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
STEEL DRAKE • BEHANCE
1 of 36
Samsung Galaxy S8 will get a dramatic new design, with no buttons, and an edge-to-edge display
Samsung Galaxy S8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive smartphones of the year, if the latest rumours about the device prove true.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to drop all physical buttons in favour of a svelte new industrial design, with an edge-to-edge display that curves around the device and reduces its overall footprint – despite the sizeable Quad HD screen.
Alongside the shiny new look, Samsung is rumoured to introduce a new virtual assistant, dubbed Bixby. And some whispers from South Korean even point to an updated S Health app that will direct Galaxy S8 owners to the nearest pharmacy, launch video chat conversations with GPs, and more.
Samsung is expected to lift a number of features from its nearest rival, Apple.
The South Korean firm is widely-rumoured to incorporate a version of the pressure-sensitive display technology Apple debuted in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
The headline feature, dubbed 3D Touch, works in a very similar way to a right-click on a desktop computer – allowing Apple to hide additional functionality under a forceful press to the display.
For example, tapping on an app icon will launch the software as usual – but pressing hard onto the same icon will summon a hidden menu of frequently used shortcuts, allowing users to instantly access certain features, without having to launch the app and scramble around in the menus.
Samsung could nab the 3D Touch technology Apple debuted in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
Samsung is expected to use the ClearForce touchscreen display technology developed by Synaptics, which is capable of measuring varying levels of pressure applied to the display.
If the rumour proves true, Samsung will become the first Android manufacturer to incorporate this pressure sensitive technology.
So far, so good.
Samsung might be considering nabbing another feature from the iPhone - and this one could ruin the Galaxy S8
The rumoured hardware and software features sound like they will make for a seriously compelling update to last year’s award-winning Samsung Galaxy S7.
But unfortunately, Samsung might be considering nabbing another feature from the Apple iPhone. And this one could ruin the Galaxy S8.
Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung is purportedly looking into ditching the industry standard 3.5mm headphone port.
Last year, SamMobile claimed to have a number of sources that confirmed the Samsung Galaxy S8 would lose the 3.5mm headphone port.
Speaking anonymously to the blog, the sources claimed the Galaxy S8 would still ship with wired headphones – but instead of connecting via the 3.5mm headphone port, they would connect via USB Type-C.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 shipped with a USB-C port – but it also had a 3.5mm headphone port
If true, this would mark the first time Samsung has opted for a USB-C port on the Galaxy S phone range. That’s not something we have an issue with.
USB-C is incredibly convenient, thanks to its reversible connector. It also means users can share cables between devices to charge or sync data.
Unfortunately, USB Type-C headphones are another matter entirely.
HTC recently dropped the standard 3.5mm headphone port from its latest Android smartphones, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play.
HTC this month debuted two new phones without the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone port
When asked to justify why it had turned its back on the humble 3.5mm port, HTC responded, “we believe the audio experience on the phone can be so much more than just the simple transmission of sound.
“The sonar-like capabilities of USonic wouldn’t be possible with a 3.5mm headphone jack. We have microphones built into both earbuds that ‘listen’ for sonic pulses, which can then adjust your audio to match your ears’ unique architecture. We believe the market is ready to push audio into new innovations that benefit consumers’ listening experience.”
It’s a good argument, and one we made when it was first rumoured Apple would drop the 3.5mm headphone port in an effort to push the industry towards new headphone technologies.
The JBL Reflect Aware and Apple AirPods showcase how new technologies can dramatically transform headphones.
But unlike the Lightning Connector, which only exists on Apple products, things become a little more complicated in the Android ecosystem.
Apple wants to move iPhone owners towards Lightning-powered, or wireless headphones
For example, the next-generation HTC USonic headphones that ship with the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, which leverage the additional power afforded by the USB-C connection to map-out the architecture of your ear using sonic pulses, are not compatible with other smartphones.
Although the USB-C connection is universal. The headphones are not.
Unfortunately, the USonic headphones are only compatible with HTC devices, despite having the supposedly universal USB-C connector.
That’s almost guaranteed to cause some confusion amongst customers who have become accustomed to sharing USB-C cables to charge laptops, tablets and smartphones from different manufacturers.
After all, that is one of the primary advantages of using USB-C – the ability to share cables between devices.
SAMSUNG DISPLAY • YOUTUBE
Samsung Display this week revealed a slew of new videos, which might include a glimpse at Galaxy S8
SAMSUNG DISPLAY • YOUTUBE
Samsung Galaxy S8 rumours point to the phone looking VERY similar to the one in the video
Like the Lightning Connector, the latest generation of USB has the potential to revolutionise headphones for smartphone owners – but it could also kickstart a confusing, painful customer experience filled with incompatible earphones that connect using the same USB Type-C port.
Apple has the weight within the industry to convince third-party manufacturers and customers to move away from the 3.5mm headphone port. It still doesn’t make much sense at times, as we wrote at the launch of the MacBook Pro.
When everything else appears to be shaping up so well, for the sake of simplicity, fingers crossed Samsung decides to include a 3.5mm headphone port and a USB-C port with the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S8.
Do that, and there’s no reason the Galaxy S8 won’t, like its predecessor, be the best smartphone of the year.