Samsung will announce the successors to its Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones in the next few weeks in the form of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. At least that's what the rumours suggest they will be called.
This feature rounds up all the leaks relating to the larger of the two flagship devices, the Galaxy S8+. You can read our separate feature on the Galaxy S8 if you want to know what is expected for the smaller smartphone, but for everything we know so far about the S8 Plus, keep reading.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Release date and price
- 29 March launch
- Reportedly on sale from 21 or 28 April
- S8+ rumoured to cost around €900 / $1050 / £845
Samsung has confirmed the next Galaxy UnPacked event will take place on 29 March 2017, which is where the S8 and S8+ are expected to be revealed.
VentureBeat first said the S8 Plus will cost €899 in Europe and go on sale on 21 April, which is the date ET News also claimed and analyst Kuo. VentureBeat has also reported the on sale date has been pushed back to 28 April though so currently it is unknown exactly when the new flagships will hit shelves, but expect end of April.
SamMobile supports VentureBeat's pricing ideas though, reporting that the S8 Plus will cost around $1050 (£845), based on a leaked retailer's database. The database also says the S8+ will be available in Black, Gold and Orchid Grey, while Kuo predicts the devices to come in seven colours so expect a couple of options at least.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Design
- Curved design rumoured
- No home button and minimal bezels rumoured
- Similar dimensions to S7 edge rumoured, despite screen increase
Rumours claim that instead of releasing two devices, one with a flat bezel, the other curved, Samsung will break from tradition and stick with just the latter this time around, hence the name S8 Plus rather than S8 edge. After all, with two curved devices, there would be no need to differentiate one as "edge". A leak of front panels suggested two curved handsets and SamMobile, the Guardian, The Bell and VentureBeat have all supported the idea too.
Like the Galaxy S8, it has also been reported that a dedicated side-mounted button which will launch Viv, the personal assistant developed by Siri founder Dag Kittlaus, will make its way onto the S8 devices. VentureBeat has also suggested this button will appear and official cases have leaked with what looks like a cutout for this button.
The physical home button is also reported to be saying goodbye for the new S8 devices, suggesting an "all-screen front" with super-slim bezels and no room for even the Samsung logo. A number of images of the S8, including case leaks, a VentureBeat leak, Weibo leak and BGR hands on images leak have supported this idea, and it is thought the Plus will share the same design, but in a larger format.
Based on the Guardian and VentureBeat reports, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the rear of the new S8 devices and the iris scanner from the Note 7 will also be on board, the latter of which has also been claimed by a leaked spec sheet from Evan Blass. Other reports suggest facial recognition though, so it is not yet clear what will appear, though something clearly will almost all the most recent leaks show several sensors on the front.
A report from CNET Korea also claims the fingerprint sensor will be situated on the rear, to the right of the camera lens, which is something the official case leak also appears to confirm, as well as a more recent Slash Leaks report. The CNET report also claimed a Samsung official said the screen will have "soft keys" within it for navigating.
Despite the increase in screen size reported, the S8 Plus is rumoured to have similar dimensions to the S7 edge, suggesting a good screen-to-body ratio. This has also been supported by the Guardian report and a tweet from David Ruddock, who said the aspect ratio of the new flagships mean the S8 and S8 Plus will be "no wider at all than the S7 and S7 edge. Exact match".
The CNET Korea report suggests the screen dimensions of the S8 Plus will be 143.05mm diagonally, 131.58mm tall and 64.94mm wide but it doesn't provide the dimensions of the device itself.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Display
- Size increase rumoured
- Screen-to-body ratio expected to improve
- Resolution claimed to be Quad HD+
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ has been rumoured to increase its display size compared to its predecessor. Most reports have claimed the S8 Plus will have a 6.2-inch screen, which is quite a bit larger than the 5.5-inch screen of the S7 edge it is set to replace. A spec sheet leaked by Evan Blass claims the S8 Plus will have a 6.2-inch display at full rectangle, but 6.1-inch if you take into account the "rounded corners".
Due to the size increase but not footprint increase, the screen-to-body ratio is also expected to improve. A Samsung Display spokesperson was quoted saying the company would roll out a full screen display with a ratio of more than 90 per cent this year, though it is not clear if this will be on the S8 devices. The Guardian has said both devices will offer an infinity edge-to-edge display though so a high screen-to-body ratio is definitely on the cards.
A Bloomberg report also supports this idea, with its claim of an all-screen front, as we mentioned earlier. The report claims the display will be wraparound and there will be a virtual home button buried into the lower section of the glass, which is something the VentureBeat report also suggests.
