Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in March, followed by the Note 7 in August. The former two devices have received huge amounts of praise for their designs, powerful specs and great cameras, while the latter appears to be following the same path.
No smartphone is perfect though. There will always be a few specs in the rumours that never see the light of day, leaving some disappointed and wanting more.
Rumours are few and far between for the Samsung Galaxy S8 at the moment but things are starting to pick up, even if it's probably going to be almost half a year before the smartphone is officially announced. Here is what we hope to see, what we think might appear and what some rumours suggest might appear on Samsung's 2017 flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Release date
If Samsung follows previous release patterns, chances are we will see a Samsung Galaxy S8 launch at Mobile World Congress next year.
The show takes place from 27 February to 2 March 2017, which would mean the potential launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S8 could be 26 February. Of course, Samsung might change everything up for the S8, but for now, an educated guess would suggest this is the date to pencil in the diary.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Two phones?
One recent rumour claimed that instead of release two devices, one with a flat bezel, the other curved, Samsung will break from tradition and stick with just the latter this time around. After all, it only has the curved display on the Galaxy Note 7.
It complies with a conversation we had with Samsung's Conor Pierce, although without any further confirmation we'll still presume that there will be two separate devices in its 2017 flagship line-up for now.
SamMobile reported that its insiders have claimed there will be two models, which are being referred to internally as Dream and Dream2. They are said to have the model numbers SM-G950 and SM-G955. The Galaxy S7 has the model number SM-G930 and normally Samsung jumps up by 10 for a new model, though apparently the number 4 is bad luck in South Korea, hence the jump to 950 over 940.
The site also reported the Galaxy S8 could launch with the Samsung Gear 360 Pro camera so we will be keeping an eye out for more rumours regarding that too.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Design
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge followed their predecessors closely when it came to their design. A couple of refinements were made, including reducing the rear camera bump in comparison to the S6 and S6 edge but on the whole, the new flagships are largely the same on the surface.
We'd expect the Samsung Galaxy S8 to change things up a little bit more in the design department in comparison to what the S7 and S7 edge did. What that will be is difficult to say at the moment, given it's months and months away but there are a couple of things we'd like to see.
As USB Type-C was missed off the S7 and S7 edge spec list, we'd expect to see them on board the Galaxy S8 and S8 edge and we wouldn't be surprised to see improvements in the audio too. Both LG and HTC have made moves in this area in their recent handsets so it would be an obvious feature for Samsung to focus on for its next flagship to keep in line with competition.
We'd love to see the S8 slim down a little and it would be interesting to see what an all metal build would offer compared to metal and glass.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Display
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge both offer Quad HD displays for pixel densities of 575ppi and 534ppi, respectively.
The S7 has a 5.1-inch size while the S7 edge has a 5.5-inch size and, if there are to be two separate phones again, we wouldn't expect this to change for the S8, at least not by much. We might see the screen to body ratios improve slightly, but in terms of size, we'd expect the same as the S7 and S7 edge, assuming two handsets are announced of course.
Resolution might increase though. With VR becoming more and more popular, higher resolution displays are more important. The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium might be expensive, but if you're into smartphone-controlled VR, its 4K display offers a great experience.
As Samsung is already in the VR business, it would make sense to offer a compatible device with a higher resolution display for the Gear VR or any further VR devices. Chinese blogging sources suggest the company has shown off a 5.5-inch 4K AMOLED display offering a pixel density of 806ppi, but whether this will appear on the S8 remains unknown for now.
Let's just hope that if the resolution is increased for the S8 and S8 edge that battery life wouldn't be compromised.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge feature a 12-megaixel rear camera with an aperture of f/1.7 and larger 1.44µm pixels. The front-facing camera is 5-megapixels, also with a f/1.7 aperture and both are fantastic.
Samsung pulled it out of the bag with the S6 and S6 edge when it came to the camera, improving the capability for the S7 and S7 edge. Chances are we will see further improvements for the S8 and S8 edge.
There has been a rumour to suggest the company is working on a new 1/2.3-inch sensor that will be combined with a f/1.4 aperture. This would deliver even better low-light capabilities than the current flagships but whether it will appear on the S8 or S8 edge is unclear yet. The rumours also claim Samsung's goal is to deliver a 1/1.7-inch sensor eventually, suggesting it has no intention of stopping improvements in the camera department.
Other claims have also suggested the Galaxy S8 might appear with a dual rear camera, with two different sensors - one at 12-megapixels, one at 13-megapixels. This is something we have already seen on the LG G5 and Huawei P9, and a feature that is rumoured for the Apple iPhone 7 Pro.
The same tipster also claimed the front camera will be 8-megapixels.We'd certainly like to see it have optical image stabilisation too, following in the path of HTC with its latest flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Hardware
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge arrived in two models - one of which sported the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, while the other had the Exynos Octa 8 chip inside. Both models come with 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with microSD support for further storage expansion. There is a 3000mAh battery inside the S7 and a 3400mAh battery inside the S7 edge.
With every new flagship, comes new hardware. A faster, more powerful processor will certainly be on board the Galaxy S8 and S8 edge, and possibly a jump in RAM. The Samsung Note 7 was rumoured to be coming with 6GB of RAM but only 4GB ended up being on board so perhaps the increase will come in the S8 instead.
It's likely Samsung will keep microSD support on board, as it didn't go down so well when it removed it for the S6 and S6 edge, but we'd expect the same storage solutions, or the 32GB model on its own given Marshmallow's Flex support allows users to combine the phone's internal storage with the storage of the SD card.
A bigger battery capacity is always welcomed, but even if the capacity itself isn't increased for the S8 and S8 edge, we'd like to see software improvements to help with power management. Samsung already does a good job in this field but it can always be better when it comes to battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Software
Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge both feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow, overlaid with the TouchWiz software.
There are some handy features with TouchWiz, but we would still like to see some more refinement for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 edge.
Vanilla Android will probably never happen and that's ok, but it would be great to see the best of TouchWiz on top of a close to pure Android experience. HTC launched it's latest flagship with a refined version of Sense over Android and it works well, delivering a cleaner experience with less duplication. We'd love to see Samsung do this too for its next flagships.
Samsung Galaxy S8: Conclusion
What will appear on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 edge? Who knows at the moment. We have months of waiting ahead of us but it would be interesting to see a change up in design, more improvements in camera capabilities and software refinements.
There is a good chance of a more powerful processor and more RAM, as well as the potential for a larger battery capacity too, as is normally the case with next-gen flagships.
We will be keeping a close eye on the rumours of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 edge as and when they appear so keep checking back for updates.