The Galaxy S7 is the best phone you can buy (check our best smartphone chart) so we're even more excited to see what Samsung has up its sleeve with the Galaxy S8. Here we take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, price, specs and new features via rumours and our expert analysis. See: Best new phones coming in 2016.
There's a lot to talk about regarding Samsung's flagship phones for 2017 even with few rumours to go on. Check out the Galaxy S8 release date below and use the links to jump to the sections you're most interested in.
Samsung Galaxy S8 release date UK: When is the Samsung S8 coming out?
There are no leaks or such like to report a supposed release date for the Galaxy S8 but it's fairly easy to predict when the new flagship phone will arrive. First, take a look at when all the previous Galaxy S phones were launched.
• Galaxy S – March 2010
• Galaxy S2 – February 2011
• Galaxy S3 – May 2012
• Galaxy S4 – March 2013
• Galaxy S5 – February 2014
• Galaxy S6 – March 2015
• Galaxy S7 – February 2016
As you can see, Samsung favours the months of February and March to launch the new flagship Galaxy S phone for that year. They are typically released on sale in the shops to buy around 2-4 weeks afterwards.
Samsung has this launch rhythm because of MWC (Mobile World Congress) which is the phone and tablet focused tech show on the calendar. Samsung's Unpacked press conference is where the new devices are announced each year.
So, unless Samsung decides to change its tradition, we can predict with some certainty that the Galaxy S8 will be announced at MWC 2017 which runs from 27 February to 2 March. Our money is on 26 February which is the day before the show starts.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Podcast discussion
What is much harder to predict is what models of the Galaxy S8 there will be. On the one hand Samsung could stick with the current formula of offering a standard model and a larger option with the dual edge display. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Korean media report that Samsung is planning a whopping five flagship phones for 2017 including a foldable Galaxy X. This group is likely to include at least one Galaxy Note phone so it seems that two or three will be Galaxy S8 phones. Will we see the return of the Galaxy S8 mini?
It's no surprise that there are no rumours surrounding the price of the Galaxy S8 yet, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate. See: Best Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge deals
When the Galaxy S6 launched it cost a whopping £599 and even though the Galaxy S7 is an improvement and a worthy upgrade, it came out at a cheaper price of £569. Now, Samsung could drop the price again for the Galaxy S8 but we think this unlikely considering some of the rumours specs (see below). In fact, we'd be a bit surprised if the price didn't go back up.
Our estimation is that the Galaxy S8 price will fall between £550 and £600 for the entry-level model.
Samsung Galaxy S8 specs and new features
With the Galaxy S7 Samsung brought many of the best bits from the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 to create a pretty awesome smartphone. It combined top-end specs with features such as expandable storage and waterproofing. We've been thoroughly impressed over the last few years so it's exciting to see what Samsung will do with the Galaxy S8.
The design combination of metal and glass seems to be a winner so we don't think Samsung is going to change much there. The big question is whether a removable battery will be a feature of the Galaxy S8 – it seems unlikely unless the firm does something dramatic with the design as LG did with the G5. We're not holding out as wireless and faster charging seem to be the favoured features here.
Samsung has been using a 5.1in screen size for the regular Galaxy S models since the Galaxy S5 so it seems that the firm has found its sweet spot. The Galaxy S7 Edge is larger at 5.5in so the Galaxy S8 edge, should that be the model, is likely to follow suit.
What's more interesting about the screen is the resolution. Although we said a 4K display is over the top on the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, there's one reason why it might be a good move for Samsung to include it on the Galaxy S8. That reason is VR.
While the Quad HD display on the S7 is fantastic to look at, when you insert the phone into the Gear VR the experience is fairly pixelated because the resolution is being halved – Full HD for each eye. Since VR is the big emerging tech this year, we wouldn't be surprised if the Galaxy S8 went this way because you'd get Quad HD resolution for each eye resulting in a significant improvement.
What makes this all the more likely is that Samsung Display has already shown off a 5.5in screen with an Ultra HD resolution (that's a pixel density of 806ppi) specifically for virtual reality devices. Now, this could be put into a headset rather than a phone but it's still evidence to suggest the Galaxy S8 will be 4K.
This could be a feature exclusively on the Galaxy S8 edge rather than the smaller regular model, giving consumers a reason to opt for the more premium model.
The iPhone 7 Plus is rumoured to offer a dual-camera setup and the Galaxy S8 is no different. There's little information about it but a report on wccf tech which cites a Chinese source says that the Galaxy S8 will feature dual-camera lens modules likely to be manufactured by Samsung Motors (Semco).
Whether they will offer different fields of view like the G5, different sensors like the P9 or something completely different remains to be seen. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5.
With no rumours we're speculating on the S8 processor but there are some interesting bits and pieces floating around.
We already know that the Galaxy S7 uses either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or an Exynos 8890 and we expect the Galaxy S8 to offer one of two processors – which one you get depends on the market you live in.
While 2017 processors haven't been announced yet it seems possible that they will be manufactured with a 10nm process. Leaked information shows that ARM is working on 10nm reference designs and both Qualcomm and Samsung use ARM.
With the current generation of chips at 14nm, the Galaxy S8 with a 10nm processor will be more powerful and energy efficient. Chances are the Galaxy S8 will come powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or the next generation Exynos processor.
Modems are particularly exciting but the Galaxy S8 could come with Qualcomm's X16 via the Snapdragon 830. It's significantly quicker than the S7's X12 modem and can support up to 1Gbps download speeds – that's Cat 16 LTE. When we have the networks to support it, you'll be able to theoretically stream a VR event live or download films in a matter of seconds.
So far Samsung has opted against the newer version of USB on its phones with the Galaxy S7 still employing Micro-USB 2.0. It seems about time for Type-C to make an appearance on the Galaxy S8, though.
Like Apple's Lightning port, USB Type- C is reversible so you can plug the cable in either way round. It also offers faster charging as it's able to supply more power. The only reason we can think of for Samsung to stick with Micro-USB is to ensure the S8 is compatible with the Gear VR but we feel like a new version of the VR headset is likely to arrive before or with the new flagship phone.