Everything You Need to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S8

By Tom Pritchard on at

We already feel like we knew everything about the Samsung Galaxy S8 before today's unboxing event, but there has to be a big flashy press event to make everything official and legit. Naturally there are two Galaxy S8 models on the way, and here's everything we know about them so far.

Well the first thing to note is that we have left behind the days were we'd get an SX and an SX Edge. Now we have the S8, and the S8 Plus which is a bigger phabletier device. Because the last Galaxy Phablet didn't do so well...

Samsung claims that this phone is innovative as hell, with what it calls the 'Infinity display'. Essentially it's Samsung's Edge display with the absolute minimum bezel possible. In fact you can barely see, which means they've managed to squeeze a much bigger phone without a bigger chassis. The S8 has a 5.8-inch display, but that chassis is about the same size as a regular 5.2-inch phone. The S8 Plus boasts a bigger 6.2-inch display.

You'll also notice that this Infinity display, taking up as much space as it does, ditches the physical buttons. This doesn't mean the same digital buttons as other Android devices however. Samsung's shifted the home button underneath the display, and promises that it can still recognise pressure. It's not clear if it has force touch technology like the iPhone 7's home button, but it's impressive none the less. It can't detect your fingerprints (that would be a bit too much like magic), so the fingerprint scanner has shifted to the back next to the camera.

Iris scanning is back, but Samsung has also introduced facial recognition that will identify you are who you say you are and open up your phone automatically. Supposedly this makes it quicker to unlock your phone compared to passwords, fingerprints, and so on.

The display on both phones sticks to Samsung's Quad HD AMOLED display, but like the LG G6 it's bringing HDR into the fold. Samsung is boasting that the phone has a Mobile HDR Premium Certification, and is bringing users HDR video content in association with Amazon Prime Video. No word on which HDR standard its opted for, however.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S8: Best Phone Ever?

Not much to say on the camera. The rear camera has a 16MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilisation, and the front camera has an 8MP sensor and autofocus. The camera will come with a dual pixel sensor, just like the Galaxy S7, and it's promising us a multi-frame processor designed to reduce noise and increase the brightness of your shots.

From a power standpoint, the S8 and S8 Plus include a 10nm processor designed to be the most efficient processor in a Samsung phone. That means it uses less energy, and doesn't waste as much of your sweet sweet battery life. It's an octa-core processor, with both a 2.3GHz quad-core and 1.7GHz quad-core chipsets. As for those batteries, the S8 and S8 Plus will come with a 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh batteries, respectively. Samsung also reiterated that the testing for this phone went way beyond industry standards, because it views safety as being of paramount importance. Obviously they don't want a repeat of the Note 7 fiasco.

Both phones will continue to have IP68 water and dustproofing, as well as wireless charging. The S8 will also be compatible with a new wireless charging pad which is special because *gasp* you can tilt it and see your screen while you're charging. Internal storage will be 64GB, there's 4GB of RAM, USB-C connectivity, and all running on Android 7.0.

The S8s will also come with Bixby, Samsung's AI/Virtual assistant baked in. While it won't be available in (American) English until a month post-launch, Samsung is adamant that it will help you change how you use your phone. It basically mixes features we've seen from other virtual assistants, coming with contextual cards, natural language voice control, and something called 'Bixby Vision'. This is a bit like Google Goggles, letting you snap photos of things to identify them and show you some more information.

There's also Samsung Connect, an IoT hub app that lets you control your smart home tech from your phone - regardless of whether you're at home or not. Compatability wasn't mentioned, but naturally anything made by Samsung will be compatible. And so will Bixby, which means once it launches people will be able to control their smart home devices using voice commands. So just like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but in your phone. There's also a new IoT-centric router that supposedly boosts connectivity and controls your smart home devices.

Oh and Samsung forgot to mention, even though this sort of thing clearly needs to be stated outright these days, the S8 does come with a headphone jack.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be available in the US on April 21st, before hitting the UK a week later on 28th. As is usual Samsung style, if you pre-order you can get your hands on it early on the 20th.

More Samsung Galaxy S8 coverage from Giz UK: