Flying in the face of claims suggesting delays in release of Galaxy S8, an investor note mentions Samsung has set April 21 as launch date.
Last year’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle notwithstanding, the Galaxy S8 remains a highly anticipated device. Leaks well ahead of its release date suggest Samsung could include features not seen before in smartphones (read facial recognition). For the same reasons, the South Korean tech giant may have reserved making an announcement till March 29. The phone is likely to go on sale April 21, suggests an investor note from KGI Securities.
— 9to5Google (@9to5Google) March 11, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo, KGI’s noted analyst who has a reputation for being spot-on about Apple, predicted the release date and said Samsung is likely to ship 45 to 50 million units of Galaxy S8 in 2017, according to 9 to 5 Google. The number is slightly smaller number than Galaxy S7 shipments. This might be done to accommodate Samsung’s second flagship in 2017 a.k.a Note 8 likely to release on a date later this year, the KGI note suggests. After Samsung withdrew sales of Note 7, Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge remained the sole top-of-the-line offering in 2016.
Meanwhile, some images, purportedly that of Samsung Galaxy S8 and its bigger cousin Galaxy S8+, surfaced on the Internet.
— /LEAKS (@Slashleaks) March 12, 2017
If these images are to be believed, the analyst could be correct about facial recognition, as he pointed to six cutouts on the device’s front top. In addition to the usual lineup of proximity and light sensors, a front camera and speaker, the two other cutouts could be hiding IR transmitter and receiver for facial recognition. The images also suggest a greater display to body ratio and absence of physical buttons.
— SamMobile (@SamMobiles) February 26, 2017
In keeping with convention, Samsung is likely to provide varying RAM options across countries. While most devices are expected to be equipped with 4GB RAM, China and Korea could see Samsung Galaxy S8 release with 6GB RAM. Kuo attributes differences to greater demand for RAM specs in these countries. Others, including SamMobile, have suggested phones in China could launch with as much as 8GB RAM. Rumors in-line with past reports suggest the phone could be powered by Exynos 8895 processors in Asia and Europe while devices in the U.S. will be powered by Qualcomm.
While the leaked image makes guessing display size difficult, it reveals significant differences between Galaxy S8 and the bigger Galaxy S8+. According to 9 to 5 Google, the smaller device would feature 5.8-inch display while Galaxy S8+ will ship with a 6.2-inch screen, with both phones boasting 2960×2400 resolution. These numbers would dwarf Samsung’s current offerings.
“The bigger screen size however belies what many think could be inadequate battery specs. Samsung Galaxy S8 is rumored to be powered by a 3000 mAh battery, like its predecessor though it is speculated to have a 13 percent larger display. Given that the phone is rumored to be equipped with USB-C to enable it function as a PC when docked, it remains to be seen if Samsung has improvised battery life and charging cycles.”
Is anyone else excited and disappointed with the Galaxy S8 leaks. Small bezels Yay! Low Ram, no cam improvement, boo!
— Awesome Aquil (@AwesomeAquil) March 12, 2017
The images also show colors matching Kuo’s predictions of silver, gold, bright and matte black, pink, blue and orchid; the leaked image purports to show a silver Galaxy S8 and gold Galaxy S8+. While a device manufacturer is likely to reserve launching all speculated color options on the release date, Samsung might spoil its customers with choice this year in order to build trust lost after last year’s Note 7 fiasco.
After the iPhone 7 launch in 2016, dual rear-cameras were expected to become an industry standard but it seems Samsung is not keen to follow suit. According to Kuo, cost and ‘immature dual-camera ISP design’ are two factors that work against it. The rear of the device is likely to see inclusion of a sensor to measure heart rate. With over a month to go before Galaxy S8 release date and less than three weeks before Samsung’s ‘unboxing’ event on March 29 in NYC, consensus in the rumored feature-set suggests few surprises remain.
[Featured Image by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]