Update: New images show off the Samsung Galaxy S8 from the front and back, while we’ve also seen further evidence of on-screen buttons and a desktop mode. And if you’re in a rush, but need to know all about the S8, you can check out our rumor roundup videos below!
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was almost everything we hoped for, with improvements throughout leading it to be one of the most powerful, stylish and all round accomplished smartphones on the market.
It may have scored five stars in our in-depth review, but there’s always room for improvement and based on the rumors so far that’s exactly what we’ll get from the Samsung Galaxy S8,
With talk of a new AI assistant, dual-lens camera, upgraded screen, no physical home button and a rear mounted fingerprint scanner there’s plenty of information already leaked about the next Galaxy smartphone.
We also have a wish list for what we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S8 on the next page – plus, we’d love to hear what you think, so let us know in the comments below and we’ll furiously email them to Samsung.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung’s next flagship smartphone
- When is it out? Rumors say March 29 launch, April 21 release date
- What will it cost? Maybe $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120)
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundups
In a hurry? Then check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundup videos for all the key details on the next generation flagship smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors: Part 1
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors: Part 2
Samsung Galaxy S8 release date
- No MWC announcement, but maybe a video tease
- March 29 currently tipped as Galaxy S8 launch date
Samsung typically announces new phones at the end of February, but its mobile president confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t be announced at MWC 2017 – well, not announced in full at least.
Instead, we’ll see the new Android Nougat phone teased in a one-minute video at the event on February 26, according to a new report out of Korea. Most of the company’s MWC press conference will focus on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
Expect 60 seconds a slowly rotating smartphone draped in dark shadows and have it all accompanied by booming music. Maybe even a tagline like ‘The next big thing just got even bigger,’ alluding to a larger display size.
The official launch date may happen a little more than one month later, with the newest believable leaks saying it’ll be a March 29 launch event in New York that outs the new Samsung phone. The actual Galaxy S8 release date in stores is expected to be April 21.
Samsung’s biggest phones typically go through a one month lag time between their announcement and actual shipment dates, so that part at least checks out.
Of course, we’ve also heard about other possible release dates, including April 18. Either way, Samsung isn’t launching its phone as soon as it usually does.
The much larger Samsung Galaxy S8, according to the latest leaked photo (Photo Credit: Evan Blass)
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 on a two-year contract, you’re going to want to hold onto it for a few more weeks instead of upgrading to the older Galaxy S7. There will be phones like the LG G6 and BlackBerry Mercury trying to tempt you away in the meantime.
The later Samsung Galaxy S8 release date doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been delayed. It could be that the company wants to host a separate event or wait for the very latest specs to build the best phone possible.
It also taking extra time to focus on what caused the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s flammable faults – an investigation which has now been completed.
One thing we can say with some certainty though is whenever it launches, Samsung’s next phone will indeed be called the Galaxy S8, as Samsung has filed an application with the USPTO to protect exactly that.
TechRadar’s take: The March 29 launch date comes from reliable leakers, and the April 21 release date makes sense since it’s nearly one month later. Expect more Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks during MWC, even though it’s not there for the public to see outside of a 60-second teaser video.
- We got bored of waiting so we spent some time creating our own video render – here’s how the phone should look:
Samsung Galaxy S8 news and rumors
You can find plenty of Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors on the internet right now, and some are likely accurate. Others we’re skeptical about.
To cut through the noise, we’ve amassed all of the major leaks onto this page and are going to do our best to determine fact vs fiction.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S8 going to have a 4K screen, a cutting-edge Snapdragon chipset and 6GB of RAM? How about an even better camera, iris scanner and foldable screen?
Some of this stuff is true, others are a better fit for the Samsung Galaxy S9. Here are the latest rumors.
Samsung Galaxy S8 screen
- No flat version
- 4K resolution or Quad HD
- New 5.8 and 6.2-inch screen size
- Super wide 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Samsung Galaxy S8 may give everyone what they want: a bigger screen without making the phone dimensions any larger. Is it finally happening?
It’s going to come in two sizes, one with a 5.8-inch display and another with a 6.2-inch screen, both with curves and a Quad HD resolution, according to a leak obtained by VentureBeat.
That would make the Galaxy S8 display – in either size – larger than the 5.7-inch Note 7. Don’t worry, it’s not actually going to be any more massive.
The phone is said to max out the screen real estate by ditching the home button at the bottom and that always-gaudy Samsung logo at the top.
