In London it was cold. In New York it was cold too. However, despite our efforts Samsung wouldn’t let us attend the launch events. We have instead seen the very strange “live in London” TV advert featuring some extremely eager people watching the “unboxing”.
So, what’s the big “thing” about the S8 and the S8+ ?
Well, the “Infinity Display” is definitely the big push. They’re shrunk components, erased the bezels and brought those rounded edges previously seen on the “edge” Galaxy handsets. Not only that, but they’ve also embedded the home button and somehow “created a level of immersion you see and feel”.
Yes, you read that right. No home button. It’s not strictly an on-screen one either. Oh no. There’s a pressure-sensitive area which gives you that button feedback.
A digital assistant with a frankly stupid name (Bixby) has been added, so you can get it marginally confused with the likes of Siri, Alexa and OK Google. It’s a self-learning system which, according to Samsung, better interacts with you and how you use the phone. Here in the UK you won’t be able to use it until later in the year though (Korea first), but it’ll control your home devices and recognise images.
The S8 is water and dust resistant to the IP68 standard, so you can stick it in the pool for about half an hour. There’s a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, or you can use the iris scanner to unlock your phone with your eyeballs. Other highlights include an 8 megapixel selfie camera and a 12 megapixel rear shooter. Here’s the full specs. Note the price, and it’s the usual expensive price-tags – £689 for the S8 and £779 for the S8+. We’ve already had all the major UK networks getting in touch and they’ll be carrying the Galaxy S8 and the S8+. Orders will ship on April 21st and you can get the phones in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold. I’ll have more detail on the individual network offers in a moment.
There’s 64GB of on-board storage as default and they will run Android 7.0. The CPU is either a 64-bit octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad) chip or an octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad) unit depending on your location. It has 4GB RAM, WiFi, GPS, NFC and does Cat16 4G.
|Screen size||5.8 inches||6.2 inches|
|Dimensions||148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm, 155g||159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm, 173g|
|Camera||12MP main, 8MP front||12MP main, 8MP front|
|Storage||64GB + MicroSD||64GB + MicroSD|
|Software||Android 7.0||Android 7.0|
|Release date||April 28 or April 20 for pre-orders||April 28 or April 20 for pre-orders|
The Samsung “DeX” system lets you use your phone in a PC-like experience. It’s something we’ve seen before but it’s something that hasn’t really taken off massively. Let’s see if Samsung can crack it. You just basically whack your new S8 onto the DeX dock below with your keyboard, screen and mouse.
A new Gear 360 camera was announced too. It now has 4K resolution and you can livestream your lounge to the world. Every little 360 degrees and every little inch of it. It has an 8.4 megapixel camera (f2.2) and is compatible with more smartphones.
Get the full details on the press release below…
Discover New Possibilities with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8＋: Smartphones Without Limits
March 30, 2017
Galaxy S8+ , Galaxy S8 , Unpacked2017
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Deliver Stunning Infinity Display, Connected Ecosystem of Services and an Intelligent Interface
SEOUL, Korea – March 29, 2017 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. introduces the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to the world, a smartphone that pushes the boundaries of traditional smartphones with its seamless hardware design and a variety of new service offerings. With the launch of multiple services and apps, as well as a stunning Infinity Display for immersive viewing experiences, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ bring a new level of functionality and convenience, opening up a galaxy of possibilities.
“The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ usher in a new era of smartphone design and fantastic new services, opening up new ways to experience the world,” said 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.”
See and Experience More
The Galaxy S8 builds on Samsung’s heritage of creating stunning designs and functional devices. Available in 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+, the Infinity Display and bezel-less design form a smooth, continuous surface with no buttons or harsh angles. The result is a truly immersive viewing experience without distractions and makes multi-tasking more convenient. The Galaxy S8’s compact design enables comfortable one-handed operation and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 on both the front and back for durability and a high-quality finish.
The Galaxy Foundation
In addition to the new design innovations, Samsung continues to deliver cutting-edge technology including an advanced camera, enhanced performance and more to the devices that users love, including:
• Premium Camera: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are equipped with an advanced 8MP F1.7 Smart autofocus front camera and 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera for the best low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos with enhanced image processing.
• Powerful Performance: Packing powerful performance and connectivity, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature the industry’s first 10nm processor, enabling heightened speed and efficiency. It is also gigabit LTE and gigabit Wi-Fi ready with support for up to 1 Gbps so users can quickly download files, regardless of the file size.
• Robust Entertainment: As the world’s first mobile device certified by the UHD Alliance as MOBILE HDR PREMIUMTM, Galaxy S8 and S8+ let you see the same vibrant colors and contrasts that the filmmakers intended while watching your favorite shows. In addition, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offer next-level gaming experiences with vivid and superior graphic technology, as well as Game Pack, featuring top game titles, including select titles supported by the Vulkan API.
• Global Standard in Mobile Security: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are built on Samsung Knox, a defense-grade security platform. In addition, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will offer a wide selection of biometric technologies including a fingerprint scanner, iris scanner and facial recognition so users can select a secure biometric authentication method that works best for them.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also come with the foundational Galaxy features that our customers have come to love, including:
• IP68 water and dust resistance
• MicroSD support up to 256GB
• Always-on display
• Fast and wireless charging capabilities
New Way to Interact with Your Phone
Bixby is an intelligent interface that will help users get more out of their phone. With the new Bixby button, you will be able to conveniently access Bixby and navigate through services and apps with simple voice, touch and text commands. At launch, Bixby’s Voice function will integrate with several Samsung native apps and features including Camera, Contacts, Gallery, Messages and Settings, with the plan to expand its capabilities to include more Samsung and third-party apps in the near future. Contextual awareness capabilities enable Bixby to offer personalized 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. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, it will connect across devices, apps and services as a ubiquitous interface, and open up new experiences and scenarios to simplify life.
Beyond the Phone Experiences
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ offers robust portfolio of products and services, elevating the both devices experience for premiere mobile productivity and connectivity.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ unlock the new Gear VR with Controller, powered by Oculus. Enabling convenient one-handed control and navigation, the controller provides better motion interaction when accessing interactive VR content. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also connect to the new Gear 360 to create 4K 360-degree videos and 15MP photos.
Leveraging the processing power of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ for enhanced productivity, Samsung DeX is a unique solution that transforms your smartphone into a desktop by providing a secure desktop-like experience. With Samsung DeX, users can easily display and edit data from their phone, making working from a smartphone faster and smarter.
In addition, as more IoT devices enter the market and the connected network becomes more complex, Samsung Connect simplifies smart device management. With Samsung Connect, users can easily activate IoT-enabled devices through a quick three-step configuration process and manage all connected devices through one integrated app.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ also come with the enhanced Samsung Health service, expanding one of Samsung’s most widely used services with 60 million monthly active users and 11 million daily active users worldwide. Samsung Health includes tele-health (U.S.-only), personal coaching, social capabilities that redefine traditional health and fitness.
Users can leave their physical wallet behind with Samsung Pay, turning their Galaxy S8 and S8+ into a digital wallet they can use almost anywhere they’d use a credit or debit card. With more than 870 worldwide banking partnerships, Samsung Pay has processed more than 240 million transactions to date.
New high-performance earphones tuned by AKG by Harman, offering uncompromised audio for unbeatable sound quality, will come as an in-box accessory. These earphones will have a comfortable hybrid canal fit for better noise cancellation and will be made from anti-tangle metal-fabric material.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available starting on April 21, and will be offered in a rich color palette including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.
For additional product information, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com, http://news.samsung.com/galaxy or www.samsung.com/galaxy.