Samsung Galaxy S8 case
Samsung Galaxy S8: What will the new flagship look like and what features will it come with?Mobile Fun

There was a lot to love about about the Samsung Galaxy S7, from its great design, beautiful display, and powerful chops, right down to the fact that you could dunk it in water and still have a fully-functioning phone afterwards.

Nevertheless, the manufacturer will need to pull out all the stops with its 2017 successor, the Galaxy S8, to ensure it can maintain its neck-and-neck position with Apple, not to mention resolve itself of the PR nightmare following the global recall of the Note 7.

News and rumours about the handset are now flowing thick and fast. While it's entirely possible that some have some merit behind them, we advise you take the following tidbits with a healthy pinch of salt.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Release date

Samsung traditionally announces its latest S-series flagships on the eve of Mobile World Congress, which takes place from 27 February to 2 March 2017. This year the company will break with tradition in order to put the Galaxy S8 through more rigorous testing, following the highly-publicised battery mishaps with the Note 7, meaning it'll be a no-show at MWC.

Well, that's not strictly true. The Korean Herald claims that audiences will catch a brief glimpse of the handset at the show, but only in a one-minute teaser video. Most reports seem to agree that official unveiling will occur at a standalone event in New York in April.

The latest rumour out of Sam Mobile suggests that Samsung will introduce its upcoming flagship to the public on 29 March. Meanwhile, a "well-placed" source told The Guardian that the phone will be announced in late March and go on sale on or around 21 April.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Price

A Weibo post spotted by Tech Update in September points to a $850 (£675, €784) price tag for the Samsung Galaxy S8. If true this would make the S8 significantly more expensive that its predecessor, which arrived sporting a £569 price tag.

While this source is of questionable credibility, leading financial institution Goldman Sachs believes the material cost of the Galaxy S8 could be as much as 20 percent higher than the S7, which could mean a significant price hike at retail if the manufacturer opts to pass the cost on to consumers.

Galaxy X folded
Samsung is working on a foldable phone, but it's unlikely to be the S8Korean Intellectual Property Office

Samsung Galaxy S8: Infinity display

Samsung has confirmed that a larger version of the Galaxy S8 will be available to purchase after going live with its official Galaxy S8 Plus support page. According to the Guardian, each will offer a curved "Infinity Display" covering much of the front of the device, leaving extremely narrow bezels along the top and bottom of the Galaxy S8.-

According to Evan Blass, better known by his Twitter moniker @evleaks, both models will offer a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440, with the standard Galaxy S8 measuring 5.8in and the Galaxy S8 Plus measuring 6.2in. Sam Mobile claims Samsung has moved over to a new, less power-hungry Super AMOLED panel for its latest handset.

Samsung Galaxy S8 case leak
Smartphone case renders appear to have offered a premature glimpse of the Galaxy S8Mobile Fun

Samsung Galaxy S8: Design

Evan Blass recently tweeted what is claimed to be the first glimpse of the Galaxy S8 in the flesh, showing two devices sporting sleek unibody designs and curved edges.

Other anticipated design changes include the relocation of the fingerprint sensor. Initial reports suggested this would be integrated directly beneath the display, however sources speaking to the The Guardian said the Galaxy S8 will feature a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner similar to the Google Pixel and other Android devices.

The Guardian also claims that Samsung's upcoming flagship will feature the same iris-scanning technology that arrived in the now-discontinued Galaxy Note 7, allow users to unlock the phone with their eyes.

A handful of protective cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 appear to have leaked at least some of the design aspects ahead of schedule. The images show a handset with a curved, edge-to-edge display and no physical home button, supporting many of the rumours we've heard.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Headphone jack

A number of companies are currently eyeing a move away from the traditional 3.5mm port in favour of USB-C, Samsung included. Samsung is said to be looking at a new, proprietary solution based on USB-C that it could position as a rival to Apple's Lightning connector. Recently, reports have suggested that this may feature in the Galaxy S8 instead of the traditional headphone jack.

The latest word from The Guardian is that the trusty 3.5mm is sticking around for now, citing "several sources". Despite this, smartphone cases for the Galaxy S8 have appeared both with and without the 3.5mm port, leaving us uncertain as to whether or not the phone will support our favourite headphones.

