Earlier this week, Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin confirmed that its latest Galaxy S-series flagship won't launch at next month's Mobile World Congress, the venue of such announcements in previous years. There's still a great deal that we don't know about the new S8, but as rumors continue to emerge about it, it's becoming easier to piece together information about the device.
Speaking with its own 'well placed' sources, The Guardian has published numerous details about the Galaxy S8, many of which support other information that has surfaced in recent weeks.
Like last year's S7, the Galaxy S8 is expected to launch in two sizes, both with displays within the range of 5 to 6 inches, codenamed 'Dream' and 'Dream 2'. However, unlike the S7, the new handsets are both said to come with dual-curved displays, dropping the 'flat' screen option that was previously offered.
The new screens - referred to as 'infinity displays' - are also said to take up a much larger proportion of the handset, with only a sliver of bodywork visible above and below the main display area, to the point that there may not even be sufficient space to include Samsung's logo on the front of the device.
The article also referred to a recent photo of a purported third-party screen protector for the Galaxy S8, saying that the image is accurate in its representation of the handsets' proportions.
In line with expectations, the Galaxy S8 is said to come with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip; indeed, a recent report suggested that Samsung has bought such great volumes of the 835 that supplies for other manufacturers are now extremely limited. It's not yet known if, like the Galaxy S7, variants of the new handsets will be offered with Samsung's own Exynos chips too.
Details regarding storage are a little more hazy. Two sources referred to the Galaxy S8 as coming with 64GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD slot supporting cards up to 256GB. However, it's unclear if Samsung will offer other storage options, or if - like its ill-fated Galaxy Note7 - the Galaxy S8 will only be available with 64GB.
The Galaxy S8 will reportedly have the same iris-scanner that debuted on the Note7, allowing users to unlock the device with their eyes, rather than with a password or fingerprint. Microsoft used similar technology on its Lumia Windows 10 Mobile flagships which launched at the end of 2015, and which are now reaching the end of their retail lives. A fingerprint scanner will still be included, but now positioned on the rear of the handset.
Also around the back, the S8 is said to feature a similar 'Dual Pixel' camera to the Galaxy S7, with various improvements as you would expect. Samsung claimed that the S7's camera was able to "focus as quickly and as accurately as you would with your own eyes." That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the camera on the S7 was extremely good, and it seems reasonable to expect that its successor will be similarly impressive.
The S8's rear camera is also believed to include "built-in object recognition, similar to Google Goggles". That functionality is likely to be integrated with Samsung's digital assistant, awkwardly named 'Bixby', for which the company is reportedly partnering with other companies to provide 'data sources', so that it can offer a wide range of functionality to users.
Notably, several of the article's sources insisted that the Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than following Apple, HTC and others in dropping that port from their newest devices. Along with support for a new Gear VR headset, and an updated version of its Gear 360 camera, the Galaxy S8 is said to feature a USB Type-C port, which is no great surprise.
Significantly, two sources also confirmed details that popped up in a previous report. Earlier this month, a photo surfaced that appeared to show Samsung's plans for a 'Desktop Experience', which also referred to the 'Next Mobile Workspace'. The image showed a Samsung Android handset connected to an external display with support for multi-tasking, and mouse and keyboard inputs.
That information was verified by the two sources, who referred to Samsung's version of the PC-style mode as 'DeX' (desktop extension, or perhaps 'Desktop Experience' as shown on the slide above). Intriguingly, they mentioned not only a desktop dock - just like the Continuum mode in Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile OS - but also a 'service' associated with the experience, as well as other unspecified accessories.
Samsung has much to prove with the Galaxy S8. The high-profile disaster of the Galaxy Note7 - which was subjected to a full global recall after a series of battery fires - proved to be a costly embarrassment for the Korean tech giant. The company vowed to regain the trust of its customers, and confirmed this week that it will launch a new Galaxy Note8 that will be "better, safer and very innovative".
Long before the Note8 arrives, though, the Galaxy S8 will offer Samsung the opportunity to put the fiasco of its fiery flagship behind it, and wow the world with its latest and, perhaps, greatest device.
Source: The Guardian