This is very close to an all-screen phone that nearly defeats screen bezel, as you can partially see in the leaked image above. If true, it’ll have a wider 18.5:9 aspect ratio, not the 16:9 standard widescreen ratio.
It’s going to be interesting to see how movies look on it. The all-screen theory has been backed up by leaked images of tempered glass screen protectors, shared by DforDesign, and a more recent, similar image, and even some images of the protectors on the phone, shared by @VenyaGeskin1, which you can see below, so this rumor seems strong.
While the physical home button may be ditched, it’s likely that we’ll see some software buttons on the screen, much like those in the image below, found in a system dump for the unreleased Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.
Credit: Android Police
(Image: © Android Police)
What about that fabled Samsung Galaxy S8 with a 4K screen?
Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the electronics giant, has already shown off a 5.5-inch 2160 x 3840 screen, which comes in at a pin sharp 806 pixels per inch.
There’s no guarantee the Galaxy S8 will get this screen, but it’s clearly been designed for premium phones, and none get more premium than the S8.
Samsung is making a big push into VR with its Gear VR headset and one thing it really needs to make the most of that is a higher-resolution phone screen.
You don’t need a 4K screen for everyday phone use. But when a screen is two inches from your face, even with a sharp Quad HD panel, it appears pixelated.
4K resolutions in phones are the future for this reason. Whether it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 remains to be seen. It could still arrive on the bigger 6.2-inch phone to help differentiate the two sizes.
Less credible now are stories that suggested a repeat of last year’s 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch display sizes, but with a jump in resolution from Quad HD to 4K.
We’ve also heard from Weibo that the Samsung Galaxy S8 could have a 5.2-inch 2160 x 4096 screen. Other Weibo rumors suggest the S8 will have just a QHD screen, like the Galaxy S7, but add that “new materials” of some kind could be used, and that the home button will be removed – potentially meaning smaller bezels and maybe even a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.
One thing is clear: Samsung is putting a lot of work into curved screens, and a recent comment from Samsung Mobile President Dong-jin Koh claimed: “Samsung has considered that it would make the edge display the identity of the Galaxy S smartphone lineup.”
That makes it sound like we might not actually get the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge at all, and the Galaxy S8 will be a single curved variant only.
More recently we’ve heard rumors that Samsung has started sourcing curved display panels, but that it will be making curved versions in both 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch sizes. Apparently whether or not there’s also a flat screen model will come down to how many curved screens Samsung can source in time.
SamMobile has suggested that there will be both a flat and dual-edge curved version. If there is a flat version, there’s a chance it will look like the handset in the video below.
This is an advert from Samsung Display, and clearly shows a handset with no home button and almost no bezels. It’s likely just a generic creation for the video, but those same attributes are rumored for the S8, so it’s possible it will look similar.
But rather than a flat screen or even curves, Samsung might go one further and give us a foldable phone in the future. Prototypes and patents for such a device already exist, including one very recent patent spotted by Patently Mobile.
In fact, it’s rumored that Samsung will launch a folding phone in 2017, but it’s unlikely to risk attaching the untested tech to its flagship.
Samsung has been working to shrink the bezels on its devices, with a Samsung Display employee claiming the company will launch a display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in 2017, though there’s no guarantee it will be attached to the S8.
There’s also the Always On Display (AOD), a feature that debuted with the Galaxy S7. This feature has been hugely improved on the Note 7, with more pictures added to the mix and a richer display hanging about on the phone when it’s turned off.
Future updates to the AOD mean that it should become even richer for the Galaxy S8, with third parties able to add their own widgets to the screen.
Samsung recently added a music player onto this area, so it’s highly likely third parties like Spotify will be able to do the same thing by the time the S8 launches. Also, if you look at what’s been offered on the Galaxy Note 7, with the icons pictured above, you’ll realize there’s more to come from the AOD from Samsung.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung isn’t going to launch a Galaxy S8 with a flat screen, in all likelihood. After all, it only launched a curved Note 7. Another logical step is to do away with as much bezel as possible, so increasing to a 5.8-inch display and 6.2-inch display adds up. It sounds too large, but seeing the normal-sized body and impressive display in hand should be all the convincing you ever need. We’re just wondering if Samsung takes the 4K leap for the sake of advancing mobile VR or if it sticks to a Quad HD Super AMOLED screen.
Samsung Galaxy S8 design
- Back fingerprint sensor
- A similar but refined design
- Water and dust resistance
Samsung is on to something with the design of the Galaxy S6 and now the Galaxy S7. Its melding of metal and glass has led to one of the most attractive handsets around, so we don’t expect huge changes there.
