Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: everything you need to know about Samsung's upcoming flagship phones

Release date, specs, design and price - all the latest on the Galaxy S8+ and S8

 The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2017.

There's no doubt the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge were big hits for Samsung (we certainly loved them) - so what does the South Korean company do for a follow-up? Here's what we know so far.

Some clues can be found in the disastrous Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - traditionally a halfway house between the annual Galaxy phone launches - but it's not our only source of info on the S8 and S8 Edge.

Cheat sheet:

Release date: The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be announced 28th March, pre-orders will begin on 7th April, and it will launch globally on 21st April

Design: The S8 will come in two sizes, both resemble the S7 Edge with home button removed to make way for larger screens.

Key features: Iris scanning and Bixby virtual assistant

Price: The same, or slightly more than the S7 when it launched

Here's the teaser trailer for the new devices - and there's a new slogan to go with it - Unbox your phone. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 predecessors

Back in February 2016 Samsung took the wrappers off the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge at Mobile World Congress and tech fans have been in love with them ever since. Thanks to strong sales of both handsets, Samsung has since recorded its biggest profits for a couple of years, so there's a lot of pressure for the company to keep up its winning streak.

The success of the S7 and S7 Edge would suggest Samsung won't want to mess with the magic formula too much - and because the phones were quite a leap forward from the S6 and S6 Edge of 2015, the tech firm may settle for a very similar design and feature set in its phones next year. It might be 2018 before we see some truly new features for the Galaxies.

Don't forget the explodey Galaxy Note 7 though, which again has been well received. While it's unlikely that we'll see a stylus included with the Galaxy S8, there's a very good chance the iris scanning feature might be transferred - it's a new gimmick in a market that's very short of them, and of course would help the S8 differentiate itself against the next iPhone.

According to sources of The Investor, Samsung is working on a new OLED display that will take up a full 90 percent of the phone's body, next year. The current coverage is 80 percent but Samsung's final goal is to hit 99 percent in the coming years.

Samsung Galaxy S8 rumours and speculation

We know exactly what the Samsung Galaxy S8 will look like.

Samsung will drop the flat model soon, and just bring out an S8 Edge in two sizes. That will be a bold move, but those curved displays are one of Samsung's iconic creations.

The S8+ should come with a 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Display with either “full rectangle” or “rounded corners” as options. What the "+" in that HD means is unclear - perhaps it could have a resolution greater than 2K but lower than 4K.

The rear camera will feature a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel sensor with an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie snapper. 

The camera tech will allow the phone to offer iris scanning which is faster than the Note 7, according to a leak. 

There will be 4GB of RAM, a minimum of 64GB storage with microSD expansion, IP68 waterproofing, Samsung Pay, wireless charging, earphones tuned by AKG and the latest Android operating system plus, of course, 4G LTE connectivity.

Samsung's new AI assistant could make an appearance in the S8. The company recently bought AI company Viv Labs, and both Google and Apple have stepped up their Virtual Assistant games of late. Viv could replace S Voice and will be called Bixby. Bixby will have a dedicated button on the edge on the phone. 

This has been confirmed by Samsung, claiming Bixby will change the way you interact with your phone, employing deep learning AI, and enhanced app integration to make it the most powerful virtual assistant around. We can't wait to see if that's true when we come to review it.

The second biggest change here is the lack of a physical home button on the front of the device — Samsung isn't going to get rid of their fingerprint sensor right? There was talk of the sensor being built into the screen, but it would appear Samsung has had to forego this feature due to time constraints, and instead moved it to the rear.

This seems to be backed up by pictures of alleged official Samsung Galaxy S8 cases, reported by AndroidPure.

Serial leaker Evan Blass has shared images (above) of the Samsung Galaxy S8 seemingly sourced from a phone case manufacturer. These images reinforce what we expected the S8 to look like, it shows off the Infinity Edge display, relocated fingerprint sensor, and 3.5mm headphone jack.

This seems to also be verified from a recent image, which shows how you'll be able to navigate the UI with new virtual buttons.

Recent leaks from everyone's favourite Chinese social network Weibo suggest the the S8 will offer upto 256GB storage, running alongside a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or an Exynos 9 Series CPU.

Read more about these these Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks.

Galaxy S8 potential features

There are rumours of a purple model.

It's difficult to come up with many notable features that Samsung has yet to cram into its phones. We've mentioned VR already, one of Samsung's pet projects, and with a new USB-C Gear VR on the scene it's obvious that the S8 is going to be equipped with USB-C and very probably packed with virtual reality features (maybe not Daydream support as it's a competitor to Gear VR?).

The Plus model may feature a dual camera, similar to the iPhone 7. There will also will be a dedicated button for Bixby, Samsung's AI assistant. This has been confirmed.

Note 7 back

You don't need a crystal ball to predict that the S8 will feature a better camera and faster processor, and we can dream of better battery life and an internal storage space bump too. 

Price-wise, Samsung will again be positioning this at the premium end of the market, so you're not going to see the cost of a new Galaxy phone go down by this time next year. Especially as we've seen inflated prices post-Brixit.

We might also see the Snapdragon 830 processor, tipped to debut next year in a variety of phones. What we won't see this time around, however, are foldable screens - one of the executives at Samsung has said the innovative tech is on the way but won't be ready in time for 2017... something for the Galaxy S9, perhaps?

What to watch out for

iPhone dummies

The iPhone 7 popped out in September, which gives Samsung just enough time to react to whatever Apple pulls out of the hat. If one of these iPhones has a dual-camera then that might make Samsung executives more inclined to give the green light to their own competing tech.

Then there's the matter of Google's Pixel phones, which is a new, major competitor to Samsung. 

As more and more rumours about the Samsung S8 arrive we'll keep you right up to date on