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March 29, 2017updated 30 Mar 2017 5:10pm

Samsung breathes new life into Galaxy S8 with revamped design

Electronics giant ramps up the competition in the smart home device space with IoT Hub.

By Joe Clark

Samsung has announced the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 plus, the latest flagship smartphones from the South Korean mobile giant.

These latest additions to the Samsung line of products will include new features such as the addition of voice assistant and Siri-competitor, Bixby, the use of Samsung’s new Super OLED Infinity Screen, and the transfer of the home button to under that screen to make room for the larger surface area.

The long expected announcement was made today at the Samsung Unpacked 2017 event in London and New York, although the several of details have been circulating for some time now, the new phone has been viewed by many as Samsung’s chance of a comeback after the explosive fate of it’s last flagship product, the Galaxy Note 7.

Galaxy s8

Speaking at the event DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, said: “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.

“The Galaxy S8 is our testament to regaining your trust by redefining what’s possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung’s smartphone legacy.”

One of the biggest new features confirmed today was the addition of Samsung Dex which allows the phone to be used, in tandem with a dock and a monitor, as a desktop computer. The new 10nm processor gives the S8 enough processing power in such a small space to be used in a way that Samsung says will be ideal for travellers or those without the space for a hefty computer tower.

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Samsung also expanded upon the features of its new AI Bixby. Bixby will be capable of all of the usual virtual assistant tasks, such as search queries, phone navigation, and calendar events, but on top of this the assistant will be able to run an image search using a picture that users take themselves. This will allow users to point their phone at a landmark or product, and Bixby will be able to find the relevant information.

Bixby will also be capable of learning what apps are used when, and based on your usage patterns will present the apps you’re most likely to use at that time.

Samsung also announced Samsung Connect Home that will work as an IoT Hub to connect smart devices in the home, and using the Samsung Connect app consumers will be able to control their home from miles away, eventually using Bixby.

Samsung Bixby

 

Several additions that were expected include the addition of wireless charging albeit faster now, the Infinity Display that wraps around the screen, and the company also commented that their new battery safety safeguarding is an eight point process, for obvious reasons.

Something that many rumours missed was that the Home button wasn’t necessarily removed but that it was actually moved underneath the screen itself. This way the home button maintains its functionality through a combination of new hardware and software but creates the space for additional screen space.

Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, said: “Samsung is still the number one smartphone player worldwide, but the brand lost prestige and consumer trust with the debacle of the Galaxy Note 7.”

“The launch of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone is thus key for the brand even though it has managed to reduce its business dependency on smartphones, contrary to Apple. The launch of the new device must be perfectly executed for Samsung to gain innovation leadership and to gain market share in the high-end smartphone segment.”

Samsung has recently been plagued by a deluge of bad press surrounding corporate scandals and defective products but despite this profits actually increased 50% during the last three months of 2016. The company will be hoping that the new device helps to boost profits over the next year. 

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 plus will be available across Europe on April 28th in Black, silver, and grey with pre-orders beginning today,

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