Samsung Galaxy S8 looks set to be the most impressive phone of the year, if the latest rumours are accurate.
The highly-anticipated smartphone will reportedly ship with a bezel-less, dual-curved display, iris scanner for additional security, and large capacity battery.
When the Galaxy S8 launches in March, it will be more than two years since Samsung's flagship phone underwent a substantial facelift – after all, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were more of a subtle refinement of the design debuted with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, instead of a dramatic overhaul. But all that is set to change with the Samsung Galaxy S8.
According to the latest whispers, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will ship in two models – both with an edge-to-edge display that curves around the body of the phone.
The Galaxy S8 will arrive with a large 5.8-inch Quad HD display and a 3,250mAh battery, but maintain the same footprint as the Galaxy S7.
There is also expected to be a 6.2-inch QHD AMOLED display model, with a hefty 3,750mAh cell, marketed as the Galaxy S8 Plus.
For comparison, those display sizes and battery capacities are both larger than the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge last year.
Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus on March 29th – with a new eye-watering price tag.
However, it looks like you won't have to wait until the Samsung launch event to get a glimpse of the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Leaked photos, concept images, and renders Sun, January 1, 2017
Samsung Galaxy S8 looks set to be the smartphone to beat this year. Following a swathe of rumours from the Chinese supply chain, a number of graphic designers have cooked-up high-resolution renders of what the smartphone could look like, when it launches in the UK in April 2017
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Samsung Galaxy S8 will get a dramatic new design, with no buttons, and an edge-to-edge display
TWITTER • VENYAGESKIN1
These Samsung Galaxy S8 renders, based on the latest leaks, show the thin bezels to fit the display
Earlier this week, a new purported photo of the Samsung Galaxy S8 surfaced online.
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And if the alleged paparazzi shot is to be believed, something very important appears to be missing from the next flagship Samsung phone.
The latest photo shows the long-rumoured, dual-curved display on the front of the device.
And as predicted by the latest rumours from within Samsung, the physical buttons have been ditched.
The new image appears to show the Samsung Galaxy S8 without on-screen or physical buttons
However most sources had pointed to Samsung using on-screen navigation buttons in lieu of the physical controls used on previous Galaxy S devices.
That’s not something backed-up by this alleged photograph.
Unlike Android smartphones, like the Google Pixel, there appears to be no lower-third banner with navigation buttons at the bottom of the display.
Does that mean Samsung has concocted a new way to navigate around the Android operating system? Perhaps, using swipes from the edge of the screen, like the universal Back button shortcut on Apple’s rival iOS software?
Or has the South Korean company programmed the buttons to automatically hide when they are not in use – like they do on the latest versions of Android OS when viewing a video, or other full-screen content?
Of course, there is also the possibility that this leaked photograph shows pre-release hardware, or pre-release software.
With the death of the physical buttons from the Samsung Galaxy S8, the smartphone manufacturer has had to relocate the fingerprint sensor previously embedded within the Home Button.
TWITTER • VENYAGESKIN1
Leaked cases appear to confirm the slightly baffling design choice to move the fingerprint sensor
Since the Galaxy S5, which launched in 2014, the Galaxy S range has included a fingerprint scanner embedded inside the home button for additional security.
With the home button gone, sources say Samsung will relocate the fingerprint scanner, which is used to unlock the device and authorise contactless payments, to the back of the smartphone.
That’s nothing new. Android manufacturers including LG, Huawei, and Google have long used the back of the device to house a fingerprint scanner, usually below the camera sensor, in the middle of the case.
However, if the latest leaked images are correct, Samsung appears to be trying something very different – housing the fingerprint scanner in the top right-hand corner of the back panel, next to the rear camera and heart-rate sensor.
Granted, we haven’t had the opportunity to try the as-yet unannounced Samsung Galaxy S8, but that seems like an odd design decision.
CNET Korea claims Samsung made the choice because most smartphone owners hold the device with their right hand, and when holding the Galaxy S8 in this position, the index finger naturally falls onto the fingerprint sensor.
EVAN BLASS • TWITTER
Renown leaker Evan Blass published this photo, believed to be of the finalised Samsung Galaxy S8
However, that design decision doesn’t account for those people who hold their smartphones with their left hand.
While the purported design choice will supposedly make life easier for right-handed users, it will leave left-handed users at a frustrating disadvantage.
Using a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor can be intuitive, but only if the finger naturally falls close to the scanner, otherwise users find themselves blindly fumbling to unlock their phone – or endlessly flipping it over to locate scanner.
And with the fingerprint scanner allegedly so close to the camera, it cause endless photography problems if you placing your greasy digits on the lens.
With so much functionality now tied to the fingerprint scanner – contactless payments via Samsung Pay, Google Play Store purchases, and unlocking content with secure apps, like 1Password – the Galaxy S8 could present a frustrating learning curve for some users.
There is a chance Samsung already knows this.
The South Korean technology company is rumoured to be incorporating the iris scanner it debuted with the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 inside the Galaxy S8.
If the iris scanner works as advertised, users might not have to rely on the fingerprint sensor at all. Either way, it looks like we’ll find out on March 29th.