FIRST LOOK: The Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Samsung just released its new flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S8 – have a look.

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Halt and (don’t) catch fire

This April 21, you can lay your hands – safely this time – on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. They’re both unsurprisingly impressive devices, and Samsung’s going to be hoping that they can restore the company’s fortunes in the wake of the Note 7 debacle and legal troubles at home, and in advance of Apple’s anticipated iPhone 8 or iPhone X release later this year. Check it out.

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The face

It’s a 2960x1440 super AMOLED, which it hardly needs to be said, is awfully dense for a 5.8-inch or even a 6.2-inch display. Samsung’s calling it the “infinity display,” and says that it’s the highest screen-to-body ratio ever. We don’t know how you’re supposed to hold it without blocking part of the screen, but hey, impressive.


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Under the hood

It’s a Snapdragon 835 (or similar Exynos), with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and the option to expand that via an SD card. It’s also got, wonder of wonders, a headphone jack, and it’s got Samsung’s dust- and water-resistance baked in.


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The selfie-cam on the Galaxy S8 is an 8MP F1.7 auto-focusing unit, and the main shooter is a 12MP F1.7 with optical stabilization and the rest of Samsung’s previous generation imaging goodies.


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The Galaxy S8 has a built-in iris scanner and face detector for main unlocking, and moves the fingerprint scanner to the back, safely out of the way of its awkwardly humongous screen. It’s an impressive little sci-fi “future is here” moment, though it could also prove to be a headache if it doesn’t function smoothly.


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If you know what Alexa and Siri and Google Assistant do, you know the deal here – it’s an AI assistant that you talk to instead of tapping out searches or app actions on the device with your finger. It’s not nearly as functional as the competition at launch, but Samsung promises that general-knowledge questions and so forth will come soon.


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Battery safety

Samsung says that its new eight-point battery safety checks go “beyond the industry standard,” and really, it’s difficult to believe that Samsung wouldn’t go all-out to make sure that the Galaxy S8 doesn’t have any battery safety issues in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 disaster.


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Connect and DeX

Samsung Connect Home is a mesh Wi-Fi system that lets you control your Samsung devices remotely, featuring 4x4 MU-MIMO and a SmartThings hub built-in. DeX is a pocket-sized desktop dock that lets you plug a keyboard and monitor in and use your smartphone like a PC.