Jan 26th, 2017

Rumors regarding the Samsung Galaxy S8 have been springing out of the woodworks every day, and today we finally have our first look. Thanks to Evan Blass at VentureBeat, the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus can be seen in all their glory.

Image courtesy of VentureBeat

Without diving into specifics yet, the above image confirms many rumors, while leaving a few questions for us. First and foremost, Samsung has finally gotten rid of the home button which has been on many devices, and housed the company’s fingerprint scanner.

Speaking of the fingerprint scanner, since the home button has been removed, the first assumption to be made is that the device would feature a biometric fingerprint sensor under the display. However, on closer inspection, it appears that there is a sensor to the right of the camera which may be for your fingerprints.

The camera and flash placement is close to that of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung S7 Edge, which is not surprising. What’s questionable is why Samsung opted to place the fingerprint scanner alongside the camera, versus placing it below, as many OEMs have done.

Moving further down the devices we see a speaker grill which will be on the right-hand side. In the middle, we see a USB Type-C charger, which refutes reports that Samsung would stick with microUSB for its charging purposes. Finally, lovers of the 3.5mm headphone jack can rejoice at the return of the port.

Now for the specs. Blass has shared that the displays for the S8 and S8 Plus will measure in at 5.8 and 6.2-inches. Samsung will be using Super AMOLED panels which will “cover 83% of their front panels”. Finally, both devices will feature curved displays, much like we’ve seen with the Edge lineup, as well as the recalled Note 7.

It’s important to note that despite the larger screen sizes, the width of the devices will match up with those of its predecessor, the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge. The larger screen sizes also changes the aspect ratio from the industry standard of 16:9 to 18.5:9.

Lastly, the pressure-sensitive input technology known as force touch is finally coming to the Galaxy brand, with the lower part of the display supposedly capable of distinguishing between different types of screen presses.

Blass is also reporting that Samsung’s displays will be pressure-sensitive. This is a feature that was rumored for previous iterations of the Galaxy lineup, but it seems the Galaxy S8 will be the first for Samsung.

We’ve seen rumors regarding Samsung “hoarding” all of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 825 processors for the Galaxy S8 lineup, and according to Blass, this processor will be at the helm. Samsung will also be implementing its own Exynos processor in devices, depending upon the market.

Regarding the RAM and storage options, Samsung has opted to pack the Galaxy S8 lineup with 4GB of RAM, which is a bit surprising considering more and more devices are launching with at least 6GB. Luckily, Samsung is upping the ante in terms of the storage, with the base option coming in at 64GB. There will also be an included microSD card slot, with support of up to a 256GB card.

The battery for the 5.8-inch model will measure in at 3,000mAh, while the 6.2-inch variant comes in at 3,5mAh. As we can see in the image above, the devices will include USB Type-C, and we’ll likely see some type of fast charging capabilities.

The Galaxy S8 will feature a rear-facing camera coming in at 12MP, while an 8MP camera will adorn the front. Blass claims that these won’t provide “resolution improvements compared to that Galaxy S7”, but there are other changes being made.

The first change is another rumor that we’ve been hearing in regards to the rear camera acting similar to Google Goggles. This will allow users to search objects with the camera, and then icons will appear on the display that “allow the user to indicate the type of search being performed.” The front camera will feature the iris scanning functionality that was introduced with the Galaxy Note 7.

Now we come to Samsung’s new personal assistant, Bixby. Despite not being able to see the button from the image above, Blass claims that the Galaxy S8 lineup will feature a new hardware button which activates Bixby. The new AI assistant is also said to be able to “handle more complex commands than its competitors, such as multi-part instructions”.

Finally, the Galaxy S8 lineup is said to be announced at an Samsung Unpacked event on March 29th in New York City. This may provide a similar atmosphere to that of the Galaxy Note 7 which was announced at an Unpacked event in New York last year.

[VentureBeat]

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