Samsung Galaxy S8: what we want to see
Samsung elected to postpone the adoption of USB Type-C integration on the S7 and S7 Edge. Although Samsung pointed to the compatibility of peripherals, such as the Gear VR headset, relying on microUSB 2.0, it’s also true that Samsung’s engineers are less familiar with the newer Type-C port. USB Type-A has been the standard for many years now, and if Samsung had taken a gamble on the more recent USB Type-C on the Galaxy S7, the device would almost certainly not have been as rounded and cohesive as it is using the older USB type.
It’s seems high time now, though, that Samsung takes the leap.
The return of the removable battery
Samsung bowed to consumer pressure and reinstated the beloved microSD card slot on the S7, but they fell short of also bringing back the removable battery. Essentially guaranteeing built-in obsolescence, a non-removable battery is a death clock inside a device. Limited to a certain number of charge cycles, once a battery reaches this limit, it’s done, dead, kaputt.
If you’re interested in holding onto your device for a more than a couple of years, or handing it down to a family member when you upgrade, a removable battery will help ensure it doesn’t roll over and die one day after a long stretch of declining battery life.
Native support for Quick Charge 3.0
We expected to see this implemented on the Galaxy S7, but our wishes went unfulfilled. The technology is supported by the Snapdragon processor found inside some S7 models, and no doubt the Exynos 8890 could handle it without difficulty, too. It could be that the decision was made to ensure that the battery lasts longer: faster charging means quicker weakening of the battery. A conundrum that could, incidentally, be solved with the introduction of a removable battery.
A change in design
The S7 and S7 Edge stuck very closely to the design principles of their predecessors. The design is appealing, and has proven to be very successful, and there’s little doubt that the latest Galaxy flagships made subtle and appreciable improvements, but it’s time for something bigger. It’s likely that later this year Apple will implement a redesign on its iPhone 7, so a similar move from Samsung seems very likely. Perhaps a move towards a full-metal body?
A recent rumor points towards Samsung pooling more talent in its smartphone camera division in pursuit of a new sensor, supporting between 18 and 24 MP. We might see this sensor make its debut on the Galaxy Note 6. The Galaxy S7 dropped 4 MP (16 down to 12) from the S6, but an overall improvement in quality came from dual-photodiode technology and a wider aperture lens. What we’d like to see are these improvements married with a higher resolution sensor.
The return of the IR blaster
Appearing on the S6, but dropped from the S6 Edge+ and proceeding models, the IR blaster allows your phone to act as a remote control for any electronic device with an infrared receiver, most notably TVs. It’s been a nigh-on universal feature on phones since the Nokia 8210, so hopefully we will see its return on the Galaxy S8.
Front-facing stereo speakers
A hallmark of many new high-end devices, such as the Huawei P9 Plus, stereo speakers provide a much more compelling audio experience when viewing videos or playing games. The S7 and S7 Edge both failed to adopt them, however, leaving devices like the HTC 10 to take the audio mantle with its reinvigorated BoomSound audio. Hopefully Samsung will participate in the race with the Galaxy S8.