For the past two years we've awarded Samsung's Galaxy S-series the crown for best smartphone. It was doing so well until the *cough* Note 7, but the company will pull out all the stops in 2017 to reverse its fortunes. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will be announced in early 2017. Here are the facts you need to know, as we round up the best S8 rumours, speculating on the Samsung S8 UK release date, price and specifications. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2017 and Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S8 preview

With speculation that Samsung will make standard the dual-curved-edge screen previously used only for its edge models, it's unlikely that the company will continue to distinguish between its Galaxy S-series models in this manner. Since the key differences will now be the size, battery capacity and potentially the camera, we think Samsung might choose to go down the Apple route and call what would be the Galaxy S8 edge the Galaxy S8 Plus.

And we're not the only ones who think this. Our theory has been backed up by a report in the Korean Herald, which says Samsung has hinted at removing the standard flat-screen version and replacing it with the edge model. Now that decision appears to have been finalised, and a new report from the same publication says the company is sourcing 5.1- and 5.5in dual-edge screens.

Samsung trademarked the Galaxy S8 in mid-January, but unfortunately there was no separate listing for Galaxy S8 Plus or edge. So we'll just have to wait and see.

Latest update: The Galaxy S8 will not be announced at February's MWC. Read more below.

Samsung Galaxy S8 UK release date rumours: When is the Galaxy S8 coming out?

Samsung Galaxy S8 UK release date: March 2017 (TBC)
Samsung Galaxy S8 UK on sale date: 18 April 2017 (TBC)

There appears to be some confusion between the date the Galaxy S8 is unveiled by Samsung and the date the new phone actually goes on sale, which has caused many people to speculate that the release date has been pushed back when in fact it will likely go on sale around the same time as it did last year.

All sources are pointing to the idea that the Galaxy S8 will go on sale in April, with several suggesting a date of 18 April. ETNews suggests an earlier date of 15 April. But the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 will be announced before this time, so when?

For the past few years Samsung has favoured the Mobile World Congress trade show held in early spring to launch its new Galaxy S-series smartphone(s). Typically, it announces the new phone during a Samsung Unpacked conference a day ahead of the show opening its doors, and the phones go on sale within two- to four weeks of this date. That would point to a launch date of 26 February 2017.

However, Samsung's mobile chief Koh Dong-jin has confirmed to Reuters that the Galaxy S8 will not be announced at MWC. He did not comment on a release date, but with analysts still expecting the phone to go on sale in April it's looking more likely that there is truth to rumours Samsung will hold its own Unpacked event in March. This ties in with what we've heard about the Galaxy S8 entering mass production in March.

All the above sounds perfectly reasonable, but there's one little problem: the Note 7. Actually rather a large problem, Samsung's latest flagship phablet was a spectacular failure, and there are whispers that the company is so concerned about getting it right with its next phone launch that it will potentially delay the phone even further until a time when it has been able to conduct more thorough testing. Also see: Best Samsung phones 2016

Adding weight to the theory that the Galaxy S8 will come much later in the year are reports that Samsung will begin using LG Chem batteries in its devices, which will begin in the second half of 2017. The S8 is alleged to be the first Samsung device to get an LG battery, but we think it more likely that the Note 8 will be the first Samsung device to get an LG battery - after all, that is the device people are worrying about.

Samsung is thought to be really pushing out the boat with some incredibly powerful hardware that will make the Galaxy S8 capable of mobile VR, plus there could be a dual camera, a new type of fingerprint scanner and Samsung's own AI assistant.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Should I buy Galaxy S7 or wait for Galaxy S8?

The Galaxy S8 is set to be a fantastic phone by all accounts, but it's not available yet and the Galaxy S7 is. Samsung's current flagship is now available at a more reasonable price than its initial £569 RRP, and can be bought for less than £500 SIM-free at Amazon UK. The Galaxy S7 edge, meanwhile, has gone down from its original £639 RRP to around £517 SIM-free (also at Amazon UK).

These are the two very best phones on the market today, and we thoroughly recommend them even with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on the horizon. Unless a rival manufacturer surprises us with a completely unexpected new model in the meantime, nothing will come along and throw them off their perch at the top of our chart until the new models are announced in February and released in (likely) April. So, can you wait another four or five months to upgrade your phone?

If you hold on, headline features in the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus include some incredibly powerful hardware that will make the phones capable of mobile VR, a dual camera, a new type of fingerprint scanner and Samsung's own AI assistant. We outline the full rumoured specifications in more detail here. If these aren't deal-breakers you can save yourself some money and buy the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge today. Read our full Galaxy S7 review and Galaxy S7 edge review for more details.

Samsung Galaxy S8 UK price and specification rumours continue on the next page >>