The long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ launch is almost here, and we couldn’t be more excited! Packed with internal and external modernisations and the introduction of a brand-new AI assistant, the new S8 certainly affirms that Samsung is keen to maintain its position as a mobile powerhouse against increased competition from the likes of Google and Apple.
From a visual standpoint, the device’s external upgrades are immediately striking. While earlier models have stuck to Samsung’s traditional blue and white, the S8 offers a sleek range of colour variants: Orchid Grey, Arctic Silver and Black Sky. Featuring a curved wraparound screen – presumably inspired by the success of last year’s curved S7 Edge – the Galaxy S8 boasts a massive 5.8-inch display; the S8+ takes this a step further with its whopping 6.2-inch screen. As with last year’s iPhone 7, the S8 bids farewell to the physical home button, instead offering a pressure-sensitive button on-screen. And in terms of security, the future has certainly arrived: the S8 offers both fingerprint and iris scanners, with plans to further develop this feature for payment methods.
Although the S8’s camera appears to be technically similar to that of the S7, its excellence cannot be disputed, offering a wide variety of impressive modes and options. The front-facing camera has been boosted to 8mp and incorporates a new auto-focus feature, and the device includes multi-frame image capabilities, designed to automatically select high-quality images and ensure sharp photography on the go.
Last but definitely not least is Samsung’s new software feature, Bixby. Samsung’s answer to Siri and Google Assistant has been positioned as a game-changer, designed to ultimately offer deeper internal control than the other mobile AI assistants on the market. Bixby is still in development, and its voice functionality won’t be rolling out until later this year, so at this stage it’s difficult to say how well it compares. Currently, Bixby is able to change phone settings such as screen brightness, as well as identify specific products and places through the camera.
In the meantime, thanks to the Android OS, Google Assistant is also accessible on the S8, so we’re not at a total loss for a more integrated AI. However, Samsung is quick to note that that they plan to “eventually release a tool to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled easily,” at which point Bixby will be able to support almost every task the app is capable of performing. Samsung is definitely setting high expectations for its new AI assistant; while risky, it could shape the future of mobile AI. We’re looking forward to seeing where it goes!