By Alexander Rose
On Wednesday, March 29, Samsung announced the new release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphone. This is the first attempt by Samsung to bounce back after last year’s issues over product safety control with the Samsung S7 smartphone. There are numerous changes and improvements they have implemented in not only an attempt to improve their product and move on from their previous mishap with the S7, but to also lift them above their fellow competitors, such as Apple.
For Samsung, changes began with making sure no more serious technical difficulties were to occur as they did with the S7. The major issue with the S7 was the rechargeable lithium battery in the phone. The battery was the cause of random explosions that would occur, thus setting fire to the phone and leading to potential burns on the consumer. This issue led to lawsuits for Samsung. In one instance, a man’s phone exploded in his pocket, causing third degree burns. Due to these explosions, the Federal Aviation Administration banned the use of these phones on planes. Aside from that catastrophic defect, Samsung made improvements from the S7 to their new device which consists of 10% faster processing due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, higher resolution pictures, and more storage space.
Samsung has implemented many new, exciting features and designs into the S8. The first new feature is “Bixby”, which is similar to “Siri” from Apple products. Bixby is activated by voice or the touching activation button. Bixby can translate from 52 different languages, while Siri only does 30, and can also search for things by using a photo, which Siri cannot. The S8 also has edge-to-edge “infinity” display. With this new design, the display is larger which increases visibility, and there is no longer a home button on the front screen. In order to unlock the phone, you must use the finger print button located on the back of the phone. Another improvement made to the S8 is the camera. The camera is now able to take multiple shots at once, and then combine the best parts of each image to create a flawless photo.
Along with the S8, Samsung released the “Dex” to go along with this smartphone. The Dex is a device that the S8 can be docked into and is connected to a monitor or a TV. After docking the phone into the Dex, the phone can then be used as a computer. This interesting new device can enable users to surf the web, as well as use apps and send messages simply through their phone and then displayed on a larger screen. Motorola and Microsoft have tried to design a device such as the Dex, but Samsung has won the race to release it first.
Counterpoint Research expects Samsung to ship close to 50 million of these smartphones in 2017. This estimate projects that they will sell more smartphones compared to last year’s S7, which sold 48 million. These sales will begin April 20th, when pre-orders will be delivered to consumers. The S8 will be available in U.S. stores on April 21st, and it will be available in the UK and Europe on April 28th. The phone will consist of three basic colors: black, gray, and silver. Prices of the S8 vary between different wireless telecommunication companies. Under Verizon, it is expected the S8 will retail for $720, while the S8 Plus will retail for $840. Under AT&T and T-Mobile, it is expected that the S8 retail for $750, while the S8 Plus will retail for $850. Verizon is initially offering a better price, though only by a small margin.
According to Forbes, Samsung ranked as the 2nd largest technology company in the world, just behind Apple. In 2016, Samsung made $177 billion in revenue and $16.5 billion in profit. The release of the S8 smartphone will continue to solidify Samsung as one of the top competitors in this industry. With the release of this smartphone, as well as devices such as Dex and virtual reality gear, it may not be long until Samsung is able to bypass Apple and become the #1 powerhouse of the technological world.