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.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is only days away: they’ll be unveiled on March 29 at a New York event beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Though this will be their first official appearance, we’ve already heard numerous reports and seen many images of the upcoming devices. Below, we’ve outlined everything we know so far about the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
Samsung Galaxy S8: release date
Though we don’t have any firm availability details for the S8 and S8 Plus just yet, rumors have been pointing to a release date sometime in April, most likely April 21, with pre-orders starting from April 10. Reportedly, the Canadian release date is pegged for April 28.
If you want to stay up to date with Galaxy S8 launch event on Wednesday, you can download the Samsung’s dedicated Unpacked app from the Play Store here.
Samsung Galaxy S8: specs
None of the Galaxy S8 specs that follow have been confirmed, but many are almost certainly going to appear.
We’re expecting 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.
It looks like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will have a 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. They are also expected to have a new hardware button for calling up Samsung’s new digital A.I. known as Bixby (more on that below).
The sheets reveal that the two phones will come with 5.8- and 6.2-inch displays, 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 have an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
Other rumored Galaxy S8 specs include a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chipset, depending on the region, and Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box (for more on the SD 835, read this and this). There may also be a 4GB of RAM model with a 6GB of RAM being released in China only.
Further, some claim that there will be a 128GB and even a 256GB models available, and that the Galaxy S8 will likely feature the new hybrid slot that supports both microSD expansion and Samsung’s new UFS memory cards.
Samsung has publicly stated Harman audio won’t appear on Galaxy devices until 2018, but we’ve seen the AKG headphones coming with the new S8s.
The S8 and S8+ are also expected to launch with Google Daydream support, as well as being compatible with Samsung’s updated Gear VR headset with controller.
Three-coil wireless charging may be in store 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, the most likely outcome is a 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh battery for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ respectively, though this has been debated since the beginning of these rumors.
The S8 is said to be launching with compatibility for a desktop feature known as Samsung DeX. This new feature will allow you to connect a mouse, monitor and keyboard to your Galaxy S8 via a dock (pictured above) so you can use it more like a Windows PC, in a way similar to Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature. Speculation suggests the dock will launch for 150 euros (~$162).
Samsung Galaxy S8: display
There was an early suggestion that the Galaxy S8 would feature a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and most of the leaked images and schematics certainly seem to corroborate this (just about), with very thin bezels above and below the display. This has been made possible by removing the physical home button from the device.
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.
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. In addition, it is believed to feature a maximum resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, with options to reduce this to 2220 x 1080 or 1480 x 720 from the settings menu.
We’ve seen a number of Galaxy S8 video leaks showing the device in the real world. In the short video attached above (via MobileFunTV), we see the device in working order. This gives us a decent look at some of the features we’ve heard 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, meanwhile, which comes to us from Slashleaks, gives 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. It also indicates that users will be able to swap around the order of the on-screen keys like you can do with other devices on the market.
In addition, one report indicates that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ may feature force touch-like capabilities. This is believed to be built only into the navigation bar at the bottom of the handset, however, and would allow for things like a strong press to wake the device, rather than a simple tap. The result could mean less device waking when it’s being carried in a pocket, for example.
Samsung Galaxy S8: home button
A recently 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.
Just about every rumor and leaked image suggest that the fingerprint sensor will be placed in an unconventional spot to the right of the camera module on the back of the handset. Here is a video, via GSMArena, which supposedly shows that fingerprint scanner in action:
Samsung Galaxy S8: camera
Leaked spec sheets from TechnoBuffalo and @evleaks suggest that both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will sport 12MP “Dual Pixel” main cameras. This is believed to have an f/1.7 aperture, and a report from Naver suggests that it will record at 1,000 FPS (super slo-mo). The same source speculates that the front facing camera will come in at 8 MP.
The front-facing camera may 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.
Finally, Samsung is said to be prepping facial recognition technology for the S8 and S8+, ultimately to allow for authenticated payments. Apparently, this feature would not make the initial release, however, and instead would be made available via an OTA update later.
Samsung Galaxy S8: AI features
Following Samsung’s recent acquisition of AI firm Viv Labs, Samsung 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.
Samsung has now officially announced the new Bixby assistant, however, it appears that it is not based on the newly acquired Viv Labs tech. It’s believed instead to have been built from Samsung’s previous S Voice system.
In a lengthy blog post, Samsung outlined how it intends for its AI assistant to deliver “completeness”, “context awareness” and “cognitive tolerance,” but it still leaves much to speculate about in terms of real-world application. “At its core, Bixby will help remove friction,” Samsung wrote. “It will simplify user education with new voice interfaces and will make using your phone even more seamless and intuitive.”
Samsung Bixby will reportedly 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 may be achievable through Bixby alone, without needing to launch your pizza app or Uber. Samsung also says a “handful” of system apps on the S8 and S8+ will be Bixby-enabled, meaning that users will be able to control them with voice commands
Furthermore, Samsung has confirmed that the platform on which Bixby is built supports IoT devices and will be used to connect smart appliances, mobile devices and more in future. 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.
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: price
According to news from VentureBeat in January, 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). These figures were reaffirmed only recently by Evan Blass, who wrote the original piece for VB.
This is backed up by leaker Roland Quandt who claims the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be out in Black, Silver and Violet color options in Europe for €799 and €899 respectively. It may come in a total of five colors or more.
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+ 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, reports signal that Samsung expects to sell huge volumes of the device at launch, more so than their popular predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
As a final tidbit, Samsung may introduce a new protection program with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in some territories called Samsung Guard S8. This may include two-hour repairs, a one-time free display replacement, and “remote support.” Samsung could also allow returns for up to three months after the initial handset purchase as another way to sweeten the deal.
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?