Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is already being touted as the phone that could bury the memory of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. And not just by technology-watchers.
Samsung itself is already talking up the handset, despite the fact it’s not due on shelves until well into the new year.
So, what else have we learned about Samsung’s next–generation flagship? Read on and we’ll reveal all.
1 ‘Slick design’
Samsung’s been in damage-limitation mode ever since the Galaxy Note 7 had to be pulled from the production line due to exploding batteries.
Now its head of mobile, Lee Kyeong-tae, has spoken publicly about the phone for the first time and has promised it will feature what he describes as ‘slick design’.
That’s kind of a given these days, although Samsung may want to differentiate the S8 from its Note 7 range so much that it has something completely new planned.
2 Improved camera
The rumour mill has been whirring with stories about a dual lens camera featuring on the new Galaxy S8.
Now it seems that’s a dead cert after Lee told reporters that the device would have a much improved camera compared with the Galaxy Note 7 and S7.
Dual lens tech makes sense. Firstly, because it lets users take better pictures.
Secondly, it will give Samsung a phone to take on the might of the dual lens iPhone 7 Plus and the excellent Google Pixel.
3 New voice-activated assistant
Lee says that the Galaxy S8 will feature ‘an enhanced artificial intelligence service’.
This translates as Samsung’s version of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant.
It’s not long since Samsung bought Viv Labs, the company which first dreamed up Siri.
Bringing this advanced tech to its smartphones will help it catch up with its rivals and offer a service that will allow for deeper understanding of user habits.
Expect it to be a key feature of the Galaxy S8’s messaging app. As well as offering a standalone service for answering queries and making requests within third-party apps, it'll also let you order a take-out with Deliveroo and call a cab from Uber.
4 A later launch
Lee didn’t say when the phone would hit shelves. But recent rumours have pointed towards the Galaxy S8 being delayed, after one engineer said the company was more focused on fixing the Galaxy Note 7’s battery woes.
That means the mooted February 28th launch date could be scrapped in favour of a date later in March.
This would mean Samsung arriving at the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona on March 1st without a new smartphone in tow.
5 Swap your S7 for an S8
Lee had some good news for those Galaxy Note 7-owners who were forced to exchange their old phones for a Galaxy S7.
He announced that anyone affected by the debacle will be able to hand over their Galaxy S7 and receive a Galaxy S8 in return.
It’s not clear whether that means users will have to pay anything extra, with Lee seemingly unwilling or unable to offer specific details.
Can't wait for the S8? You can now pick up the Galaxy S7 from £26 per month. Compare contracts here: Samsung Galaxy S7 deals.