Samsung is all ready to reveal their upcoming 2017 flagship smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (aka Galaxy S8+) this coming March 29. It will be a simultaneous release at two events in New York City and London. However, we do not know as to when the two handsets will be released after the official announcement. What is comforting is the fact that the handsets have already hit the FCC, which is always a good sign that they are about to hit the market. Even better news yet is this -- both flagship smartphones from the South Korean conglomerate will be available to all mobile carriers, which means a very, very broad availability.
FCC presents the SM-G950U and SM-G955U
The pair of FCC filings that appeared pointed to a Samsung device which carries the model number SM-G950, while the other would have the number SM-G955. The SM-G950 and SM-G955 have long been touted to be the model numbers for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. To be more specific, the two model numbers which were approved by the FCC are the SM-G950U and SM-G955U.
The U suffix is extremely important in the entire scheme of things, since it normally represents the device to be an unlocked version. History has proven to be a great teacher, as the unlocked Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge which were released in 2016 did come with the model numbers SM-G930U and SMG935U, respectively. So, it is time to take a look at your bank account to see whether you are in need of a smartphone upgrade by the time the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus becomes available regardless of the mobile carrier that you are subscribed to.
CDMA and GSM connectivity galore
As for the released chart, it points to both CDMA bands -- 0 and 10 that represent Verizon and Sprint, respectively, in addition to the entire gamut of GSM connectivity that would keep everyone happy. LTE connectivity is the big idea here, where the LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, 30, 41, and 66 have also been revealed in the FCC filing.
Again, if one were to take a look at past performance, Samsung only rolled out an unlocked, US carrier-ready variant of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in June last year, which was three months after the flagship smartphones hit the market. As at press time, there has been no listings whatsoever concerning the carrier models, giving us hope that the unlocked versions of the handsets would be released right from the get go, along with carrier-specific models.
Locked or unlocked, it is your choice
Would you prefer a carrier locked model, or one that is unlocked (albeit that being more expensive, naturally speaking) to begin with? The former would meaning having to remain rooted to a particular carrier, while the latter allows you a greater degree of freedom to hop around from one carrier to another if you would like to explore new horizons.
More importantly, will the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus receive regular Android updates that are not too far apart from what Google does with their own Pixel and Nexus devices? We would also love to see the rumored "Beast Mode" appear.