Samsung S8 Launch Event: ‘Unpacked 2017’ Puts Galaxy Phone Rumors To Rest
Samsung’s S8 launch event, “Unpacked 2017” was held yesterday simultaneously in New York and London. The rumors and leaks leading up to the conference were of an abundance never seen before a smartphone release. Renowned and reliable leaker, Evan Blass seemed to uncover numerous sources willing to divulge features and specs for the public to drool over.
Samsung appeared to be hemorrhaging information on the Galaxy S8. Whether this was intentionally done to create hype and divert attention away from the exploding Note 7 fiasco is for the conspiracy theorists to argue. However, we can look at the most credible rumors that were circulating before the launch event and see how accurate the analysts and leaks were. Yesterday we compiled a list of some of the most credible rumors ahead of the event. Today we will see how close the predictions were to the reality.
Undoubtedly the one rumor that every fan of any highly anticipated product looks for is when they can get their hands on it. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is no different. Initial reports were that the S8’s release date would be April 21, 2017. However, Evan Blass said earlier this month that the date would be pushed back one week to April 28. Rumors also indicated that pre-orders would start on April 10.
At Unpacked 2017, Samsung revealed that the phone would indeed hit shelves worldwide on April 28, but pre-ordering is beginning today, March 29 and continuing through April 19. According to Wired, the company also said that those who pre-order the phone would receive it on April 20. Early release is a tasty incentive for pre-ordering, but the company warned that it would be subject to availability.
— WordLink Tech News (@WordLinkTECH) March 29, 2017
How much will it cost, is usually the second question that comes to mind when looking for the scoop on the next new gadget coming out. Everybody was sure that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 would be expensive. It is the company’s flagship device and is a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone.
Anxious fans expected a high price tag, but when rumors surfaced that the standard handset would cost $865, many were in shock. Additionally, the Galaxy S8+ was estimated to cost $970. Most were expecting the phones to be in the $600-$700 and $700-$800 range respectively.
The launch event revealed that the predictions were a bit high for both versions of the device. According to the Verge, Samsung said the Galaxy S8 would be retailing for $720, and the Plus would go for $840. While still higher than expectations, the lower price point is a welcome relief to some.
The display predictions were all over the place until Evan Blass stepped in and published leaked photos of the phone. After that, the rumor mill settled on speculation that the S8 would have a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED QHD+ display and that the Plus version would have the same except the size would be bumped up to 6.2 inches. According to Business Insider, the community was also in agreement that the screen would be edge-to-edge in the horizontal direction and would slightly wrap around the edges.
The phones unveiled at the Samsung event mostly met with the predictions. Business Insider reports that the screens will be 5.8 and 6.2 inches as predicted, but neither BI nor Wired was able to shed light on whether AMOLED was used. AMOLED, which stands for “active-matrix organic light-emitting diode” is one of the newer screen technologies for mobile devices and is still relatively expensive. Whether Samsung used it is unclear, but the lower price point may be an indicator that the company chose a cheaper alternative.
However, Wired did state that the displays use Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to eliminate the cracking issues that were inherent in the Galaxy S7 line.
Business Insider also noted that “Samsung calls this its new Infinity Display, and it really is striking when you see it in person.”
Rumors about the screen’s bezel and edge-to-edge traits turned out to be true as well. The Guardian also reports that the display meets HD certification requirements.
“The screen, with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels on both models, is also the first on a mobile phone to be rated as Mobile HDR Premium, certifying it as meeting a certain standard for high dynamic range content.”
A leak early on indicated that Samsung would utilize the 2.45 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the U.S. versions of the S8. That rumor was spot on, meaning that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are currently the most powerful smartphones on the market.
— gion samuell (@GionGisam) March 24, 2017
Other Spec Rumors In A Nutshell
- Camera — Rumor: 12-megapixel standard and 8-megapixel front-facing — True
- Battery — Rumor: 3,000 mAh for the S8; 3,500 for the Plus — True
- Iris scanner — False, but both versions will have facial recognition.
- No Home button — True and false. The Galaxy S8 line will not have a physical Home button, but the screen is pressure sensitive and will register a Home button click when pressing the bottom of the screen. It will also provide haptic feedback.
It was rumored that a docking station called the DeX Station would be available for the S8 which would allow the smartphone to be used as a desktop computer. Samsung’s Unpacked 2017 revealed that this rumor was true as well.
The way the dock works is typical to any other docking station you might purchase. The S8 plugs into a port and rests there while charging. However, the DeX has features that other docking stations do not.
It has an HDMI port for connecting to a monitor, two USB ports (one for a keyboard and one for a mouse), and a 100 Mbps Ethernet port for hooking into high-speed internet. With all components connected, users will be able to operate the Galaxy S8 as if it were a desktop computer.
The only inaccuracies to the rumor involved the keyboard and mouse connections. According to Wired, while the USB ports can be used to connect wired interface peripherals, the DeX Station also has Bluetooth and RF technologies that can accept signals from a wireless mouse or keyboard.
However, Samsung did have one accessory surprise that nobody was expecting. The Verge reports, both versions of the Galaxy S8 will come bundled with a set of Harmon AKG wired headphones. The headphones feature a tangle-free cord, and “comfortable hybrid canal fit” ear pieces. The headphones normally retail for $99, but Samsung will include them in the box for free.
Overall, the leaks and rumors around Samsung’s signature smartphone were pretty accurate. The Galaxy S8 only held a few surprises for attendees at Unpacked 2017, which causes one to wonder; did Samsung drop the ball in trying to keep the Galaxy S8 under wraps, or were all the leaks intentional? We may never know.
[Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Samsung]