Elements of new model hint at complete departure from previous offerings.

New mobile devices and hardware are the worst kept secrets in tech. With every major label product launch, there are dozens of websites devoted to sharing the strategically “leaked” news with eager critics and consumers. Sure, it could be part of the hype in order to generate pre-sales day buzz, but that’s not important. What is important is that we get to speculate about all the potentially cool features and argue about why they do or don’t matter!

Samsung_Galaxy 8_leaked images

Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked images show sleek, minimalist interface.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the latest gadget to get the online “leaked images” treatment, and it’s a good thing it did. According to multiple sources, this model is a complete departure from previous offerings in a number of ways. Reason #1? No more front screen physical buttons. The bezel extends to the edges of the actual unit, and the presence of pokeable buttons would chew up valuable real estate on the front. Of course, given how consumers are attached to their phones and literally take them everywhere, physical buttons have long been a source of susceptibility to damage from dust and liquid. This decision just make sense, and there are already rumors that other major manufacturers (coughcoughApplecough) are moving in that same direction.

Unfortunately, all of the photos are only from the front, so the speculation about the back of the camera is rampant. One theory from BGR is that the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone must be on the back, perhaps employing the camera in the process. That would obviously result in smudgey fingerprints all over your camera lens, so let’s hope that’s not the case. Most of the pictures are showing a striking gold metallic phone body, which is a fun improvement over basic black and everyday silver, although the smart money would be on releasing multiple versions like other manufacturers do.

Of course, buttons and cameras and phone cases are just extras. What’s the real power behind the new S8? Everything about the software seems to be minimalist and sleek. The apps are rounded for a more unobtrusive feel, and much of the information involves very basic line drawings. Some early photos of the numbers and icons are barely-there in their simplicity. The real discovery will be in one particular icon that’s new, and might take the user to the virtual assistant; however, there are heated arguments going on right now as to whether the VA will be Samsung’s new Bixby or whether they’ll play it safe with older AI tech.