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Samsung's Galaxy S8 Will Feature a Headphone Jack, Desktop Dock, 'Infinity Display' and More, Says In-Depth Report (theguardian.com) 146

The Guardian has published a considerable amount of information on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The phone will reportedly launch in March with a headphone jack and a desktop dock, among other features. From the report: Samsung's Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, have an almost bezel-less, edge-to-edge "infinity" display and an iris scanner, the Guardian has learned. The two variants will have screens in the 5in to 6in region, with the devices having the same or smaller proportions of previous versions of Samsung's flagship smartphone but with larger displays, according to several well placed sources talking to the Guardian. The S7 was available with either a 5.1in and 5.5in screen. The two smartphones are codenamed Dream and Dream 2, representing the smaller and larger Galaxy S8 respectively, according to two sources. Both versions will have screens that curve down at the left and right sides of the device similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge, two sources have said. The so-called "infinity display" will cover the majority of the front of the device, with very little body on the top and bottom of the screen not dedicated to the display. Two sources said there wasn't even room to put a logo or brand name on the front of the device. Samsung has moved the fingerprint scanner to the back of the device, multiple sources said. The Galaxy S8 will have a traditional 3.5mm headphone socket, according to several sources. Samsung also plans a range of new accessories for the Galaxy S8. Two sources said a new dock and service that turns the Galaxy S8 into an Android desktop computer, connecting to a monitor, keyboard and other peripherals called DeX (desktop extension) will be available. DeX has been likened to Microsoft's Continuum, which connects Windows smartphones to a desktop extension to allow them to be used as Windows PCs, but only with Windows Store applications.
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Samsung's Galaxy S8 Will Feature a Headphone Jack, Desktop Dock, 'Infinity Display' and More, Says In-Depth Report

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @09:47PM (#53739741)

    Jacks and docks are remnants of the past best forgotten and left behind. This is a company doomed to crumble by not looking to the future.

    • by sudden.zero ( 981475 ) <sudden DOT zero AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:07PM (#53739821)
      Not at all. For audiophiles such as myself a headphone jack is a requirement for purchasing any device. Until bluetooth headphones/headsets can provide the same quality as my corded headphones this will not change.
      • by bigfinger76 ( 2923613 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:35PM (#53739911)
        How's the fidelity on that whoosh? Clear?
      • Is there any fidelity lost plugged your corded headphone into the lightning-to-3.5mm dongle on the iPhone, or a similar one that Samsung would use?

        My understanding as a non-audiophile was actually that moving the DAC further away from the other components would actually reduce certain types of electrical noise. But even without that, it should be no worse from an audio quality point of view.

        • Ability to charge the phone is lost in that case. Plus a big kick in the ass if you forgot your dongle.
          • It would be acceptable if they had a phone with a big enough battery that people didn't have to charge it throughout the day. If you could get 2-3 full days out of your phone, I bet people wouldn't care that you couldn't charge and use the phone at the same time. The problem is that people feel the need to charge their phone multiple times throughout the day just so the battery doesn't die.

        • My understanding as a non-audiophile was actually that moving the DAC further away from the other components would actually reduce certain types of electrical noise.

          I'd guess that's usually mooted by the increase in jitter (timing issues) and distortion (cheap aftermarket DAC's).

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          At best he adapter will be about as good as a basic phone jack. It's too small to contain much more than a combined DAC/amp and minimal support electronics. The amp will be class D, probably one of the newer types that uses a switching power supply to go beyond the supply rails.

          Teardown here, but you can't see much: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardow... [ifixit.com]

        • by fortfive ( 1582005 ) on Thursday January 26, 2017 @08:43AM (#53741233)

          The dac in the apple provided dongle is inferior to that in the iphone 6.

      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:51PM (#53739959)
        So, the argument you're going to get is that a digital port and external A/D is mo bettah for HiFi.

        Meh. It's not better if it requires a dongle (let's see them put an SPDIF port on a phone :) ), double so if you can't play external audio and draw power at the same time. I regularly plug my phone into stereos and power to play tunes. The headphone jack and USB port work just fine.

        Similar with phones lacking user replaceable batteries and memory card slots - that's just planned obsolescence, and form over function. I'm (and I suspect many others) am no longer seeing any useful innovation which would support the traditional 2 year upgrade cycle, so they need to force obsolescence. They better make it cheap then, because I'm not paying hundreds of dollars for fashion and bragging rights.
        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          So, the argument you're going to get is that a digital port and external A/D is mo bettah for HiFi.

