Update: The latest Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors peg the launch date for March 29, and the actual release date in late April. Samsung has officially said it won’t launch the phone at MWC 2017. Here’s the latest, including a newly leaked Galaxy S8 photo.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was almost everything we hoped for, with improvements throughout leading it to be one of the most powerful, stylish and all round accomplished smartphones on the market.
But there’s still room for improvement and based on the rumors we’re hearing that’s exactly what we’ll get from the Galaxy S8, with talk of a new AI assistant, a dual-lens camera, an upgraded screen and more.
You’ll find full details below, as we’re collecting all the rumors and news about the phone, along with our own educated guesses.
We also have a wish list for what we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S8. And we’d love to hear what you think, so let us know in the comments below and we’ll furiously email them to Samsung.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung’s next flagship smartphone
- When is it out? Rumors say March 29 launch, April 21 release date
- What will it cost? Maybe around $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120)
Samsung Galaxy S8 release date
- No MWC announcement
- A delay until likely late March or April
- It will be called the Galaxy S8
He didn’t say when the phone would be announced, but leak points to a March 29 launch event in New York, followed by an April 21 release date in stores.
Samsung’s biggest phones typically go through a one month lag time between their announcement and actual shipment dates.
Of course, we’ve also heard about other possible release dates, including April 18. Either way, Samsung isn’t launching its phone as soon as it usually does.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 on a two-year contract, you’re going to want to hold onto it for a few more weeks instead of upgrading to the older Galaxy S7.
The later Samsung Galaxy S8 release date doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been delayed. It could be that the company wants to host a separate event or wait for the very latest specs to build the best phone possible.
One thing we can say with some certainty though is whenever it launches, Samsung’s next phone will indeed be called the Galaxy S8, as Samsung has filed an application with the USPTO to protect exactly that.
TechRadar’s take: The March 29 launch date comes from reliable leakers, and the April 21 release date makes sense since it’s nearly one month later. Expect more Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks during MWC, even though it’s not there for the public to see.
- We got bored of waiting so we spent some time creating our own video render – here’s how the phone should look:
Samsung Galaxy S8 news and rumors
You can find plenty of Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors on the internet right now, and some are likely accurate. Others we’re skeptical about.
To cut through the noise, we’ve amassed all of the major leaks onto this page and are going to do our best to determine fact vs fiction.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S8 going to have a 4K screen, a cutting-edge Snapdragon chipset and 6GB of RAM? How about an even better camera, iris scanner and foldable screen?
Some of this stuff is true, others are a better fit for the Samsung Galaxy S9. Here are the latest rumors.
Samsung Galaxy S8 screen
- No flat version
- 4K resolution or Quad HD
- New 5.8 and 6.2-inch screen size
- Super wide 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Samsung Galaxy S8 may give everyone what they want: a bigger screen without making the phone dimensions any larger. Is it finally happening?
It’s going to come in two sizes, one with a 5.8-inch display and another with a 6.2-inch screen, both with curves and a Quad HD resolution, according to a leak obtained by VentureBeat.
That would make the Galaxy S8 display – in either size – larger than the 5.7-inch Note 7. Don’t worry, it’s not actually going to be any more massive.
The phone is said to max out the screen real estate by ditching the home button at the bottom and that always-gaudy Samsung logo at the top.
This is very close to an all-screen phone that nearly defeats screen bezel. If true, it’ll have a wider 18.5:9 aspect ratio, not the 16:9 standard widescreen ratio.
It’s going to be interesting to see how movies look on it. The all-screen theory has been backed up by leaked images of tempered glass screen protectors, shared by DforDesign, so this rumor seems strong.
What about that fabled Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 4K screen?
Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the electronics giant, has already shown off a 5.5-inch 2160 x 3840 screen, which comes in at a pin sharp 806 pixels per inch.
There’s no guarantee the Galaxy S8 will get this screen, but it’s clearly been designed for premium phones, and none get more premium than the S8.
You don’t need a 4K screen for everyday phone use. But when a screen is two inches from your face, even with a sharp Quad HD panel, it appears pixelated.
4K resolutions in phones are the future for this reason. Whether it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 remains to be seen. It could still arrive on the bigger 6.2-inch phone to help differentiate the two sizes.
Less credible are 4K rumors that Samsung equipped the Galaxy S8 with a UHD display, according to Chinese sources speaking to WCCF Tech. They don’t specify who the source is though, so we’re taking this one with a pinch of salt.
