This morning in NYC, Samsung execs took to the stage to reveal its next flagship smartphone: the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus.
For Samsung, it’s not just another smartphone—it’s a big test in winning back the trust of consumers. We’ve talked endlessly about all of Samsung’s woes in the past year, most notably in the exploding battery issue with the Note 7. With that in mind, the company took extra time to remind the audience that safety was a top concern.
As for the phone itself, the big feature is what Samsung calls the Infinity Display. We always knew 2017 would be the year of the push toward bezel-less displays—and Samsung has delivered on that with the Galaxy S8. The side bezels were already done away with on the “edge” devices from last year, but now it’s all been integrated into a shiny, curved phone with very small top and bottom bezels.
It’s a massive 5.8-inch display, spread out over the dimensions of a phone that is only slightly bigger than the Galaxy S7 in your hand. In order to do that, Samsung has removed the physical home button to put it underneath the display, as well as moving the fingerprint scanner to the back of the device. It makes for an incredibly impressive 83 percent screen-to-body ratio, which breaks the records on smartphones available globally. The S8 Plus, on the other hand, has a 6.2-inch display.
Along with the redesign of the hardware, Samsung has redesigned the software on the Galaxy S8. The software buttons have a simple new look, as well as the notifications and icons. The biggest software feature Samsung announced, however, is a new digital assistant called Bixby. The Google Assistant and Siri-competitor does all the things you’d expect it to do, with an emphasis on contextual intelligence.
There were all sorts of others new features announced as well, including a camera feature called multi-frame processing. The feature takes multiple photos of the same subject and blends them together to make the best overall image. Other big features on the Galaxy S8 include an Iris scanner, facial recognition, expanded Samsung Pass service, and a new smart home hub app called Samsung Connect.
The phone will be available on April 21 and will come in five different colors.