The Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be one of Samsung’s biggest flagship phones of all time, especially after the troubled Galaxy Note 7 went down like a lead balloon tied to a concrete elephant. Here’s everything we (think we) know about the Galaxy S8 so far, including leaked and rumoured specs, UK price, launch date and more.
In the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 disaster, the Galaxy S8 will undoubtedly be the most important phone that Samsung has ever launched. Even people who have zero interest in tech have seen or heard the Note 7 headlines, be it in their favourite paper, news show or even word of mouth. Which means that cautious consumers may think twice about laying down hard cash for another Samsung phone in 2017.
But that’s exactly why we’re expecting Samsung to defy its critics with the Galaxy S8. After all, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are two of the very best Android handsets of 2016, and the Note 7 packed some truly brilliant features and specs – it would have been a masterpiece, if there wasn’t a slender chance of the thing melting your face a bit.
Here’s why the Samsung Galaxy S8 could be the best mobile of 2017, and well worth rejoining the Samsung fold for.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Specs so far
|Phone||Samsung Galaxy S8|
|Screen resolution||Quad HD|
|Fingerprint sensor?||Yes, built into the screen|
|Rear camera||12MP f/1.7|
Samsung Galaxy S8: Design and screen rumours
When it comes to design, it looks like all future Samsung flagships will come with the funky Edge design of previous generations. So while last year’s flagship came as a bog-standard S7 as well as the funky curved-screen S7 Edge, 2017 will see the ‘Edge’ model ditched and the curved screens built into the standard phone instead.
With that second flagship model eliminated, we might see Samsung launch a new ‘Plus’ or ‘Mini’ version of the Galaxy S8 instead. We’d personally love to see a fully-specced Galaxy S8 Mini, similar to Sony’s Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia X Compact – pretty much the same specs, condensed into a smaller, more easy-to-handle frame.
However, we’re far more likely to see a Galaxy S8 Plus, to fill the massive hole left by the Note 7. Chances are a Galaxy S8 Plus won’t come packing a stylus like the Note 7, but it should boast a bigger screen. Right now rumours point to a mighty 5.8-inch panel on the standard S8 and a 6.2-inch screen on the S8 Plus.
Some rumours have suggested that the standard Galaxy S8 might pack a 4K display, despite the fact that the S7’s Quad HD panel is already sharp enough for everyday use and 4K could be a serious power drain (as we discovered with the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium).
However, Samsung is clearly pushing VR onto its mobile audience, offering free Gear VR headsets to early bird customers. Even with a super-crisp Quad HD resolution, the Galaxy S7’s visuals still weren’t perfectly sharp when you strapped the phone to your face for some virtual reality play time. A 4K resolution screen would sort that problem out immediately.
Recent leaks suggest that Samsung has sensibly stuck with a Quad HD resolution however.
We’ve also heard rumours of Samsung slimming down its flagship phone design, and one way it’s doing that could be the removal of the home button from beneath the screen. The fingerprint sensor could therefore be built into the screen itself. In fact, most recent Galaxy S8 leaks suggest that the display will practically fill the entire front panel of the phone, leaving next to no bezels – and therefore no wasted real estate.
Good news for clumsy types too, as the Galaxy S8 will likely once again be water resistant. We’re also likely to see a return of Samsung’s brilliant iris scanner, first revealed on the Note 7.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Performance and battery life
Rumours suggest the Galaxy S8 will come packing either the Snapdragon 835 processor, which Qualcomm launched just last month, or a slightly older version such as the Snapdraon 821 depending on how quickly the chips can be produced.
Asian regions will likely get a brand new Exynos processor stuffed inside the Galaxy S8 instead. This will be a chipset of Samsung’s own creation, likely using the same 10-nanometer process node as the Snapdragon 835; after all, Qualcomm crafted that processor in collaboration with Samsung.
Either way, you can expect the Galaxy S8 to be one of the most powerful mobiles of 2017, despite its early release date.
You can expect USB Type-C for charging (also found on the Note 7 but not on the S7), with support for a much-improved form of quick charging. So far there’s been no solid word on the Galaxy S8’s battery size, however.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Cameras
Samsung really blew us all away with the Galaxy S8’s excellent optics, which captured gorgeous 4K footage and crisp, colourful photos in pretty much any conditions. It’s still one of the best camera phones you can buy, proving especially capable in low light.
So for the Galaxy S8, we’re expecting big things. Rumours so far suggest the S8 will boast another 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture lens, boasting some fresh new Samsung features. And around the front we’ll have an 8-megapixel snapper that can capture even more detailed and accurate selfies, even in low light.
Samsung Galaxy S8: How will the S8 compare with the Galaxy S7?
You can expect plenty of new features packed into the Galaxy S8 which weren’t found on the 2016 Galaxy S7. Specs across the board will also be updated, so you can expect a boost in performance, camera quality and more. Here’s hoping we also get longer-lasting battery life and much improved charging rates.
Check out our Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S7 comparison for full details of how the Galaxy S8 will compare with the Galaxy S7.
Samsung Galaxy S8: When will the Galaxy S8 be launched in the UK?
Samsung is launching the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on March 29. There will be launch events in London and New York simultaneously, although we’re still waiting on a specific time. You can expect the event to kick off around 6-7pm UK time.
Samsung Galaxy S8: UK price and release date
The Galaxy S8 will hit the UK in April 2017, starting at £799.
We’re constantly updating this article as we hear more about the Samsung Galaxy S8.