The new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are here

The launch of the new Galaxy S8 and S8+ is Samsung biggest product announcement since its Note 7 recall a year ago. It is also one of the most anticipated Android phone launches of the year with many looking to see if the Korean handset manufacturer could still innovate and bounce back from the fiasco. While much has already been leaked about the S8 and S8+, here is everything you have to know about Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event in New York.

The event began with DJ Koh, Samsung’s president of mobile business, giving a short overview of Samsung’s past innovations and its intention to start over a new.

Without mentioning the Note 7, he tackled the elephant in the room with the company’s renewed commitment to quality, safety and craftsmanship.

He went on to describe the close partnership Samsung has with Google, complimenting the company for being by their side the entire time.

Things escalated quickly with the unveiling of the new Galaxy S8 and S8+. One of the key feature is the new “infinity display. The S8 will have a 5.8″ screen while the S8+ will have a 6.2” screen – both with rounded corners.

“The Samsung Galaxy S8 ushers in a new era of smartphone design and fantastic new services, opening up new ways to experience the world,” – DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

With the new bezel-less design, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ lets you enjoy the benefits of having a bigger display yet at the same time keeping its compact size.

Featuring a Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display, the S8’s display takes up more than 80% of the phone’s front screen and has an improved screen area of 18% when compared to the Galaxy S7.

Samsung has also integrated all the physical buttons into the display. The home, recent apps and back keys are triggered when a user touches the screen.

The new “Invisible Home Button” uses a combination of hardware and software to mimic the feel of a real physical button. This sounds similar to the taptic engine that Apple uses in the force touch technology on the iPhone 7.

Samsung also boast about having a smaller upper bezel despite squeezing the front camera, iris scanner and an array of sensors into it. The S8s are also protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 – which is the industry standard when it comes to display protection.

The S8s will feature the same camera as the S7 but with the introduction of a multi-frame processor that combines multiple frames for more detailed images.

Both phones will be equipped with a 8MP f1.7 front camera abd a 12MP f1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera.

Without any surprise, the S8 is IP68 certified which makes it resistant to water and dust (and hopefully fire).

Under the hood, the S8 is powered by a smaller and more efficient industry’s first 10nm processor. Samsung says that the US models will ship with the lastest Snapdragon 835 processors while the other markets will be getting Samsung’s own Exynos processor.

Battery wise, the S8 will come with fast charge and also wireless charging. The S8 has a 3,000mAh battery while the S8+ comes with a larger 3,500mAh battery.

To protect your device, the S8 has a fingerprint and iris scanner together with a new facial recognition system (and also the usual pattern and password options) to help you unlock your phone.

The fingerprint scanner is weirdly located next to the camera which honestly would have been more intuitive for users if it’s in the middle like on the LG phones.

Bixby is one of the bigger software announcements of the night. It aims to make our life easier by intelligently adapting to us while we use the phone.

Bixby comes with a dedicated button at the side of the S8 and combines four main areas namely talk, touch, recommend and home. It’s very much a like built-in Siri or Alexa right into your phone.

Bixby gives you smart suggestions on its home page and allows you to search for images taken with the phone’s camera and learns of your usage patterns.

IoT is also huge on Samsung’s agenda. Like Apple Home, the new Samsung Connect app lets you manage all things IoT with a single app. It doesn’t just work with Samsung devices but also plays nice with 3rd party IoT devices.

The S8 will be available from April 12 with a bundled AKG in-ear earphones. This doesn’t come as a big surprise with Samsung’s recent purchase of Harman.

The new Galaxy S8 will come in 5 different Colours: midnight black, arctic silver, maple gold, coral blue and orchid gray.

To complement the new Gear VR, a new motion-sensing controller will also be introduced. It’s wireless and has a trackpad and trigger.

When the new Gear VR is connected to the S8, it is capable of capturing 4K 360-degree videos, 15MP phones and even live steaming in 2K video quality.

The Samsung Gear VR with Controller will be available beginning April 21 for U$129.99 with the Controller being sold separately for U$39.99.

A new smaller Gear 360 is also introduced to aid Samsung’s push for 360 content.

The new Gear 360 shoots in 4K and is able to live stream in 2K to Facebook and YouTube. Oh, and it also comes with a handle now.

Samsung also wants you to use the S8 as a desktop. The Samsung DeX is a desktop dock that delivers a full desktop experience from your phone.

DeX is Android based and has a rather friendly Windows-like UI.

So there we have it, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ which will be coming soon mid April to Singapore. While there isn’t an awful much that haven’t been leaked about the S8, it’s still nice to finally get an official confirmation from Samsung.

The S8 does have a gorgeous bezel-less screen and a new AI assistant built in with a faster processor. But will that be enough for Samsung to fend off the competition coming from the new Huawei P10 and LG G6? Will consumers regain the trust they once had with Samsung? I guess it won’t take long for us to find out once all the flagship phones are available in the market in the coming month.

Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+
OS Android 7.0 Android 7.0
Dimension 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm / 155g 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm / 173g
Memory 4GB RAM / 64GB 4GB RAM / 64GB
Display 5.8” Quad HD+ (2960×1440) 6.2” Quad HD (2960×1440)
Battery 3000 mAh 3500 mAh

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