Samsung has shown off their new model flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ this week. Knowing they had to make up for the exploding Note 7, they up the game by improving the screen size and quality. But we’ll get there in a minute.
The Galaxy S8
Let’s start with the tech details of the Galaxy S8. The display is a 5.8” Infinity Display with Super AMOLED Quad HD+ (2960 x 1440) 18:5:9 with 570ppi. The battery isn’t too big, coming in at 3,000 mAh. The thickness of the S8 is 8.0mm, the weight is 155g and width is 68.1mm.
The Galaxy S8+
The Galaxy S8+ has an Infinity Display 6.2” Super AMOLED Quad HD+ (2960×1440), 18:5:9 with 529ppi. The battery is 3500mAh. The thickness is 8.1mm, the weight is 173g, and the width is 73.4mm.
Both Galaxy S8 models have fast wired (USB Type – C) and wireless charging. The process is a 64bit, 10nm process with either the Octa core 2.3 GHz + 1.7GHz Quad or the Octa core 2.35Ghz + 1.9GHz Quad. The memory is 4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 64GB internal memory and a microSD slot that can handle microSD cards up to 256GB. The camera is a dual pixel 12MP (F1.7) rear camera and an 8MP AF (F1.7) front camera. A sensor can take your fingerprint and heart rate and is an accelerometer, barometer, gyro, proximity, RGB light, Iris and pressure sensor.
The screen is a different aspect ratio compared to most smartphones. 18:5:9 is supposed to help users multitask on their phones, something that is currently a little annoying to do on many screens. Samsung has had to remove the physical buttons due to the size of the screen. The bottom of the screen is pressure-sensitive and uses haptic technology (Like the Force Touch on new iPhones). The buttons are like the standard Android buttons.
The camera is the same as the Galaxy S7 but with improved functions. The S8 will have similar abilities to the Google Pixel’s HDR+ mode. Essentially, this means that the camera will take multiple images are once and combine the best parts of each shot into a single image.
Bixby and More
Samsung is releasing its new assistant, Bixby. Samsung aims to get users to be able to do anything using their voice they can do via touch. At the release of the smartphone, ten apps will be Bixby compatible. It’s up to developers to decide if they see value in creating add functionality for Bixby. Considering it’s only going to be on Samsung phones the user base won’t be as large as Android’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri.
Bixby pops up when using the camera to give you a link to buy using augmented reality. That’s nice, but if people want what feels like another advertisement popping up is debatable. Augmented reality can probably do a bit more, and Samsung should explore that area more.
Samsung has upgraded their safety policies to avoid another exploding smartphone. Therefore, the battery capacity isn’t trying to be too much. The aim of the Galaxy S8 is to do what’s required of it in a typical day. Whether it’s enough battery power for your typical day is something you’ll find out.
New Gear 360 and Gear VR
To go with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ release, Samsung is putting new Gear 360 products on the market. The Gear 360 can take 4K images, live stream and be used by iPhones and other Android models.
The Gear VR has a new coat of paint but remains the same. A touch-sensitive trackpad, trigger, and other buttons will help you to guide yourself through a 3D virtual reality world. Samsung has connected with Occulus to designed a faster and simpler home screen for the Gear VR. A new browser will give users the ability to be online in a 3D world.
Something other companies have done that hasn’t caught on is being able to use the smartphone as a PC. Attempting to get this off the ground, Samsung is releasing a DeX dock for the S8 and S8+. The DeX dock can turn any monitor into a larger display for your phone. The screen will look like the phone, and you’ll only have access to whatever apps your phone already has.
Other features included with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ include Samsung Connect for devices that connect to the Internet of thing (IoT). Samsung Health which has personal coaching, social capabilities and for US user telehealth. Samsung Pay is included, on top of Android Pay (Having both on there is a waste of space, but Samsung always put in their apps with Google’s apps, meaning there’s a double up of features).
The headphones are tuned by AKG by Harman and are designed for sound quality and comfort. The colors available include midnight black, orchid gray, arctic silver, coral blue and maple gold.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available from 21st April 2017.