The highly anticipated flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S8 is finally here. The South Korean company revealed the phone at an event in New York yesterday with big fanfare and extensive press coverage.
Even though details about the Galaxy S8 were leaked extensively, the S8 and S8+ still managed to keep some details secret, like the new digital assistant “Bixby” which were rumored but went unconfirmed until the final reveal.
With the official announcement out of the way, its time we look at its most amazing features. The kind of features that make you consider it as your next flagship purchase.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 features of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+:
The Galaxy S8+ features a beautiful curved “Infinity Display” with a QHD+ (1440 x 2960) resolution and Super AMOLED panel. The tiny top and bottom bezels coupled with the curved screen results in a phone that looks all screen at the front.
10-bit HDR is also included which results in a higher color gamut and overall better color accuracy for the phone.
Headphone Jack (Because Really!)
This one is pretty obvious. Apple skipped the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, setting off a controversial debate regarding the future of headphones in flagship phones. At the time Apple explained that this was to “save space” and to make the phone thinner.
Fortunately not everyone got on the “no headphone jack” bandwagon and now that Samsung has included one, others are less likely to remove it either.
If that wasn’t enough, the S8 series will also come with a pair of Harman branded ear buds for the best listening experience.
Google, Apple and even Microsoft have their own digital assistants to offer. Samsung did not have anything to offer on this front, until now. Samsung’s answer to voice commands is Bixby. And according to the company, it is not your average AI based digital assistant.
Samsung bills it as: “anything you can do with touch, you can do with voice”. Currently the assistant isn’t as great as it sounds on paper (it only works with around 10 Android apps right now) but the smartphone maker promises improvement over time.
Tell Bixby to “call this guy” and the assistant will see whichever contact you have open right now and call them. Samsung showed a demo on stage where it was asked to rotate a photo, play a video and send a video over to a television screen.
The assistant is good at object recognition (use the camera and it can recognize things and order them online for you) and interacting with Bixby for weather, fitness activity and more is pretty simple as well.
Dex or Samsung Desktop Experience dock is “Continuum for Android”. For those who don’t know, Microsoft had included support for a dock that could turn your Windows phone into a PC (a very limited PC).
Samsung’s version allows you to run multiple apps but most of them look like over-sized phone versions of the apps. Any app works as long as it is updated for Android Nougat. You can receive notifications for messages and calls on the monitor.
The dock itself has HDMI, keyboard and mouse support and two USB ports. It also has a fan on the back of the phone to cool it down while doing heavier tasks. The phone connects with the dock through a USB type-C port.
Biometric Facial Recognition
The fingerprint scanner has become mainstream so it seems weird not to see it in a phone. In the Galaxy S8 however, the scanner is located at an awkward spot (at the side near the back camera). When attempting to use it, you would end up smudging the camera instead of touching the fingerprint sensor.
Samsung tried to remedy the issue by including an iris scanner at the front. The iris scanner scans your eyes to unlock your phone. All you need to do is look at your phone to unlock it, the phone will automatically detect your eyes and face.
Microsoft tried something similar back in 2015 with the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. You had to hold the phone uncomfortably close to your face to unlock it and it didn’t seem to work if you had glasses on. Hopefully Samsung has implemented a better version of it in the S8.
Does the Samsung Galaxy S8 have a better feature that we should have mentioned? Sound off in the comments.