          Which, of course, is a remarkably easy argument to shoot down. Just point out that a sizable percentage of headphones sold (and probably the majority) cost under $10, and that any external DAC and amplifier that could reasonably be fitted inside a sub-$10 pair of earbuds without tripling the cost is almost guaranteed to be much lower quality than the DAC and amplifier inside even a low-end cell phone. And fo

        • Personally I prefer a phone that's IP rated and not the size of a brick than one with a replaceable battery.

          • It doesn't have to be the size of a brick to have a replaceable battery. Gluing the phone together like the S7 is makes it virtually impossible to install a new battery. It doesn't have to be that way.

            • It doesn't have to be that way.

              You should let all the engineers know that you fixed their problems. Marketing people don't care, they just want it thin, but you seem to have figured this all out.

        • I'm (and I suspect many others) am no longer seeing any useful innovation which would support the traditional 2 year upgrade cycle

          Exactly. I have a 2-3 year old Galaxy S5 now, and I really fail to see what newer phones offer that this one doesn't. The screen on this thing is already great (super AMOLED) and the resolution very good; any extra resolution really isn't going to make a noticeable difference. This phone is waterproof, unlike many others. It also has a removable battery, something that's mos

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly right! Bluetooth was not designed for stereo audio. I know several people who have bluetooth headphones (not Airpods, none of my friends are that stupid! ) and they are all disappointed in the quality of the sound compared to a $5-$7 pair of ear buds. And the facts are that the Airpods are easily lost, must be recharged after every 5 hours of use, and will have to be replaced in a year or two (as the batteries cannot be replaced) and cost more than many Android phones that are superior in every p

        • I have Bluetooth headphones and although I don't use them when I really want audio fidelity, they are quite useful for certain situations. I mostly listen to podcasts and find that my enjoyment of the podcast is completely unaffected by whether or not I'm using Bluetooth. The other situation where I use them is when working out. In this case, I just don't want my headphones tethered to my phone. I guess the audio quality is a bit worse, but I'm really not too worried about it as I just need something to fi

      • by dadman ( 576569 )

        Being an audiophiles myself, over the years I have learnt not to trust the DAC on board but to use my own. So, headphone jack is more than welcome to disappear, RIP.

        • Well, I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy good sound but I'm perfectly happy with the onboard tech and can ignore any artifacts for the sake of convenience. I use some cheap creative in ear buds and it's basically a perfect setup (for me). Take away the headphone jack and I won't be buying it, regardless of any other featues. If you're really an audiophile (are you really more than one?) you won't be listening through a phone anyway.
      • Apparently the newer versions of Bluetooth combined with codecs like aptX deliver "CD quality sound", which is probably as good as what you're going to get from the jack of any smartphone. I've tried such a headset and it sounded pretty good, certainly good enough for travel. Apple appears to be using some proprietery codec (big surprise there), and their new Airpods are often reported as "sounding better than the wired earbuds included with the iPhone, but not by much." (Which isn't saying much; the qua
      • Not at all. For audiophiles such as myself...

        Do you keep your cell phone on a vibration isolated sand table?

    • Jacks and docks are remnants of the past best forgotten and left behind.

      I don't really care about jocks and dicks, what I want to know is can I start a fire with it like the 7 could?

  • by youngone ( 975102 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:06PM (#53739813)
    Keeping the 3.5mm jack will be popular, an they learned from the stupid S6 which had no micro-sd card slot.

    The dock thing will not be popular, even if it works Samsung will force users to use some terrible Samsung software and it will be awful.

    It might be a pretty good phone though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Done well, the dock as desktop thing could be really cool.
      But this is Samsung, so it won't be.

    • Since this new phone (and the S7 and the S6 and probably the S5) will have adequate memory and processor to do all of what most people need to do on a computer, hooking up a big display, KB and mouse will finally get us realistic device convergence. ONE device that does all we need and we can have it with us all day.

      Of course, when it falls into the toilet we're REALLY screwed because ... we only have the one device.

      • You're right about processing power, even my old S4 might work OK in a pinch. The point I was trying to make was that Samsung will make a pig's breakfast of the software, and it will be unusable.

        At least that's my prediction, based on my own use of Samsung products.

