Everything we think we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8
Next week in New York, Samsung will finally reveal the Galaxy S8. The handset has a lot riding on it not simply because its a brand-defining flagship from one of the biggest names in the business or because the company seems to have delayed it quite a bit as its worked to get things right. Next weeks Unpacked event will have even wider ranging implications for Samsung as its first major phone announcement since last years Galaxy Note debacle left a serious scar on the brand for many consumers.
Samsung has been happily hyping the announcement for quite a while. In fact, the date of the event itself was a big reveal at an otherwise lackluster Mobile World Congress press conference that was focused on a pair of new tablets. In the intervening weeks, our picture of the S8 has become pretty fully formed, both through official announcements from the company and a number of seemingly legit leaks that it whether intended or otherwise hasnt done a great job keeping under control.
Expect the kick-off to Wednesdays event to once again strike a tone somewhere between somber and excited that will likely be the last major public apology for the Note 7, coupled with some more thorough praising of the companys recently implemented exacting safety standards. But while other companies may have looked to slow things down a bit, thats never been Samsungs way. Expect this to be yet another everything-and-the-kitchen-sink device from the company.
One thing we know for sure, Samsungs joining the growing chorus of phone manufacturers opting for their own smart assistant a fact thats no doubt rubbing Google the wrong way as the Android maker looks to push its own assistant onto more handsets. Last week, Samsung detailed a fair amount about Bixby, confirming a fair bit of what we already knew about the Siri/Alexa/Assistant competitor.
An outgrowth of last yearss acquisition of Viv, the AI promises some intriguing next-generation capabilities, like context awareness of other applications on the phone and a lot of third-party support for other apps that are deemed Bixby-enabled. The company also has promised to remove friction from the learning process, to help make switching interfaces seamless and intuitive.
As for the hardware, the companys been pushing its bigger is better narrative at least since the release of the first Note device so many years ago. Fittingly, rumors are pointing in the direction of not one, but two big phones the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, shipping in 5.7- and 6.2-inches, respectively. Like I said, moderation just isnt in Samsungs DNA, even after the s-storm that was last year. The S8, at least, is said to sport a 2960 x 1440 resolution, a notable bump over the S7s 2560 x 1440.
Design-wise, Samsung is continuing its quest to eradicate the worlds bezels, and the leaked images we have seen appear to take the company pretty close to that goal, approaching the dream of a true edge-to-edge display, thanks in part to some well-rounded screen sides. Samsungs standard oblong home button, meanwhile, looks to be gone altogether, which seems to indicate that fingerprint unlocking has moved to the back of the device, as with handsets like the Google Pixel.
Specs will, naturally, be bumped up across the board. Qualcomms Snapdragon 835, erm, platform seems likely, given Samsungs involvement in its creation. The company was also said to be hoarding the chip ahead of launch. Batteries have been pegged at 3,000 and 3,500mAh for the S8 and S8+, respectively. Though again, theres some wiggle room in the rumors, but dont expect the company to go too crazy on that front, however, at it makes safety the primary focus on its battery talk.
Most leaks seem to point to Samsungs holding onto the headphone jack this go around, but there have been rumors on both sides of the fence for that one. The phones release, meanwhile, has been pegged for April 21, in black, grey and silver.
The companys still got work to do when it comes to winning back consumers (and flight attendants) for whom the name has become synonymous with safety concerns. But thankfully for Samsung, memories are usually about as long as upgrade cycle.The companys financials have been just fine, thank you very much, courtesy of a robust component business. Assuming things go down smoothly next week, Samsung shouldnt have much to worry about with regards to its public image (even as it struggles with other problems behind the scenes).
And givenwhat the company has offered up in the past, at the very least, Samsung should have plenty of spectacleon display next week.