Prepare for a host of mind-boggling new technology when Samsung announces the next generation of its flagship smartphone line, the Galaxy S8 – an event that could not come sooner for the company.
The new smartphone will receive a boost in speed and battery efficiency, contain advanced security features, sport greater screen real estate and pack two cameras. It is also possible Samsung will make one major design change that will leave many fans gasping in shock.
For all the upgrades the smartphone will receive, one thing is for sure: the gap between Samsung and Apple is smaller than ever.
The new Galaxy S announcement comes on the back of a very rough six months for Samsung. Really, it could not have been any worse.
On August 19, 2016, the company launched its new Galaxy Note7 to much fanfare. Shortly after its debut, however, the phablet smartphone made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Various users soon discovered that the device’s volatile battery could overheat and explode, usually while being charged.
Many Note7 users would plug in their handset to charge at night, only to wake and find their bedside table in flames. One man watched his Jeep 4WD burn to a crisp after plugging in his Note7 to charge inside the vehicle. A smoking Note7 caused the evacuation of a passenger aircraft. Samsung, meanwhile, could only watch as its new pride and joy literally went up in flames. It was a PR nightmare.
Less than two months after launch, the company had issued a recall of all Note7 handsets and offered replacements, but even the replacement handsets went up in flames.
Eventually, Note7 production was halted indefinitely and all handsets recalled, with Samsung shutting down any remaining handsets remotely with an operating system update pushed out over networks in late December.
Needless to say, there is a lot riding on the new Galaxy S8 handset. Samsung will be looking to stem the damage done by the Note7 and reassure long-time customers that it’s still capable of performing business as usual – manufacturing premium electronics that dominate the market.
What to expect from the Galaxy S8
Here are some of the features that may appear in the new Samsung Galaxy S8:
- Home button disappears – the removal of the Home button will give the Galaxy S8 an extended screen
- Snapdragon 835 – the latest Qualcomm processor offers improved VR, video and graphics experiences; better battery life, and incorporates a Gigabit modem for super-fast data transfer. Expect upwards of 900Mbps download speeds
- Visual search – with Samsung’s new digital personal assistant, Bixby, users will be able to search photos for objects and text, which can then be used in other applications, such as translation tools or online shopping apps
- RGB pixels – The Super OLED QHD 2K display will now use RGB pixels, resulting in a noticeable improvement on Gear VR headset
- Limited storage – along with 4GB RAM, the smartphone will only be available with 64GB of storage, forcing some users to use cloud apps to manage media and content
- Three models – two models of the Galaxy S8 will come with a 5.8-inch QHD display, in either the standard form factor or the curved Edge display. A new larger model, the Galaxy S8 Plus, will feature a 6.2-inch QHD AMOLED display. By comparison, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge featured a 5.1-inch display and 5.5-inch display, respectively.
- Two cameras – leveraging the power of the Snapdragon 835, which can handle two 16-megapixel cameras, strong rumours suggest the Galaxy S8 will ship with dual cameras
- No 3.5mm jack – that’s right, if a rumour that surfaced in December is correct, Samsung have followed Apple’s lead and removed the headphone jack.
Users will be forced to use Bluetooth headphones, headphones with a USB-C plug or a USB-C adapter to use their existing headphones.
However, a subsequent leak of the device’s supposed schematics last month shows that the headphone jack may actually remain. With Samsung refusing to confirm the legitimacy of the data, we’ll be left wondering until the official announcement.
Samsung will not make the same mistake with the Galaxy S8 as the Note7. Allowing time for comprehensive testing, we’re expecting the smartphone to go on sale from March 29.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2017
What are your thoughts on the new changes coming to the Galaxy S8? Tell us in the comments below.