Ghostek Galaxy S8 case
Ghostek's case suggests that the Galaxy S8 won't have a 3.5mm headphone jackMobile Fun

Samsung Galaxy S8: Processor and storage

In the past Samsung has introduced two different processors for different regions, with the Exynox model usually arriving alongside one based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform aimed at Western markets. Qualcomm recently introduced the Snapdragon 835, the company's new mobile CPU for top-end smartphones which is being manufactured in collaboration with Samsung. The 835 is the first processor in the Snapdragon series to be built using Samsung's 10-nanometre FinFet process, which essentially allows for extremely thin processors and therefore slimmer handset designs.

The Snapdragon 835 is highly expected appear in the US & European version of the Galaxy S8, bringing benefits like Qualcomm's latest QuickCharge 4.0 technology, which allows a smartphone to be charged to 50% capacity in as little as 15 minutes.

In terms of storage, The Guardian claims the Galaxy S8 will come with 64GB of on-board storage and will feature a microSD slot capable of supporting cards up to 256GB in capacity.

Qualcomm Snapdragon
The Snapdragon 835 will likely end up in the Western version of the Samsung Galaxy S8Qualcomm

According to Sam Mobile, for Asian markets the Samsung Galaxy S8 may feature a proprietary 10nm Exynos 8895 processor containing ARM's latest Mali-G71 graphics processing unit, which has been built to support both 4K and virtual reality content.

This is a rumour backed up by WCCFTech, which goes on to report that the latest Samsung-made chipset will boast clock speeds of 3GHz. The processor is said to improve image processing performance by up to 80 percent, as well as help deliver greater battery life.

Other outlets have suggested the Galaxy S8 will come packing Samsung's yet-to-be-announced Exynos 9 chipset.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Viv AI

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been tipped to feature an integrated artificial intelligence akin to Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, which users will be able to launch by pressing a dedicated hardware button on the side of the device. According to The Guardian, the Galaxy S8's digital assistant will be capable of object recognition using the phone's camera, and will pull its data from a number of different sources.

The new AI platform comes courtesy of Viv Labs, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple Inc's Siri voice assistant program and acquired by Samsung in October. Reuters reports that the personal assistant will as such be named Viv, and will eventually be expanded to other Samsung smart devices, including connected home appliances and wearables. Another name cited for the AI is Bixby, which was trademarked by Samsung in November and will be used as the brand name for "software used to operate voice recognition system and computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition."

But Samsung might face hurdles getting Viv into the S8 due to an ongoing non-compete deal with Google. According to Recode, Samsung may be forced to exclude the AI from its upcoming flagship if considered a rival to Google's own digital helper, Google Assistant.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Stereo speakers

The Samsung Galaxy S8 could come with dual speakers akin to HTC's highly acclaimed BoomSound setup, reports GSM Arena. Particularly worrisome for HTC is word that said speaker tech could come with Harman Kardon branding.

Weight behind this rumour lies in Samsung's recent acquisition of Harman, and with it the US-based company's extensive portfolio of IoT, home audio and connected car tech.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Camera demo
The camera is the Galaxy S8 is tipped to be dual-lensSamsung

Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera

According to The Guardian, Galaxy S8 will have a similar dual-pixel camera setup camera to last year's Galaxy S7, which will boast "incremental" improvements in speed, image quality and low-light performance. More exciting are claims that the camera will feature built-in object recognition similar to Google Goggles, allowing the handset to recognise whatever it's being point pointed at.

Chinese microblogging site Weibo suggests Samsung's next flagship will sport a dual-lens setup similar to recent handsets like the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5 and Huawei P9.

South Korea's ETNews claims that Galaxy S8's front-facing lens will feature auto-focus – the first of its kind on a smartphone. The website notes that not only will this improve the quality of selfie shots but also allow the front camera to focus on images that are far away.

Samsung Galaxy S8: DeX Desktop Experience

According to Sam Mobile, the Galaxy S8 will feature PC-like functionality though a 'Desktop Experience' mode. This will be similar to Windows Mobile's Continuum, which enables Windows 10 smartphone users to work in PC-like environment by connecting their phones to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

If true, this may allow Galaxy S8 owners to use Windows apps like Microsoft Office as well as Samsung's native programmes in a desktop setup. The Guardian reports that the Galaxy S8 will come with a special phone dock and app that will allow it to operate as an Android desktop PC, although it refers to this service as Desktop Extension, or DeX.

We'll be updating this article as more news on the Galaxy S8 surfaces, so stay tuned to IBTimes UK Tech for all the latest news, rumours and water cooler chat on Samsung's 2017 superphone.

What specs and features do you want to see on the Samsung Galaxy S8? Let us know on Twitter @IBTimesUKTech