We’ve also heard from Weibo that the Samsung Galaxy S8 could have a 5.2-inch 2160 x 4096 screen. Other Weibo rumors suggest the S8 will have just a QHD screen, like the Galaxy S7, but add that “new materials” of some kind could be used, and that the home button will be removed – potentially meaning smaller bezels and maybe even a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.
One thing is clear: Samsung is putting a lot of work into curved screens, and a recent comment from Samsung Mobile President Dong-jin Koh claimed: “Samsung has considered that it would make the edge display the identity of the Galaxy S smartphone lineup.”
That makes it sound like we might not actually get the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge at all, and the Galaxy S8 will be a single curved variant only.
More recently we’ve heard rumors that Samsung has started sourcing curved display panels, but that it will be making curved versions in both 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch sizes. Apparently whether or not there’s also a flat screen model will come down to how many curved screens Samsung can source in time.
SamMobile has suggested that there will be both a flat and dual-edge curved version. If there is a flat version, there’s a chance it will look like the handset in the video below.
This is an advert from Samsung Display, and clearly shows a handset with no home button and almost no bezels. It’s likely just a generic creation for the video, but those same attributes are rumored for the S8, so it’s possible it will look similar.
But rather than a flat screen or even curves, Samsung might go one further and give us a foldable phone in the future. Prototypes and patents for such a device already exist, including one very recent patent spotted by Patently Mobile.
In fact, it’s rumored that Samsung will launch a folding phone in 2017, but it’s unlikely to risk attaching the untested tech to its flagship.
Samsung has been working to shrink the bezels on its devices, with a Samsung Display employee claiming the company will launch a display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in 2017, though there’s no guarantee it will be attached to the S8.
There’s also the Always On Display (AOD), a feature that debuted with the Galaxy S7. This feature has been hugely improved on the Note 7, with more pictures added to the mix and a richer display hanging about on the phone when it’s turned off.
Future updates to the AOD mean that it should become even richer for the Galaxy S8, with third parties able to add their own widgets to the screen.
Samsung recently added a music player onto this area, so it’s highly likely third parties like Spotify will be able to do the same thing by the time the S8 launches. Also, if you look at what’s been offered on the Galaxy Note 7, with the icons pictured above, you’ll realize there’s more to come from the AOD from Samsung.
TechRadar’s take: It’s very likely that Samsung isn’t going to launch a Galaxy S8 with a flat screen. After all, it only launched a curved Note 7. Another logical step is to do away with as much bezel as possible, so increasing to a 5.8-inch display and 6.2-inch display adds up. It sounds too large, but seeing the normal-sized body and impressive display in hand should be all the convincing you ever need. We’re just wondering if Samsung takes the 4K leap for the sake of advancing mobile VR or if it sticks to a Quad HD Super AMOLED screen.
Samsung Galaxy S8 design
- A similar but refined design
- Water and dust resistance
Samsung is on to something with the design of the Galaxy S6 and now the Galaxy S7. Its melding of metal and glass has led to one of the most attractive handsets around, so we don’t expect huge changes there.
On the other hand, people like to see changes, so at the very least the design will probably be refined. Samsung slightly curved the back edge of the Galaxy S7, so perhaps it will make the Galaxy S8 even more curved, so it sits even more comfortably in the hand, like the HTC One M9. Or maybe it will focus on making the phone thinner.
And a completely new design is always possible, but if it does have one it could take almost any form. Well, any form that’s basically a rectangle anyway.
The main thing we’ve actually heard about the design so far is that it will be “slick”, which doesn’t tell us much, but does come straight from Samsung’s vice chairman, so it’s probably true.
It’s also likely to be IP68 certified dust and water resistant, both because the Galaxy S7 is and because exactly that has been rumored by sources speaking to The Investor.
TechRadar’s take: This is one thing we don’t know much about yet, but we don’t expect to see a huge change on the design front.
Samsung Galaxy S8 camera and battery
- A dual-lens camera
- A 30MP rear camera
- An 8MP front-facing snapper
- A 4200mAh battery
Samsung is said to be working on a new camera, which will be between 18 and 24MP and have a wide f/1.4 aperture, where the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a narrower f/1.7 one.
That extra width could allow more light in and the jump in megapixel count could allow for more detailed images, though while Samsung is apparently working on this camera it hasn’t been specifically linked to the Galaxy S8 yet.
