After a nightmarish experience with the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is now back with its new flagship smartphones — the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. For Samsung, a lot is at stake at the moment. It not only needs to recover millions of dollars wasted on the Galaxy Note 7, but also win customers’ trust that it can still deliver quality and reliable flagship smartphones. And not to forget, Samsung’s long-held title of delivering the best Android premium smartphone is also being challenged by Google’s Pixel range. And of course, Apple’s iPhone 2017-series is also expected to be a spectacular one, if the recent leaks are to be believed.
Many pundits will expect Samsung to stick to the basics and play safe, but evidently that’s not the case as the company’s new series is an upgrade in true sense over the predecessors. It also brings a slew of new features as it prepares for a new round of battle with Google and Apple. If you ask me, Samsung or Apple are perhaps the only companies who could have survived a Galaxy Note 7-like fiasco, and still bounce back with something better and more promising.
One of the biggest features and most probably worth talking about is the Bixby assistant. With AI rapidly becoming the ‘next big thing’, Samsung wants to mimic Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant with its own Bixby. The digital assistant works coherently with the native apps. The AI is not only contextually aware, it lets you perform a range of interactions, including app launch to a task within an app. As you would expect from a matured AI in 2017, Bixby is able to interpret your natural language rather than making users memorize a set of phrases. Understanding of natural language is something that made Amazon’s Alexa popular. There’s no reason to believe that Google Assistant and Siri will not reach there, but Samsung has an upper hand, thanks to a wide range of devices across points it offers.
“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,” says Samsung in a post. ALSO READ: Samsung Bixby: If done well, it might leave people impressed yet again
Another major change in the Samsung flagship smartphone is the absence of the home button up front. The button is now embedded below the display, while the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back alongside the cameras. While Samsung isn’t really getting into the bezel-less smartphone war, but with no flat display versions, it allows users to make most of the extra real estate. With no Galaxy Note 8 in sight, Samsung is also compensating for the missing link in the new flagship range. The Galaxy S8 comes with a 5.8-inch display, whereas the S8+ variant has a 6.2-inch display — in what appears to be an effort to reach out to the Note phablet lovers and those liking the usual sized smartphones.
As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of changes like inclusion of the iris scanner and facial recognition technology, USB Type-C support for fast charging and modern USB standard. The Galaxy S8 series marks Samsung’s serious evolution over the years. Putting the Galaxy Note 7 behind, Samsung is looking at resurrection with another promising high-end and perhaps setting a new benchmark for the flagship smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ specifications, features
The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution and 586 ppi. The bigger Galaxy S8+ comes with a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution and 531 ppi. Both devices are protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Both the smartphones are powered Samsung’s Exynos processor and Qualcomm’s top-end 835 processor, depending upon the market. The two smartphones also feature 4GB of RAM, and 64GB storage, which can be expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card. Both the smartphones run on Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box with TouchWiz UI on top. For power, the Galaxy S8 draws juice from 3,000mAh battery, while the bigger one gets a larger 3,500mAh battery.
For photography, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ come with an 8-megapixel smart auto-focus front camera, and 12-megapixel dual-pixel rear camera with f/1.7 aperture. Both the phones come with Alway On display and IP68 water and dust resistance capabilities.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ can now also connect to the new Gear 360 to create 4K 360-degree videos and 15-megapixel photos. Samsung has also introduced a Samsung Dex accessory allowing users to transform smartphone into a desktop. The company says the accessory allows users to display and edit data from their devices. With Samsung Connect, users can now connect to IoT-enabled devices through a three-step configuration process and manage all the devices through a single app.
Samsung is also offering earphones “tuned by” AKG by Harman. “These earphones will have a comfortable hybrid canal fit for better noise cancellation and will be made from anti-tangle metal-fabric material,” says the company. Both the S8 variants will come with high-end AKG headphones, also sold separately for $99, which is Rs 6,400 approximately. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+: Top 8 Features
Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ availability
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be available starting on April 21, and will be offered in color options — Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.
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