Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Everyone does. It came in with a bang, and went out with a literal one. But everyone will agree that we do need to move on, hoping to look forward to other different offerings that Samsung is planning for the future.
We have a few interesting tidbits on the next big thing from Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S8. There has been nuggets of new information from different sources coming in, so we will take a look at these and figure out how Samsung’s next move will appear to the market.
Starting off, one of the upgrades on the Galaxy S8 will come in an area which has not seen as much focus in terms of hardware as other areas of the smartphone. The front facing camera on the upcoming Samsung flagship will be finally upgraded with autofocus technology. Reports coming in from Korea mention that the S8 will use an encoder type focusing mechanism as against the current voice coil motor implementations. This will allow the camera module to be of shallow physical depth as the focusing actuator is mounted on the side of the lens instead of the middle. Having a camera bump on the front of the device would be poor aesthetic choice, so this upgrade will allow Samsung to hopefully continue on with a flat front design with no camera bump as seen on the rear. The report unfortunately, does not mention the resolution of the camera, so that is left for future leaks to figure out.
On the topic of cameras, the rear camera on the Galaxy S8 is not expected to use a dual-camera setup. There was speculation on this end, claiming that Samsung might be planning to use dual cameras on the rear. It turns out that was wishful thinking indeed, as the latest reports maintain that Samsung will stick to one sensor on the back only.
Moving on, we look at the claimed design and screen aspects of the Galaxy S8. Reports in early November claimed that the Galaxy S8 will come in two variants based on display sizes: a 5.7″ display variant and a 6.2″ display variant. The screen sizes do seem unreasonable for mass adoption as most consumers do not like the handling of devices with displays bigger than 6″, but Samsung has a trick up its sleeve. Samsung is expected to ditch all bezels on the OLED display on the S8’s. This also means that the home button and capacitive buttons might finally be on their way out as well, something that another independent report claims.
As far as names go, the “Edge” moniker may also be on its way out as Samsung looks to standardize the Edge across its flagship lineup. The Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus will have edge displays but not the name, and will likely be close to the current physical dimensions despite the increase in screen diagonal size as a result of the bezel-less and curved design. A flat variant of the S8 may not be revealed at launch.
The display itself on the Galaxy S8’s will retain the 2K resolution as its predecessor, and not a 4K resolution display. However, the Super AMOLED display is likely to shift from the Diamond PenTile layout and go ahead with a Standard RGB arrangement which is claimed to consume less power and have a longer service life. The report claims that the new display will provide significant improvements for the purposes of virtual reality.
Since the physical home button is on its way out, the question that then pops up is: where will the fingerprint scanner go? Under the display, as per reports. The fingerprint sensor will be embedded within the display for optical fingerprint indentification, claimed to be faster and more accurate than an ultrasonic sensor.
In the audio department, the Galaxy S8 will get mixed reactions as it adds, and removes, features in this area. As a shocker, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the next smartphone that will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack slot, as per report from Sammobile. The Note 7 kept the 3.5mm jack in harmony with the USB Type-C slot that is used for charging and data transfer, but the S8 is said to get rid of the 3.5mm port and opt for audio out through the Type-C port itself.
On the flip side, Samsung is integrating a stereo speaker setup on the S8. Further, this setup will come bearing the Harman branding, which makes sense as Samsung did acquire Harman for a good $8 Billion.
On the software end, Samsung will very likely also integrate an improved AI based assistant competitor. This will be the result of their acquisition of Viv Labs and its AI platform.
Lastly, there’s the usual set of rumors and speculation that accompanies most talks of flagship successors. The S8 is claimed to come bearing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or the 10nm-based Exynos 8895 SoC (depending on market). Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 835 instead of the 830, so we await more information on this end. Similarly, the speculation that the S8 will come with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage also needs more substantiation.
Samsung is expect to unveil the Galaxy S8 at Mobile World Congress in late February 2017. With all of these new features which are cutting edge in their own right, and the whole Note 7 fiasco behind it (and the estimated $17 Billion loss), it is unclear what pricing Samsung will look at adopting for the Note 8.
Many expected Samsung to play it safe with the S8 and exercise caution and prudence, but Samsung does not seem to be in the mood to hold any punches back.
What are your thoughts on the Galaxy S8 so far? Do you like the improvements that Samsung is expected to bring to the table? Let us know in the comments below!