It will have an S Pen. It won’t have an S Pen. It will have USB-C. It won’t have USB-C. It will ditch the headphone jack. It won’t ditch the headphone jack. It will launch at MWC 2017. It won’t launch at MWC 2017. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2017 and Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S8 preview.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone has always been the subject of a huge amount of rumours and leaks, but until 2017 those whispers have at least been reasonably consistent. Now just two months from the Galaxy S8’s unveiling we finally have what at least appear to be some facts from reliable sources (thank you VentureBeat and The Guardian).
The Galaxy S8 will launch at a Samsung Unpacked event on 29 March, and go on sale on 21 April. However, whereas we’d been told previously that the Galaxy S8 won’t be on show during Samsung’s MWC 2017 press conference on 26 February, it turns out there may be a glimpse of it coming our way after all through a short one-minute teaser video – that’s according to The Korean Herald.
The Galaxy S8 will have a 5.8in dual-curved-edge “infinity display” that covers 83 percent of the front of the device, while there will also be a 6.2in Plus model. There will be a Snapdragon 835 chip inside, there will be a USB-C charging port and there will be a headphone jack. Both the home button and logo have been removed from the front of the device (there just isn’t room), but you’ll still find a fingerprint scanner on the rear, potentially rather awkwardly placed to the side of the camera. It will also include the Bixby voice assistant.
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 are also said to cost €100 more than was originally thought, coming in at €799 (£679) and €899 (£749).
The S Pen is unconfirmed by this picture, and may be just out of sight on the above image. Also unconfirmed is the dual-camera, though this may be a feature unique to the Galaxy S8 Plus. We still expect the new Bixby assistant to feature, though this is clearly not visible in the image.
For the past two years we’ve awarded Samsung’s Galaxy S-series the crown for best smartphone. It was doing so well until the *cough* Note 7, but the company will pull out all the stops in 2017 to reverse its fortunes.
Latest update: MobileFun is now accepting pre-orders on official accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, confirming the name of the latter. Most of the cases are available in black, blue, gol, silver, pink and either violet or mint, giving us a clue to what colours Samsung will be offering for the Galaxy S8. You can pre-order an Alcantara Cover Case, a Clear Cover Case, a Clear View Cover Case, a Flip Wallet Cover, a Protective Cover Case or a Silicone Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy S8 or Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus via the site.
Samsung Galaxy S8 name: What will the new Samsung phone be called?
With speculation that Samsung will make standard the dual-curved-edge screen previously used only for its edge models, it’s unlikely that the company will continue to distinguish between its Galaxy S-series models in this manner. Since the key differences will now be the size, battery capacity and potentially the camera, we think Samsung might choose to go down the Apple route and call what would be the Galaxy S8 edge the Galaxy S8 Plus.
And we’re not the only ones who think this. Our theory has been backed up by a report in the Korean Herald, which says Samsung has hinted at removing the standard flat-screen version and replacing it with the edge model.
It’s now been confirmed by Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin that the Galaxy S8 will not be present at MWC 2017, which annoyingly for its rivals means they won’t be able to unveil any flagship phones toting the Snapdragon 835 chip at the show either. This is because Samsung, which is helping Qualcomm make the new 10nm chip, has the exclusive: no other phone using the processor can launch before its Galaxy S8.
Those phones will instead either have to use the Snapdragon 821 (which both LG and HTC are rumoured to do with their upcoming flagships), or launch the device later in the year (hello OnePlus 4).
Even before we found this out, though, there was speculation that Samsung would instead hold its own Unpacked event in March. Evan Blass (aka @evleaks), writing for VentureBeat, suggests this will take place on 29 March. Blass is well-respected for his leaks, the vast majority of which turn out to be true. He says the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will then go on sale on 21 April.
The on sale date is in line from what we’ve heard from other sources. Many have suggested 18 April, while The Guardian cites 21 April, ETNews 15 April, and Forbes 14 April.
