Editor’s note: In this post, which will be updated regularly, we take a look at the most credible Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, specs, features, price rumors and reports.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are coming very soon. That means we’re seeing more and more leaks and rumors every day, making it difficult to judge what’s real and what’s probably fake.
In this latest batch of leaks, we’ve been able to see images and videos of both handsets out in the wild, as well as leaked slides detailing the on-screen buttons, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and more. Oh, and Samsung has finally confirmed the date that it will reveal the S8 and S8+ to the world, so now all we have to do is wait (and speculate a bit more, of course.) Join us as we analyze the most likely Galaxy S8 specs and features.
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Samsung Galaxy S8: release date
It’s official: Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S8 and S8+ on Wednesday, March 29 in New York City. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. We obviously still don’t have any firm availability details as of yet, though rumors have been pointing to a release date some time in April, most likely April 21, according to Korea’s ET News.
Samsung Galaxy S8: specs
Schematics generated by CNET Korea based on eyewitness accounts ‘confirm’ a lot of what we’ve recently been hearing about the Galaxy S8. They also reinforce what we saw in the image recently leaked by Evan Blass above. The schematics put the finger scanner on the back of the device next to the camera lens and feature a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone port and bottom firing speaker grill, just like the Galaxy S7. The schematics also reveal a new hardware button, presumably for calling up Bixby (more on that below).
Of course, none of the Galaxy S8 specs that follow are confirmed, but there are quite a few details that seem increasingly legitimate. We’re looking at two different-sized models — a smaller Galaxy S8 and larger Galaxy S8+ — both of which will feature a dual-curved Super AMOLED display (hence dropping the Edge moniker) with a tighter curve like that found on the Galaxy Note 7.
All of these details are further backed up by two recently-leaked spec sheets, coming to us from TechnoBuffalo and @evleaks. The images, attached above, appear to be a pretty credible look at the S8 and S8+’s specs. The sheets explain that the two phones will come with 5.8- and 6.2-inch displays (more on that below), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory and microSD support. Both images also say the devices will come with iris scanners, support for wireless charging, and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
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Rumored Galaxy S8 specs include a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chipset, depending on region, and Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box (for more on the SD 835, read this and this). Earlier reports put 6GB of RAM in the S8, but it now looks more likely that we’ll only be getting 4GB of RAM (at least in the base model, there might still be a 6GB version, if this report is to be believed).
Fortunately, most reports claim the base model storage will be bumped up to 64GB and some claim there will be a 128GB and even a 256GB model available. The Galaxy S8 will likely feature the new hybrid slot that supports both microSD expansion and Samsung’s new UFS memory cards.
Stereo speakers are expected to arrive on the S8, but Samsung has publicly stated Harman audio won’t appear on Galaxy devices until 2018. Despite earlier rumors claiming the S8 would ditch the 3.5mm headphone port, the most recent claims have it firmly installed in its rightful place, including the leaked photos and schematics shown above and below.
In addition, not only are the S8 and S8+ expected to launch with Google Daydream support, it’ll also be compatible with Samsung’s updated Gear VR headset with controller.
Three-coil wireless charging is expected to provide more efficient wireless fast charging, requiring less precision when placing the device on a wireless charger. If the S8 does use Qualcomm’s SD 835 chipset, it will also support Quick Charge 4 — which offers five hours of battery life in just five minutes.
In terms of battery capacity, that’s still up for debate. Blass and others have claimed a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. But recent news from South Korea suggests the Galaxy S8 battery will be slightly larger at 3,250mAh battery and 3,750mAh for the larger model. This claim is backed up by a report from The Investor, which claims the same 3,250 and 3,750mAh sizes.
Despite getting blamed, at least initially, for the Note 7 disaster, Samsung SDI will continue to supply the battery for the Galaxy S8, according to this report. If you have any concerns over this battery supplier being used in the Galaxy S8, take a look at Samsung’s notes on how it plans to avoid any future battery problems. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Samsung will also use batteries manufactured by Sony in the upcoming flagships. Aside from the Sony batteries (and of course the batteries from Samsung SDI), Murata Manufacturing is said to be supplying batteries, too.
According to a recent Galaxy Tab S3 system dump, we’re getting a better look (above) at the rumored desktop experience launching with the S8 called Samsung DeX. This new feature will allow you to connect a mouse, monitor and keyboard to your Galaxy S8 via a dock so you can use it more like a Windows PC, in a way similar to Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature.
