Finally, after the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 fiasco from last year, Samsung is now working hard towards retaining customers’ faith in its flagship smartphone lineup. Gone are the days (hopefully) when Samsung had to burn millions of dollars just to recall each and every shipment of its inflammable flagship Galaxy Note 7 phablet. As a result, Samsung just unveiled this year’s most-awaited flagship smartphones — Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. However, the company unveiled not only the Galaxy S8 duo but also several other accessories like Gear 360 4K camera and Samsung Dex dock. I will talk more about them in subsequent sections. Let’s begin!
Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ unveiled
Samsung has finally taken the wraps off this year’s most-awaited flagship smartphones. The successor to last year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge (quick fact: we have no ‘edge’ variant this time, though), Samsung dropped the idea of packing a flat panel on the front altogether. Instead, what we have now is a dual edge curved display on both the devices. Samsung, however, calls it ‘Infinity Display,’ which is a fancy-sounding marketing term. The screen looks stunning, and the best part, the company has offered some extra real estate by reducing the size of bezels at both top and bottom. As a result, you get an ample amount of display in a comparatively smaller form factor, and that too with Samsung getting proactively into a bezel-less war. Sweet!
Coming up next is the fingerprint scanner, which is no longer present up front. In fact, no physical button is present below the display unlike the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Instead, what we have now is a home button embedded beneath the display whereas the fingerprint scanner has got a new place. The fingerprint scanner is now moved to the back beside the camera, which is a very unusual position to be honest, especially if you are left-handed. It houses a 12MP dual-pixel rear camera and 8MP selfie camera.
Specs-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ sport a 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Super AMOLED screen respectively, featuring 2960 x 1440 Quad HD resolution. Both the phones come with a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 up front. Inside are an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor and Samsung Exynos processor (depending upon the market), 4GB RAM, and 64GB internal memory. The storage is further expandable up to 256GB by means of a microSD card support. I would have been amazed if that hadn’t been the case, though.
As far as the security is concerned, Samsung now offers Iris scanner (initially introduced with the Galaxy Note 7) and facial recognition. In addition, the other standard security features include a fingerprint scanner, pattern lock, and password. Fortunately, both the phones are IP68 rated dust and water resistant and come running Android 7.0 Nougat-based software out of the box. The Samsung Galaxy S8 packs a 3000mAh battery whereas the Galaxy S8+ packs a 3500mAh battery. It, however, remains to be seen how the battery optimization works in conjunction with the always-on display.
As I mentioned earlier, even though Samsung has started a bezel-less war, one thing it is aiming to take the fight to a totally different level — Digital Assistant. Samsung calls it Bixby that is aimed at competing against Google Assistant and Apple Siri. I am pretty sure that you must be having a lot of questions in your mind as to why Bixby and how it works, right? Well, Samsung has created a whole new ecosystem that will connect across different devices, services, and apps. Its exact working remains to be seen over the course of the next few months. However, one thing is clear that it is based on the principle of natural language processing similar to Amazon Alexa. Here, Samsung has an advantage to Google and Apple as a result of bigger market share as far as natural language processing is concerned. Did I mention the Galaxy S8 has a separate dedicated button to trigger Bixby?
Samsung Gear 360
Samsung has also made it easier to record 4K 360-degree videos, thanks to the company’s whole new Gear 360 4K camera it demonstrated during the event. It features a 15MP sensor and two fish-eye lenses. Design-wise, it boasts of a non-moving grip handle and weighs 130 grams. What else, it comes with IP53 rated water and dust protection.
Samsung now wants you to turn your Galaxy S8 duo into a full-fledged portable workstation. As a result, it emerged with the idea of DeX. A lot of companies have tried to do that already in the past. Remember Microsoft Continuum? Call it a FOMO (fear of missing out) or anything else, Samsung had to give it a shot. All you need to do is plug your phone into the Dex dock to get it working. Not to forget, you also require an HDMI display, keyboard, and mouse.
Similar to Google WiFi, Samsung introduced its new router that packs the bells and whistles of both a router and SmartThings Hub in one package for faster connectivity. The best part, it can communicate with several other connected devices over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and ZigBee, etc.