At this very moment, if there is one thing is for sure about Samsung, that would be the upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone is definitely arriving some time next year. If we are to base our guess on the previous Galaxy S series release dates, it could be launched as early as February or March 2017. Samsung had a very good year in 2016 especially when the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were released. Both critics and consumers were very happy about those two phones' performance especially in the camera department. However the story did not end there, 2016 was not that very pleasing for Samsung for its Galaxy Note7 phablet's unexpected fate.
Due to a number of reports claiming that the Galaxy Note7 exploded or caught fire, it was recalled more than once worldwide until the Korean electronics giant decided to stop the selling and production of the latest Galaxy Note7 phone altogether and called it a day. Of course being a flagship device that is sold globally and being the Galaxy Note7, it was very clear that Samsung was severely financially hit by this event not to mention its impact on the brand itself, although surveys suggest that most Samsung users are still likely to buy Samsung-made products in the future despite of what happened with the Note7. Now that being said, Samsung is expected to bounce back in 2017 and that will begin with the release of the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Release Date?
Reports claim that Samsung is more than 100% making sure that the Galaxy S8 will not suffer the same fate as the Note7 and that it will deliver much better performance, specs, features and design than its predecessors. These unconfirmed reports added that because of this, Samsung might actually delay the launch of the Galaxy S8 smartphone. The Wall Street Journal and Korea-based news outlet Naver claimed that the launch will be as far as late March or early April next year.
Usually, Samsung would launch the a new Galaxy Note device during Mobile World Congress. This year's MWC will take place between Feb 27 and Mar 2, 2017. So far, no Samsung Unpacked 2017 event is on the horizon.
Two Galaxy S8 smartphones?
More details from the rumor mill. Samsung is said to be launching not just one but two Galaxy S8 devices. Well, we have been seeing Samsung releasing two smartphone flagships in the last couple of years, there's the standard model and the curved screen model called Edge. However, this 2017 models are going to be different if we are to believe these rumors. Aside from the regular Galaxy S8 device, we will also see a Galaxy S8 PLUS variant.
Now what's exciting about this Galaxy S8 Plus is that it's going to sport a massive 6-inch display. For a smartphone or phablet this size, 6-inch does not sound to be pocket-friendly especially if we look at those previous devices having the same screen size. Again, if these reports are to be believed, the case on the S8 Plus variant will be different and it will be the most pocket-friendly 6-inch device that we will ever see. Samsung will do this by eliminating much of the top and bottom bezels to achieve up to 90% screen-to-body ratio. An almost all-screen design. And it looks like the same thing will be the case on the standard Galaxy S8 variant.
This is one of the new additions to the rumored features of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus - the Beast Mode. This report is based on the recent trademark that Samsung applied which is a smartphone technology that could "enhance the speed and performance of a mobile phone" via software functionality. Beast Mode is a very well known phrase here in the Philippines and while we already know what Beast Mode is or at least what we mean by it, it is still not fully revealed yet as to what Samsung means about this term and what it actually does in smartphone.
Bigger RAM and More Powerful Processor?
It is expected of course that the next flagship should be equipped with a much powerful specs and features. Reports are saying that new Galaxy S devices will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 processor and will be accompanied by 6GB RAM (others sa 8GB of RAM). Remember the Beast Mode? If this feature is to activate Galaxy S8 power and performance to full swing, a Snapdragon 830 and 6GB RAM are a perfect combination to do so. The question is what kind of smartphone task we can use this Beast Mode feature for? We'll know once next year's Samsung Unpacked event takes place.
No More Home Button? What Happens to the Fingerprint Scanner?
Given the reports that Samsung might actually go almost all-screen design on the S8 and S8 Plus, ditching the Home Button altogether also makes sense. It is said that Samsung will also be removing the Home Button on the upcoming smartphone flagships. Now removing the physical home key also means removing the Fingerprint Scanner as it is housed in that physical button in the previous Galaxy S devices. According to SamMobile, Samsung will debut Optical Fingerprint Recognition technology through its long-time fingerprint scanner supplier Synaptics. Synaptics has just announced that they have developed a new fingerprint tech that promises high resolution scanning through 1mm of full glass cover. Meaning, once Samsung ditches the home button and decides to make the display even bigger without adjusting the overall size of the device like I mentioned above, we will see a first smartphone device where a fingerprint scanner is embedded right into the screen panel. Cool right?
No More Headphone Jack Too?
Believe it or not Samsung is also said to be removing the 3.5mm audio jack as well in favor of the new USB Type-C port. If this the case, let's just hope that Samsung will approach this move better than Apple. Having another dongle to accommodate charging and listening to music using earphones at the same time is really not that attractive and not good for user experience.
Virtual Assistant of its Own?
Bloomberg reported that Samsung may be planning to launch its own Artificial Intelligent Assistant of its own with the Galaxy S8. This AI assistant will compete head to head with Siri and Google Assistant. This speculation came out after Samsung purchased the Viv Labs which was the same firm behind the development of Siri. However, is Google going to approve this knowing that Samsung uses its Android mobile OS which is also home to Google Assistant? We'll know next year.
All of these are just rumors, but we cannot deny that the Samsung may actually head to this direction of releasing these new features and new designs on their future devices. For now, it is just a matter of waiting and we are just a couple of months away from it. So let's wait and hope that Samsung will make everything right and far better than the previous flagship iterations.