Samsung’s biggest event and arguably its most important one to date is set to take place today where Samsung will take the wraps off its 2017 flagship smartphone. The phone launch will be eagerly looked upon by people across the globe, all because of the Galaxy S7 fiasco. The world’s largest smartphone maker has a lot to prove today after all the negative press surrounding the Note 7. Everyone will be looking at how Samsung have learned from the battery issues plaguing the Note 7 and how it has made preventive steps from a similar kind of an ordeal happening this time around. Samsung literally has to pass the test of fire with the Galaxy S8 launch.
With the Note 7 making a large dent into the phone makers reputation, Samsung also has other worries that it needs to address to regain that lost momentum. Other phone makers have caught up and cashed in on the downfall of the Note 7. We will have to wait and see how Samsung makes a comeback through the Galaxy S8. While we wait for the official launch for the same in a few hours time, lets look through on what challenges Samsung has at hand.
YES. More than all the other specs, the processor, the screen etc, the battery will be the most looked upon spec during and after the launch. Smartphone batteries have exploded earlier also. But, not on such a scale that a manufacturer had to stop production of a certain line of smartphone altogether. The Note 7 exploding battery memes are yet to die down completely even after more than half a year of Samsung recalling all the phone. This is an area where Samsung simply cant afford to have another mishap. Even if one battery of the Galaxy S8 explodes, it will bring in a deluge of negative press and hate from the whole tech community. This will spell disaster for the phone-maker who is still not yet recovered from the previous event.
Samsung should have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure that the S8 batteries don’t spontaneously combust. They even announced a multi stage test procedure sometime back. The downside of this is that Samsung could go down the conservative route for the S8 battery design. They tried stuffing in the biggest battery they could in the Note 7 which caused all the issues. There is an off chance that Samsung may dial down the battery capacity of the S8 because of this. This combined with a larger screen that was leaked along with a higher resolution than normal, we could see the battery life take a major hit.
Absence of home button and a taller screen
Leaks have shown that the S8 will ditch the signature home button. Instead the navigation would be completely in the software. The fingerprint sensor that was there in the home button has been relocated to the rear of the phone, off-center to the right of the camera. There was earlier rumours that the fingerprint sensor would be embedded into the screen itself. The Galaxy fans would surely miss the tactile feel of a physical home button. Also, the off center finger print sensor at the rear would take some getting used to. We will have to wait and see how long time Samsung fans would react to the change.
Smartphone bezels are getting smaller and smaller. The gorgeous Mi Mix, LG G6 are all testament to the same. Although the G6 took a more toned down approach than the Mix, its still a phone with a ridiculously small bezelled phone, which is a good thing in a way. The Galaxy S8 also is rumored to have a 5.8 inch screen with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. This is different from the conventional screen ratio that we are all used to. Its even more complicated than the perfectly split screen of the G6 with a 18:9 aspect ratio. Android arguably don’t scale that well to these unusual resolutions. It has to be seen how Samsung makes use of that extra screen real estate and how all the apps will scale to make use of the extra space up top.
Samsung’s rise to the top of the smartphone can be partly attributed to its fantastic cameras and accompanying camera software. Samsung has had the best camera for successive phone refresh cycles which can match apples offerings. They have had top performing shooters which smartphone photography enthusiasts across the globe vouch for. This has changed with Google Pixel dethroning Samsung from the photography throne. It will be crucial for Samsung to reclaim the throne with a stellar smartphone camera combo.
Software and everything else
One of the weakest link in Samsung’s chain has always been the software experience. Touch wiz is not the best looking or the best performing android skins around. I myself don’t like the Touch wiz interface since I prefer minimal and a clean interface and love the stock android feel. Samsung also has a reputation for not issuing software updates to even new phones. All this will contribute and be looked upon this years launch. How Touchwiz has evolved and what it will pack in this years flagship will also have an impact on this phone. With Google absolutely nailing the software experience on the Pixel, other manufacturers are finding it difficult to match the finish and finesse of stock android.
If Samsung haven’t had a setback with the Galaxy Note 7, this launch would be much of an issue for them. But, with the company incurring heavy losses for the recall of the Note 7 and the general negative impact of the same on its brand image, Samsung has a huge task at hand with the Galaxy S8 launch. Customers will be a little hesitant to buy the new phone. Samsung may have a little trouble with selling the S8 at first if at all. How it comes back both as brand and as a technology leader in the smartphone space will have to closely watched. Interesting times ahead for a all tech people on planet earth.