Samsung Galaxy S8 Unveiled at #Unpacked 2017

Today, in a simultaneous launch in New York and London, and via live stream to many more, Samsung looked to overcome recent negative press with the release of their newest flagship line-up, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

New Era of Smartphones

Samsung has had a tough recent past haven’t they? The Samsung S7 was largely a heralded device, but then came the ill-fated Note 7 and Samsung became a dirty word towards the end of 2016. They would have to do something to rebuild their reputation right? Well, whether you believe that their reputation was damaged as heavily as some may have suggested or not, there is no denying that Samsung were keener than recent years to knock this release out the park.

Infinity Display – Samsung Galaxy S8

So what have they released? Two devices, a Samsung S8 and S8+ with the first call out feature, the Infinity Display. An end-to-end screen similar to that found on the Edge devices but not quite as curved. The design mirrors the glass front to give a comfortable-looking phone. There’s a 5.8″ display on the S8 and a 6.2″ display on the S8+ but the comfort factor, Samsung suggests, was their primary concern. The curved sides and svelte height-to-screen ratio is testament to that.

That same display has Mobile HDR Premium certification to go alongside it’s 18:9 aspect ratio. This should provide not only a crisper cleaner picture, but more immersion too.

So with all that screen, and no bezel of body, where is the home button? Oh, they’ve placed it under the screen, made it invisible but it’s available still! No longer is it a physical button, but a pressure sensitive pad which is a novel solution to a reduced body footprint on a smartphone. We’ll be eager to check that out.

Invisible Home Button

Some proofing is included again with the S8, with IP68 water and dust proofing. So go play in that sand pit, and in that swimming pool, and take your phone with you. Well, in theory you can but we’re sure many will wrap their new S8 in a case to protect it anyway!

So what about the specs of the Samsung S8 lineup? Well, a new 10nm manufacturing process means a 10% improvement in processor power over the S7 which is a nice marketing point to have right? Real world use remains a mystery and we’ll wait for our full review to comment, but the Samsung S7 was never a slow device. Power wise, Samsung were keen to emphasise the battery testing process to circumvent any shade thrown at it from the Note 7 haters. That battery will sit at 3000 mAh for the Samsung S8 and 3500 mAh for the Samsung S8+. Again, only a review period will tell us whether this is sufficient.

Specs – Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8Samsung Galaxy S8+
Display5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
2960 x 1440 resolution
570 ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
2960 x 1440 resolution
529 ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
Processor64-bit octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process (depending on region)

RAM4 GB
LPDDR4
4 GB
LPDDR4
Storage64 GB
USF 2.1
64 GB
USF 2.1
MicroSDYes, up to 256 GBYes, up to 256 GB
CamerasRear: 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS

Front: 8 MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture

Rear: 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS

Front: 8 MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture

Battery3,000 mAh
Fast charging
3,500 mAh
Fast charging
Wireless chargingYes, Qi and PMAYes, Qi and PMA
Water resistanceIP68 dust and water resistanceIP68 dust and water resistance
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
ANT+
USB Type-C
3.5 mm headphone jack
NFC
Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
ANT+
USB Type-C
3.5 mm headphone jack
NFC
Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
SIMNano SIMNano SIM
SoftwareAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 Nougat
Dimensions and weight148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm
155 g
159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
173 g

Samsung Bixby – Samsung Galaxy S8

Bixby

There was more up that Samsung sleeve with somebody to help you on your journey, Bixby. Bixby is a digital assistant (everyone has one right?) that has contextual awareness of the content on the device and can ascertain more precisely the users’ requirements. Another use of Boxby, accessible by a Bixby button on the right side of the device, is to point and click a pic of a product you see somewhere, and Bixby will find a retailer for you thanks to Samsung’s extensive partnerships. Cool eh.

Finally, you will get an AKG set of headphones along with the device you purchase, a nice addition. There’s also more options for you to interact with your phone with a new Gear 360 camera, as well as Samsung DEX – think Microsoft Continuum but with Android. It remains to be seen how well this will all work, but we’re excited to try it.

Samsung Dex

Pricing & Availability – Samsung Galaxy S8

So, like what you’ve heard? Want one? Well you don’t have to wait too long as the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be available April 28th in store and to pre-order from 29th March. The Galaxy S8 will cost £689 in the UK with the Galaxy S8+ selling for £779. Colour options will be restricted for the UK market at launch with just the Midnight Black and Orchid Gray variants available.

Stay tuned for some hands on pictures from the event and more from us on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

About Craig Bradshaw

Tech enthusiast and Editor-in-Chief of MobileTechTalk

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