FOR YEARS, Samsung had been the Android fan's answer to Apple thanks to its beautiful, premium, feature-packed phones that match or exceed anything the iPhone has to offer. Samsung's star seemed to rise and rise - until it spectacularly crashed and burned with the notorious Galaxy Note 7.
After the disastrous year it's had, Samsung needs to come back swinging with the Galaxy S8, the successor to the popular (and brilliant) Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. It's hard enough to get consumers excited about a new Android (ask BlackBerry, or LG, or HTC) without the mountain of a PR disaster to overcome. So what do we want to see from the South Korean supergiant to make us forget the Note 7 ever existed? Here's a handy list.
1. All the things we loved about the Galaxy S7
Let's get this out of the way first: we don't want Samsung to drop any of the awesome features that made the Galaxy S7 what it was. Namely, proper waterproofing, wireless charging, and those stunning curved screens that make iPhone fans secretly jealous. They do. Even if they say they don't.
Yes, wireless charging is slow. But it's cool. And so are the edge screens, even though I fully accept that they serve no actual function. No one tells Apple off for making things that are pretty but useless, right?
2. Killer specs
Well, obviously. There are already some impressively-specced phones on the market, like the OnePlus 3T with its 6GB of RAM, and the Lenovo P2 with its insanely huge 5,100mAh battery. No doubt MWC next month will see a whole lot more competitors announced, so whatever the Galaxy S8 is packing, it had better be good.
3. A price that doesn't take the mick (...too much)
Samsung flagships aren't cheap, and nor should they be. But there's no denying that phones are getting cheaper, to the point that it's now possible to get a great Chinese-made, not-so-famous phone for half the cost of your fancypants household-name one. With budget brands, like OnePlus, ZTE and Honor, edging into public knowledge, it's ever-harder for the big names to justify their prices for comparable hardware.
The Google Pixel, for instance, is undoubtedly an excellent phone. But Google took the Apple approach, opting for slick branding and high-profile advertising to sell it, and while that approach definitely works, the kinds of people who really care about phones and can mobilise support for a particular handset know when they're being ripped off.
I'm not asking for a subsidised price - making it cheap might look desperate, and Samsung can definitely do without "fire sale" jokes. But a reasonable price for people willing to put their trust back in the brand is a fair compromise.4. A goddamn 3.5mm headphone jack
There are times when it makes sense to follow the tech crowd and jump on board the latest trend. USB C charging, for instance, or mobile operating systems that people actually use (*side-eyes BlackBerry*). But abandoning the standard headphone jack is not one of them - or not yet, at least.
A curved screen, wireless charging and a decent battery capacity should mean the Samsung Galaxy S8 won't be a thin phone, in which case there ought to be room for the standard port. Plus, it'd go some way to restoring goodwill to people alienated by dongles.
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