Samsung Galaxy S8 May Have Harman Dual Speakers But No Headphone Jack Or Home Button

The new Samsung Galaxy S8 Android smartphone could have dual stereo speakers designed by Harman International Industries, according to a report from Fone Arena’s Srivatsan Sridhar.

“Samsung Galaxy S series smartphone will also be getting stereo speakers for the first time,” Sridhar writes. “According to our sources, this dual speaker technology will have a branding, like the HTC’s Boomsound. It could also come with HARMAN branding, and be powered by technology from HARMAN that it recently agreed to acquire for about $8 billion mainly to boost its Connected Car tech.”

The addition of dual stereo speakers is seen as a means of Samsung competing better against Apple, which began adding dual speakers to its iPhones with the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 uses a “bottom speaker in conjunction with a balanced earphone on the device, instead of a second edge-mounted speaker,” to provide the stereo effect, according to AppleInsider.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will also come with an artificial intelligence digital assistant service and a “slick design and improved camera” according to Sridhar.

Reuters reported on the digital assistant in November, noting that the new feature was intended, at least in part, to help Samsung rebound from the massive recall of the Galaxy Note 7 back in September after reports of the smartphones smoking, catching fire, or even exploding due to faulty batteries.

“The world’s top smartphone maker in October announced the acquisition of Viv Labs Inc, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple Inc’s Siri voice assistant program,” the Reuters article reads.

“Samsung plans to integrate the San Jose-based company’s AI platform, called Viv, into the Galaxy smartphones and expand voice-assistant services to home appliances and wearable technology devices. Samsung is counting on the Galaxy S8 to help revive smartphone momentum after scrapping the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which will hit its profit by $5.4 billion over three quarters through the first quarter of 2017.”

Samsung has not announced exactly what services or capabilities the new AI assistant may have, but the company has assured users that it will be able to adapt to several services.

“Developers can attach and upload services to our agent,” said Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee Injong during a briefing, according to Reuters. “Even if Samsung doesn’t do anything on its own, the more services that get attached the smarter this agent will get, learn more new services and provide them to end-users with ease.”

Reuters explained that smartphone companies and tech developers are “locked in an increasingly heated race” to create AI that is more user-friendly. Developing AI that better interacts with human voice commands is of particular interest.

The Inquisitr previously reported that in addition to these new speaker and AI features, Samsung might be dropping the 3.5 mm earphone jack and even the home button from the Galaxy S8. Either of those changes would be seen as the South Korean firm drawing inspiration from Apple, which dropped those features from the iPhone 7.

Apple faced considerable fallout for removing the earphone jacks in favor of its wireless AirPods, which retail for approximately $150. Many users saw it as a cynical means to make extra money by forcing people to buy an expensive, and easy to lose, accessory.

However, removing the earphone jack supposedly made waterproofing the iPhone easier. Removing it from the Galaxy S8 could also help make that phone waterproof while simultaneously allowing for a slimmer design.

Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, early next year.

If the rumors are true, the addition of Harman dual stereo speakers to the new Galaxy S8 would make it far more competitive with the iPhone.

[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]