Concept S8 image (left) - taller, curved display, eating into the S7/edge top and bottom bezels may explain the 5.8"/6.2" models rumor
What do you sаy we unleash the unbridled powers of our collective imagination, and try to envision how that rulebreaker of a phone - the Galaxy S8 - will look and behave compared to last year's darling flagship of Samsung, the Galaxy S7? Why not throw the S7 edge in the mix, too, since the S8 is tipped to come with two versions in different display diagonals, but no flat-screen option. Actually, the imagination needn't be that unbridled, as there is plenty of insider info tipped as leaks to various publications already, so we can make a pretty good educated guess as to how the Galaxy S8/Plus will pan out compared to the its S7/edge predecessor.
Drastically improved screen-to-body ratios, no flat screen version, better battery life, omnipotent Bixby virtual assistant, and a similar camera setup are most likely in store with the Galaxy S8 models that are said to be released in April, compared to their S7 and S7 edge predecessors.
When it comes to chassis materials, it's not expected that Samsung would stray much from the glass sandwich design of the S7 and S7 edge for the Galaxy S8. Here comes the big difference between the two editions, though - no flat screen option. The rumored Galaxy S8 models are said to arrive with minimum bezel area top and bottom, and curved screen sides, allowing them to fit flexible 5.8" and 6.2" panels on chassis barely larger than a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. We'll have to see that to believe it, but a drastic increase in screen-to-body ratio compared to the 2016 editions seems like a sure bet. The latest rumor pegs it at 83%, against the 72% of the S7 and 76% for the S7 edge, and this is corroborated by the leaked S8 Plus dimensions you see here. The curvature radius has allegedly been reduced compared to the S7 edge, though, to avoid inadvertent touches, similar to what Samsung did with the Note 7 and its symmetrical design paradigm.
Galaxy S8 vs S7/edge design and dimensions guesswork comparison
Placing the finger scanner here has merits, unless you are left-handed
This prediction is further enforced by the knowledge that Samsung could finally ditch the physical home button for good, and use on-screen navigation instead, with the finger scanner either of the under-glass type, or moving to the rear of the phone (more likely). Desk-dwellers might balk at placing the scanner on the back, as they now would have to pick the phone up each time they need to unlock it, but a lot of folks would rather have the fingerprint sensor there on big-screen phones, as it aids one-handed operation significantly while on the go. The front is likely to sport an iris scanner at the front as well, borrowed directly from the deceased Note 7 as another differentiator for the S8 when sized up with the S7.
Bixby button to the left
Moving along to the sides, a big change compared to the S7 could be the introduction of a dedicated physical key for launching Samsung's newly-minted Bixby virtual assistant. It could be situated under the volume keys on the left, and only underscores the importance that Samsung places on its upcoming (artificially) intelligent bot. Still, we hope that the eventual key is programmable, as we could think of other neat things to do with it, apart from launching Bixby.
The fun part about the rumored 5.8" and 6.2" Dual edge Quad HD Super AMOLED displays of the S8, compared to the S7 and S7 edge, is that they might come with 18.5:9, instead of the usual 16:9 aspect ratio, according to a serial leakster. It's not clear if that would be the ratio of the curved panels when unfurled, or if this is the flat part after a 16:9 screen is slightly bent to the sides, but in any case the resulting canvas could be close to the alleged LG G6 2:1 screen ratio, when accounting for the on-screen buttons. Other than that, the Quad HD resolution, high auto brightness mode, and color-credible Basic regime are likely to be common for both the S7 and S8.
Taller, much larger display with minimum curvature, housed in chassis barely bigger than those of the S7 or S7 edge - we'll take two, please!
Processor and memory
Samsung will likely release the S8 with Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chipsets, with the Exynos not even announced yet, so we focus on Qualcomm's chips in the comparison table below, with 820 being in Samsung's 2016 flagships. The octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset that is expected to be in the Galaxy S8 models here in the US, is up to 30% faster than the 820 in Galaxy S7 at the same clock speed, or it can be optimized to consume up to 40% less battery than 820, as it is done with the new 10nm process, instead of the 14nm 820.
In reality, Samsung will probably opt for a tradeoff, boosting the performance by ten or twenty percent, but throttling it enough to score battery consumption that could be a third lower than the processor in the S7. If the battery life score of the new A-series is any indication, the Galaxy S8 models should come with greatly improved running times compared to the S7 and S7 edge, despite the speculation that we won't get a bump in battery capacities.
LTE Category 16 (downlink)
LTE Category 13
LTE Category 13
CPU Clock Speed
Up to 2.45 GHz
Up to 2.4 GHz
Up to 2.2 GHz
8x Qualcomm Kryo 280
4x Qualcomm Kryo
4x Qualcomm Kryo
The RAM situation is a bit hazy for the moment, as we don't expect Samsung to go crazy with 8 GB dual channel DDR4 memory like some recent isolated incidents of a phone, but would probably stick with a 6 GB dual channel config at a maximum, or just keep the 4 GB units of the S7 which would be more than enough for any task. The basic storage is said to get a bump to 64 GB, instead of the 32 GB in the S7 and S7 edge, and, hopefully, a microSD card slot should be present as well, like on its predecessors.
S8 camera may add object recognition to the S7 shooter
The Dual Pixel focus system of the 12 MP S7 and S7 edge camera is already up with the best out there, so it's not expected that Samsung will change much in the camera department for the S8. We will likely have a similar 12 MP sensor with wide f/1.7 aperture, but some newer tricks thrown in, like Goggles-style object recognition, as per several rumors from different independent sources.
Given the expected new finger scanner placement, the LED flash and heart rate monitor's positions might be reshuffled on the back, but that's about it. It was heavily speculated that the S8 will come with a dual camera combo, but that setup is probably not yet ready for prime time in mass quantities, or Samsung could be keeping it as a differentiator for the eventual Note 8.
Price, release and takeaways
The Galaxy S8 models are said to arrive with about 100 USD or EUR higher prices than the starting tags of the Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, so $749 for the smaller one at the least, if this rumor holds water - those exclusive curved displays don't come cheap for Samsung. They do allow for some pretty amazing screen-to-body ratios, though, so if there is more display in the same footprint as the S7 or S7 edge, the higher price may be worth it, considering there will be a frugal 10nm processor inside as well.
The Galaxy S7 was announced on February 21st, and released March 11th, but these dates will apparently be pushed with a month or so for the S8, which is likely to be unveiled March 29th, and released to the stores in mid-April. Until then, the S7 and S7 edge will have to keep you warm and fuzzy on the inside.