Galaxy S8 Release Date and Features: Rumors and Leaks
After the prominent launch and disastrous recall of the Galaxy Note 7, what we’ll see on the Samsung Galaxy 8 release date is the most pressing topic of speculation in the Samsung rumor mill. Everything about the upcoming Galaxy S8 — its release date, its features, its design, its specifications, and even its software — is discussed at length by rumors and reports from around the world. The device is expected to feature an improved design, a more sophisticated camera system, and even an all new AI-powered digital assistant.
Samsung S8 rumors offer a welcome reprieve from calamitous news of the Note 7 and its impact on Samsung’s mobile business. Samsung is reportedly throwing all of its weight behind the Galaxy S8, a phone that will build on the success of the Galaxy S7 and, if current rumors are correct, add more innovation to the flagship line. Everything — from the screen Samsung will choose for the Galaxy S8 to the time frame for the Samsung Galaxy 8 release date — is up in the air.
Read on to learn what we know so far about the Galaxy S8 and which rumors seem the most plausible so far. And make sure to bookmark this page for an easy way to stay up to date as we get new information about the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, features, design, and specifications.
Samsung Galaxy S8 release date
For the past three years, Samsung’s flagship phones have launched right before Mobile World Congress in February. If Samsung upholds that tradition, we can expect an announcement right before MWC 2017 starts in Barcelona on February 27. But there’s been some speculation that the Galaxy S8 release date may not makes its appearance on the expected timeline.
Conflicting reports have indicated that Samsung would either seek to launch the Galaxy S8 later than usual, or earlier than expected by the sources pointing toward a late release date. The Wall Street Journal had learned that the device might be delayed until April as Samsung deals with an array of challenges, but a new report from BGR indicates that Samsung may be planning for its usual late-February launch time frame — sooner than expected. According to Tech Times, Samsung reportedly expects to begin testing the Galaxy S8 in January, even as the company is still deciding on the Galaxy S8 launch date.
Samsung Galaxy S8 features
Four cameras: High-end Android phones are beginning to feature rear dual-camera systems. But if current rumors prove correct, the Galaxy S8 release date could reveal that the device features more cameras than most of its competitors. BGR states that according to a Korean report on five Galaxy S8 features, the Samsung S8 is expected to feature a total of four cameras. The device is expected to be the first in the Galaxy S series to feature a dual-lens rear camera. On the front, the device will reportedly feature a selfie camera and an iris recognition camera.
Dual-camera system: Not everyone thinks that the Galaxy S8 will get a total of four cameras, but most people think that its rear-facing camera will be upgraded to a dual-camera system. Leaks indicate that the phone could feature a dual-camera system much like the one on the iPhone 7 Plus. According to South Korean trademark documents, Samsung wants to trademark “LightUp Camera” and “Light+ Camera.” SamMobile also reports that a recent patent application supports the theory that the Galaxy S8 will get a dual-camera system. The filing details a camera interface with improved zoom control, with zoom achievable via a one-finger gesture. Reporting on rumors about a dual-camera system, Android Headlines reports that one of the cameras would feature an f/2.0 maximum aperture, while the second module would feature a maximum aperture of f/2.3.
Iris scanner: SamMobile reports that Samsung suppliers are growing “increasingly confident” that next year’s Galaxy S8 will feature an iris scanner, which was one of the most important features of the Galaxy Note 7. An iris scanner could play the same role on the Galaxy S8, where it would offer users a futuristic new form of biometric authentication and make a considerable splash on the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date.
Wireless charging: The Korean report on Galaxy S8 features also indicates that the device could get a three-coil wireless charging system. The three-coil wireless charging design will reportedly bring better range and faster charging than other wireless charging systems. And wireless charging would enable users to charge the Samsung Galaxy S8 without fumbling with cables.
Optical fingerprint sensor: The Galaxy S8 may be the first smartphone in the world to feature an optical fingerprint sensor, SamMobile speculates. Optical fingerprint recognition technology would eliminate the need to place a fingerprint scanner beneath the home button (which dovetails with rumors that Samsung plans to integrate the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint scanner into the display itself). An optical fingerprint scanner works by placing the finger on a glass plate, on the smartphone’s case, or on the glass display. Optical fingerprint recognition is more accurate and faster than ultrasonic fingerprint recognition, too.
