it's going to ship AKG earphones with the Galaxy S8. Since it doesn't have physical buttons, the Galaxy S8 is going to have soft keys instead which may be customizable and may adapt to suit different native apps.
The Galaxy S8 may also be able to provide PC-like functionality when hooked up to an external monitor. Samsung has been working on a new feature called Desktop eXperience. It's going to require a separate dock called the DeX Station to hook up the Galaxy S8 to external monitors, even those that don't have USB Type-C connectivity. This will be a feature similar to Continuum on Windows 10 Mobile.
There have been a lot of conflicting reports about the battery capacity of the upcoming flagship. Recent reports will have you believe that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will feature a 3000mAh and 3,500mAh battery respectively. If that ends up being the case, it might be a cause for concern, given that it simply may not be enough.
Since this is the first flagship smartphone after the Galaxy Note 7, there will obviously be concerns about battery safety as well. While it's going to source the batteries from its own Samsung SDI affiliate, Samsung is also believed to have diversified the supply chain by also adding LG's battery division and Japan's Murata Manufacturing Works as suppliers. Samsung has also set up a new product quality division to ensure customers that there won't be a repeat of the Galaxy Note 7.
Price and Release Date
We already know that Samsung is going to officially unveil the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus on March 29, but when will you be able to buy one? Reports suggest that pre-orders will commence on April 10 followed by the global release on April 21. However, merely three days ago, a new report surfaced claiming that the Galaxy S8 release date has been pushed back one week to April 28, so it's unclear which of the two it's going to be.
It's also going to be a bit more expensive than its predecessors if reports are believed. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are expected to be priced at 799 euro and 899 euro respectively. Yes, these are high prices, and the edge-to-edge display is most likely going to be the biggest reason for the price hike.
With just a couple of weeks to go until the Galaxy S8 is officially unveiled on March 29, excitement is at an all-time high. Now that you know what to expect from the Galaxy S8, do let us know what you're most excited about seeing in the new flagship. We'd also like to hear whether or not you think the Galaxy S8 is good enough to compete with other flagships on the market. Drop a comment down below and get the conversation going.