People like to see changes, so at the very least the design will probably be refined in some ways.
The loss of the physical home button, as mentioned before from the leak in late January, puts the fingerprint sensor on the back, where other Android phones have been sticking it.
However, the fingerprint pad appears to be off-center, resting next to the camera, in an odd twist. If that’s true, it’ll take some time to get used to its peculiar placement.
Samsung slightly curved the back edge of the Galaxy S7, so perhaps it will make the Galaxy S8 even more curved, so it sits even more comfortably in the hand, like the HTC One M9. Or maybe it will focus on making the phone thinner.
The main thing we’ve actually heard about the design so far is that it will be “slick”, which doesn’t tell us much, but does come straight from Samsung’s vice chairman, so it’s probably true.
We’ve also now seen some renders of the phone, based on factory CADs (computer-aided designs), which line up with the design rumors we’ve heard, but fill in extra details, such as the presence of power and volume buttons on the left edge, with a button for launching Samsung’s new AI assistaint (discussed below) on the right edge.
The leaks also add dimensions of 148.90 x 68 x 8mm for the standard Galaxy S8, which would make it just slightly bigger than the 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm Samsung Galaxy S7, despite having a larger screen.
Another leaked image, this time of a case for the phone, shows the same buttons and rear-facing fingerprint scanner, so this design is looking likely, and that design is repeated yet again in another case image.
It’s also likely to be IP68 certified dust and water resistant, both because the Galaxy S7 is and because exactly that has been rumored by sources speaking to The Investor.
TechRadar’s take: The leaked renders we’ve seen seem believable and come from a reputable source, suggesting we’ll get a familiar but refined design.
Samsung Galaxy S8 rear camera
- A software-enhanced 12MP rear camera
- Same great f/1.7 aperture with larger pixels
- Dual-lens plans may have been dropped
There’s a good chance the Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to have the best camera on any phone, whether or not it sees a bump in megapixels.
That exactly what we experienced from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. In fact , they dialed things back from Galaxy S6’s 16MP to just 12MP.
The S7 series wowed us with excellent low-light photography thanks to having larger individual pixels and going from a f/1.9 to an f/1.7 aperture.
New Galaxy S8 camera rumors point to the same 12MP rear and a slightly better 8MP front-facing camera, both with a the same f/1.7 aperture as before.
Samsung’s specialty, increasingly, has been in its post-processing software, and the latest camera to capture even more vibrant photos, no matter the situation.
This hasn’t stopped people from speculating that The S8 is due for a big camera revision. Samsung has reportedly been working on a dual-lens rear camera.
Dual lens camera are all the rage right now, making their way into all sorts of phones, from the iPhone 7 Plus to much cheaper phones like the Honor 8.
Samsung may have been readying a rear camera combo with 12MP and 13MP lenses on the back, but the claims out of China haven’t materialized in the latest Galaxy S8 photo leaks. It looks to have just one camera on back.
There’s always a chance. A suggestion that Samsung could include two cameras to help its parts suppliers make up for lost Note 7 earnings sounds promising.
Samsung has also now registered trademarks for two camera technologies designed to enhance the brightness of images, which is often the role of a secondary lens, further suggesting a dual-lens could be in the works.
Even if a dual-lens camera doesn’t launch this time, all signs point to Samsung saving the trademarked idea for something like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
On the other hand, another Weibo poster claims the S8 will have a 30MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a 9MP front-facing one, but we’d be surprised if Samsung pushed the rear camera’s megapixel count up that high.
Samsung has also built a ‘Smart Glow’ feature, which takes the form of a ring of LEDs around the rear camera, which can flash in different colors for different types of notifications and even light up when they detect your face, so you can more easily take a selfie with the main camera.
So far the feature is only available on the Samsung Galaxy J2, but there’s a chance Samsung will use it in the Galaxy S8 as well.
Whatever the case, you can be sure the camera will be improved, in fact Samsung’s vice chairman has even said as much.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung already has the best camera on a phone, and this one will no doubt be touted as even better than before. But it doesn’t sound like we’re due for a major revision on the back. Dual-lens cameras are the next big thing but we’re not holding out for that or the 30 megapixel rumor.
- An 8MP front-facing camera
- A step up from last year’s 5MP camera
- May include autofocus for the first time
The front-facing camera may go from 5MP to 8MP, and with the increasing focus on selfies, Samsung seems to be giving this snapper much-needed attention.
