After the failure of the Galaxy Note 7, the launch of Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8 is eagerly awaited, and indications that the upcoming device is ready to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February have emerged, this time from Samsung itself. It emerged Thursday that Samsung has filed an application for registering the "Galaxy S8" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO).

The trademark, originally applied for Jan. 12, 2017, is still awaiting examination and has an assigning period of three months, but Samsung seems eager to get it over with. The company filed a status request Thursday, to which USPTO replied with a Live/Application Status descriptor, saying the application was accepted by the office as Samsung met the minimum filing requirements, but the trademark is yet to be assigned to an examiner, on whose approval Samsung will get the trademark.

Samsung inquiry could be indicative of a launch for the device in the coming months. Going by all we have heard about the device till now in the form of rumors, leaks and speculations, there are three possibilities about the Samsung Galaxy S8 release – an MWC launch for the device, a later launch at a dedicated event in April or an MWC showcase and a later, full spectrum launch event in April with variants and accessories. The third one would be the most probable one, simply because this is the first major device launch from the company after the Note 7 scandal and by holding a showcase and a launch, Samsung would have tested the waters and would draw from its vast market experience on how to proceed with the launch.

Numerous S8 rumors have surfaced already, and more are expected till the launch itself. One major rumor that is expected to be true is the S-series design overhaul. Right from the first device to the S7, Samsung has followed a similar design philosophy for its flagship devices. The company has used a soap bar form factor with a home button at the center of the bottom bezel of the handset. This is expected to change with the S8.

Samsung is expected to ditch the home button and go instead for a button-less bottom bezel. Why would it do so and why now? Well, simply because, up till now, the bottom bezel had occupied a lot of space in the S-series design. Using that space for the screen instead would make for a larger display inside the same form factor.

The company could have decided to move forward on this front now because it needs the S8 to create a splash, a hype that overshadows the fiasco of the Note 7. So it could remove the home button in favor of a display-embedded fingerprint sensor and virtual home, back and open tabs buttons.

Another rumor that could turn out to be true is the presence of a Bixby Assistant. While a Bixby button next to the camera might seem far-fetched, a Bixby Assistant is a necessity if Samsung wants to compete with the evolved voice assistants from Google and HTC. Samsung can no longer drag its feet with the S-voice functionality. S-voice is outdated and seems redundant with the presence of the Google Now and Google Voice on the same device. 

Another feature that could find a place in the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Based on the 10-nanometre technology, the processor is expected to provide better battery life and performance to users. The processor outranks existing 14-nanometre processors and since it is based on Samsung’s own FinFET technology, for Samsung to not incorporate it into its flagship device would be a surprise at the very least.

The device is expected to take the baton from the Samsung Galaxy S7, and be IP68 certified as well as feature an always-on display.