It’s never easy keeping a lid on the various details of a smartphone, but some companies try much harder than others. Apple, even in the post-Jobs era, tries to keep some upcoming features on lockdown. Samsung, in contrast, tends to leak like a sieve — and the full details and photos of the Samsung Galaxy S8 that leaked yesterday are a case in point.
VentureBeat’s Evan Blass managed to score images of the larger device, both front-and-back, as shown below:
These images confirm that the new phones are bezel-less, and that they’ll be available in two sizes — one will have a 5.8-inch screen, and one will sport a 6.2-inch display. Both appear to use Samsung’s “edge” displays with a curved edge on both sides of the screen, so it’s not clear how the company will differentiate the two. Previously, Samsung has relied on the “edge” brand to distinguish its smaller phones with conventionally shaped panels from the models that offer one or two curved edges.
The two devices are codenamed “Dream” and “Dream 2” and both sport QHD Super AMOLED screens, according to the Guardian. These are similar to the displays that Samsung has used in the past, to very good affect.
The new bezel-less designs leaves no room for buttons or even a logo on the front of the device, so branding, fingerprint scanners, and logos have all been shifted to the back. Fans of the 3.5mm jack can rejoice — other devices may leave the standard behind, but Samsung seems to have learned from the Galaxy S6 and its ill-fated attempts to strip ports. Both of the new Samsung Galaxy S8’s support standard earbuds.
Both S8 devices will be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, with an anticipated 11% CPU performance improvement and 23% faster graphics. The 835 is built on Samsung’s 10nm process and is supposedly 20% more efficient than its predecessor. Samsung will need that efficiency if it intends to drive a screen that large; VentureBeat reports that the batteries are a relatively svelte 3000mAh and 3500mAh for the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch devices, with 4GB of RAM and a minimum of 64GB of storage.
Samsung is said to be prepping a number of additional features, including a new docked option that would allow the S8 to connect to a monitor via an HDMI-equipped dock. Users would be able to attach a keyboard and mouse and surf their phone in such fashion. Android’s keyboard and mouse support isn’t what I’d call great, but this does open up interesting options given that Microsoft has ported its Office suite to Android and Google Docs has always supported the platform.
This is far from the first time we’ve seen the phone-as-PC concept touted by various companies, but modern smartphones are becoming powerful enough to make a limited argument for themselves in that role. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 could offer real competition to Microsoft’s Continuum idea — and while desktop power users might prefer a phone that runs Windows as a desktop, the complete lack of actual Windows devices means Android is far more practically useful.
The Galaxy S8 will debut on March 29 and should be available in late April. Samsung needs to nail every aspect of this launch — while its business hasn’t generally suffered in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it still needs to demonstrate that the Note 7 was nothing but a fluke.