Each week, there are plenty of new rumors about Samsung’s upcoming gadgets to keep the biggest fan excited about the details of the hardware and software that the company has in the works. Read on for this week’s most exciting Samsung rumors, and catch up on the latest reports about the smartphones and smartwatches that Samsung is expected to launch in 2016, 2017, and beyond.
1. A Galaxy Note 6 Edge could be on its way
SamMobile reports that the upcoming Galaxy Note 6 may be the next Samsung device in line for an edge makeover. There are numerous possibilities for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 6 lineup — which could include a standard Galaxy Note 6, a dual-curved Galaxy Note 6 Edge, or a standard Note 6 and Note 6 Edge sold side-by-side — the argument goes that it would make sense for Samsung to introduce an Edge variant of the Galaxy Note 6 because the device would be perfect for showcasing the capabilities of the Edge interface, and would also solve the dilemma for Note fans who want the phablet but would also like to have the functionality of an Edge model.
Chris Smith reports for BGR that the Galaxy Note 6, whether accompanied by an Edge variant or not, is expected to launch at least a month before Apple’s competing iPhone 7 Plus. According to a leak by Evan Blass, U.S. shoppers will be able to get their hands on the device the week of August 15. The “confirmed” features for the device include a 4,000mAh battery, a USB Type-C port, and IP68 water and dust resistance.
2. Samsung will build Android Daydream phones
At Google I/O, Google announced a brand-new virtual reality platform called Daydream, which will succeed Google Cardboard. Google announced that Cardboard will run with the next generation of Android smartphones running Android N. As Kwame Opam reports for The Verge, Google also said that its new VR headset and platform will work out of the box on new smartphones from a small group of manufacturers: Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, ZTE, Asus, Alcatel, and Xiaomi. Daydream encompasses both hardware and software, and at I/O, Google also showed off the reference design for a new VR headset, which will enable developers to build their own VR products with motion sensing capabilities.
SamMobile reports that Daydream-compatible smartphones, from Samsung as well as from the other manufacturers, will need to have specific sensors, screens, and even processors to be certified. The devices with the right components will be able to take advantage of VR versions of YouTube, Google Play Music, and other Google apps. Google didn’t offer any information on how much the headsets built on the Daydream reference design will cost, but since they won’t be standalone headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, they’re likely to be relatively affordable. Samsung hasn’t yet confirmed anything about its plans, but Daydream-compatible phones are expected to begin arriving in the fall.
3. A future Samsung smartwatch could project a screen onto your hand
One of the week’s most interesting Samsung rumors comes thanks to the company’s patent application for smartwatch technology that would project the user interface onto your hand or forearm. Alex Brokaw reports for The Verge that the patent also shows the same technology being used with head-mounted displays, like a virtual reality or augmented reality headset, which could use it to project images onto surrounding surfaces.
Illustrations included in the patent application show a smartwatch projecting a dial pad, notifications, menu options, and a writing surface on the back of a person’s hand or forearm. The user would be able to interact with those interfaces outside of the smartwatch, which is an interesting concept for getting more functionality out of the relatively tiny screen of a smartwatch.
4. Samsung will reportedly launch five flagship Galaxy phones in 2017
SamMobile reports that Samsung is going to launch five new Galaxy flagship phones in 2017. The publication reports that the five new flagships will be the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Edge, the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy Note 7 Edge, and the Galaxy X. The first four will reportedly use a 2.5K Super AMOLED display, with an RBG subpixel arrangement.
The Galaxy X, on the other hand, is reportedly the name for a foldable Samsung smartphone, and will feature a 4K display with diamond PenTile subpixel arrangement. Rumors about a “Project Valley” foldable smartphone have been circulating for about a year, and a recent report from Korea indicates that Samsung might launch the device in 2017.
5. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Active likely won’t be the most attractive smartphone
Micah Singleton reports for The Verge that each time a new photo of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7 Active surfaces, the phone looks even uglier than it did before. The first photos of the Galaxy S7 Active showed a camo pattern, and an official shot leaked by Evan Blass reveals another color scheme: a drab “desert camo” shade that may appeal to the military or defense contractors, but likely won’t be all that eye-catching to the average consumer.
SamMobile reports that thanks to the appearance of a “Samsung SM-G880” in import databases, rumors are circulating that Sprint might gets its own version of the Galaxy S7 Active, perhaps called the Galaxy S7 Sport. AT&T has traditionally been the only U.S. carrier to stock Samsung’s Active models, though Sprint has had a Sport version of the Galaxy S5.