Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has been a calamity for the brand. Pop culture has turned the technological self immolations into a punchline, and the company has been scrambling to save face. According to a new leak of a handset, complete with several features, their big tactic might be the next product in line: the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Rumor Roundup
Where the Note 7’s big selling point was a powerful battery, the S8 is allegedly going to sport the most advanced graphics chip available, the ARM’s Mali-G71.
This is big news, for one reason: virtual reality. The Mali-G71 has become synonymous with VR capability, built with the highest graphics punch it is possible to get. Unlike other VR that has taken advantage of current CPU’s, leading to occasional problems like seams in the visuals, lags, or crashes, The Mali was made specifically to streamline 3D visuals with enough juice to keep the movements smooth.
True, the presence of this chip isn’t an immediate tell that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be VR ready. It is possible that they are just using the Mali to take advantage of their increasingly insane screen resolution.
But Samsung is well known for pushing the envelope, and taking advantage of modern tech the moment it is released. Hence the overheating problem with the Note 7, which tried to rush the incorporation of a mega battery before they had the hardware and software calibrated to properly handle it.
The VR Revolution
Virtual reality has been the holy grail of the gaming world for decades. Remember the Virtual Boy? But we have come a long way from the days of badly done vanishing points in bright red and black.
For the first time we are seeing VR as a genuinely mainstream concept. Even Kickstarter campaigns are bringing lower cost solutions that spread the tech to the average consumer willing to fund a beta release.
With Playstation becoming the latest console to announce a VR headset, Samsung is ripe for jumping on board. They have already stretched their wings with the Gear, and this would be the next logical step.
The question is will this be enough to repair the damage done with the Note 7? Fans of the company took the screw up hard, not least because it seems to have been predicated on a greedy jump ahead of the iPhone 7.
Can consumers forgive Samsung their transgression if the apology is a sweet, VR ready smartphone?