Samsung has been having a really bad run of late with various reports of the Note 7 exploding as well as an entire freaking factory catching fire, creating a major PR disaster for the South Korean electronics giant. However, things seem to be looking up for the company with massive buzz around its upcoming flagship smartphone- the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Despite the usual hype around Apple and a deluge of high-end affordable devices from Chinese smartphone makers such as One Plus, let’s not forget that Samsung still rules the roost in the global smartphone market. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung will be looking to regain its numero uno position.
With rumor mills spinning faster than the rotor blades of an Apache helicopter and numerous leaks from the Chinese supply chain, here is a lowdown of what all we know yet about the next-generation phone from Samsung:
Release Date And Price
The Samsung Galaxy S8 was initially scheduled for its traditional lunch at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain (Feb 27-March 2) but battery defects in the Note 7, recalls and eventual cancellation forced the company to do an extra check on its critical products. According to Venturebeat, the Galaxy S8 will be now released on March 29. Pricing is expected to be around $850.
No Home Button, A Larger Screen, Retains 3.5 MM Jack
Samsung is expected to remove the home button in place of the company logo and a larger screen that covers nearly 83% of the S8. The device will come in 5.8 inch and 6.2 inch curved AMOLED screens, with the front part being mostly the display save for strip at the top that contains an 8 MP selfie camera and iris scanning sensor through which users can unlock their phones just by looking at it.
Always On technology will be included in the S8, and the phone is also expected to be pressure-sensitive. Though fans are expecting 4K technology in the S8, it is highly likely that Samsung will be reserving that feature for its Note series. USB Type-C ports will be retained, as well as the 3.5mm audio jack (thank goodness for that). Some leaks have also indicated that there might be a wireless charging option included, but no details have been revealed.
AI Assistant Probably Better Than Siri
Samsung has confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will come with its new AI assistant Bixby. It has been designed by Viv Labs, which previously worked on Apple’s Siri. Recent reports suggest some really innovative technology for the Bixby- camera access for visual search (the camera will have an integrated Bixby button), text recognition features, optical character recognition and assistance in finding any object through visual search so that you can purchase it.
Camera With Augmented Image Search
The Galaxy S8 will have a 12 MP camera but with a new augmented image search feature that can allow users to scour the internet for anything they shoot with the camera. With e-commerce shopping becoming increasingly adopted by developing countries, this functionality will be of a great help. However, other reports hint at dual-lens camera with 16 MP and 8 MP, or 13 and 12 MP sensors.
The fingerprint sensor, usually located below the camera, will be shifted to the right side of the camera and will be long and rectangular in shape. The S8 is also expected to be equipped with dual speakers made by high-end audio company Harman (acquired by Samsung in November 2015).
Nougat Software, Improved and Safer Battery, Better Storage
The Galaxy S8 is likely to run Android’s Nougat software and will be equipped with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 chip. Improved microchip and graphics technology will make the S8 11% faster and 20% more energy efficient than the previous generation models. A good battery will be of utmost importance for Samsung, given its recent fiasco.
Though the batteries will probably be supplied by the same manufacturers for the Note 7, Samsung has assured that it has undertaken an eight-point procedure to ensure the new batteries are the safest ever. The S8 models will probably feature 3250 mAh and 3750 mAh batteries, which would be removable for extra flexibility.
Regarding storage, recent leaks indicate that apart from a 64 GB and 128 GB model, there might be a 256 GB version also, in order to stay competitive with Apple. Expansion slots will remain for memory cards for up to 256 GB capacity. The phone is also expected to be water resistant to IP68.