7 Samsung Rumors: From Galaxy S7 to a 360-Degree Camera
February is a big month for Samsung. The company is expected to launch the next generation of its flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7, at an event in Barcelona on February 21. So the Galaxy S7 and other future Samsung products are the topic of a growing number of rumors and reports. And some pretty interesting ones have surfaced this week.
1. The S7 will be significantly better than the iPhone in one key area
As Chris Smith reports for BGR, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is expected to be better than the iPhone in an area that’s extremely important to users: its battery capacity. Rumors have claimed that the Galaxy S7 is going to have a bigger battery than the Galaxy S6, and Russian mobile blogger Eldar Murtazin — who’s been a source of accurate leaks about unreleased smartphones in the past — has tweeted that the Galaxy S7 will be able to play video for more than 17 hours straight with the screen set at full brightness. The blogger says that the phone will have a battery somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,500 mAh, while existing rumors have said that the S7 would have a 3,000mAh battery and the S7 Edge would have a 3,500mAh battery.
As Benjamin Mayo reported for 9to5Mac in 2015, the iPhone 6s Plus’s battery was rated at 2,750mAh, and the iPhone 6s was reported to feature a 1,715 mAh battery. If Samsung upgrades the battery of the Galaxy S7, its phone’s battery will be significantly longer-lasting than that of the current iPhone, which is an important consideration for users who depend on their smartphones for numerous apps and communication features throughout the day.
2. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and LG’s G5 may launch on the same day
As Bridget Carey reports for CNET, it looks like the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 are going to be unveiled on the same day. Both companies will unveil their flagship smartphones at the beginning of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will make February 21 a big day for fans of Android smartphones.
While LG’s flagship line isn’t quite as popular as Samsung’s, the G5 could give the S7 some healthy competition. The LG G5 is expected to feature a metal body and a removable battery, plus thin bezels that’ll give it a smaller footprint than other phones with 5.6-inch screens. Users are also reportedly going to be able to add storage via a microSD card slot, and LG may even be opting for a dual camera system for improved mobile photography capabilities.
3. Samsung may introduce a 360-degree camera on February 21
The Galaxy S7 may not be the only device that Samsung reveals later this month. As James Vincent reports for The Verge, one of the latest rumors about Samsung’s plans for its February 21 event has indicated that the company will unveil a 360-degree camera alongside the Galaxy S7. According to the rumor, the device is called the Gear 360, and is likely based on the Project Beyond camera that Samsung announced in 2014 and hasn’t mentioned since.
The camera is expected to feature a compact, spherical design, capable of capturing 360-degree imagery with two 180-degree fisheye lenses. It will reportedly pair with smartphones via Bluetooth, and will be equipped with an internal battery and storage. Users will be able to stream live footage to a connected smartphone, though it’s not clear yet whether the device will be able to stream to the Gear VR.
4. Samsung is probably going to launch lots of new iOS apps
As David Curry reports for Digital Trends, Samsung may be planning to bring most or even all of its apps to iOS. It’s also expected to finally deploy some much-needed updates for its existing set of iOS apps. As Curry notes, Samsung has historically had a few apps for iOS, but currently, most of its main apps aren’t available to users of Apple’s iPhones or iPads. But that’s expected to change soon.
Samsung has already committed to bringing the Gear Manager app to iOS, so that iPhone users can use Gear smartwatches like the Gear S2. Samsung is also reportedly going to launch the S Health app on iOS, which would mean that Apple’s own Health app will get a major competitor. It’s also possible that Samsung is going to launch an app that would enable iOS devices to support the 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet. The Remote Control app and the Family Square app would enable iPhone users to control and stream content to the tablet from their iOS devices.
Samsung also might introduce a new Level app for iOS, which would enable owners of the Level Box Mini and headphones to add effects and control volume and playback with their iPhones. It’s also reportedly updating the Smart Camera app for iOS, and Curry reports that Samsung is also likely to update a few of the 39 apps it’s introduced for iOS since the App Store launched, particularly since most of them have poor reviews.
5. Two versions of the Galaxy Tab S3 are reportedly in the works
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Samsung is working on the next generation of its S-series tablets, the Tab S3. But we now have proof that Samsung is working on not one, but two, versions of the next-generation of the well-received Tab S2 tablet. Samsung developed two versions of the Tab S2 — an 8-inch version and a 9.7-inch version — and seems to be planning to offer similar options with the Tab S3.
According to Samsung Rumors, an import and export site in India has listed two variants of the tablet. The model numbers associated with the devices are SM-T814 for a 9.7-inch version, and SM-T719 for an 8-inch version. As Samsung Rumors notes, the company typically sends samples of its devices to the Indian subcontinent for testing, since it has a strong R&D base in the country. The Tab S3 follows what was widely regarded as one of the best tablets of 2015, and it’s expected to feature upgraded internal components.
6. The Note 6 could be compatible with a laptop-like dock
According to Samsung Rumors, a patent filing reveals that the Note 6 could slot into a laptop-like dock, where it could function not only as the computer’s touchpad, but also as its processor and memory. The dock would have a 13-inch to 15-inch display, and would be equipped with an internal battery. It would also feature a full-sized keyboard, and while it isn’t clear whether the screen it touch-enabled, there do appear to be Usb ports and a microSD card slot.
The Exynos 8890 that the Note 6 is expected to feature would enable the phone to provide the computing muscle for the device. But it’s unclear what operating system the device would use. (Samsung Rumors suggests that an enhanced version of Android, with more desktop-friendly features, seems like a likely candidate.) Samsung isn’t the first manufacturer to implement the idea; devices from Asus’s Padfone line can be docked into a tablet, and Microsoft’s new Lumia 950 can run Windows 10 using external peripherals and the Display Dock.
7. Samsung may introduce new ultra-wide monitors this year
As Brad Jones reports for Digital Trends, leaked information seems to indicate that Samsung plans to introduce two ultra-wide monitors for gamers this year. The company is expected to introduce 30 and 35-inch displays, which would feature 3,440 by 1,440 pixel resolution, a 144 Hz refresh rate, and high-spec VA panel technology (which offers benefits with regard to contrast and viewing angles). While IPS technology is regarded as better, overall, than VA technology, IPS isn’t yet compatible with the resolution and refresh rate that Samsung’s monitors are expected to feature.
Jones notes that the refresh rate indicates that these monitors are likely to be marketed toward gamers, since they’re the type of users most likely to appreciate the responsiveness of a fast refresh rate. The monitors are rumored to be among the first to use DisplayPort 1.3, a technology for which both AMD and Nvidia will begin shipping compatible graphics cards around the same time that Samsung’s monitors are expected to appear. The 35-inch monitor is expected to be available in the second quarter of the year, while the 30-inch monitor is expected in the third quarter of the year.