It’s generally hard enough to predict the exact set of upgraded specifications, design refinements and release timeline of a next-gen Android flagship phone several months in advance of its “logical” announcement window. But with all the confusion still surrounding the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, we may not know very much about the GS8 for certain until the eleventh hour.

Not that long ago, Samsung seemed likely to roll out a near-borderless S7 sequel in stores by February or even as early as January, though an accelerated development of a super-advanced product is precisely what got the chaebol into an unprecedented publicity mess.

The ETA therefore moved to a more distant but safer April, which Korean media however thinks it could still be revised up to a traditional March following a time-honored MWC introduction. Notoriously fickle supply chain sources anticipate “an initial batch of their parts for the Galaxy S8” sent in for the first phase of prototype testing “from January”, with “full volume supplies” tipped to begin in February.

The specific global launch date then obviously hinges on how the Samsung Galaxy S8 performs in no doubt rigorous internal inspections, with a big screen size expansion reportedly in the works to win back phablet enthusiasts betrayed by Note 7 quality issues.

Once again, we’re hearing there’s no flat-screened S8 model coming, just a pair of “edgy” Android powerhouses with as much as 5.7 and 6.2-inch usable display real estate, minimal bezels, and no physical home button. Mind you, that makes it possible the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (!!!) will be roughly the same overall size as the 5.1 S7 and 5.5-inch S7 Edge.

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