MANILA, Philippines – After that explosive mess with the Galaxy Note 7, everybody's raring to see what Samsung has up its sleeve. The Korean giant needs a sure hit, and from what we're seeing online from their next flagship, the S8, it seems that the company won't disappoint.
Samsung's been extra careful, declaring that they've revamped quality assurance processes and has been using all this time to run a battery of tests so that their next phone goes off without a hitch – or at the very least, doesn't go off at all. (Read: Battery experts identify specifics of Samsung Note7 explosions)
Samsung officially reveals the S8 at their Unpacked event on March 29, US time. However, a lot has already been leaked online about the features and specs in the past weeks and months. Below's a round-up of those. Note, however, that some of these specs are to be considered as approximations until next week's big event.
True to Galaxy form, the S8 retains most of the features of the Galaxy line. Now, however, the device comes with a true "Edge" design that's almost bezel-less, with a screen that wraps around the sides of the phone. Gone is the recognizable home button and Samsung logo at the front, because there's simply no space for it in the refreshed design. Without the home button, though, many wonder where the fingerprint sensor has gone. As can be found in many recent LG and Motorola phones, it has been relegated to the back of the handset.
Available color variants include Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver as revealed by popular phone leaker Evan Blass:
...and finally: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (left to right) in Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver (top to bottom). pic.twitter.com/pIUJskyFbK — Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 21, 2017
Screen size has jumped from the S7's 5.1 inches and the Note 5's 5.5 inches; now the display is a whopping 5.8 inches (standard model) and 6.2 inches ("Plus" model), respectively. The decreased bezel size and wraparound screen might help in keeping the smaller footprint, though, so all in all, the improved screen-to-body ratio is welcome.
For the security-conscious, you'll be delighted to know that Samsung has been choosing between an integrated iris scanner or facial scanner; rumors say Samsung is going for the latter, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.
For charging and data connection, the Galaxy S8 will come equipped with a USB Type-C connector, and for audio, the device is rumored to sport Harman-powered speakers and the well loved 3.5mm headphone jack.
Samsung has filed a patent for what they refer to as an "infinity display." Info is scarce for now, but the company has said that this “new tech” is to be used on "mobile telephones.”
Samsung sticks to what it does best – Super AMOLED – and now the S8's Plus version might just come with a Quad HD+ resolution too. Quad HD resolution, also found in the older S7, is 2560 x 1440 pixels. Quad HD+ could add a few more pixels to the count for a crisper image.
Samsung has also switched from the "Diamond PenTile subpixel" to a "standard RGB stripe arrangement," a tweak that could enhance the virtual reality experience.
The Galaxy S8 wants to offer great low-light performance with a two-hit combo: leaks point to either a 1/2.3-inch sensor or a 1/1.7-inch sensor with a bigger f1.4 aperture. the S7 had a smaller 1/2.5-inch sensor and an f1.7 aperture. The larger sensor and aperture have benefits in low-light photography, image dynamic range, and sharpness to name a few.
Some rumors, on the other hand, have suggested that the S8 will have the same Duo Pixel camera on the S7 and S7 Edge, while others say that it will come with a 30 megapixel (MP) main camera and 9MP front camera. Still, others surmise a 12MP main camera with visual search feature that analyzes images, identifies objects, and helps with purchasing items online and an 8MP front snapper with autofocus and an iris or facial scanner.
Performance and battery life
Galaxy-branded (U.S. model) pic.twitter.com/dnGhK5lLCz — Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 23, 2017
Performance also got a boost with the help of an octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, currently Snapdragon's best. This spec is confirmed, more or less.
This new processor will be backed by 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending on the region. Storage can likely be augmented via an SD card, but expect a minimum of 64GB of onboard storage.
Samsung also has a new acquisition in the form of Harman, so Harman-powered speakers are to be expected on the audio front – fitting for a flagship device that's being groomed to redeem Samsung from the Galaxy Note 7 quagmire. Apple has Beats Audio; now, Samsung has Harman.
Bixby also comes on board as the Galaxy's new personal assistant. Powered by Viv, an artificial intelligence startup Samsung bought in 2016, Bixby is set to rival Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. Ironically, Samsung's new personal assistant was created by Siri creator himself, Dag Kittlaus.
All this awesomeness will supposedly be powered by a 4200 mAh battery. Although some surmise that power optimizations on the new software will allow Samsung's new flagship to carry a 3000 mAh battery without compromising performance and endurance.
Pricing is yet to be released, especially in the Philippines. However, prices in Europe are rumored to be *€799 (P43,267.11) for the Galaxy S8 and €899 (P48,682.26) for the Galaxy S8+. Prices seem reasonable, considering what these two flagship devices are supposedly bringing to the table. We'll just have to wait and see, though, if they live up to the hype. – Rappler.com
*€1 = P54.15
Alexis has been a professional writer and editor since 2007 and has worked with website developers, online retailers, and medical and healthcare professionals. On the side, he dabbles in photography. His photography has been published on his Facebook page and on his blogs. You have to start somewhere, right?