Samsung Galaxy S8 launched, to be available from April 21

Samsung Electronics has unveiled its Galaxy S8, the first new flagship smartphone from the embattled Korean company since batteries in its Note 7 model began igniting last summer. Both the devices come in two processor options - depending on where you buy the handset from.

Samsung responded by implementing new battery safety measures after an internal investigation identified battery problems from two different suppliers as the cause of the Note 7's problems.

In addition, Oculus has improved its Oculus Home experience for Samsung, with quicker loading and clearer resolution. The screen takes up almost the entire front of the smartphones, something that Samsung calls an "Infinity Display". Thanks to the larger display, Samsung has done away with the physical keys, and it is now a complete screen-only affair. Samsung has chose to retain the glass design, which means it's still going to be notoriously slippy in the hand.

Bixby has been designed as a new interface for phone interaction, controlled by voice command. These phones come with Samsung's own take on virtual assistance, via Bixby.

On the front, there is an 8-megapixel front camera with f/1.7 aperture. The fingerprint sensor is now placed on the back alongside a 12 mega-pixel camera. Looks like Samsung hasn't added a dual rear camera setup. At first glance, all of the leaked features appear to be accurate: the Galaxy S8 is a almost bezel-less design with no physical buttons on the front, a fingerprint sensor on the back, and an octa-core 10nm SoC. All of these are incremental improvements on the S7.

Other notable features include IP68 water and dust resistance, plus fast charging fast and wireless charging.

Other striking features of the phone is the iris scanner and face recognition just like Windows Hello. The former feature will allow users to dock the S8 to an external display, keyboard and mouse, and use Android apps as though you were using a computer. As expected, the service is also compatible with Microsoft Office and Adobe products such as Acrobat Reader and Lightroom.

While the new remote will help Samsung put in more immersive content on its VR platform, the new 360-degree camera will help users create content for VR. As you can see, on the front, we mostly just have the big and attractive display. The new phones, featuring gigabit LTE, the new digital assistant Bixby and bigger screens, will be available from 21 April for respectively Euro 799 and Euro 899, in a choice of black, grey, silver, blue or gold.

  • Carolyn Briggs