Samsung erases the past with the launch of its Galaxy S8 range

Samsung introduces the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to the world

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Samsung erases the past with the launch of its Galaxy S8 range DJ Koh, president of mobile communications business, Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are our testament to regaining your trust by redefining what’s possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung’s smartphone legacy.” (Getty Images )
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  March 30, 2017

Undeniably Samsung had a tough 2016, from exploding phones, declining sales and an eventual manufacturing shut down of the Note 7, Samsung has now unveiled the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

Over the last three months, numerous leaks have surfaced but now Samsung has shared all the details.

The first noticeable feature is the edge-to-edge screen with Samsung detailing it wants users to experience an immersive viewing with its Infinity Display. By toying with the bezel, the screen now takes up 83% of the interface, which means the S8 has a 5.8" screen and the S8 Plus has a 6.2" face.

Ian Fogg, senior director at IHS Markit, said: "The S8 and S8+ are visibly differentiated smartphones because of their large Samsung displays, tiny bezels, and fast chipsets, which all play to Samsung group's competitive strengths. IHS Markit expects Samsung will use the S8 and S8+ to re-establish its reputation for successful innovation following the Note 7 hardware problems in 2016."

"Assuming the S8 has no significant hardware issues, IHS Markit forecasts Samsung will ship 331 million smartphones in 2017 - up, 6.8%, from 2016 as Samsung counters a strong recent performance from Apple and competitive pressure from Chinese handset makers."

With the interface solely focusing on a bigger display, Samsung has moved the physical buttons to the side of the device. The right side of the phone has a power button and the left side has the volume control feature and the Bixby key.

Bixby is Samsung's new personal assistant, and with this users can access and navigate through services and apps with voice, touch and text commands.  With contextual awareness capabilities, Bixby can offer personalised help based on what it continues to learn about the user's interests, situation and location. Users can also shop, search for images and get details about nearby places with Bixby's image recognition technology.

"Samsung's initial Bixby implementation falls short of its goal of being a comprehensive AI assistant because of weak app integration and limited voice compatibility. Samsung has had little time to develop Viv since the acquisition. For now, Bixby integrates with only a handful of Samsung's own apps and officially is only compatible with US English and Korean voices, unlike Google Assistant which also ships on the S8," added Fogg.

Security is also another huge factor, like the Note7, Samsung has included an iris scanner, as well as facial recognition technology, and both rely on the front facing camera to work.

The traditional Galaxy features persist as well: IP68 water and dust resistance, microSD support up to 256GB, always-on display, and fast and wireless charging capabilities.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be available starting on April 21, and will be offered in a variety of colours: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold, and will possibly cost $720.

 

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