In case that wasn’t enough, it looks like the S8 and S8+ could launch with wireless in-ear headphones from AKG. This rumor has been floating around since last year, and we’re now hearing more and more details about it, thanks to the recently-obtained spec sheets from TechnoBuffalo.
Samsung Galaxy S8: display
We’ve all heard the claim that the Galaxy S8 will feature a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and some of the latest leaked images and schematics certainly seem to confirm that claim, with very thin bezels above and below the display. This has been made possible by removing the physical home button (see below).
The Galaxy S8 was originally rumored to stick with the same diagonal screen size found on the Galaxy S7 family: 5.1 and 5.5 inches. However, following an earlier report that the Galaxy S8 screen size would be increased to attract Note 7 fans looking for a larger screened device, we’re now looking at increasing evidence for a 5.8- and 6.2-inch diagonal.
According to the two leaked spec sheets that you can find above, the Galaxy S8 will supposedly have a 5.8-inch (full rectangle)/5.6-inch (rounded corners) Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, while the S8+ will have a 6.2-inch (full rectangle)/6.1-inch (rounded corners) display. These are certainly some of the more credible display rumors we’ve received thus far.
The Galaxy S8 is expected to feature an 18.5:9 aspect ratio (rather than the standard 16:9), which will become something closer to the 2:1 aspect ratio on the LG G6 if you account for on-screen buttons.
Note that the display diagonal measurements given in the schematics (above) seem to be for the flat part of the screen though, with the curved part making up the difference. This obviously affects screen-to-body ratio calculations, which, for the given values, are closer to 85 percent rather than 90 percent.
In case you don’t want to believe the schematics, two new videos of the S8 have leaked out, showing the device in the real world. In the short video attached above (via MobileFunTV), we see the device in working order. While the user only presses a few buttons on the display, we do get a better look at all the features we’ve been hearing about in recent rumors: the edge-to-edge display, lack of physical home button, as well as the sensors on top that likely house the front-facing camera module and iris scanner.
The video below comes to us from Slashleaks, giving us a better look at the hardware of the S8 and S8+ in black. We get a brief glimpse of the always-on display, on-screen navigation buttons, and the back of the devices. This video may not be super informative to some, but it does reveal one thing – a few recent leaked images have given us a good look at the S8’s on-screen buttons, but in the “wrong” order (recent apps key on the left, back button on the right). But in the videos attached above and below, it looks like users will be able to swap around the order of the on-screen keys, like you can do with other devices on the market.
This video from Samsung Display (also attached below) provides a nice example of what to expect from the Galaxy S8 in terms of display and screen to body ratio, even though the phone in the video is just a concept meant to showcase recent display innovations from Samsung Display.
In terms of definition, both 4K and QHD resolutions had been bandied about in the early days, but most have settled on QHD in recent times, possibly due to changes in display tech. The Galaxy S8 display will be Super AMOLED yet again but it’s rumored to make the jump to an M8 OLED material, offering better energy efficiency and longer display life.
Some also claim the S8 will use an RGB pixel array rather than a Diamond Pentile pattern. This will bump the pixel density up significantly (from 7,372, 800 to 11,059,200), which will benefit virtual reality fans greatly. The Galaxy S8 will of course be compatible with the new Gear VR with its USB Type-C connection.
As far as the screen itself goes, the Galaxy S8 is expected to use the same Y-OCTA display technology as that found in the Galaxy Note 7, whereby the touch layer is bonded to the display glass during production, allowing for a marginally thinner device and lower production costs.
Samsung Galaxy S8: home button
The front of the Galaxy S8 will be one smooth, uninterrupted sheet of glass, with no physical home button due to the finger sensor being located on the back of the device and the larger display up front. A recent leaked image, obtained by SamMobile, tells us that instead of the software home button only showing up when the display is turned on, the button will instead remain visible as part of the S8’s always-on display. This is so you’ll be able to tap the on-screen button to wake the device. The button will also reportedly be able to be double tapped to quickly launch the camera, similar to the camera shortcut on Nexus and Pixel devices.
So where is the fingerprint sensor going to be placed? Well, just about every rumor and leaked image seems to report that the fingerprint sensor will be placed in an odd spot, to the right of the camera module on the back. The leaked image from that reported Galaxy Tab S3 system dump, attached above, not only gives us a good look at the on-screen buttons, but also the rear-facing camera sensor, heart rate sensor (on the left) and fingerprint sensor (on the right).
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Samsung Galaxy S8: AI features
Samsung’s VP of mobile communications went on record a while back, promising an “enhanced artificial intelligence service” for the Galaxy S8. Following Samsung’s recent acquisition of AI firm Viv Labs, the company admitted that it was bringing a new AI digital assistant to the Galaxy S8 and other Samsung products. Since then, we’ve heard more reports about Bixby and Kestra, the male and female voices Samsung trademarked for its new voice assistant.