In terms of resolution, according to specs leaked by Blass, the S8+ will have a Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, which will presumably be a slight bump over the S7 edge. Analyst Kuo claims this will be 2960 x 2400 pixels, which would put a 6.2-inch display at 614ppi, compared to 473ppi, if it sticks with 2K. The S8 is reported to be coming with improvements for VR so no doubt the S8 Plus will also offer this. Whether this is referring to the resolution or another technology remains to be seen for now.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Camera
- New 1/2.3-inch sensor with f/1.4 aperture rumoured
- 8MP front camera rumoured with iris scanner
- 12MP rear sensor with visual search feature suggested
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 Plus 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.
There have been several other rumours surrounding the Galaxy S8's camera and although none have been confirmed, it is likely the S8 Plus will have the same like the S7 and S7 edge did. A dual rear camera has been reported with two different sensors - one at 12-megapixels, one at 13-megapixels, while the same tipster also claimed the front camera will be 8-megapixels, which ET News has also suggested.
Contradicting these rumours however, is another leak from a different source claiming the Galaxy S8 will have a 30-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation, coupled with a 9-megapixel front-facing snapper. There has also been a claim that the S8 will have the same Duo Pixel camera of the S7 and S7 edge, which is something that the VentureBeat report also suggests and the BGR report. A single rear lens is also supported by the image leaks.
According to VentureBeat, the rear camera will be 12-megapixels with an f/1.7 aperture and a new visual search feature, while the front camera will have an 8-megapixel sensor, also with an f/1.7 aperture. The site also claimed the front camera will have iris scanning capabilities. All these claims have been supported by the leaked specifications from Blass. ET News has also reported that the front-facing snapper of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus could have auto-focus rather than fixed.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Hardware
- Qualcomm SD835 chip rumoured with 4GB or 6GB RAM
- USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack
- 3500mAh suggested
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are not only likely to share the same design and features, but they are also likely to share the same hardware, except battery capacity. Ice Universe claims we will see 8GB of RAM, while another leak says can expect a 3.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, supported by 6GB of RAM. A Phone Arena leak lists two processors - Exynos 8895 chip and the Snapdragon 835 - and 6GB and 8GB of RAM, suggesting there could be different versions for different regions again.
Samsung itself recently revealed details of its new Exynos 9 processor, claimed to be the world's first to use 10nm FinFET technology. The company says it has 27 per cent more performance and uses 40 per cent less power than the previous chip with 14nm technology so chances are some models of the S8 Plus and S8 will feature it. According to Kuo, the US, Japan and China will have the Snapdragon 835 chip, while Europe and the rest of Asia will have the Exynos 8895. He claimed most models will have 4GB of RAM, but China and Korea devices will have 6GB of RAM.
VentureBeat supports the idea of two processors, but it claims the S8 and therefore presumably the S8 Plus will stick with 4GB of RAM with internal storage options starting from 64GB with microSD support, something that has been supported by the recently leaked specs. The site also says the S8 Plus will have a 3500mAh capacity which is the same as what a report from News1 Korea also claims, as well as Kuo.
In other reports, SamMobile has reported there will be a USB Type-C port on board for charging and audio and it's also been claimed the 3.5mm headphone jack will be ditched, like the iPhone 7, though the latter point has been contradicted by the Guardian, VentureBeat, BGR, as well as many of the more recent image leaks.
That said, SamMobile leaked some Samsung-made in-ear wireless earbuds like Apple's AirPods, supporting the removal of the headphone jack. A report from Fone Arena also adds fuel to this fire, claiming the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will offer dual speakers and they may be Harman branded, though the VentureBeat image leak and the Weibo leak suggests dual-speakers won't be the case.
Samsung acquired Harman in November 2016 so the claim of Harman branded speakers, even if not dual, is a reasonable one, especially as both LG, HTC and Apple have made moves in audio in their recent handsets so it's an obvious area for Samsung to focus on to keep in line with competition.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Software
- Viv personal assistant confirmed
- Android Nougat base software expected
- Could connect to monitor for desktop view of Android
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 new Galaxy S smartphones, which appears to be the case based on some leaked screenshots from the APK of the latest version of Samsung's Smart Switch application.
The screenshots show a clean and simple user interface with icons that match the renders produced by Blass. Both the S8 and S8 Plus will no doubt run on Android Nougat.
As we mentioned earlier, we can also expect to see Viv on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Details are thin on the ground as to what Viv will be able to do, other than provide answers and actions, but it has been confirmed by Samsung that it will appear on the new flagships.
Sam Mobile has said the Bixby voice assistant, powered by Viv, will feature in all native apps on the S8 and S8 Plus. In other software news, the site also claimed the S8 and S8 Plus would have an always-visible status bar and it has also been claimed that the handsets will be able to connect to a monitor for a desktop view of Android.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Conclusion
We still have a couple of weeks of waiting before we know what the S8 Plus will officially feature, but based on the amount of image leaks and rumours, it looks like there will be a change up in design, more improvements in camera capabilities and software refinements. A more powerful processor and more RAM are also likely.
We will update this feature as new rumours appear, as well as when the official specs are announced so keep checking back.