The Samsung Galaxy S8 hasn’t been announced yet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know an awful lot about it.
Leaks and rumors are pouring in almost daily and at this point they’ve formed a pretty cohesive picture of what we’re likely to see in the Galaxy S8.
So we’ve decided to take an early look at how the Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to stack up compared to the Samsung Galaxy S7, based on the most likely specs and features.
We’ve put them head to head across a range of categories, comparing their design, screen, power, camera, battery and more, so you can see what a difference a year makes, and whether you should consider the cheaper S7 or the glistening new S8 when it’s launched.
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 may not be enormously different from the Galaxy S7, where it’s likely to have a metal frame and glass back for a start. But the S8 is likely to be longer than – though not quite as wide as – the Galaxy S7, with rumored dimensions of 148.90 x 68 x 8mm, to the Samsung Galaxy S7’s 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is also likely to look quite different from the front, as unlike the S7 it won’t have a home button beneath the screen, with the fingerprint scanner instead moved to the back, where it will sit alongside the camera.
The S8 will probably also have tiny bezels above and below the screen, for a more ‘all-screen’ look than the S7.
One thing that’s unlikely to change is water and dust resistance. The Galaxy S7 is IP68 certified (meaning it can be submerged up to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes) and we expect the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be too.
Overall then, the Galaxy S8 is likely to have a more immediately impressive design, especially when viewed from the front, but one that’s recognisably an evolution of the Samsung Galaxy S7.
It’s (almost) all change here, with the Galaxy S8 trading the S7’s 5.1-inch flat screen for a 5.8-inch curved one.
But despite being significantly larger, the overall footprint of the phone is probably only going to be slightly bigger, as the fingerprint scanner is being moved to the back and the bezels are being shrunk to almost non-existence.
That means the S8 should feel more like a normal phone than a phablet despite the gargantuan screen.
The resolution of the S8’s screen is likely to be upgraded too, with a 1,440 x 2,960 QHD+ resolution rumored, in place of the Samsung Galaxy S7’s 1,440 x 2,560 QHD option.
Given the extra width over its predecessor, the S8’s screen probably won’t actually be much sharper, but it is rumored to have a super-widescreen 18.5:9 aspect ratio similar to the LG G6.
It’s also likely to follow in the Note 7’s footsteps in supporting HDR content, which the Samsung Galaxy S7 doesn’t. The only thing that will probably stay the same is the technology used, with both phones having Super AMOLED displays, capable of delivering punchy, vivid colors.
So in short, the Samsung Galaxy S8’s screen is likely to be bigger, better and curvier than the S7’s.
OS and power
Both phones will run Android of course, and while the Galaxy S8 will probably launch with Android Nougat, the Galaxy S7 can now be updated to that.
As such, we don’t expect a huge difference on the OS front – though Samsung will have probably further tweaked and refined its TouchWiz overlay for the S8.
As for power, we could see a significant upgrade there, but no more than the typical yearly power boosts you’d expect to get.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has 4GB of RAM and either an octa-core Exynos 8890 chipset (in Europe) or a quad-core Snapdragon 820 one (in the US), both of which were among the most powerful mobile chipsets in 2016.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 meanwhile will probably stick with 4GB of RAM – though some rumors peg it at 6GB, likely for Asian regional variations – and have an Exynos 8895 chip in Europe, or a Snapdragon 835 one in the US, each of which is the next generation of the chips the S7 used.
Given that the Galaxy S7 already offers almost flawlessly snappy performance these may not make a hugely noticeable difference, especially as they have a bigger screen to drive, but we wouldn’t be surprised if app load times are slightly faster, screen response time under the finger better and games look slightly better.
Expect more power efficiency too, which could help the battery last longer.
This camera on the S8 could be one of the smallest upgrades over the S7, as while rumors pointed to a dual-lens snapper on the Samsung Galaxy S8, it’s now looking like the phone will have a single-lens 12MP one – just like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Even the aperture may not change, with rumors suggesting it will be f/1.7 again, but we’d expect, at the very least, that the software will be improved.
If nothing does change, Samsung is clearly banking on the fact that it’s already got one of the best sensors on the market in the back of the S7, but whether that will stand up to the challenge of 2017’s best phones remains to be seen.
The front-facing camera could get more of an update on the S8, with talk of an 8MP sensor in place of the Samsung Galaxy S7’s 5MP one.
It may also benefit from autofocus, allowing you to sharpen objects at different distances. These changes would be welcome, as the Samsung Galaxy S7’s front-facing camera is solid but unexceptional.
We’re largely expecting the Samsung Galaxy S8 to have a 3,000mAh battery. That’s exactly the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S7’s and a bit of a worry, since it needs to power a much larger screen with more pixels.
On the other hand, the chipsets used by the Samsung Galaxy S8 are likely to be more power efficient, so there’s a possibility that it will balance out, but this is one thing you’ll definitely want to check up on when we’ve put the S8 through a full review.
Fast charging is almost guaranteed, and is also present in the Samsung Galaxy S7.
However the S8 is likely to make the move to USB Type-C, so, while you might need to invest in some new cables, you’ll at least be able to plug them in either way around.
We don’t yet know what the Samsung Galaxy S8 will cost, but rumors put it slightly higher than the Samsung Galaxy S7.
2016’s Galaxy S7 started at £569/AU$1149 (around $750) SIM-free, and can now be found from roughly £450/$670/AU$900, while the Samsung Galaxy S8 may launch for around $845/£695/AU$1,115, which would put it at roughly $100/£130 more expensive.
Based on current rumors, the Samsung Galaxy S8 sounds like a huge improvement on the Samsung Galaxy S7 in some areas, with the screen being the real highlight.
It’s likely to be a lot bigger, without making the phone itself massive, and with a new aspect ratio and HDR support it could be a genuinely different experience to use.
Elsewhere, the design is likely to be refined and there should be quite a lot more power in the Galaxy S8.
On the other hand, the camera may not change much, the battery life is a concern and the S8 is likely to be pricier. Plus, the fingerprint scanner being moved to the back probably won’t please everyone – though the likely addition of an iris scanner will give you another security option.
Of course, you should take all of this with a pinch of salt, since it’s based on rumors rather than fact… although there’s very little we don’t know about this phone right now thanks to the smorgasbord of leaks.
We’ll know the truth of the Galaxy S8 when it’s announced on March 29, but for now, battery concerns aside, it sounds like it should be a real crowd-pleaser.