Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 woes have created a headache for the tech company. The new Galaxy S8 smartphone is most likely going to be released in February 2016, and Samsung will have to seriously up its game if it wants to make up for the literal firestorm that was the Note 7.
It seems like Samsung has a few new tricks up its sleeve, though, if the latest rumors are to be believed.
1. No Home Button
According to Android Authority, the rumor that Samsung is ditching the home button may have some purchase.
Samsung is among the last few phone manufacturers still clinging to the home button, so it would make sense for them to drop it. Plus, Android Authority reports, it seems like Apple may be leaving the button behind entirely as well — and Samsung does love one-upping Apple.
As for the fingerprint scanner the button houses, Samsung will have to find somewhere else to put it. It doesn’t seem, for now, like the tech giant will be opting for a scanner on the back of the phone (like Google’s Nexus and Pixel phones. Android Authority thinks that with recent upgrades to fingerprint scanner technology, it may be housed under the glass where the home button would normally reside. The new embedded scanners would erase any need for Samsung to keep the home button alive.
2. “Full-Screen Display”
Without a home button, Samsung can get rid of a lot of empty space on the bottom bezel of the phone. This would allow the screen size to increase without the handset growing, and avoid complaints like those about the Pixel and Pixel XL, reports Android Authority.
The rumor is that Samsung would be all but getting rid of the top and bottom bezels, with the side bezels already being quite small. The screen would cover as much of the phone as possible, with the added bonus that all edges of the phone may be curved. This rumor first surfaced for the S7, but didn’t turn out to be true. Samsung may have been saving it for the S8, so the screen may be curved on the top, bottom and sides rather than only the sides.
3. Powerful Specs, Possibly for VR
Samsung is beefing up the Galaxy S8 with the latest Snapdragon and Exynos chips, which isn’t really a surprise according to Android Authority.
The handsets may also get a RAM upgrade, says Mashable, and the S8’s graphics chip will be 1.8x faster than the one in the S7. The Mali-G71 graphics chip is the most powerful available, according to Forbes.
Samsung is outfitting the phones with a VR-ready 4K display to accompany the graphics chip, making VR even more detailed and realistic, Mashable reports.
With Samsung’s Gear VR headsets, the company already has a bit of a foothold in the VR universe. The platorm is inching toward the mainstream with the release of Playstation VR this October, and Samsung’s S8 may be designed with VR in mind.
4. Viv Will be Replacing S Voice
Samsung’s recent acquisition of Viv Labs allows Samsung to have its very own AI.
Viv Labs were actually founded by Siri’s co-creators: Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. They left Apple in after it acquired Siri and started Viv in 2012, according to TechCrunch.
Samsung’s current voice-activated assistant, S Voice, isn’t up to par with Apple’s Siri or Google’s Assistant, Sam Mobile says, and Viv may add another much-needed edge to Samsung’s handsets. Though we don’t know for sure whether Viv will make an appearance so soon after it was acquired, it would fill Samsung’s AI-less void well.
5. Dual Cameras
The company recently filed a patent that suggests dual cameras are a go for the S8, and there’s not much reason to doubt the rumor, suggests Android Authority. Samsung likes to keep up with its competition, and LG, Apple and Huawei all put dual rear cameras on their recent phones.