#TechThursday: Samsung unveils the smartphone everyone has been waiting for
Samsung regards the Galaxy S8 and S8+ —its latest top-end smartphones— to be works of art, and in some ways, they truly are. The elongated screens (they occupy a generous 80% real estate of the front display), removal of the physical home button, and slimmer body (shaving 1.5mm off the S7), converge in one sleek package. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ both boast wide screens that allow you to use and view two apps at the same time.
The Galaxy S8 is arguably the Korean company's most important launch in the past decade, and they've chosen the S8 as a platform to introduce Bixby, a virtual assistant to rival Apple's Siri. Bixby will allow users to provide voice commands for up to 10 built-in apps, which seems fairly basic considering today's technology.
But here's the kicker. Bixby is intelligent enough to be "context-aware". What does that mean? Well, it is able to make sense of what's currently displayed on your phone and respond to follow-up questions that interact with the apps on screen.
Bixby is also capable of recognising objects captured via the phone's camera. Spy a pair of Gucci loafers you're itching to buy? Simply snap a photo of it and Bixby will pull up information on the sweet kicks and ping you if your favourite e-tailers are selling it at a discount. At the moment, the software is trained to recognise Korean and American accents, so Singlish might prove to be a challenge.
What about the camera itself? The Galaxy S8 comes fitted with a 12MP rear camera and 8MP front-camera with faster autofocus. It also doubles up as an in-built iris scanner, allowing your eye-prints to be used as an alternative ID to fingerprint authentication.
Available in Singapore from April 2017. For more information, visit Samsung.