  • Removable battery? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:15PM (#53739841)

    No? Oh look, my Galaxy S5 still works great (yes I can ignore the crack on the screen...).

    I mean yeah, it is kind of a nit pick but I'm on my third battery right now and will probably be ordering my fourth before too long. The S5 is plenty fast enough to do everything I do with the phone, including a number of games. Just don't see what a new phone provides that an old one doesn't, including some things new phones don't provide that old ones did.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Battery life on the S5 was terrible. Barely lasted me the day... often came up short.

      My current S7 Edge generally goes all day just fine, sometimes I can even squeeze 2 if i forget to charge it.

      My S5 got handed down to another family member as it is still working fine.

      But I would never go back.

      • A new battery would last at least two days for me, unless I was playing games on it all day. With an old battery it doesn't bother me any to have it plugged in to my computer while I'm at work. Just can't see paying for a new phone just for that.

    • What the duck are you doing to your battery that only cause them to last 6 months!

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        Common factors : Heavy usage, battery often at 100%, heat, fast charge, bad luck.
        And for replacement batteries : poor quality third party, refurbished, in stock for too long and in poor conditions.

        Batteries also tend to degrade well before they die. You can live with it, many people don't even notice, but if you barely make it to the end of the day, spending $25 and 30 seconds to get a fresh battery may be worth it. The old battery can be kept as a spare.

  • by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @10:56PM (#53739977)
    Ok, so you can put a USB-C connector on your phone, throw a few generic drivers into the OS, offer one of the many USB-C port replacer docks that people use with their laptops, and call your phone a "desktop". Yeah, ok...

    Doesn't make it actually practical in the real world.

    You can do that right now (actually, for the past few years) with an iPhone using AirPlay (or the HDMI adapter), a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (yes, iOS can use them just fine), and an AirPrint-compatible printer. Again, doesn't make it actually practical for anything but the most limited of use-cases.
    • *Releases smartphone! :Look at all the things it can do!

      "Nah its too small it will never be a practical replacement for a PC"

      *Releases tablet! :Look at all the things it can do now that it has a large screen!

      "Nah it doesn't have a physical keyboard, it will never be a practical replacement for a PC"

      *Releases Android Desktop! :Look at all the things it can do now that it has a dock, keyboard, mouse, external screen and all the other PC things that make your PC a PC.

      "Nah it still isn't practical for reasons I

      • "Nah it still isn't practical for reasons I won't share"

        I am not sure if your comment was directed at me; but I'll bite...

        Reason #1: Lack of Desktop-Quality Applications (not "APPS").

        Reason #2: See Reason #1.

        Reason #3: If you HAVE to hook up a dock, external display, and keyboard/mouse in order to PRACTICALLY use your Phone as a PC in other than an "emergency" situation, then WHY NOT JUST USE A LAPTOP???

        Reason #4: See Reason #1.

        • It was only partially directed at you. Mostly it's directed at people who dismiss everything.

          The why not just use a laptop, is the most classic example. Not all of us want a dedicated device for a dedicated workload and then the management hassle of working between them.

          I put it to you, if all you do is type documents (there are perfectly find office tools available on android, your lack of quality applications if you define quality by doing what it needs to and not bolting on every tiny little piece of cra

          • It was only partially directed at you. Mostly it's directed at people who dismiss everything.

            The why not just use a laptop, is the most classic example. Not all of us want a dedicated device for a dedicated workload and then the management hassle of working between them.

            I put it to you, if all you do is type documents (there are perfectly find office tools available on android, your lack of quality applications if you define quality by doing what it needs to and not bolting on every tiny little piece of crap ala MS Office 20##) and browse web, why OWN a laptop? Then when you look at the devices you have you'll answer the question of why not use a laptop.

            I believe your example comes under the definition in my original post about "...for anything but the most limited of use-cases.", now, doesn't it?

    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      FFS, I could do that years ago with a Droid 4, using micro-HDMI for display and any random Bluetooth or USB OTG accessories that I felt like.

      For the Droid Bionic, they even made a lapdock, with a built-in keyboard, monitor, and pointer.

      Fast forward, and I can do it with an S5 using wired MHL for video display and Bluetooth peripherals.

      Or just about anything else Android using Chromecast and whatever peripherals.

