It’s been more than a week since the launch of iPhone 7 and its larger sibling iPhone 7 Plus. The buzz is still happening, but seems to be dying down now that the first batch of iPhone fans are already fondling their “upgraded iPhone 6” and dreaming of a single-glass iPhone 8 that promises to stun the world next year. But what of Samsung? The South Korean maker from Samsung Town (yup, that’s where their HQ is) has been silent since the massive recall of the Note 7 that might have helped boost Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sales this year.
The Galaxy Note 7 might have bitten the dust, but there is now a software fix on the way that limits battery charging to 60% so the phones don’t catch fire. Not ideal when you’ve spent such a lot of money on a new phone. But there you have it.
The Galaxy S7, however, is a success story of sorts for Samsung. Released in February of this year, the phone is estimated to have sold about 26 million units. Not bad even considering each new iPhone typically sells more than twice that much each year. Don’t forget that’s just one model for Samsung, whereas for Apple that’s the only model. In fact, sales for the S7 have been so strong that the company has shown a 17% profit growth over last year.
But what about the S8 that everyone is waiting for? Originally scheduled for early February, there are rumors that the Note 7 debacle may have prompted Samsung to release the S8 ahead of schedule. We don’t know when, but they usually launch their new phones a day before the Mobile World Conference that begins at the end of February. February 26 was the original estimated launch date for the S8 but that may well have been advanced by a month or more.
Samsung Galaxy S8 – What We Know
Still, we have enough “meat” on the S8 to see where it might be going as far as features are concerned. This is what we’ve learned from one reliable source called ICEUniverse in China.
The S8 could be one of the first Android phones in the world with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 processor, which the source says will support up to 8 GB of RAM. That’s some serious processing power, but the chip is only set to be launched in 2017 so it’s likely that Samsung has already inked some kind of agreement with Qualcomm in this regard. Obviously, that’s the only way we’ll be able to see the processor power the S8 if the rumors of early release are indeed true.
The S8 is likely to sport a 1/1.7 image sensor and an UltraHD/4K display, but that’s the extent of what we’ve learned about the new model.
Foldable Galaxy X and Flexible Lenovo
However, one massive bit of news has come from South Korean media that Samsung has no less than 5 flagship models planned for 2017. One of them, codenamed Project Valley and thought to ultimately be released as Samsung Galaxy X, is said to be a folding smartphone. A bit of trivia here – the “valley fold” is a basic paper-folding technique in Origami.
If true, the Galaxy X will work just like our old flip phones with the clamshell design, but it will preserve the full-sized AMOLED display while allowing the phone to have a much smaller footprint. Basically, it will be half the size of your average 5.5″ smartphone, but obviously twice as thick when folded.
What makes this actually believable is that earlier this year Samsung was awarded a patent for a unique hinge design that looks something like this. (Thanks to Patently Mobile for bringing us these images.)
If they do release the Galaxy X, it will be the first of a kind not only for Samsung but a major evolutionary step for smartphones. Lenovo is supposedly working on similar technology of its own – one that is truly flexible and not just foldable. Personally I think the wearer would be too afraid to even swing their arm while walking for fear of damaging the phone. It doesn’t look very practical, but let’s see what Lenovo has up their sleeve – sorry, on their sleeve – for next year!
This is what the “non-Apple” smartphone world is prepping for in 2017. With Apple planning its own stunning product with the single front glass feature, better camera tech, longer battery life and full water-proof protection up to 50 meters, it looks like the sagging smartphone industry could see a fresh boom next year.
For those who can barely wait for that to happen, just thank God it’s already September!
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