A recent report from The Wall Street Journal claims that the new Bixby assistant will be based on Samsung’s S Voice, not Viv Labs. The Bixby software was previously speculated to be built by Viv Labs, but according to the report, the virtual assistant has instead been upgraded from S Voice by Samsung engineers over the past few months. Samsung’s S Voice is the personal assistant preloaded on its devices since the Galaxy S3; the software hasn’t been able to stay toe-to-toe with the likes of Siri and Google Now in recent years (if it ever could) and Samsung is expected to deliver a more competitive assistant with Bixby.
Samsung Bixby will reportedly also be able to handle your mobile payments using voice commands alone, courtesy of a feature called Bixby Pay. Samsung has also commented previously on being able to use its new voice assistant to order a pizza or request an Uber. All of this will be achievable through Bixby alone, without needing to launch your pizza app or Uber. It’s possible that all the apps pre-installed on the Galaxy S8 will be accessible through Bixby.
Furthermore, the platform on which Bixby is built supports IoT devices and will be used to connect smart appliances, mobile devices and more. With this in mind, Bixby might end up being a phone-based competitor to the likes of Google Home or Amazon Alexa rather than Siri or Cortana.
Bixby will also reportedly support a total of eight languages at launch, including English, Korean, Chinese, and five other unspecified languages.
One report cast doubt over the Bixby integration rumor, but we still think that AI will be a big part of the Galaxy S8’s feature set. Bixby is also claimed to be capable of performing visual searches.
On a related note, S Health, Samsung’s fitness app, will reportedly be updated to allow users to make doctor’s appointments and look up medical issues, presumably with your voice.
Samsung Galaxy S8: camera
The Galaxy S8 had previously been rumored to feature an improved dual-lens camera with reports out of South Korea claiming Samsung was opting for two 16MP cameras on the back with an 8MP front-facing camera. Other claims put dual 12MP cameras on the back. However, since then, Bloomberg reports that the dual camera setup has been scrapped due to high manufacturing costs. The same seems confirmed by the leaked images and schematics.
The Bloomberg report seems to clash with the leaked spec sheets from TechnoBuffalo and @evleaks, though. Those leaks point to both devices sporting 12MP “Dual Pixel” main cameras. It’s possible those leaked spec sheets are outdated, which could explain the reason for the conflicting rumors.
Samsung is, however, said to be working on a new camera with a super-wide f/1.4 aperture but we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s what makes it into the Galaxy S8 or if we get a 12 MP f/1.7 camera.
The front-facing camera is expected to feature smart auto-focus, with Samsung recently trademarking the term Smart AF. Equally possible is the inclusion of the Smart Glow notification ring and selfie illumination solution from the Galaxy J2.
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Samsung Galaxy S8: price
According to a report on VentureBeat, the Galaxy S8 range will have an additional €100 added to last year’s price tag. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 will reportedly cost €799 (roughly $854.50) and the 6.2-inch version will be priced at €899 (roughly $961.71).
A leaked screenshot (above) from a Ukrainian retailer gives us more potential pricing info. According to the screenshot, the Galaxy S8 (SM-G950) will retail for UAH 25,999 (~$950), while the S8+ (SM-G955) will go for UAH 28,999 (~$1,050). If true, these prices mean the S8 range will be significantly more expensive than the Ukrainian prices for the S7 family, which sat around the UAH 18-20,000 mark for a 32GB model.
However, it is worth mentioning that in general smartphones are more expensive in Europe than they are in the US, mainly because of higher taxes, so we wouldn’t advise placing too much emphasis on the US conversions for these figures. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will more affordable in the US, but will likely still be $100 more expensive than the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Whatever the price may be, Samsung expects the Galaxy S8+ to outsell the Galaxy S8 by a pretty big margin.
This screenshot also gives us an idea on the S8 and S8+’s color options; the screenshot says the devices will be available in Black, Gold and Orchid Gray.
If Samsung goes all out on the Galaxy S8 it’s reasonable to believe that the price might go up due to increased component costs or simply to maximize profit. Regardless of the reasoning, the S8 is Samsung’s flagship, so a high price tag is guaranteed.
Read: Hands-on with the Galaxy S8’s biggest rival, the LG G6
There you have it for our take on the most credible Samsung Galaxy S8 specs, features, release date and price rumors. What do you think of the device so far?