We are only two days away from the Samsung Galaxy S8 unveiling at New York City this coming Wednesday. The Galaxy S8 is definitely one of the highest anticipated Android flagships to date by tech geeks and fans alike. Samsung is expected to more than make up for its Galaxy Note 7 loss in 2016 with its upcoming S8 flagship, as the former has dealt quite the blow to the South Korean manufacturer late last year. Like any other high end smartphone, there has been a sea of rumors out there regarding the Galaxy S8, so let’s take a good look at what we should expect from Samsung.
Design & Display
The Galaxy S8’s material will still be of glossy glass like the S7/S7 Edge. Display will probably be the most talked of as Samsung is expected to move away from the conventional 16:9 display aspect ratio with the Galaxy S8. The phone will reportedly sport a 18.5:9 display aspect ratio, which makes it a tad longer than that of the LG G6’s current 18:9 aspect ratio. Samsung will also be aiming to have as close as no bezels for the Galaxy S8, with the handset tipped to have a 90% screen to body ratio, which brings us to the placement of the home button. Samsung will most likely ditch the row of capacitive buttons and the home button which we have been seeing in the past Galaxy flagships. The Galaxy S8 will have software keys instead, justifying the rather odd 18.5:9 aspect ratio. One of the biggest trade off’s that Samsung has rumored to have made is moving the fingerprint sensor to the rear panel of the device. Instead of previously being embedded beneath the physical home button on the front, the fingerprint sensor will be placed right beside the rear camera of the device, as seen according to renders.
Samsung has also significantly increased the display size of its 2017 flagship to be launched. Gone is the Edge model as all S8’s will sport edge-to-edge displays, hence the two variants of the Galaxy S8 will be the S8 and the S8+. The ordinary Galaxy S8 will pack a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display, which is already larger than the company’s Note phablet series. The Galaxy S8+ on the other hand will sport an even larger 6.2-inch display. The displays will be of 2960 x 1440 as their highest resolutions, but the default resolution is said to be 2220 x 1080, all of which can be tweaked via the phone’s settings. The screen of the Galaxy S8 will also have rounded corners like the LG G6.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has earlier been rumored to be the first ever smartphone to feature the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor underneath the hood. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore since Sony launched the Xperia XZ Premium with the same chipset. Regardless, the Galaxy S8 will still be powered by the SD835. The phone is said to retain the same amount of RAM at 4GB like its predecessor(s). No 6GB model despite the non-flagship Galaxy C9 Pro carrying that amount of RAM. Storage will be of 64GB, with support for micro SD card. Like the fateful Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S8 will have an iris scanner on the front of the device above the display. The phone will also feature an IP68 rating in terms of water and dust resistance. There isn’t much talk about battery, but there have been a few claims of the Galaxy S8 packing a 3,000mAh battery and the Galaxy S8+ a 3,500mAh battery. The Galaxy S8 is expected to have Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 support given its SD835 chipset. It will also support wireless charging and Samsung will be offering an optional wireless charging cradle for the flagship, which is rumored to have one extra charging coil, making it 3 to provide more efficient charging. Last but not least, the phone will support Samsung Pay.
Both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are rumored to have to same camera packages. Samsung will still remain with one rear camera instead of hopping onto the dual camera band wagon. The “dual” term comes into play when you factor in the rear camera which is said to be of dual pixel at 12MP. The rear camera is said to have an impressive f/1.7 aperture and a super slo-mo feature with a whopping 1,000 fps. The front camera will be of 8 megapixels and is said to feature a new smart auto focus technology.
Artificial Intelligence will be one of the features to look out for when the Galaxy S8 launches. Samsung has recently announced Bixby, its new AI for Galaxy device. Bixby is claimed to be more complete than the current digital assistants on the market, being able to complete almost every task an application is capable of performing. There is also context awareness, whereby Bixby will understand the current context of the application, allowing users to “carry out the current work-in-progress continuously”. Bixby also boasts cognitive tolerance, providing users “less friction” when communicating with Bixby.
Here are the bits and pieces which weren’t mentioned under the previous categories. First off, the Galaxy S8 are suggested to be Google Daydream ready, plus support for Samsung’s latest Gear VR. There were claims of the Galaxy S8 possibly coming with an S Pen but rumors of that have died down in the early stages. Samsung will likely keep the S Pen exclusively for its Note series. Speaking of accessories, the Galaxy S8 is slated to come with a pair of AKG headphones. No Harman audio technology just yet, as confirmed by Samsung.
Given its features and specs, one would expect the Galaxy S8 to not go any cheaper than the Galaxy S7 ‘s price when it first launched last year, and that appears to be exactly the case. Popular leak source Evan Blass has listed out the European pricing of both the Galaxy S8 and the S8+, a claim supported by multiple sources. The Galaxy S8 will carry a price tag of €799 (RM3,829.74) while the larger S8+ will go for €899 (RM4,309.06), definitely a luxury for us Malaysians with the Galaxy S8+ hitting above the RM4,000 mark. Do note that these prices are based on direct conversions at the time of writing and have not been confirmed. Samsung has been rumored to have included a protection plan to be purchased with the Galaxy S8, dubbed the Samsung Guard S8, which will include remote support, a one time display replacement and 2-hour repair services. Last but not least, 4 color options of the Galaxy S8 have been leaked so far – Black, Gold, Silver and Gray.
As usual, as confident as we might seem to sound about the Galaxy S8 series, we would still require you to take everything mentioned with a pinch of salt. Besides, there are only 2 days (or less) left till Samsung officially unveils its first 2017 flagship on the 29th of March at its NYC event. To catch the event live, download Samsung’s “UNPACKED 2017” app here. Let us know if we’ve missed out anything!