What does the iPhone 8 need to beat the Galaxy S8?

Here are four rumored features that Apple must deliver on to make the next iPhone a worthy opponent of Samsung's Galaxy S8.

Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Vanessa Hand Orellana
3 min read
Watch this: 4 features the iPhone 8 needs to one-up the Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 set a pretty high bar for phones with it's edge-to-edge infinity screen and powerful octa-core processor, but Apple seems up to the challenge.

The Cupertino company is rumored to be working on its own bezel-less smartphone for it's 10th anniversary iPhone due in the fall with a lot of the same features we just saw on the S8. Could Apple do it better?

Here are four rumored features that would make the next iPhone a worthy opponent.

1. A truly bezel-less display

The front of the S8 is 83 percent screen and it looks incredible, which means Apple has a sliver of opportunity to do it better by making the iPhone edge-to-edge and top to bottom. This year the company is rumored to be swapping its traditional LCD display for a curved OLED screen for the iPhone 8. So while it's possible the screen could cover 100 percent of the surface, it's highly unlikely considering Samsung is rumored to be manufacturing this screen. And why would Samsung hand off the best screen to the competition?

2. Embedded fingerprint scanner

Even if they have similar screens, Apple could still manage to one-up the S8 display by embedding the Touch ID sensor and home button into the screen. Apple was granted a patent in 2015 that allowed the company to use ultrasound imaging to place the fingerprint underneath the display panel. The 3D Touch technology on the newer iPhones lets users control the interface without physical buttons, which means the iPhone 8 could eliminate the home button as well. The S8 got rid of the home button on the S8, but moved the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone, dangerously close to the camera.

3. Depth-sensing camera


Will Apple bring a depth-sensing camera to the next iPhone?

Sarah Tew/CNET

There are other ways to unlock the S8 by using the iris scanner and face recognition, but even Samsung admitted that the latter of the two options is not the safest. Apple could improve this feature by adding a depth-sensing camera to the iPhone 8. Aside from mapping the contours of your face, the camera could map its environment and add augmented reality capabilities to the iPhone.

4. Better battery

This has been a historically bad category for Apple, but this could be the year the iPhone's battery drains Samsung's latest. We haven't run any formal battery tests on the S8 yet, but we do know Samsung played it safe. The S8 and S8 Plus have the same-sized (and slightly smaller on the Plus) batteries than the S7's, with larger screens to power.

Even if the iPhone isn't able to outlive the S8, it could still pioneer a better way of charging. Another Apple patent hints at short-range wireless charging capabilities that allows users to charge an iPhone on specialized tabletops, computers or even by using other Apple devices.

Or if all else fails, Apple could always bring back the headphone jack and make the iPhone cheaper than the S8. Because unicorns do exist.

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