Another rumor, this time from Chinese sources speaking to WCCF Tech, points to a dual-lens camera. It’s not clear what role the second lens would play, but the sources claim it’s being built by Samsung Motors (Semco).
That rumor has popped up again, with a Weibo poster claiming that one lens will be 12MP, while the other is 13MP and that lens-crafting duties will be split between Samsung and Sony.
There’s also a suggestion that Samsung could include two cameras to help its parts suppliers make up for lost Note 7 earnings.
Samsung has also now registered trademarks for two camera technologies designed to enhance the brightness of images, which is often the role of a secondary lens, further suggesting a dual-lens could be in the works.
The front facing camera could also be in for a change, with the same Weibo source as above claiming that the Galaxy S8 will have an 8MP camera on the front, up from 5MP on the Galaxy S7.
That front-facing camera could also get an autofocus, which is a feature usually reserved for rear cameras, as they need to focus at various distances, but while possibly not that useful on the front it might help the S8 stand out.
On the other hand, another Weibo poster claims the S8 will have a 30MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a 9MP front-facing one, but we’d be surprised if Samsung pushed the rear camera’s megapixel count up that high.
We’ve also heard rumors that Samsung could stick a dual-lens camera on the 5.5-inch handset, but just a single-lens one on the 5.1-inch one, so you might have a choice of snappers.
Samsung has also built a ‘Smart Glow’ feature, which takes the form of a ring of LEDs around the rear camera, which can flash in different colors for different types of notifications and even light up when they detect your face, so you can more easily take a selfie with the main camera.
So far the feature is only available on the Samsung Galaxy J2, but there’s a chance Samsung will use it in the Galaxy S8 as well.
Whatever the case, you can be sure the camera will be improved, in fact Samsung’s vice chairman has even said as much.
The only battery rumor so far suggests the Galaxy S8 will have a huge 4200mAh juice pack with support for both wireless and fast charging. We’re not convinced Samsung will squeeze a battery that big in, but hopefully the company won’t reverse the good work it’s done on the S7, which has better life than the S6 before it.
The Galaxy S7 has a 3000mAh juice pack and with any luck the battery in the S8 will be even larger, or at least more efficient. It might need to be if Samsung pushes the screen resolution up.
Samsung has also revealed that, unsurprisingly, it’s working to make sure the S8’s battery doesn’t meet the same fate as the Note 7’s, by implementing a new ‘8-point battery safety check.’
TechRadar’s take: Dual-lens cameras seem to be the next big thing, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung gets on board. Don’t count on seeing a 30MP snapper or a 4200mAh battery though, we’d expect the camera will stay at the sweet spot of around 12MP, while the battery will likely be big, but not that big.
Samsung Galaxy S8 OS and power
- A 3GHz Exynos 8895 processor in some regions
- A 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chip in the US
- 6GB of RAM
The Snapdragon 835 is the next major flagship smartphone chip from Qualcomm and it’s faster, smaller and more efficient than the Snapdragon 820. There’s a good chance that at least some Galaxy S8 model will have this chip.
In fact, a leak suggests the Galaxy S8 could have a 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chipset, which certainly sounds fast.
That said, Samsung also makes its own Exynos chips and with the Galaxy S7 some regions got those and others got the Snapdragon 820, so the same is likely to happen with the Galaxy S8.
More specifically, the US will probably get a Snapdragon chip, while most of the rest of the world will likely get an Exynos one. Rumors suggest it will be the Exynos 8895, which is apparently clocked at up to 3GHz (up from 2.3GHz on the Exynos 8890 in the S7), and is supposedly also optimized for low power usage, as well as improving image processing performance by over 70%.
We’ve also heard rumors from SamMobile that not only is Samsung working on new mobile processors, but that it’s in talks with both Nvidia and AMD to build the GPUs (in place of ARM, which currently builds them).
With Nvidia behind some of the most powerful processors around and AMD’s architecture at the heart of the PS4 Pro, a move to either of these companies could give flagship Exynos chips a performance boost.
That extra power will really come in handy if Samsung plans to put a 4K screen on the Galaxy S8 or use it for high-end VR content – our betting is that both Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s chips will be heavily focused around making VR the best experience it can possibly be, which will be a boon for Gear VR wearers.
Samsung’s also applied to trademark “beast mode”, which could be a supercharged setting designed to make the most of VR.