That Samsung wouldn’t launch its Galaxy S8 at MWC 2017 was surprising, given that it has always held an Unpacked event the day before the tradeshow kicks off to launch its latest Galaxy. However, perhaps we shouldn’t have been so surprised: it shunned IFA 2016 for the ill-fated Note 7, launching the handset earlier in August, and following its discontinuation (which cost Samsung a bomb) it’s only natural that it wants more time to make absolutely sure it gets the Galaxy S8 right. The fact it will weaken its rivals too is possibly the icing on the cake.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Should I buy Galaxy S7 or wait for Galaxy S8?
The Galaxy S8 is set to be a fantastic phone by all accounts, but it’s not available yet and the Galaxy S7 is. Samsung’s current flagship is now available at a more reasonable price than its initial £569 RRP, and can be bought for around £450 SIM-free at Amazon UK. The Galaxy S7 edge, meanwhile, has gone down from its original £639 RRP to around £517 SIM-free (also at Amazon UK).
These are the two very best phones on the market today, and we thoroughly recommend them even with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on the horizon. Unless a rival manufacturer surprises us with a completely unexpected new model in the meantime, nothing will come along and throw them off their perch at the top of our chart until the new models are announced in March and released in April. So, can you wait another four or five months to upgrade your phone?
If you hold on, headline features in the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus include some incredibly powerful hardware that will make the phones capable of mobile VR, a dual camera, a new type of fingerprint scanner and Samsung’s own AI assistant. If these aren’t deal-breakers you can save yourself some money and buy the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge today. Read our full Galaxy S7 review and Galaxy S7 edge review for more details.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Design
Below we discuss various Galaxy S8 design rumours that come from case- and accessory makers, which are briefed on the design before the launch, as well as concept designs. But this one comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Youtube Video Here
Samsung Galaxy S8: Stylus
For the first time the Note family’s S Pen stylus is said to be available for the Galaxy S8, although it’s not yet clear as to whether it will be sold as an optional extra or will come in the box, or even whether this is true. Several case leaks reveal a slot for the S Pen (see the Design section), but others appear to suggest there isn’t one.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Fingerprint scanner
Samsung was said to be working on placing an optical fingerprint scanner under the Galaxy S8’s display, which means the phone won’t need the lower bezel to house the Home button that previously integrated the fingerprint scanner, but the most recent photos suggest it has gone for the easier option and placed it on the rear next to the camera.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Processor
While everyone was expecting the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to feature the Snapdragon 830, Qualcomm has confirmed to PC Advisor that Samsung was working with it not on the Snapdragon 830 but on the Snapdragon 835. This chip is manufactured using the 10nm process and integrates the Adreno 540 GPU. With a release date of early 2017 it’s very likely that this is the processor the Galaxy S8 will receive.
It’s the first Qualcomm processor to be made with a 10nm process, which will bring various improvements including performance (up to 27 percent higher) and efficiency (up to 40 percent lower power consumption) and lead to better battery life for devices. Read more about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.
Samsung Galaxy S8: RAM
The majority of early leaks about the Galaxy S8 point to it having 6GB of RAM, which would be in line with the likes of the OnePlus 3T. However, for the first time up to 8GB of RAM will be available to mobile devices. Samsung has said it is introducing a new generation of DRAM that can support this amount in order that devices are better equipped to deal with mobile VR, dual-cameras and 4K video. So what better device to kick off with than the Galaxy S8?
According to Evan Blass, however, the Galaxy S8 will stick with just 4GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Storage
We’re expecting to see 64GB of storage as standard on the Galaxy S8, along with microSD support up to 256GB.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Cameras
Following the LG G5, Huawei P9, iPhone 7 Plus and others, dual-cameras are becoming a standard feature of flagship smartphones. It’s possible that the Galaxy S8 will also get a dual camera, although this could be only in the Plus model.
A report on wccf tech says the Galaxy S8 will feature dual-camera lens modules likely to be manufactured by Samsung Motors (Semco). However, a Weibo tipster says only the S8 Plus will get a dual-camera, while the standard S8 will stick with a single camera at the rear.