Pressure-sensitive display: A recent report indicates that the Galaxy S8 could be equipped with a pressure-sensitive display. According to an anonymous supplier who spoke to the Korea Herald, Samsung is considering a feature that mimics what Apple first introduced with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s.
Samsung Galaxy S8 design
Bezel-less design: BGR reports that the Galaxy S8 could get a brand-new all-screen design, enabled by an OLED panel. The screen would incorporate the home button, fingerprint sensor, and other buttons. The home button would be placed under the screen via what is reportedly a complicated process, and Samsung is also considering putting the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone instead. According to a Samsung Display researcher, Samsung is dedicating significant resources toward the development of a button-less, all-screen design, and Samsung expects to launch a phone where the front of the handset is 90% screen.
OLED screen: According to the recent Korean report about a bezel-less design, the OLED panel used for the Galaxy S8 will be constructed of a new M8 OLED material, which is designed to be more efficient and offer better longevity than current displays.
Curved screen: The Samsung Galaxy S8 may only be offered in curved-screen models. BGR explains that a report from the Korea Herald pointed out that Samsung “is promoting the curvy screen as its premium smartphone lineup’s key identity.” The report also indicated that “the company has already started securing display panels in two sizes — 5.1 inch and 5.5 inch — from its own display-making unit Samsung Display, the world’s sole producer of double-edged screens.” BGR also reports that Samsung is considering eliminating flat smartphones from its future model lineups, and the Galaxy S8 could be on the list of devices that may not get a flat version.
No home button: Samsung may drop the home button from next year’s Galaxy S8. According to a leaked spreadsheet on Galaxy S8 specifications, the screen would account for 80% of the front side of the phone. That seems to imply that Samsung is ditching the home button on the Galaxy S8 and will instead incorporate the home button into the display on the device.
No headphone jack: Rumor has it that Samsung may follow in Apple’s steps and drop the headphone jack from the upcoming Galaxy S8, says Mic. A number of sources have suggested that Samsung is ready to part ways with the technology, in part thanks to a press release published by the USB Implementers Forum. The document details the Audio Device 3.0 specification for the USB Type-C port, which Samsung included on the Galaxy Note 7. The document explains that “device manufacturers can eliminate the need for multiple ports and efficiently deliver data, power, and video over a single connector with USB Type-C.” It adds, “USB Audio over USB Type-C allows [original equipment manufacturers] to remove the 3.5mm analog audio jack, shaving up to a millimeter off product designs and reducing the number of connectors on a device.”
Samsung Galaxy S8 specifications
4K display: The Samsung Galaxy S8 may feature a 2K display instead of a 4K screen, if the latest rumors explained by BGR are to be believed. SamMobile also points out that Samsung could create two different variants of the Galaxy S8. One is rumored to feature a 2K 5.1-inch curved Super AMOLED display, while the other would be equipped with a 5.5-inch 4K display. Several reports have indicated that the Galaxy S8 could feature a 4K display following Samsung’s introduction of a 5.5-inch 4K UHD display at a trade show. If Samsung does equip the phone with a 4K display, it will also need to integrate a much higher-capacity battery, which may be a factor in the device’s design.
Qualcomm 830 or Exynos 8895: According to a report that indicates that Samsung will drop the home button from the Galaxy S8, the device is expected to be powered by either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 processor or an Exynos 8895 chip. (Which means that in either case, the device will be powered by a 10nm chipset.) The Weibo user also reports that the device will feature either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Many Samsung fans are excited that the Galaxy S8 could feature a 3GHz chipset, since the Exynos 8895 is a new chipset that reportedly will be clocked at 3.0GHz but is more energy-efficient than previous Samsung processors.
