Samsung has finally released its latest flagship phones, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and larger 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+, marking the end of an embarrassing era for the brand after last year’s Note 7 problems with burning batteries.
Among the highlights of the new products is Samsung’s Infinity Display, a curved screen that takes up nearly the entire front face of the phone. Along with a highly-touted display, both phones also come equipped with iris and facial recognition software for added security beyond the phone’s fingerprint and password protections. While the rear camera is staying pretty similar to what was in the Galaxy S7, the front-facing one has been upgraded to 8 megapixels. The phone will be released globally in five colors, however, only three—black, gray and silver—will be released in the U.S.
The phones, announced today, will be available for pre-order on March 30 before going on sale on April 21.
“When most people think smartphone, they think cell phones,” DJ Kohn, president of Samsung’s mobile communications business, said at the launch event in New York. “We think this view is too narrow.”
Both phones come equipped with iris and facial recognition software for added security.
In addition to the hardware specs, the Galaxy S8 will also be the first phone with Samsung’s Bixby artificial intelligence assistant. Like other AI interfaces such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, Bixby will be able to take commands by voice, however it will also be able to interact via text and touch. According to Samsung, Bixby will be able to remember context to help personalize itself for users.
The particularly notable feature for marketers might be Bixby’s visual recognition software, which allows the phone’s camera to detect anything from landmarks and languages to wines and other objects. Through partnerships with Google Translate, Bixby will be able to translate words in photos from 52 languages, while a partnership with Amazon will let users take photos of products then directly purchase them from the online retailer. Samsung is also partnering with Pinterest to take photos to find similar products. Another partnership, through FourSquare, helps to identify landmarks and other places.
In addition to the phones, Samsung also announced its next virtual reality headset, which comes equipped with a motion-sensing remote control that allows for more interaction with the games and movies available through Gear VR. The addition of the remote also catches Samsung up to Google’s View headset that debuted with a remote control when it launched last fall.
Samsung is also ready to debut the next version of its Gear 360 camera less than a year after the first one debuted. Samsung has been betting increasingly on 360-degree content creation, partnering with filmmaker and YouTube Casey Neistat which included a video of Neistat teaching model Karlie Kloss how to shoot in 360 around New York during New York Fashion Week.