Samsung unveil its answer to Siri, with two new devices

We take a hands-on look at the new S8 and S8+

Samsung has unveiled two new flagship smartphones. As expected, we now have the Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices, which will arrive into Ireland on April 20th.

Samsung used the tagline "Unbox your phone", which led to speculation that they are looking to redefine the physical design of the smartphone. The new phones have ‘infinity display’, which increases the screen to phone ratio significantly.

The new S8 has a 5.8-inch screen, while the S8+ has a 6.2-inch display. The screen on both devices runs to the edge of the frame and is rounded at the edges.

 

A noticeable difference on this phone versus all other Galaxy devices to date is the removal of the physical home button. The traditional home button has been replaced by a pressure sensor at the bottom of the screen. This, again, frees up space for the screen to run the entire length of the body.

Internally there's an Octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which can be increased with the use of a microSD card. The S8 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the S8+ has a  3,500 mAh battery. 

The firm has built upon the impressive camera we saw in the S7 and S7 Edge to deliver 12MP on the rear and 8MP on the front. The device has multi-frame image processing, which enables the phone to capture 3 shots for every photo taken, process those images and deliver an image with less blur. 

Irish customers will be able to choose between two colour options - Midnight Black and Orchid Gray.

Bixby:

We were also introduced to Bixby, Samsung's answer to Siri. This AI application will be able to help users with tasks, queries and reminders. It's important to note, however, that it will only be available at launch in Korea and the US. It will launch in Europe at a later date. 

Users can open their camera and tap on the small green circle on the left side of the screen. This launches Bixby, which can help users identify items captured by the lens. For example, if you are in London at a landmark and are unsure of what it is called, open Bixby, point and capture the image. It will let you know where you are. 

Another interesting use for it is for fashion fans. Users will be able to point Bixby at an item of clothing and will pull up a list of shops in which the item or similar items can be purchased.

Bixby can also be launched using facial recognition and voice control too.  

DeX:

In terms of exciting innovations and inventions, Samsung unveiled a new desktop docking station called DeX. This is a small device into which users can place their S8 or S8+ and a monitor. It's possible to use the phone as a computer, whilst still utilising it as a communications device. 

This is an ideal companion for those conducting cloud-based work. Samsung has worked with Microsoft to ensure users can access Microsoft Office programmes such as Word and Excel. 

Irish pre-orders for the new devices will open from 29th March, until 19th April. Pricing information to follow.