Graphics for virtual reality: According to 9to5Google, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 “could be a VR powerhouse.” Rumor has it that the S8 will take a big step forward in terms of raw performance, especially when it comes to its graphics capabilities. Samsung is reportedly planning to equip the Galaxy S8 with ARM’s new Mali-G71 GPU, which is almost twice (1.8x) as powerful as the Mali-T880 used in the Galaxy S8. According to GFXBench results, it’s also faster than the GPU inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 830. The G71 is built on ARM’s new Bifrost architecture, which is designed for 4K virtual reality experiences. The increased GPU power could be accompanied by the Exynos 8895 SoC, plus a 4K display. Together, those components would make for a high-end mobile VR experience.
Samsung Galaxy S8 software
New digital assistant: The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung has shared a few details about the Galaxy S8, including the fact that it will be equipped with enhanced artificial intelligence. Samsung recently acquired the U.S.-based startup Viv Labs, whose co-founders created Siri. Viv technology may form the basis of the more advanced artificial intelligence that the company says will be featured on the Galaxy S8. The Journal also reports that Samsung is not only “looking to give its Siri-like virtual assistant a big promotion,” but the company is also thinking about adding a dedicated button for the improved artificial intelligence feature. SamMobile posits that Samsung may be planning to name its new intelligent assistant “Bixby.”
Android 7.0 Nougat: It seems like a safe bet that the Galaxy S8 will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat, which will be an attractive selling point for Android fans shopping for a flagship phone in the first half of the year. In addition to the features of Android 7.0, the Samsung S8 may also feature a new digital assistant that is likely to replace Samsung’s S Voice.
Windows and Android: According to a recent patent application explained by BGR, Samsung is considering an unusual way to replace Android on flagship phones like the Galaxy S8, and that’s by installing both Windows and Android on the Galaxy S8 (or one of its successors). If Samsung follows through with the ideas detailed in the patent, users would be able to boot into either operating system on demand. The patent application features images illustrating what appears to be a Galaxy S device running Windows and Android.
Better software: Android Headlines reports that according to a report out of South Korea, Samsung intends to improve its software engineering. The company has “urged its employees to improve their software development skills,” and an unnamed Samsung official claimed that only 1% to 2% of Samsung’s employees would be qualified to work at Google. Samsung’s software efforts have been frequently criticized, including its TouchWiz user interface, the bloatware integrated into its devices, and even the company’s Tizen operating system. The report indicated that Samsung’s software engineers “will be given more time to develop technologies, not to check administrative work,” which will hopefully result in better software on Samsung’s smartphones and other devices.
Battery-saving features: If you believe the rumors that the Galaxy S8 will get a 4K display, you may find it interesting that 9to5Google expects “some sort of crazy battery-optimizing tech coming out of Samsung’s labs” to offset the demands of the 4K display, and make the device more capable of delivering virtual reality experiences.
Samsung Galaxy S8 price
Two models: It’s unclear so far whether Samsung plans to introduce two phones, like it did in 2016 with the Galaxy S7, or whether it will “go the Note route” and introduce a single, possibly dual-edge device. SamMobile reports that rumor has it that Samsung could create two different variants of the Galaxy S8: one with a 2K 5.1-inch curved Super AMOLED display and the other with a 5.5-inch 4K display. The dual-camera system is said to be exclusive to the larger variant of the Galaxy S8 (as Apple’s dual-camera system is exclusive to the larger iPhone 7 Plus).
Android Central notes that recent reports from Korea suggest that the Galaxy S8 might come in two models, both with Edge screens. Another rumor explained by Know Your Mobile states that there will be two Galaxy S8 handsets: a standard Galaxy S8 and a larger Galaxy S8 Plus, both with Edge displays. Still other reports indicate that Samsung plans to offer the Galaxy S8 in two different sizes — with screens that measure 5.7 inches and 6.2 inches — both with full-screen designs and curved displays. The larger screen sizes could appeal to customers who prefer a larger screen and hoped to buy the Galaxy Note 7.
Price: The Galaxy S8 is likely to be priced similarly to the Galaxy S7. The S7 started in the $700 range, and AndroidPIT speculates that the Galaxy S8 may be slightly more expensive and could “come with a price tag that breaks the $800 mark.” In any case, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be one of the company’s most exciting 2017 flagships, and it will be priced accordingly.