As for RAM, early rumors point to 6GB, and with the mid-range Samsung Galaxy C9 also rumored to have 6GB of RAM that’s probably the least we can expect. But the S8 might have even more, as Samsung has created an 8GB RAM chip compatible with smartphones, though it hasn’t been specifically linked to the S8.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung is sure to dial up the power in the Galaxy S8, but will probably stick a Snapdragon 835 chip in the US version, with an Exynos processor available elsewhere. RAM is sure to be at least 4GB, but it’s likely that Samsung will up it to 6GB. We doubt it will reach 8GB.
Samsung Galaxy S8 other features
- An iris scanner and AI assistant
- No headphone jack
- A fingerprint scanner in the screen
- Dual stereo speakers
The S Pen stylus is a big feature of the Galaxy Note range, and recent rumors suggest it could also be coming to the Galaxy S8, as an optional extra. That suggests Samsung could be aiming to make the phone better for productivity, though we’re not convinced there’s much evidence of it.
But the Galaxy S8 could get an even bigger productivity boost, by including a Continuum-like feature, allowing you to plug it into a monitor for a desktop-like experience. That’s if the image below is to be believed.
Rumor has it the Samsung Galaxy S8 is set to lose the 3.5mm headphone jack. The rumor doesn’t say why it’s dropping the legacy tech, but does suggest the phone will instead feature a USB-C port and come with an adapter in the box.
On the other hand, a leaked case supposedly for the phone (pictured below) shows the headphone port intact, along with a USB-C port and space for just a single lens camera, so don’t count the 3.5mm jack out yet.
One area that Samsung could easily improve for the S8 is the speakers, and it just might, with rumors that we’ll get dual stereo speakers for the first time on a Samsung flagship. They could also use Harman technology, which would make sense, since Samsung has purchased the brand.
But its inclusion isn’t guaranteed, as it doesn’t really add a lot beyond a ‘hyper’ level of security that some people would need on the Note 7, given it’s part enterprise device. That said, the scanner never got much of an outing with the Note 7 being killed, so Samsung is likely to want to give it a chance.
And another source has also suggested we’ll see an iris scanner, along with 64GB and 128GB storage capacities, a microSD card slot and, oddly, a mini projector. Another rumor points to up to 256GB of storage, which would be a huge jump on the maximum of 64GB that’s built into the Galaxy S7.
One feature that’s been confirmed by Samsung is the Viv AI assistant. It’s a bit like Siri, and in fact some of the makers of Siri created it, but Samsung bought the company and is planning to build Viv into the S8.
While there’s stiff competition in this space, Viv will apparently work seamlessly with a large number of apps, potentially giving it an advantage over the likes of Siri. It’s also rumored to come with both male and female voices, dubbed Bixby and Kestra.
Samsung is seemingly making Viv a focus of the S8, with one prototype apparently even featuring a dedicated button to launch the assistant.
Samsung might also build a fingerprint scanner right into the S8’s display, according to a Weibo source, allowing it to eliminate the home button entirely. The tech exists, but would be a smartphone first if Samsung does use it.
Samsung’s ‘Smart Glow’ feature – so far only available on the Galaxy J2, has also popped up again, with additional functions such as heart rate readings and the ability to light up in different colors to represent different weather conditions apparently likely to be added to later versions of it.
Other than those features, a reversible USB Type-C connector is likely now it’s appeared in the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung is likely to continue offering the features its flagships are known for, like an always-on screen (with enhancements), a microSD card slot and a waterproof body.
TechRadar’s take: We wouldn’t count on seeing Smart Glow in the S8, given that the Note 7 didn’t have it despite the feature already being available on a lower end handset. A mini projector also sounds like a long shot, but an iris scanner and stereo speakers are likely, while USB-C is all but guaranteed.
Samsung Galaxy S8 price
- More expensive than the Galaxy S7
- ….or the same price as the S7
The earliest cost rumors claim an $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120) SIM-free price for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
This comes from a Weibo post with no evidence to back it up, so we’d take it with a pinch of salt, but if true the Galaxy S8 would be slightly more expensive in most regions than the £569/AU$1149 (around $750) launch price of the Galaxy S7.
On the other hand, a similarly evidence-free claim has been made more recently that while the materials will apparently cost 28% more than the S7, the cost to consumers will be the same.
