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Date:27/02/17

Samsung Galaxy S8 Rumors: What Features to Expect

From a built-in digital assistant named Bixby to a display that takes up most of the phone's front, the Galaxy S8 figures to introduce a lot of new features to Samsung's flagship phones.
 
As we get closer to the Galaxy S8's rumored late March unveiling, we're seeing an uptick in images that claim to show off what the new phone looks like — including one that Samsung may have inadvertently released. The two most compelling leaks lately claim to show off a Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus sitting side-by-side as well as an image showing off the virtual home button that will reportedly adorn the Galaxy S8's edge-to-edge screen.
 
Samsung typically uses a different processor in the Galaxy S lineup depending on where the phones ships too, and that's likely going to continue with the Galaxy S8. Previously rumors have all but confirmed that some S8 models will run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, but a teaser tweet suggests that Samsung's own Exynos 9 may also be included in some versions of the new phone.
 
Samsung hasn’t set a release date for the Galaxy S8 yet. The company has announced past versions of its flagship phone at Mobile World Congress held at the end of February — this year’s MWC kicks off Feb. 27 — with the phone hitting the market a few weeks later.
 
But that's unlikely to happen at this year's event. Reuters reports that Samsung's DJ Koh has said the phone won't make its debut at MWC; instead, Samsung looks like it's going to showcase new tablets, including the Galaxy Tab S3 and potentially the Galaxy TabPro S2. While early reports suggested an April launch, VentureBeat's Evan Blass said Samsung was planning a March 29 event in New York to unveil the phone, with the S8 going on sale a few weeks later. The Wall Street Journal has since confirmed that late March window for the Galaxy S8's unveiling, and Korean news outlet Hankyung says Samsung could announce the S8 launch date at MWC.
 
For the past two years, Samsung has offered at least two variants of the Galaxy S line — a standard flat-screen phone alongside the curved Edge option. That could change with the S8, as no less a source than Koh Dong-jin, Samsung’s head of mobile, has said the company would like to go with an all-Edge lineup.
Android Headlines thinks a lineup of Galaxy S8 phones with curved screens looks likely, but a conflicting report by Sammobile claims Samsung could still offer a “flat” version of the phone similar to the Galaxy S7.
 
Leaked renders on GSMArena showing the new phones’ dimensions list the models as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. That would be a name change from what Samsung currently calls its phones, but given that the renders show both Galaxy models with huge displays, Samsung may be trying to differentiate the new lineup from last year’s models. A leaked photo that first appeared on SlashLeaks before winding up on Android Headlines claims to show the S8 Plus alongside a Galaxy S8 and squares with what we've heard about the screen sizes for the new phones — a 6.2-inch display for the S8 Plus and a 5.8-inch screen on the S8.
For what it's worth, Samsung published a since deleted support page that referred to a Galaxy S8 Plus model, seemingly confirming the name change.
 
Nothing's official yet, but VentureBeat's Evan Blass offers a pretty thorough round-up of likely specs in his report that included a leaked image of what looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S8. And that report is augmented by details from Korean news outlet ITcle and Sammobile.
 
Based on these reports, look for the Galaxy S8 to feature:
A Snapdragon 835 processor or an Exynos chip (possibly the Exynos 9 if this Samsung Exynos tweet is accurate) depending on which market the S8 appears in;
4GB of RAM in the base model, with the other S8 offering 6GB of RAM;
64GB and 128GB of on-board storage, depending on the model, with the option of adding more capacity via microSD; and
A 3250 mAh and 3750 mAh battery in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, respectively, though Blass's report forecast 3000 mAh and 3500 mAh batteries in the two models. A report in The Investor out of South Korea lists the same battery specs that Blass did.
 
In addition, early rumors suggested Samsung might follow the lead of Apple, LG and Huawei by adding a second camera lens to the back of the S8, but Blass's leaked S8 image shows only one camera. Blass says you won't see too many changes to the camera hardware (though the front of the phone will likely feature an 8-megapixel shooter, which would be a step up from the Galaxy S7). Blass expects the camera to add image and text recognition features that will help with searches using the Galaxy S8.
 
According to a report in Bloomberg, the Galaxy S8 will come with AI-enabled features based on technology developed by Viv Labs, which Samsung bought last year. The digital assistant looks like it will be called Bixby.Sammobile also says Bixby will be incorporated into the native apps on the S8, helping you with tasks like finding photos and making mobile payments. More impressively, another Sammobile report claims that Bixby will offer image and text recognition features in the S8's camera app. Meanwhile, ETNews reports that Bixby will support eight languages at launch, including English, Korean and Chinese. That would put Bixby ahead of Google's Assistant, which supports only a handful of languages at present.
 
As noted above, the S8 is going to feature a lot of screen space, so much so that the new phone will likely feature a very small bezel. The Korean Herald reports that Samsung hopes to deliver a phone in which the display covers 90 percent of the Galaxy's body, similar to the look of the Xiaomi Mi Mix, which has already achieved a 91.6 percent screen-to-body ratio. Prior to Evan Blass's leaked Galaxy S8 image, BGR posted a photo reportedly of a screen protector for the S8 also suggested an edge-to-edge design with rounded corners.
 
Samsung could offer the S Pen from its discontinued Note phablet as an accessory for the new phone. There's little to substantiate this rumor — just some chatter on Chinese microblogging site Weibo spotted by Android Headlines. If true — and chatter about this potential feature has died down recently — it would be a welcome addition: the S Pen had a number of great capabilities like highlighting and translating text or taking memos even when your screen was off that we'd love to see in the Galaxy S8.
 
Even if the S Pen doesn't make the leap to the S8, another Note 7 feature could see a return in Samsung's next phone. Citing a pair of sources, the Guardian says the security feature could appear in the Galaxy S8, letting you unlock the phone and secure mobile payments with your eyes. (That same Guardian report also backs the notion that the S8 will have an edge-to-edge display.)
 
All About Windows Phone was the first to float this possibility after it got its hands on a slide that shows the Galaxy S8 offering a PC-like extended desktop experience in which you could plug the phone into a monitor and use it like a PC. That sounds an awful lot like the Continuum experience Microsoft offers on Windows phones like the HP Elite x3.
 
Initially, it sounded like Samsung would join the Apple, Motorola and HTC in phasing out the 3.5mm headphone jack. Sammobile reported that the headphone jack will likely disappear from the Galaxy S8 in favor of a USB Type-C charging port that you'll also use with headphones. The move would allow Samsung to add stereo speakers and a larger battery.




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