– [Advertiser] How dowe leverage intelligence to do something productive and helpful? That's the question Samsung put to itself when designing its nextHalo Android Smartphone.
And the result is ahandheld that shows you more listens better and even plays computer.
Mobile and this is a first look at the Samsung Galaxy S8.
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First, let's get physical.
If you took last year's Galaxy S7 Edge and the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 and threw them into a blender, the S8 is what you'd end up with.
That's the best news ever if you care about the wayyour phone looks and feels.
In both its sizes and all of its colors, the glass and metal S8 is gorgeous.
In the hand, its fully symmetrical design makes it more comfortableto wield than the S7 Edge, and water and dustresistance has made the jump to the newer model too.
The displays featureelegantly curved corners, spilling over the edgeslike an infinity pool, and they come packing the HDR technology that seems to be 2017's big thing.
The screens are also bigger this year.
8 and 6.
2 inches depending on whether yougo for the S8 or S8 Plus.
Where a six inch phone usedto be a very unwieldy thing back in the days of the Nexus 6, Samsung has made it manageable by stretching the display vertically much like LG did with its G6.
After several weeks using that phone, the S8 Plus feels pretty natural to me.
But its still large by any measure so it's good that you'vegot the smaller option too.
You'll sacrifice batterycapacity in the move though.
About 15% of it going from S8 Plus to S8.
In that case, the wireless charging and fastcharging will come in handy.
Each of which returns this year.
And while we're talking batteries, yes, Samsung made clear thatthe S8's power pack is subject to the neweight-point safety check devised in the wake of the Note 7.
True to form, Samsung'sbringing a bevy of new features, so let's hit the highlights.
A wide angle front facing camera with auto-focus and face detection which should bump your selfie game.
And improved software for blur reduction and low light performanceon the main camera, which uses the same sensor as last year.
The iris scanner makes a return on the S8, giving you another wayto unlock your phone besides the fingerprint reader, which is now inconveniently located just where the leaks foretold immediately alongside the camera.
Given that the S8 familyrepresents a total redesign, it's disappointing thatSamsung couldn't figure out a better implementation here.
Get ready for a lot of smudged lenses and awkward fumbling.
In brighter news, the software has gottena sci-fi style paint job with a new wire frameaesthetic that I really like.
The physical home button is gone but its click is not.
Tapping the new software home key gets you a haptic buzz and the switch to softkeys mean that finally, finally, you can swap the buttonsif you think that back should be on the left which it should, guys.
Why am I dwelling on the details? Because these are the thingsyou're going to deal with everyday on the S8.
And Samsung's big aspirational features well, it remains to be seen how well they fare.
The biggest of these is Bixby, the virtual assistant thatSamsung is so serious about that they gave it its own button.
If you're wondering why an Android phone that comes with Google'sassistant needs another assistant, that's a good question.
And Samsung's answer isthe same as it always is.
This one can do more.
In theory, Bixby should be able to fielda wider range of commands all throughout the interface.
So for example, in the gallery you can say, "rotate this photo.
" Or, "send the lastpicture I took to my mom.
" And it will do it! Samsung says anything you can do by touch, you should be able to do by voice, which is, like a huge promise.
AI like this is hard, evenfor a company like Google, which has access to a muchlarger pool of user data.
And frankly, Samsung's voicecommand efforts thus far don't give me reasonto be optimistic here.
Time will tell.
And then there's DeX, which basically turns the Galaxy S8 into a faux desktop computer.
Assuming you have a sparemonitor, keyboard and mouse lying around, and you want to spring for the extra cost of a deck stock.
So while it really getsmy geek guts going, DeX has some of thesame adoption obstacles as Microsoft Continuum.
Samsung is a much bigger force in mobile, and it's signed deals with enterprises, Microsoft included to make DeX compatible software.
Still, DeX is possibly most valuable as a demonstration of power.
Think about it.
Now, Samsung gets to say that it has a phone thatcan become a computer thanks in part to bleeding edge hardware that should satisfy thosefor home top numbers on a spec sheet are theultimate validation.
But look, Samsung's success with the Galaxy line has always hinged more onthe millions of normals who will buy the phones.
And the impressions Igot from an hour spent with the S8 and the S8 Plus tell me that they'regonna be huge sellers.
Sure, you may be able to getphones that do 80% of this for 70% less money, but the hat trick of carrier financing eye grabbing features, and aggressive Samsung advertising, will have these in a lot of pockets in a short amount of time.
That's my prediction anyway.
No word on exact pricing yet, but here in the US, pre-orders open March 30 forthree of the five color options and a targeted April 21 release.
I'll have much more on these phones in Mr.
Mobile's full review.
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