The Guardian has published one of the most detailed leaks of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 yet, and knowing that you're tired of parsing through a million articles on this phone, let me break down the major news into bullet points.
- A claimed retail launch of April 21st (this could be specific to the UK, as The Guardian is a UK publication).
- Display sizes are somewhere between 5-6" (yeah, not helpful, guys).
- Headphone jack is intact.
- Displays are curved, nearly bezel-less "infinity" screens, with almost no room on the front for even a Samsung logo.
- Fingerprint scanner is now on the back of the phone (I believe it's next to the camera module, off to the side).
- Iris scanner from Note7 is present.
- Storage now starts at 64GB, microSD card remains.
- New Gear VR and Gear 360.
- Similar camera to last year's phones, improvements only "incremental."
- Unspecified chipset, but Guardian hedges on Snapdragon 835.
- A dock and software that turn the phone into an Android "desktop" operating environment called DeX.
Whew, that's a lot to take in, so let's break it down - starting with the most obvious stuff. We already had a good feeling that the headphone jack was sticking around. A Snapdragon 835 seems all but a given (at least for some regions) at this point - because Samsung snapped up the first round of supply. The iris scanner, USB-C, microSD, and curved displays with minimal bezel are all also something we should have expected by now.
Moving on to the more interesting bits, it's good to hear Samsung is setting 64GB as the base storage tier on its phones - it's a no-brainer and may force Apple and other competitors to step up. The actual size of these new curved screens is unclear, but some rumors have pegged the bigger phone's as being larger than last year's 5.5" S7 edge - maybe 5.7"? A retail launch in mid-April sounds about right based on what I've heard, though the 21st seems a bit late according to my sources with knowledge of US plans - we could see it up to a week earlier here.
Moving the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone is something I'd been hearing for a long time now, but The Guardian doesn't disclose its exact placement. What I've been told is that it will be adjacent to the camera module (off to the side, not below it), which could be rather awkward depending on the ergonomics of these phones. I've heard nothing about Samsung's mythical in-screen fingerprint reader, and The Guardian doesn't mention it, either, so I wouldn't get your hopes up on that.
The real interesting piece is definitely this "DeX" thing, which appears to be an ape of Microsoft's Continuum. The Guardian doesn't provide many details, but it sounds like you'll be able to plug the S8 into a physical dock and have it output an Android-based desktop environment to an external display. I have to say, I'm extremely skeptical this will be any good (resizable windows in Nougat haven't suddenly made Android a desktop OS, no matter what anyone tells you), but I am absolutely curious to see what Samsung has brought to the table here.
We'll be waiting a while yet, though - the S8 won't be at MWC, so I expect we won't be hearing official news from Samsung for a couple of months at least.
- The Guardian