Each week, an array of exciting new Samsung rumors surfaces. Even if speculation about future component upgrades or rumors about devices that may or may not actually materialize don’t normally hold your attention, it’s hard not to be curious about what one of the biggest tech companies in the world is planning for its next phones, wearable devices, and apps. Read on for this week’s most interesting reports about Samsung’s plans and future products, from the features and offers we’re most likely to see with the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 to the company’s plans for upcoming tablets, wearables, and services.
1. The Galaxy Note 7 may be equipped with an iris scanner
Chris Smith reports for BGR that a leaked image of the Galaxy Note 7 seems to indicate that Samsung’s upcoming phablet will integrate an iris scanner. Images obtained by Nowhere Else shows the user interface for the iris scanner, which would be used to authenticate the user and unlock the screen. (Smith notes that the upcoming iPhone 7, so far as we can tell at this point, won’t match this capability.) According to the images, the phone would guide the user with a camera interface showing two circles, where the eyes would need to be lined up. In the bottom half of the screen, the phone would also offer the option to unlock the device with a pattern. A help screen would guide users through the process if they have trouble.
2. T-Mobile may offer a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on the Galaxy Note 7
SamMobile reports that according to the reliable Evan Blass, T-Mobile is planning to offer a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 in order to bring in more subscribers. Samsung has confirmed that it will unveil the new device at an event in New York on August 2, and Blass reports that T-Mobile will offer a “GN7 BOGO.” It’s relatively uncommon to offer such a generous promotion at the launch of a new flagship phone. If T-Mobile follows through, it would be a bold move aimed at attracting more subscribers on the strength of Samsung’s new smartphone.
Chris Smith reports for BGR that Samsung fans will likely be able to preorder the device much sooner than anticipated. Rumor has it that Galaxy Note 7 preorders for consumers in the Netherlands will begin on August 2 as soon as Samsung’s event is concluded. If true, that would likely mean that shoppers in the United States and major European markets would also be able to preorder the phone as soon as it’s introduced. While it’s impossible to tell so far if the rumor is true, BGR points out that Galaxy S7 preorders began just a day after Samsung’s event at MWC 2016. The phone will likely be available to preorder through Samsung’s website, and carriers are expected to begin their own preorders after Samsung’s commence.
3. The Gear S3 and Galaxy Tab S3 may launch at IFA 2016
SamMobile reports that Samsung may introduce the Gear S3 and the Galaxy Tab S3 at this year’s IFA. Samsung typically releases new devices at the show in Berlin, and could have the tablet and smartwatch on the agenda for this year. Ben Schoon reports for 9to5Google that while there’s been little in the way of rumors about the Tab S3 so far, it’s likely to feature a design similar to that of the Tab S2 along with an upgraded processor and software. It’s also likely that it will be Samsung’s first tablet to ship with Android N out of the box. The Gear S3, on the other hand, is expected to feature built-in GPS and an aesthetic in line with a traditional watch.
4. Samsung may introduce a new cloud storage service
SamMobile reports that Samsung has filed for a new trademark in the European Union, revealing potential plans to introduce a new cloud storage service for its smartphones and tablets. The company filed for a trademark for “Samsung Cloud Together,” mentioning the electronic storage of data, photos, videos, and audio on the list of services that the product provides. SamMobile speculates that Samsung Cloud Together will be “an iCloud-like service” that enables “Samsung smartphone and tablet users to easily upload their files to the cloud and access them across multiple Samsung devices.” We don’t know yet how much storage Samsung would offer users, or how much it would charge to upgrade an account’s storage capacity. It’s also not clear whether Samsung Cloud Together will be unveiled during Samsung’s event for the Galaxy Note 7, or if we’ll need to wait longer to find out what the company has been building.
5. A standalone virtual reality headset may be on its way
John Dye reports for Android Authority that Samsung may be working on a standalone VR headset called “Odyssey.” Based on a leaked logo and icon, it seems that Odyssey may be the name of the virtual reality headset that Samsung announced it had in the works. At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company’s head of R&D said that the company was working on a line of “wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phones.” Dye speculates that we’re getting close to a launch date, based on the appearance of Korean trademark registrations, which describe “headsets for use with computers,” “computer featuring interactive video games of virtual reality,” “virtual reality game software,” and “virtual reality game headsets.”