Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 on Wednesday, its latest flagship smartphone boasting a new voice assistant and larger display as the technology titan looks to steal a march on Apple and regain ground after the embarrassing Note 7 saga in 2016.
The device comes in two models with different screen sizes – the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus. Some of the key features of the device include a so-called “infinity display,” giving the device a bezel-less curved edge and a 12 megapixel back camera.
Gear 360 camera
Samsung’s 360-degree camera, the Gear 360, has had a refresh. It can now take videos in 4K resolution, which is a lot easier on those virtual reality viewers, and it can also live stream 360 videos, instead of just recording them for later.
New Gear VR
There’s a new version of Samsung’s virtual reality headset, the Gear VR.
This one comes with a touch-sensitive controller, which was a big empty space in previous versions when compared to Google’s Daydream headset.
Samsung also revealed Bixby, a smart voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri. It will be able to answer questions you ask, but Samsung highlighted how it’s different.
One use case involved taking a picture of a monument and Bixby being able to tell you information about it, as well as, recommendations of restaurants nearby. Another example allowed a user to ask Bixby to bring up all the photos taken in London.
Smartphone into a PC with Galaxy S8
The South Korean electronics giant also unveiled a new feature called Dex. It’s a device that users can dock a Galaxy S8 on, then plug into a monitor or TV, effectively turning it into a PC. It runs a version of Google’s Android operating system optimized for a larger screen. Samsung also said several apps, such as Google’s YouTube were optimized for the bigger screen.
A new type of phone?
Samsung has been pitching the S8 as the next evolution in phones, removing the “bezels” – the edges of the phone – for the first time. It’s likely that many will follow – Apple, for example, is expected to be working on a bezel-free design.
Invisible home button
Because there’s so much screen, there’s no room for a home button on the phone. But don’t worry home button fans, it’s only invisible – the screen is pressure sensitive so you can press it down to get that sweet home button feeling.
How much will it cost?
There’s little information on pricing, but it won’t be cheap. Its predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, cost $710and $795 respectively. The new designs, as well as, recent drops in the pound mean the S8 is expected to be pricier.
“Beyond the S8, Samsung is building a compelling range of additional accessories such as the Gear smartwatches, Gear 360 camera and Gear VR headset which all serve to enhance consumer perceptions of the S8 at a complete package,” Wood said.
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