Samsung held a worldwide press event in New York overnight to announce their hotly anticipated Galaxy S8 smartphone. The S8 is probably one of their worst kept (or best leaked) releases to date with the company scrambling to redeem itself from the mess that was the Note 7.
The new Galaxy S8 comes in two varieties and five different colours. The first with a 5.8″ OLED “Infinity Display” and 3,000 mAh battery, the second – known as the Galaxy S8 Plus – a 6.2″ screen and 3,500 mAh battery.
The new Infinity Display is taking Samsung’s former “Edge” technology and incorporating it into the new S8. The home button has become virtualised adopting a similar technology to Apple’s Force Touch and moving the finger print scanner to the rear meaning the screen of the S8 now covers over 80% of the front facing, near bezel-less surface.
Unchanged from the S7 the S8’s cameras are largely the same as well as the inclusion of the iris scanning feature that becomes more important as the fingerprint sensor has now been relocated.
Wireless charging is of course a Samsung staple and included with the S8’s charger is the ability to stand the phone at a far better viewing angle on the desk than previous versions.
By all accounts the phone appears to be a decent upgrade and Reckoner alum Peter Wells was at the event covering it for Fairfax. Take a look at his video for a further breakdown of the S8’s features.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be available for pre-order March 30th and released worldwide April 21st.
Also announced at the event was the Samsung DeX. A dock for the new S8 series of phone it can turn any HDMI connected display into a PC-like experience powered by your phone. Whilst essentially “blowing up” Android to encompass your full screen it does add elements of a desktop operating system that you’d expect like a dock and system tray that aren’t present when using your phone.
Lastly Samsung introduced “Bixby” their new digital voice assistant for the S8 range. Like any other VA out there Bixby can set alarms and run timers with the best of them but Samsung’s point of difference here is its contextual awareness.
Bixby will know what app you’re in, understand that when you ask it do something to “this” you’re referring to the content on the screen at the time. The assistant is activated via a physical button on the side of the phone and early hands on seem to indicate its relatively reliable. Sadly it wont be available to Australian’s when the phones initially launch however.