After weeks of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Samsung Electronics will roll out the the make or break Galaxy S8 smartphone. Samsung has a lot riding on the new smartphone after the embarrassing and costly demise of the Galaxy Note 7.
While the firm will undoubtedly have some surprises up its sleeves, there have been a lot of leaks about what consumers can expect out of the device.
Take the design of its latest smartphone for starters. The Galaxy S8 is expected to come with a complete new design, one the technology blogs have been reporting will be its biggest redesign ever. The Galaxy S8 will be slimmer, have a curved body and come with a bigger screen. In fact, according to the rumor mill, the larger version of the Galaxy S8 will boast a 6.2 inch display while the smaller Galaxy S8 will have a 5.8 inch display. The Galaxy Note 7 had a 5.7 inch display while the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 7 Plus boasts a 5.5 inch screen.
In addition to a larger screen, Samsung is expected to remove the home button from the front and is reportedly selling the device in three colors: black, grey or silver. The Galaxy S8 will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip which means it should be faster and have a longer battery life and is expected to include facial recognition technology built in to enable digital payments.
One aspect of the Galaxy S8 that isn’t a secret is that it will be preloaded with Bixby, its virtual, voice activated assistant that’s designed to compete against Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa. Samsung is hoping Bixby will set it apart from its competitors because, instead of being able to answer a database of questions and respond to predetermined commands, Bixby is designed to help customers use Samsung devices and more easily complete tasks. The price point for the smartphone has not been confirmed, but tech blogs have said it’s expected to sell for lower than the iPhone 8, which Apple is reportedly launching in the fall.
Samsung has a lot riding on the success of the Galaxy S8 after facing a costly and embarrassing blow last year due to dangerous flaws in its Galaxy Note 7. That device was supposed to be a big hit for Samsung, but after the smartphone’s battery starting catching fire, Samsung was forced to launch a massive recall. The replacement phones had the same issue, which resulted in Samsung killing the device altogether. It’s also suffering from a bribery scandal that has resulted in executives including Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee being arrested. If the Galaxy S8 is able to avoid any missteps, it may be enough to improve its reputation and regain trust among consumers, which is something Samsung badly needs.