Smartphone concepts have a tendency to be well-designed, out-there and sometimes just plain mind-blowing. This new 6.8 milimeter Samsung Galaxy S8 concept from designer Steel Drake, which hearkens back to the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit 2 in some ways, may just be all three. Before we get into the actual design, let's talk for a bit about some of the crazier features on offer. For starters, as well as a large wireless charging pad, there's what's being called a "charge translator", a true wireless charger that beams electricity to the phone from a wall plug. Such tech is in development right now, but to say it's in its infancy would be putting it nicely. Second, the design sports a projector near the top of the unit, right next to the camera flash.
As for the actual design, it's a nice evolution of the Galaxy S6 Edge and features an edge on both sides to produce nicely rounded sides. The top and bottom are edged by horizontal metal bands with two vertical bands each near the edges, and cap off flat for speakers on the top and a speaker, SIM slot and 3.5mm headphone jack, with the mic right next to it, on the bottom. The tops slope down near the corners, producing a nicely rounded silhouette. The metal sides feature a smooth, raised volume rocker and power button inside fairly deep indents, making them easy to find. On the front, we see a fairly standard array up top, featuring a metal earpiece speaker with a selfie cam next to it. The massive edge-to-edge screen dominates the front of the device utterly, though there is enough room for a bottom bumper sporting Steel Drake's own redesigned Samsung logo. On the back, you'll find a projector, flash and a third dot with an undisclosed function, which appears to be a very low-res secondary camera for things like depth-sensing and bokeh shots. The square, protruding camera that's been a Samsung staple since the Galaxy S5 is featured here, with a sleek new Galaxy swirl below it, at the center of the device. Below that, you'll find a textured fingerprint reader and the designer's branding. Presumably, since the phone is unibody, Samsung and the FCC's own markings would go here.
The fairly incredible design is busy, yet somehow understated, though not quite minimalist. As such, it seems to be a near-perfect successor to the Galaxy S6 lineage and, if renders are to be believed, the upcoming Galaxy S7 and its edged variant. The design features a radical departure from many of Samsung's established conventions while still keeping the Samsung DNA intact. If this wound up being the real Galaxy S8, it would be safe to say Samsung's competition would have their work cut out for them.