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 details regarding the price, camera, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and more. Join us as we analyze the most likely Galaxy S8 specs and features.
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. Reportedly, the Canadian release date is pegged for April 28.
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 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.
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). Earlier reports put 6GB of RAM in the S8, but it now looks more likely that we’ll only be getting 4GB of RAM with a 6GB of RAM model being released in China only.
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, this will be in place on the S8 and S8+, and these are the AKG headphones coming with them.
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. Recent news from The Wall Street Journal indicates 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.
As indicated by a Galaxy Tab S3 system dump, the S8 might be launching with compatibility for a desktop feature known as Samsung DeX (see image above). 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. Speculation suggests the dock will launch for 150 euros (~$162).
Samsung Galaxy S8: display
We’ve all heard the claim that the Galaxy S8 will feature a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and most of the 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 believed 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.
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
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 suggests 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).
Here is a video, via GSMArena, which supposedly shows that fingerprint scanner in action:
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.
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 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 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.
Bixby will also reportedly support a total of eight languages at launch, including English, Korean, Chinese, and five other unspecified languages. It’s said to be capable of performing visual searches, and Samsung has stated that it will have a dedicated button on the S8 and S8+, as had been rumored.
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. A report from Naver would seemingly corroborate this, suggesting that there’ll be a 12 MP rear camera which can 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 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.
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: price
According to a report 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 a few days ago 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.
A leaked screenshot (above) from a Ukrainian retailer provides further potential pricing info. The screenshot indicates that 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. This screenshot also gives us an idea on the S8 and S8+’s color options; the image attached above says the devices will be available in Black, Gold and Orchid Gray. It may come in a total of five colors.
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.
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.
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?