Google and Samsung are set to debut flagship mobile powerhouses in 2017 but how will they shape up?
Glimpses into the next wave of Android flagships smartphones form Google and Samsung are doing the rounds, as the rumour mill begins to churn ahead of Mobile World Congress 2017.
After the literal fiery disaster that was Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, leading to is rapid discontinuation, there is a gap in the market for top notch ‘phablets’, and with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 mobile chip making its debut there’s now scope to produce even more powerful smartphones that could become powerhouse work devices as well covetable consumer gadgets.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Continuing with its ‘S’ nomenclature, Samsung is soon to announce its Galaxy S8 flagship phone, likely coming in two guises like the Galaxy S7; one with a normal screen and another with a display that curves on its vertical edges.
A leaked image of the Samsung Galaxy S8 appears to show a design that differs from its predecessor and the similar looking Galaxy S6, reportedly sporting 5.8inch and 6.3inch QHD AMOLED displays that cover 83 percent of the smartphones’ front panels.
This would man Samsung is likely to get rid of the physical home button that has been a feature of every Galaxy smartphone for seven generations. However, more screen real estate could make the display more immersive and provide more real-estate for tapping out emails and viewing complex documents while on the move.
Given Samsung has been snapping up Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chips, the Galaxy S6 is likely to be powered by the latest mobile CPU, though some of its models depending on the region in which they are released could make us of a similar Samsung Exynos 8895 processor.
Other rumoured specifications include 4GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh to 3,500mAh battery pack, a 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water resistant certification and up to 128GB of on-board storage expandable via a microSD card lot.
This is a fairly standard specs list for a top-of-the-lie phone from Samsung, but there are a few standout potential features, such as USB-C charging and connectivity, and HDMI dock for running a form of virtual desktop from the phone, and most significant the debut of an artificial intelligence assistant from Samsung to rival the likes of Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant.
Samsung is also rumored to be aping Apple’s Force Touch technology by integrating pressure sensitive touch controls into the Galaxy S8.
Samsung will undoubtedly follow the Galaxy S8 with the Galaxy Note 8 to try and make up for the critically acclaimed yet fatally flawed Galaxy Note 7. The Galaxy Note 8 will likely feature a QHD display in tablet worrying phablet dimensions, as will sport similar and perhaps enhanced design cues and specifications of the Galaxy S8, only offering better support for a stylus and positioning itself as a strong mobile productivity tool.
Google Pixel 2
The Pixel and Pixel XL were Google’s first smartphones is designed by itself completely, and while not quite perfect, due to their lack of common features such as water proofing, they met solid acclaim, with the larger Pixel XL going someway to fill the void left by the Galaxy Note 7.
But according to a 9to5Google a source familiar with Google’s smartphone work has said there is a Pixel 2 in the works.
While concreted details are not available, Goggle is rumoured to be testing all manner of specifications for a second-generation Pixel, which will see it sport a faster processor and improved camera but also a higher price.
However, to compensate for this Google is also said to be looking at creating a budget version of the Pixel, the will likely be similar to its more wallet-friendly Nexus smartphones that were built in partnership with the likes of LG and HTE.
The current crop of Pixel smartphones made their mark by debuting the Google Assistant, the search giant’s AI-powered virtual assistant. So a more budget option to bring Google’s AI tech to the market will likely go some way to win people over to the 100 percent Google phones, and the more expensive Pixel 2 variant should appeal to die-hard Android fans who prefer an unfiltered and un-tweaked version of the latest Android operating system.
Rumours that surround Android devices often have some credence, but even with scant details, it would be safe to say that we can expect some very solid smartphones, designed for work and play, from the big names in the Android market, including Sony, LG and Huawei, who may all show off their latest mobiles devices at MWC 2017.