TechRadar’s take: It’s very possible that the S8 will cost the same as the S7, especially as Samsung will want to make up for the Note 7 debacle. But if construction costs rise, as is likely, then that would mean making less profit on each unit, which it may not be prepared to do.
While we wait to hear more about what Samsung’s actually planning to put in the Galaxy S8 we have a sizeable wish list of things we hope it will feature. From a sharper screen to stereo speakers and genuine surprises, here’s what we want to see.
1. More built-in storage
Samsung pleased many with the reintroduction of a microSD card slot in the Galaxy S7, but with just 32GB of built in storage, a substantial chunk of which was used by the OS, it was much needed.
Hopefully the Samsung Galaxy S8 will keep the card slot but add more built in storage. If Apple offers phones with 128GB built in Samsung can too. That way buyers will have more storage to play with, without having to fall back on the usually slower speeds of microSD cards.
2. Fewer fingerprints
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a triumph of design and looks absolutely stunning, or at least it does until you start using it, at which point it very quickly starts picking up fingerprints.
So we really hope the Samsung Galaxy S8 avoids that. The design doesn’t need to radically change, but some sort of fingerprint-repellent coating would do wonders.
3. Longer battery life
The Galaxy S7’s battery life was a significant improvement on the S6’s, but it’s still a phone that you’ll typically be charging nightly.
That’s one of the few areas where it’s no better than much cheaper handsets and ideally we want a phone that can comfortably last at least two days. Hopefully the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be that phone.
4. A lower price
As a premium handset the Samsung Galaxy S7 goes a long way to justifying its premium price. But when you consider that many high-end Chinese phones and even fairly big name handsets like the OnePlus 2 launched for far cheaper, it’s hard not to wish it was a little more affordable.
It’s unlikely that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a bargain price tag, but even knocking the price down to around £500 (US$600, AU$1000) would be a big help.
5. Dual front-facing speakers
The Samsung Galaxy S7 can pump out a reasonable amount of sound, but it’s just got one speaker and its position on the bottom edge both means the audio isn’t directed towards you when holding the phone and that the speaker can easily be covered by stray fingers.
It would be great if the Samsung Galaxy S8 took a leaf from HTC’s book and had dual front-facing speakers, as that would fix all those problems, while adding meatier sound into the mix.
6. A better front-facing camera
The 12MP rear snapper on the Samsung Galaxy S7 is seriously high quality, but the front-facing camera feels a bit neglected.
It’s just 5MP and there’s no flash for it, leaving it lagging behind rivals. Hopefully then the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a higher megapixel count on its selfie snapper, along with a flash and maybe even optical image stabilization.
7. A sharper screen
QHD is plenty sharp enough we hear you saying, but hear us out. Yes, the QHD screen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 is impeccably sharp for general use. But Samsung has jumped on the VR bandwagon with the Gear VR and for that some extra pixels could be beneficial.
The Gear VR is one of the cheapest ways to get a semi-decent VR experience, but it could go from semi-decent to very good indeed if the Samsung Galaxy S8 packed a 4K display, which there’s every chance it will, as Samsung has shown off a 4K mobile screen.
8. Toned-down TouchWiz
TouchWiz isn’t as bad as it once was, but it’s still present and still includes an annoying amount of bloat. We doubt we’ll ever see stock Android on a Samsung flagship, but the closer the company gets the better.
So we’d love to see the S8 have a further toned-down version of TouchWiz, with more of a Material Design look and fewer pre-installed apps.
9. USB Type-C
Slightly surprisingly the Samsung Galaxy S7 doesn’t use USB Type-C. It’s not a huge loss, as the phone still supports fast charging, but it does mean you can only plug the cable in one way round.
That’s a minor annoyance, but it’s one that some phones have done away with and we hope the Samsung Galaxy S8 follows suit. Given that the Galaxy Note 7 has USB Type-C it’s very likely that the S8 will too.
10. Something new
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a fantastic handset, but it mostly improves on the Samsung Galaxy S6 while bringing back features from the Samsung Galaxy S5, like the waterproof body and microSD card slot. There’s not much that’s genuinely new here and certainly no massive new features.
Samsung’s polished the Galaxy S7 to within an inch of its life, so for the Galaxy S8 to stand out it needs a feature to shout about. Perhaps an iris scanner, or a projector, or maybe something so new it’s not even been thought up yet.
- Fancy something a little different? Here’s what we want to see on the LG G6
>> Source: TechRadar