Your selfies could benefit from autofocus, which is a feature usually reserved for rear cameras, as they need to focus at various distances.
The usefulness would technically be limited on a front-facing camera (you can only extend your arm out so far, so a fixed lens is more than fine), but it could help eliminate occasional blurry faces while possibly blur backgrounds.
Samsung also filed a recent trademark entitled Smart AF, according to Android Authority. Meaning, soon, your selfies could look stunning AF.
If the Samsung front-facing camera can eliminate the barrel distortion of its wider-than-normal selfie camera, it would also be a plus for the Galaxy S8.
- 3,000mAh battery for the 5.8-inch phone
- 3,500mAh battery for the 6.2-inch phone
- Fast charging with QuickCharge 4.0
The Samsung Galaxy S8 battery capacity isn’t going to seem like ‘the next big thing’ by the rumored numbers, but that is unlikely to matter for everyday use.
According to some leaks it’ll have a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery in the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch phones, respectively. That’s small for phones of this size in 2017.
Some Android phones are up to 5,000mAh batteries, like the upcoming Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom. Even the S7 Edge had a slightly larger 3,600mAh battery size.
That said, a more recent leak points to 3,250mAh and 3,750mAh sizes, which would seem more reasonable for such large screens.
Whatever the battery size, Samsung has one big advantage over everyone else: it’s launching a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset that’s just 10 nanometers in size instead of 14nm.
Smaller chips consume less power, and the debut of the Snapdragon 835 (or a 10nm Samsung Exynos 8895 chipset for places outside of the US and China) means it can last a lot longer on the same or even a smaller battery.
It’s going to be more efficient when it comes to using power, so we may see these phones last longer, despite the lack of a bigger battery.
There was one battery rumor that suggested the Galaxy S8 will have a huge 4200mAh juice pack with support for both wireless and fast charging.
We’re not convinced Samsung will squeeze in a battery that big considering it wants to make the S8’s battery doesn’t meet the same fate as the Note 7.
Fast charging with QuickCharge 4.0 also makes its debut thanks to Qualcomm’s technology, and Samsung has always tried to push its wireless charging pads. Expect both of those perks to be part of the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 OS and power
- A 3GHz Exynos 8895 processor in some regions
- A 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chip in the US
- 4GB or 6GB of RAM
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely going to debut Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is faster, small and more efficient than the Snapdragon 820.
In fact, a leak suggests the Galaxy S8 could have a 3.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon chipset, which certainly sounds fast.
That said, Samsung also makes its own Exynos chips and with the Galaxy S7 some regions got those and others got the Snapdragon 820, so the same is likely to happen with the Galaxy S8.
More specifically, the US will probably get a Snapdragon chip, while most of the rest of the world will likely get an Exynos one. Rumors suggest it will be the Exynos 8895, which is apparently clocked at up to 3GHz (up from 2.3GHz on the Exynos 8890 in the S7), and is supposedly also optimized for low power usage, as well as improving image processing performance by over 70%.
We’ve also heard rumors from SamMobile that not only is Samsung working on new mobile processors, but that it’s in talks with both Nvidia and AMD to build the GPUs (in place of ARM, which currently builds them).
With Nvidia behind some of the most powerful processors around and AMD’s architecture at the heart of the PS4 Pro, a move to either of these companies could give flagship Exynos chips a performance boost.
That extra power will really come in handy if Samsung plans to put a 4K screen on the Galaxy S8 or use it for high-end VR content – our betting is that both Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s chips will be heavily focused around making VR the best experience it can possibly be, which will be a boon for Gear VR wearers.
Samsung’s also applied to trademark “beast mode”, which could be a supercharged setting designed to make the most of VR.
As for RAM, speculation is growing that it’ll have 4GB of RAM, contrasting with early rumors that point to 6GB. The mid-range Samsung Galaxy C9 is also rumored to have 6GB of RAM, so that’s the least we had expected.
In fact, Samsung has created an 8GB RAM chip compatible with smartphones, though it hasn’t been specifically linked to the S8. The fact that it could still have 4GB of RAM is a bit surprising.
TechRadar’s take: Samsung is sure to dial up the power in the Galaxy S8, but will probably stick a Snapdragon 835 chip in the US version, with an Exynos processor available elsewhere. RAM is sure to be at least 4GB, but it’s likely that Samsung will up it to 6GB. We doubt it will reach 8GB.
