“Immersive viewing experience” is the order of the day, as Samsung unwraps its much-awaited Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone in New York. As teased, the spanking new device boasts an Infinity Display and a bezel-less, button-less design.
You’ve seen all the leaked photos and specs over the past couple of weeks, so there are no surprises.
Make no mistake, the Infinity Display is gorgeous – 5.8-inch Quad HD+ (2960×1440 @ 570PPI) on the Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ (2960×1440 @ 529PPI) on the Galaxy S8+. Both feature a smooth, curvy form factor with no buttons or harsh angles. Samsung has gone for a 18.5:9 screen ratio that emulates the one found on the LG G6. The new ratio maximizes the display, but enables a compact design for single-handed operation. It features Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back.
The Galaxy S8 tips the scales at 152g, while the bigger Galaxy S8+ tops 173g.
Like its predecessor, the device is IP68 dust- and water-resistant.
Aside from the beautiful Infinity Display, the Galaxy S8 is an evolution of the Galaxy S7. No huge changes under the hood, an incremental update so to speak.
Same great camera
The excellent 12MP f/1.7 Dual Pixel main shooter with OIS found on the Galaxy S7 makes a return. Why change a good thing, right? On the front, it gets an uprated 8MP f/1.7 selfie shooter.
As leaked, the Galaxy S8 is powered by either an octa-core Snapdragon 835, or the new Exynos 9, depending on market or region. The Snapdragon 835 is the industry’s first 10nm processor.
On top of that, it’s bundled with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM with 64GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S8 supports gigabit LTE (Cat.16) and comes built-in with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, USB Type-C, NFC/MST and GPS.
A glaring change is the absence of the physical home button. The fingerprint scanner is now located on the back of the device. As an alternative biometric authentication method, the Galaxy S8 features an iris scanner and facial recognition on the front. This works in tandem with Samsung Knox, Samsung’s defence-grade security platform.
In the entertainment department, the Galaxy S8 is the world’s first mobile device to be certified by the UHD Alliance as Mobile HDR Premium. This gives you superior colour and contrast. Don’t forget the built-in support for Vulkan API, bringing ultimate gaming experience on mobile.
Samsung has managed to squeeze a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery into the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ respectively. No change from the previous generation S flagship.
Both support fast charging on wired and wireless, where wireless charging is compatible with WPC and PMA standards.
For the first time – Bixby (not Bill) – Samsung’s new digital personal assistant will make an appearance. Bixby is an intelligent interface that will help you get more out of your Galaxy device. A new Bixby button located on the bottom left of the device, will let you conveniently access Bixby and navigate through services and apps with simple voice, touch, vision 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. Samsung will expand Bixby’s capabilities to include more Samsung and third-party apps in the near future.
With the new Galaxy S8, Samsung also took the wraps off a new Gear VR with Controller, powered by Oculus. Also a new, 4K-capable Gear 360. In a surprise announcement, Samsung DeX makes an appearance. It’s a solution that transforms your smartphone into a desktop.
Pricing and availability
The Galaxy S8 will be available starting 21 April and will be offered in an array of colours including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Artic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.
No information on when it will hit Malaysian shores, but expect it to be within a couple of weeks after the launch.