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Rumors point to bigger screen and AI assistant for upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 19-01-2017

Samsung chose not to unveil its Galaxy S8 smartphone at this year's CES tech show.© Provided by AFPRelaxNews Samsung chose not to unveil its Galaxy S8 smartphone at this year's CES tech show. From a borderless display and latest-gen components to a new AI assistant, Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone is stirring up all kinds of rumors.

The most recent rumor suggests that the phone will start shipping on April 15, according to ETNews.

Meanwhile a promotional video for AMOLED screens posted online by Samsung Display features a never-before-seen smartphone with a borderless display that covers the device's front face almost entirely. This could be some kind of prototype for the upcoming Galaxy S8. After all, Samsung could be keen to release a device similar in style to the Xiaomi Mi Mix, designed by Philippe Starck, which has a 6.4-inch virtually borderless display covering more than 90% of the phone's front surface.

A borderless design could make for an increase in screen size. In fact, Samsung could load its Galaxy S8 with a curved 6-inch screen while maintaining the form factor of the current Galaxy S7 edge. A borderless display could also mean ditching the home and navigation buttons previously located just under the screen. A leak of what are purported to be renders of the handset suggest that it would come in two sizes, with one a Galaxy S8 Plus, notes GSMArena.

Speaking of screens, the Galaxy S8 is expected to be the firm's first model to come with technology comparable to Apple's Force Touch or Huawei's Press Touch, varying touchscreen functionality in relation to how hard users press the display.

Another major new feature expected in the Galaxy S8 is an artificial-intelligence-powered assistant called Bixby, based on the technology behind the Viv virtual assistant, which can respond to questions formulated in natural language. It could shape up to be a tough competitor for Google Assistant, Alexa (Amazon) and Cortana (Microsoft).

As for components, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely to come loaded with cutting-edge tech, including a latest-gen processor like the Snapdragon 835 (principally for the USA) or the Exynos 8895 (for the rest of the world), matched with 6 GB of RAM. As yet, it's not clear whether the phone will get iris scanning technology, a dual camera, or whether Samsung could ditch the mini-jack in favor of a USB Type-C port.

While Samsung often launches phones in the lead up to the Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona, Spain and this year running February 27 to March 2, the latest leaks suggest it may in fact be unveiled later at a standalone event in April. It's likely to go on sale shortly afterward and will no doubt play a key role in boosting the South Korean tech firm's image in the smartphone market after last year's exploding Note 7 fiasco.

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