Samsung unveils new flagship smartphones

Samsung has unveiled its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the first since the company's Note7 was discontinued over safety concerns and battery fires.

Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 4:22 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:12 pm
The new Samsung Galaxy S8

The two new smartphones come with larger screens that fill most of the face of the device, with Samsung also removing the physical home button from the phone and replacing it with a pressure sensitive "invisible" home button embedded beneath the display.

Revealed at the Korean firm's Unpacked event, Samsung confirmed the S8 would have a 5.8in screen and the S8+ a 6.2in display, with both devices also becoming the first to house the tech giant's new artificial intelligence software, virtual assistant Bixby.

"The Samsung Galaxy S8 ushers in a new era of smartphone design and fantastic new services, opening up new ways to experience the world," Samsung mobile president DJ Koh said.

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The new Samsung Galaxy S8 (left) and S8+

"The Galaxy S8 is our testament to regaining your trust by redefining what's possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung's smartphone legacy."

Since discontinuing the Note7 in October last year, Samsung has conducted an internal investigation into the cause of the phone's safety issues, found to be two faults in some batteries, and implemented a new safety testing policy for all its products.

Mr Koh also apologised to customers at the conclusion of the investigation for failing to meet consumer expectations.

In the new S8, virtual assistant Bixby is able to understand context Samsung says, and can also scan images through the phone's camera in order to help with commands and queries, showing shopping options when food or drink packaging is scanned for example.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung confirmed the S8 and S8+ would launch in the UK on April 28, with the S8 costing £689 and the S8+ £779.

Both devices come with a 12 megapixel rear camera and an eight megapixel front-facing camera, as well 64GB of storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a MicroSD card slot.

The S8 and S8+ are also both dust and water resistant and have fast charging capabilities.

Via a new docking station, S8 users will also be able to turn their smartphone into a desktop computer, Samsung said, through a new feature called Samsung DeX which enables users to access and edit files on their phone on a desktop computer.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung also announced a new version of their virtual reality headset, Gear VR, which now comes complete with a new controller for easier use while wearing the device.

The firm's 60-degree camera, the Gear 360 has also been refreshed to now support the ability to capture videos in 4K ultra high definition, as well as better photos through a 15 megapixel camera.

The new Samsung Galaxy S8 (left) and S8+
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 (left) and S8+
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 (left) and S8+