Like many of its predecessors, the Galaxy S8 is one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry. In spite of Samsung’s desire to put a stop to leaks, we think we know pretty much everything there’s to know about the upcoming handset. In fact, a brand new report seems to confirm all the other leaks we saw in recent weeks, but it also raises some concerns.
This time, it’s The Wall Street Journal sharing details about the unannounced device, lending more credence to previous Galaxy S8 rumors.
The Journal says the Galaxy S8 will be unveiled late next month in New York City. The phone should lose the physical home bottom on the front and feature a virtual assistant called Bixby. The S8 should also arrive in two curved-screen sizes and will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.
That’s exactly what we kept hearing over the past few months from similar reports. However, The Journal’s story has some interesting tidbits that might worry Samsung fans.
Apparently, the fingerprint sensor is located on the back of the device, but the design isn’t final. People familiar with the phone’s features said that some details could still change, even though the phone is set hit stores in about two months.
Furthermore, the Bixby assistant should have a dedicated hardware button on the side, many reports have claimed, including one from The Journal. Now, the news outlet says the company is “planning on adding the artificial-intelligence button,” according to people familiar with the matter. Again, this seems to indicate the Galaxy S8’s final design isn’t final, which is a bit troubling this late in the game.
The other day, a report from Korea said that Samsung just reconsidered the battery specs for the Galaxy S8, choosing to order smaller battery packs than initially expected.
Finally, there’s one more troubling piece of news, this time on the software side. Even though Samsung bought Viv Labs back in October, and we expected Bixby to be based on technology obtained through the purchase, The Journal says that Bixby might be an evolution of Samsung’s own S Voice virtual assistant rather than an implementation of Viv Labs technology. In November, Samsung mobile CTO Injong Rhee said the Galaxy S8’s AI will rely on Viv Labs technology that will provide services “significantly differentiated” from the competition.