One of the biggest highlights of Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona on 26 February 2017 was Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) announcing that they would be unveiling their next generation flagship smartphone by the end of March. Widely expected to be called the Samsung Galaxy S8, it is one of the most hotly anticipated products of the tech industry this year.
While any extensive details about the Galaxy S8 are shrouded in secrecy, there has been plenty of conjecture from several sources and speculation is rife about what innovation Samsung will bring to the table this time around. Among all this, a few leaked videos of Galaxy S8 have surfaced which supposedly showcase what are the new features of Galaxy S8.
Here are a few things we can expect from Samsung’s new top dog.
Leaked Videos of Galaxy S8 Showcase What to Expect
Sam Mobile recently uploaded videos which presumably show off the design and some new features of the Galaxy S8 smartphone. The videos are short, but they showcase a striking new design featuring minimalistic bezels with the trademark curved edge screens. Samsung seems to have decided to remove the home button completely, instead opting to place the fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone, following in the recent trend established by companies such as Google and Oneplus. Aesthetically the phone looks pretty spectacular, with a huge display-to-body ratio and a seamless metal and glass construction. Samsung’s evolving design language seems to have created a thing of beauty.
Another new feature on exhibition was the Always On Display (AOD), which first debuted on the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. Samsung, however, looks to have innovated on it, with new features like the ability to display pictures and a more vibrant display being some of the improvements.
Techradar notes that Samsung may only release the Galaxy S8 with curved screen variants, choosing to eschew a flat screen version of the S8 completely. Instead, Samsung will likely roll out two models of the Galaxy S8 with screen sizes of 5.1 inches and 5.5 inches respectively. This is likely a direct response to competitors like Apple who release their flagship smartphones in two different sizes.
One of the most hyped and anticipated features of the Galaxy S8 is the upgrade to a 4K display. Samsung has invested heavily in the VR scene with its Gear VR headset, and the new Samsung Gear VR with controller in partnership with Oculus is set to continue that trend. A 4K display would be instrumental in improving the mobile virtual reality experience and elevating it from a gimmick to a genuine selling point for the Galaxy S8.
Other rumoured improvements include a dual camera setup to challenge Apple’s offering, an 8MP front-facing camera (up from 5 MP in the Galaxy S7), an iris scanner, USB type – C and a larger battery.
Powering all this hardware will be the latest processors from Snapdragon and Exynos. The US models of the Galaxy S8 could be equipped with the rumoured Snapdragon 830, an octa-core processor clocked at 3.2 GHz. Non-US variants could be equipped with the new Exynos 8895 processor which is clocked at 3.0 GHz. Also paired with these processors will be an enormous 6 GB of RAM.
The Way Forward for Samsung
This is a crucial juncture for Samsung’s smartphone division. The successful launch of the Galaxy S8 is of immense importance to Samsung, especially in the context of the last year. The launch and subsequent recall of the Galaxy Note 7 was an unmitigated disaster for Samsung, costing them $2.3 billion in only two months. This has afforded the opportunity for Apple, Samsung’s biggest rival, to gain ground on their rivals and beat them in smartphone shipments for the first time in 5 years. Dazeinfo outlines how Samsung experienced a decline of 5.2% year over year decline in smartphone shipments, while Apple experienced a 4.7% YoY growth to beat Samsung in smartphone shipments worldwide in Q4 2016.
Despite this setback, however, customers have stuck by Samsung and have remained loyal to them. According to a recent poll by Reuters, 91% of the current Samsung smartphone users are likely to purchase their next smartphone from Samsung only. Also, 92% of users are likely to buy another Samsung product in general. The Note 7 fiasco may have hurt Samsung monetarily, but it seems that their brand value has remained unblemished.
Nevertheless, Samsung is under a microscope and all eyes are trained on the launch of the Galaxy S8. In order to stay ahead and maintain their dominance in the market, it is essential that Samsung gets it right this time. Depending on how successful the Galaxy S8 turns out to be, we may see a new market leader emerge, or we may see Samsung solidifying their position as de facto leaders in the smartphone industry.