The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a stunning phone. Along with the Galaxy S7 Edge it’s easily the best handset Samsung’s ever made and arguably the best phone on the market, but that’s just made us all the more eager to see what the company can do next year with the Samsung Galaxy S8.
So far very little is known about it, but over the coming months we expect a growing number of leaks and rumours to emerge and we’ll collect them all for you here. Read on for everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 so far.
Release date and price
Samsung usually releases its ‘S’ range flagships in the first few months of the year, most recently with the Samsung Galaxy S7 in March 2016.
So we might see the Samsung Galaxy S8 in March 2017, but if anything it will probably be ever so slightly earlier than that, as another thing Samsung tends to do is announce its new phones at the beginning of MWC, which in 2017 runs from the 27th of February to the 2nd of March.
Of course that’s just when it will be announced, in terms of actually being able to buy it you’ll probably be waiting another couple of weeks.
It’s far too early for pricing rumours, but there’s a fair chance that the Galaxy S8 will retail for a similar amount to the Galaxy S7, which launched at £569.
So far there aren’t any rumours about the Galaxy S8’s design, but we suspect it will look quite different to the Samsung Galaxy S7, because as stylish as that phone is it’s very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S6, so by the S8 the design will be due a refresh.
Then again the Galaxy S7’s design has proven popular, so Samsung might decide to keep refining it rather than opting for something entirely new. We’ll update you as soon as we hear rumours one way or the other.
We don’t expect much of a change to the screen. The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch QHD display and we doubt it will get much bigger for the S8, given that most smartphone screens are hovering around the 5.0-5.5-inch size. Though given that the S7 Edge is 5.5 inches Samsung might make that the standard for the normal Galaxy S8.
It probably won’t get sharper either, as really QHD is already more than you need on a display of that size. However it’s possible that Samsung will push the resolution up, perhaps to 4K. While that would be overkill for general use it would benefit VR, which Samsung is trying to push into with the Gear VR.
Samsung has already developed a 5.5-inch 4K screen with a pixel density of 806 pixels per inch, as reported by UploadVR, so it’s possible that it will stick that in the Galaxy S8 and there have been rumours to that effect, but so far nothing concrete and really it depends on how much of a push the company wants to make into VR.
We’re sure to see a curved Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge too and it’s possible that Samsung will go beyond curves and into fully flexible screens, as it’s been working on the tech for years and is supposedly aiming to be able to mass produce flexible screens by the end of 2016, but even if that’s true it sounds a bit too untested to stick on a flagship phone.
However, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 rumoured to only be coming in a curved variety it’s possible that Samsung will do the same with the Galaxy S8 and ditch flat screens altogether.
Power and specs
The Galaxy S range is always power-packed and we’re sure the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the beefiest of the bunch. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is rumoured to have 6GB of RAM and if it does there’s a good chance the Samsung Galaxy S8 will too.
We don’t know what processor it will have, but Samsung always uses the best new processor from either Qualcomm or from its in-house Exynos range, so expect one or other of them, possibly the Snapdragon 830 if that’s landed by then.
We’d also expect the Samsung Galaxy S8 will run Android Nougat, overlaid as usual with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.
Samsung has impressed us with its cameras in recent years and the Galaxy S8’s snapper looks to be no exception. PhotoRumors claims the company is working on a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor with an f/1.4 aperture. In English that means it would have a wide aperture, which in turn would allow it to capture more light.
Surprisingly the site also claims it could up the sensor to 18-24MP, which at the top end is double the 12MP of the Galaxy S7’s sensor. That would allow for more detailed photos, but could actually hurt its low light performance, as the pixels would presumably have to be smaller.
We’ve also heard talk of a possible dual-lens camera, which seems to be the popular new thing to offer on flagships.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is bound to inherit most of the S7’s features, including a fingerprint scanner, a waterproof build, a microSD card slot and fast charging.
But it will probably also gain some features. So far we don’t know what, but a USB Type-C port is an obvious thing that was missed from the Galaxy S7, so perhaps that for a start.
There’s also a good chance that it will have an iris scanner, as this is a feature that’s heavily rumoured for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and if it arrives there it’s likely that the Galaxy S8 would inherit it.
One other thing we might see is ‘Smart Glow’, which is a feature Samsung’s already announced, but so far not linked to the Galaxy S8. It takes the form of a ring of LEDs around the rear camera, which light up in different colours depending on who a message or call is from.
But the ring can do other things too, such as help you line up selfies with the rear camera, by lighting up when your face is in the centre of the frame.