We know the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming in 2017, and the leaks and rumours are already flooding in. Here's what we know about Samsung's next flagship, including the Galaxy S8 release date, specs, features, and price.
Samsung is releasing the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus in just a few months, and according to a report from China, the company will be offering an external S-Pen accessory for the device. The S-Pen would bring similar features found on the Galaxy Note 7.
Rumored display sizes for the Galaxy S8 are starting at 5.1” and going up to 6.2”, so adding a stylus makes sense. It would also make the Galaxy S8 Plus more useful and make a better replacement for the Galaxy Note 7.
We’re not sure how much Samsung will charge for the S-Pen, but the current S-Pen replacement costs $21. We’ll officially find out more information about the Galaxy S8 and the S-Pen in April when Samsung announces the phone at an event in New York.
We’ve also heard a rumour that the Galaxy S8 may have significantly smaller bezels than the Galaxy S7. Speaking to The Investor, Park Won-sang a Principal Engineer for Samsung Display, said that the company was aiming to introduce an OLED display with a greater-than 90% screen-to-body ratio. He went on to reveal that Samsung hoped to create a handset with a 99% screen-to-body ratio in the next few years. For contrast, most phones currently have an average ratio of around 80%.
These rumours were echoed by a Bloomberg report from November that claimed Samsung is planning to kit the Galaxy S8 out with an “all-screen front”. The article says the “bezel-less” phone will “provide more viewing real estate”, with Samsung expected to ditch the physical Home button and bury its functionality in the lower section of the glass instead.
But the biggest boost to this rumour’s credibility came courtesy of Synaptics’ announcement that it had developed a new fingerprint scanner – the Natural ID FS9100 optical fingerprint sensor.
What’s important about the FS9100 is that it can scan your fingerprint through 1mm of “full cover glass”, which would enable Samsung to hide the scanner underneath the glass, rather than having to embed it in the Home button.
There’s a clear trend of 5.1-inch panels, which is a decent middle-ground that suits most users. We’d expect the Galaxy S8 to follow suit, although a report from the Korea Herald pointed to two variants: 5.7-inches and 6.2-inches.
We’re also convinced that 2017 might be the year Samsung moves to a 4K display, following on from the Galaxy S6’s introduction of a QHD screen. One report from Weibo suggested that one variant of the Galaxy S8 will use a 4K-resolution screen.
The Galaxy S7 featured either a Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890, depending on where you bought your phone. The former is built by US chip maker Qualcomm, while the later is a custom-built Samsung chip. We’re expecting that the Galaxy S8 be sold with Qualcomm and Samsung chips, depending on your market.
“Galaxy S8 will completely ditch hardware navigation keys, Samsung is switching to all soft keys with 3D touch-like functionality,” Android Police’s David Ruddock tweeted. Ruddock has often been accurate with his Android predictions.
The information he offers falls in line with what many other reports have claimed. Samsung is looking to ditch the physical buttons on the Galaxy S8 in order to offer users a screen-to-body ratio of over 90%. But Android needs three buttons to function, so adding 3D Touch-like functionality to the screen seems to be the only solution that would allow Samsung to remove the buttons.
When does the Galaxy S8 come out? February/March 2017
What’s new about the Galaxy S8? Rumoured: 4K screen, SD830 chip, USB-C
How much will the Galaxy S8 cost? Best guess: S$980