We’re live reporting back on the Samsung Galaxy Press Release on March 29th 2017. This is the first big release for Samsung since the issues with the exploding Galaxy Note 7 so it is key that they hit the ground running with their latest products and innovations. So join us for an exciting look at what they have on offer.
There have been a lot of rumours and some very credible mocked-up phone pictures come out in recent weeks, so we have a good idea of what the Samsung Galaxy S8 will look like and some of its key features, such as edge-to-edge display. However, their opening video has suggested there will be progression on the Gear Range and an update on the Note range.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Key Features
- RELEASE DATE: April 21st
- Edge-to-edge infinity display
- No physical home button
- S8 and S8 Plus models available
- S8 has a 5.8inch screen and the S8 plus has a 6.2 inch screen
- Facial regognition unlocking and fingerprint reader will be located on the back of the phone
- 10nm processor, which is Samsung’s fastest by far
- Bixby Contextual voice and visual commands
- Free headphones to be given away at launch.
- Motion-sensing controller for Gear VR
- Gear 360 is getting a revamp and can now stream 360 video live
- Samsung Desk will let you use your phone as a desktop PC
Samsung Galaxy Press Release Live
11:05am ET: The press conference opened with an acknowledgement of the issues Samsung have experienced in the past year. But they were keen to mention their dedication to progress and how the smartphone industry has shaped the world in the years since they joined the market in 1998.
11:12am ET: Samsung claim that, when we think about a mobile, we think about a cellphone. However, they believe that it is so much more – a mobile is about creating a connected world. They then mentioned the first feature of the Galaxy S8 by confirming it will include an Infinity Screen, offering an edge-to-edge display. They have promised that they will later cover an array of new services, with pictures showing payment options, voice commands, and details on how their partnership with Google can create a smart home.
11:16 am ET: With a sleek-looking video starting in a boxing gym, then expanding to show the video on the screen of the new Galaxy, we can see the emphasis is on screen quality, and the edge-to-edge Infinity display. It also confirms the lack of a physical home button on the device. Illustrating the screen “breaking free” of the edges that used to constrain it. Clearly the display is the main factor in today’s release.
11:17 am ET: Confirmation that there will be two different models, the S8 and the S8 Plus, in keeping with past designs.
11:19 am ET: The aim of the Infinity display is that you cannot see the edge of the screen from the front. The metaphor here is that the screen is breaking through the barriers of the industry and facing challenges head on. A not-so-subtle hint at the troubles Samsung has endured.
The display will be 5.8 inches for the S8, and 6.2 inches for the S8 Plus
11:23 am ET: This is going to be the first cell phone with Mobile HDR premium certification. This means that the colours and contrast are the same as in a movie theatre, replicating how “the director meant for it to be seen.”
The home button is part of the screen, but Samsung promoses it will respond to physical pressure in the same way that a physical button would.
There are going to be five different colours available.
11:27am ET: The front facing “selfie camera” will have an 8 mega pixel sensor, as well as facial recognition.
Waterproof and dustproofing is going to remain a feature on these phones.
There will be a 10nm processor. That means that 10,000 transistors will be included, taking up no more room than the width of a human hair. This will result in Samsung’s fastest processor by far.
11:29am ET: They have now addressed the safety issues, stating that their phones go through an eight-point safety check that “goes above and beyond the industry standard”. They go on to mention the safety of passwords, and how their biometric authentication (finger print scanning and the new iris scanner) will be able to be used for other features in phone, not just unlocking.
Users will be able to unlock the S8 using facial recognition. However, the fingerprint unlocking feature will be located on the back of the phone, not the front.
11:34am ET: Samsung Health, an app currently only offering features like a heartbeat monitor will provide an “ask an expert” option, which can connect you with a doctor at a time that is suitable for you. This is currently only available in Japan and Korea, but will be coming to the USA with regional restrictions.
11:37 am ET: That is it for features of the phone, we are now on to the improvements in the use of the phone.
The big announcement is Bixby, which is a user interface that is set to reduce the amount of steps there are to perform day-to-day tasks. Bixby is a voice control that is aware of what is happening on the screen, which gives the commands context.
11:39 am ET: The context means that you can say “screenshot this” and Bixby will know what “this” is. It is also able to recognise items you are taking pictures of, which will allow it to find your desired items in a shop, for example. Bixby seems to be split into 4 different sections. So far we have covered voice and vision.
11:43 am ET: Samsung Connect is set to improve the Samsung Smart Home system, which already exists. The aim is to put all of the controls in one place, so you can link lights, fridges, washers etc. all in one connected app. This will link with Bixby so you can control all of these with your voice. This will all focus around the Samsung Connect home wifi, which will link all of the smart devices together. As Samsung (unlike Apple or Google) make home devices, this has potential to be a big improvement on the current situation.
11:45am ET: There will be free headphones given away on the launch on April 21st 2017. This mirrors the promotion of a Gear VR headset with the release of the S7 in 2016.
11:48am ET:There will be a new motion sensing controller for the Gear VR, allowing you to interact more easily with the VR interface, something which previously needed to be done on the side of the headset.
11:51am ET: The Gear 360 is getting a revamp, and will allow you to live stream in 360 VR compatible video. Unfortunately on stage they tried to stream live, experiencing some lag before getting there in the end. The video illustrates the link with Facebook Live and the new 360 capabilities.
11:52am ET: Members of the audience at the unboxing have been given free Gear 360 devices. The aim of this was to have the audience use the device live, and illustrate the simplicity of turning it on and videoing with just two buttons. There is no release date yet for the new Gear 360.
11:58am ET: Something that has been promised for a long time is the ability to use your phone to unlock a desktop PC, but they have quelled this by offering Samsung Desk, which allows you to use your phone in conjunction with a keyboard and mouse to essentially make your phone into a desktop PC.
12:01pm ET: The press release closes with a speech about how one must be brave enough to step into the unknown, whilst still being humble enough to learn from one’s mistakes. And this is followed up with a very odd, cult-like parade of Samsung employees holding up S8 devices.