      It's a shitty idea in that it is clever, efficient and seems useful, but really isn't useful at a

      • FFS, I could do that years ago with a Droid 4, using micro-HDMI for display and any random Bluetooth or USB OTG accessories that I felt like.

        For the Droid Bionic, they even made a lapdock, with a built-in keyboard, monitor, and pointer.

        Fast forward, and I can do it with an S5 using wired MHL for video display and Bluetooth peripherals.

        Or just about anything else Android using Chromecast and whatever peripherals.

        It's a shitty idea in that it is clever, efficient and seems useful, but really isn't useful at all.

        My point exactly.

        Just like that Moto phone that advertised being a "dockable" "transfoming" device. Went exactly NO WHERE.

        And as I point out, just like the Droid 4, you have been able to do that with an iPhone for years, too. Don't know ANYONE who actually would do that by CHOICE, other than in an "emergency" situation.

        Maybe someday...

  • I mean, I get that it probably looks cool and all, but how the hell do you hold it without selecting something on the screen? I have an S7 Edge now, and I have to say that were it not for the extended battery life, I could care less about the curved screen. I want to be able to hold it in one hand without having to be super cautious of how I hold it.

    I dunno, maybe I'm doing it wrong...

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      I have an S7 Edge now, and I have to say that were it not for the extended battery life, I could care less about the curved screen

      Yeah... i've had mine for a year now and have only activated the extra edge functionality via the side of the screen a couple times. I don't think having the screen go up to the top would cause me any issues. I'd miss the the physical home button on the bottom though if that goes away... its nice to have some idea which way is up. :)

      The flashing when it rings on silent face down is nice... but could have been done with LEDs... doesn't need a curved screen.

      The battery life is the main thing i was looking for

    • Indeed, though I had the Note 7 and it had very, very good edge touch rejection. I have the S7E now and I mostly keep it in a thin case to prevent edge touches (and to keep it in good shape - I'm pretty clumsy). My biggest beef with both it mis-touches when picking it up - it's so thin and the case so slippery that to grip it almost requires you touch the screen. My second is the optical distortion at the edges - the Note 7 wasn't bad, the S7E is pretty significant.

      I'm a little disappointed that the Note 8

  • Now when people have more data in the cloud and less on their phone, i don't think we really need a dock. It's a nice to have, i guess, but id never use it - bringing a dock someplace i might as well have a laptop.

  • by the storm. And that is good. Fuck iphone 7. and I say that as an iphone user.
  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Thursday January 26, 2017 @04:49AM (#53740775)
    Where's the COURAGE?
  • by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Thursday January 26, 2017 @05:10AM (#53740807)

    Apparently a phone without a border is deemed the pinnacle of human achievement by phone manufacturers. Still, I think it's not good enough. I'm holding out for a phone where the screen actually extends beyond the physical phone. Not this sissy "right up until the edge but no further", no silly "wrap around and continue on the back", no, I want a phone where the screen is larger than the physical device itself!

    What's that? Pointless? Impossible? Well, that didn't stop you for this model, did it?

  • I've had to return my S7 Note and miss not having a phone with the emergency firelighter feature. Will this be on the S8?

  • I'm very jaded about Samsung - nice hardware, terrible, terrible software and a load of bloatware you really don't want. Maybe it's an age thing, but the latest 'flagship' phones don't really excite me any more. The 'edge' screens look nice, but I'm not sure they actually add all that much to the experience.

    For now, I'm using a Wiley Fox - it's great, it does what you want and you can uninstall all the bits you don't want. It's also £180 (compared to something like £700 for the newest generation

  • As in "more explosive"? It's Samsung that we are talking about - a company on fire, hell-bent on delivering the hottest products,
  • "Samsung's Latest Unstable Hand Grenade Will Feature a Headphone Jack..."

    There. Fixed that for ya.

     

  • They gotta do something with all that recalled hardware from the Note 7. I'm wondering if they put it into the S8 or Note 8.

    Yes on headphone jack, yes on removable battery, and please bring back my FM radio (headphone jack is needed for the antenna).

  • It's so you can HOLD the damn thing with HUMAN FINGERS comfortably, without covering the screen. My current phone has a mere 4mm between the left and right sides of the screen and the physical edge of the phone. My life would not be made better if the screen itself were 8mm wider or if the phone itself were 8mm narrower. It would, in fact, be a bit *worse* because my fingers would cover little bits of the content every so often.

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