Samsung Galaxy S8 other features
- An iris scanner and AI assistant
- No headphone jack
- A desktop mode
- Dual stereo speakers
The S Pen stylus is a big feature of the Galaxy Note range, and recent rumors suggest it could also be coming to the Galaxy S8, as an optional extra. That suggests Samsung could be aiming to make the phone better for productivity, though we’re not convinced there’s much evidence of it.
But the Galaxy S8 could get an even bigger productivity boost, by including a Continuum-like feature, allowing you to plug it into a monitor for a desktop-like experience. That’s if the image below is to be believed.
That’s not the only reference to a desktop experience we’ve come across either, as another leak suggests the S8 will connect to a DeX dock, which will allow the phone to then connect to an external monitor via HDMI.
Rumor has it the Samsung Galaxy S8 is set to lose the 3.5mm headphone jack. The rumor doesn’t say why it’s dropping the legacy tech, but does suggest the phone will instead feature a USB-C port and come with an adapter in the box.
On the other hand, a leaked case supposedly for the phone (pictured below) shows the headphone port intact, along with a USB-C port and space for just a single lens camera, so don’t count the 3.5mm jack out yet.
One area that Samsung could easily improve for the S8 is the speakers, and it just might, with rumors that we’ll get dual stereo speakers for the first time on a Samsung flagship. They could also use Harman technology, which would make sense, since Samsung has purchased the brand.
We could see an iris scanner on the phone, as the company has stuck one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the feature has since been rumored for the Galaxy S8 more than once.
But its inclusion isn’t guaranteed, as it doesn’t really add a lot beyond a ‘hyper’ level of security that some people would need on the Note 7, given it’s part enterprise device. That said, the scanner never got much of an outing with the Note 7 being killed, so Samsung is likely to want to give it a chance.
And another source has also suggested we’ll see an iris scanner, along with 64GB and 128GB storage capacities, a microSD card slot and, oddly, a mini projector. Another rumor points to up to 256GB of storage, which would be a huge jump on the maximum of 64GB that’s built into the Galaxy S7.
One feature that’s been confirmed by Samsung is the Viv AI assistant. It’s a bit like Siri, and in fact some of the makers of Siri created it, but Samsung bought the company and is planning to build Viv into the S8.
While there’s stiff competition in this space, Viv will apparently work seamlessly with a large number of apps, potentially giving it an advantage over the likes of Siri. It’s also rumored to come with both male and female voices, dubbed Bixby and Kestra.
Samsung is seemingly making Viv a focus of the S8, with one prototype apparently even featuring a dedicated button to launch the assistant.
Samsung might also build a fingerprint scanner right into the S8’s display, according to a Weibo source, allowing it to eliminate the home button entirely. The tech exists, but would be a smartphone first if Samsung does use it.
Samsung’s ‘Smart Glow’ feature – so far only available on the Galaxy J2, has also popped up again, with additional functions such as heart rate readings and the ability to light up in different colors to represent different weather conditions apparently likely to be added to later versions of it.
Other than those features, a reversible USB Type-C connector is likely now it’s appeared in the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung is likely to continue offering the features its flagships are known for, like an always-on screen (with enhancements), a microSD card slot and a waterproof body.
TechRadar’s take: We wouldn’t count on seeing Smart Glow in the S8, given that the Note 7 didn’t have it despite the feature already being available on a lower end handset. A mini projector also sounds like a long shot, but an iris scanner and stereo speakers are likely, while USB-C is all but guaranteed.
Samsung Galaxy S8 price
- More expensive than the Galaxy S7
- ….or the same price as the S7
The earliest cost rumors claim an $850 (roughly £655/AU$1120) SIM-free price for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
This comes from a Weibo post with no evidence to back it up, so we’d take it with a pinch of salt, but if true the Galaxy S8 would be slightly more expensive in most regions than the £569/AU$1149 (around $750) launch price of the Galaxy S7.
On the other hand, a similarly evidence-free claim has been made more recently that while the materials will apparently cost 28% more than the S7, the cost to consumers will be the same.
In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will almost certainly come out on contract, with monthly payment plan prices starting around $33 a month until it’s paid off in full.
Samsung won’t offering the Galaxy S8 unlocked in the US at first, if history repeats itself. Instead, you have to get it from your carrier, be it AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. Usually (about four months later), an unlocked version will be sold at full price.
TechRadar’s take: It’s very possible that the S8 will cost the same as the S7, especially as Samsung will want to make up for the Note 7 debacle. But if construction costs rise, as is likely, then that would mean making less profit on each unit, which it may not be prepared to do.