Samsung’s having a really terrible month. Several of its products — new and old — are literally exploding left and right.
Looking forward is the only thing the South Korean electronics giant can do as it recalls and exchanges Note7 phones prone to catching on fire from defective batteries.
The potential lost sales from the Note7 may push Samsung to move the Galaxy S8 release up to make people forget about the exploding Note7.
Whether or not Samsung will release the Galaxy S8 earlier than its usual launch right around Mobile World Congress in February/March is up for debate, but here’s what we’re hearing about the device.
As always, take all of these rumors with a grain of salt. None of them are confirmed.
1. 4K screen
Samsung’s flagship phones were some of the first to ship with HD, then full HD and then Quad HD. 4K is the next frontier, but all those pixels won’t be useful for daily use. A 4K screen on a phone has more potential to be a killer mobile VR display.
The increased pixel density would mean sharper visuals in VR with less of the “screen door effect” that currently plagues Quad HD and lower resolution screens. Basically, VR worlds will look clearer and more realistic.
2. Faster performance
Increased performance is a given with every new Samsung phone. The S7, S7 Edge and Note7 all came in two variants: With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processors and with Samsung’s own Exynos chips for different regions.
The S8 may go with a similar regional difference. Perhaps they will be equipped with the Snapdragon 830 processor, an Exynos 8895 processor and Mali-G71 graphics chip, according to SamMobile. The graphics chip is said to be up to 1.8x more powerful than the one in the S7. Additionally, the chip is 4K and VR-ready.
Samsung might toss in more RAM, too, to help with the faster CPU and GPU and higher resolution screen.
3. Only curved screens?
By now it’s pretty clear the S7 Edge and the Note7’s curved glass screens are winners. Not only are they useful, but they’ve become a signature Samsung design that differentiates it from competing phones.
The curved edges also help make Samsung’s phones narrower so larger-screened phones aren’t physically larger.
One report says Samsung may not release an S8 with a flat screen.
4. Dual cameras?
Dual cameras are really popular right now. LG’s G5 and V20 and Huawei’s P9 and Honor 8 all have dual rear cameras. And so does the iPhone 7 Plus.
A recently filed patent suggests Samsung’s considering two cameras that are similar to the iPhone 7 Plus’s setup for improved zoom.
Samsung’s premium phones really set the bar high for future devices. Any features it removes for the S8 would feel like a step back.
While it’s possible the S8 will remove the headphone jack and go all-in on USB-C audio and wireless like the Moto Z series, Samsung made it a point to emphasize that its Note7 had a headphone jack at the device’s launch event.
Fast charging and fast wireless charging are likely to remain and same goes for IP68 water resistance.
Expandable storage returned this year and fans rejoiced. Surely, Samsung won’t piss fans off again.