Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will be unveiled on March 29th, according to a new report from Venture Beat that also includes the first photo we’ve seen of the coming flagship. The back of the device is very similar to last year’s Galaxy S7 (with the exception being a relocated fingerprint sensor), but the front marks a fairly radical departure from Samsung’s typical design. Gone are the physical home button and touch-sensitive navigation buttons; instead, a large, curved display that seemingly runs edge to edge dominates the Galaxy S8. Samsung is said to be planning a worldwide April 21st release for the device.
Venture Beat’s report closely aligns with a recent scoop by The Guardian that revealed some of Samsung’s key plans for the Galaxy S8. The company is planning two screen sizes (5.8- and 6.2-inches) for the S8, its first flagship smartphone to follow last year’s Note 7 debacle. The big “infinity display” screens — larger than even the Note’s 5.7-inch display — have an unconventional aspect ratio of 18.5:9, according to the reports. That design decision should help the devices feel fairly similar to last year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the hand. According to both reports, the hardware specs of Samsung’s upcoming phone break down like this:
- Display: 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch QHD AMOLED display
- Cameras: 12-megapixel f/1.7 rear camera, 8-megapixel f/1.7 front
- Processor: Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos (varies by market)
- Storage: 64GB with microSD expansion
- Memory: 4GB
- Battery: 3000mAh (5.8-inch model) or 3500mAh (6.2-inch model)
- Other: Headphone jack, USB Type-C, water resistance
Samsung is planning a feature resembling Windows Continuum that will give the Galaxy S8 desktop PC-like functionality when plugged into an optional HDMI dock, the report says. And the phone will have a dedicated button to activate Samsung’s own take on the personal assistant, reportedly called Bixby, a new feature made possible by the company’s acquisition of Viv Labs in 2016. Venture Beat claims Bixby is “said to be able to handle more complex commands than its competitors” like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. New to the S8 is a USB-C jack, and Samsung is indeed keeping the headphone jack around.
The cameras will reportedly go largely unchanged from last year’s models, but will gain new software features; the iris scanner first seen in the recalled Note 7 will also be carried over to Samsung’s latest smartphone. The device might be priced higher than the S7 that it’s succeeding; we should know more about that when Samsung holds its yet-to-be-announced Unpacked event in New York City in March. You can bet the company will spend plenty of time discussing precautions it has taken with the S8 to avoid another battery disaster.