This week, a comprehensive report revealed key information about Samsung's new Galaxy S8 flagship phones, apparently confirming several major details about the new handsets. Today, much of that information has been independently verified by VentureBeat's Evan Blass (better known as serial leakster @evleaks), along with a few other tidbits.
Significantly, Evan has also revealed an image of the Galaxy S8, which shows a fairly 'safe' evolution of the Galaxy S7 edge design.
With some of the details from the article earlier this week, combined with the additional insights from Evan's coverage today, here's a summary of what we now know - with some degree of certainty, at least - about the Galaxy S8:
- Codenamed 'Dream' and 'Dream 2', respectively, the Galaxy S8 will be offered with two Super AMOLED screen sizes: 5.8 inches, and 6.2 inches. Unlike the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, both S8 models will have dual-curved 'edge' displays. It's not clear from the image above, but on each model, the display will cover 83% of the front of the handset, and although the resolution for both screens is said to be 'Quad HD', the displays will have an unconventional 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which means that the resolution will deviate slightly from the Quad HD standard.
- The handsets will include pressure-sensitive displays, similar to the 3D Touch feature on some of Apple's recent iPhones. Oddly, on the Galaxy S8, this functionality is said to be limited to "the lower part of the display".
- While the Galaxy S8 will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip, it's still not yet clear if Samsung will sell versions of the handsets with its own Exynos chips in certain markets.
- The Galaxy S8 is said to be 11% faster overall than the Galaxy S7, with a 23% improvement in GPU performance, but will still be 20% more power-efficient.
- The 5.8-inch model will have a 3000mAh battery, and the 6.2-inch model will come with a 3500mAh battery.
- Both variants will come with 4GB of RAM.
- For both models, 64GB is said to be the storage 'baseline' (plus a microSD slot for cards up to 256GB), although the question of whether or not other storage options will be offered remains unanswered.
- Unlike Apple's iPhone 7, HTC's U Ultra, and various other devices , the Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, in addition to a USB Type C port.
- Like the defunct Galaxy Note7, the Galaxy S8 will include an iris scanner.
- Both models will have a 12-megapixel rear camera with Samsung's 'Dual Pixel' technology, and a front-facing 8-megapixel camera; both cameras have f/1.7 apertures. The rear camera will include visual search capabilities, including object recognition (e.g. for shopping searches), and optical character recognition (e.g. for scanning and searching text).
- With limited space on the front of the handsets, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the rear of the device, with potentially awkward placement alongside the camera lens.
- The handsets will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat onboard.
Intriguingly, Evan also pointed out that the Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated button to launch Samsung's new 'Bixby' digital assistant, which is "said to be able to handle more complex commands than its competitors, such as multi-part instructions".
Evan also confirmed a major new feature that was originally revealed earlier this month, and independently verified by The Guardian this week.
The Galaxy S8 will support 'DeX', Samsung's new PC-style desktop experience, similar to the Continuum mode on Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile OS. Through an optional desktop dock, the S8 will be able to connect to an external monitor via HDMI, with support for mouse and keyboard inputs, and a PC-like user interface appearing on the secondary display.
Samsung confirmed this week that - unlike in recent years - the Galaxy S8 won't launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. However, the company didn't comment on exactly when the new handsets will launch.
According to Evan, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S8 at a standalone event in New York City on March 29, with availability from April 21. However, it seems that the new devices will come at a higher price than their predecessors. The 5.8-inch model will reportedly cost €799 in Europe, while the the 6.2-inch model will be priced at €899 - around €100 more than the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.