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Android Hardware

Samsung Launches Galaxy S8 Smartphone (cnbc.com) 104

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled the Galaxy S8, its latest flagship smartphone boasting a new voice assistant and larger display as the technology titan looks to steal a march on Apple and regain ground after the embarrassing Note 7 saga. The phone comes in two models with different screen sizes -- the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus. From a report: Some of the key features of the device include a so-called "infinity display", giving the device a bezel-less curved edge and a 12 megapixel back camera. [...] Samsung also revealed Bixby, a smart voice assistant to rival Apple's Siri. It will be able to answer questions you ask, but Samsung highlighted how it's different. One use case involved taking a picture of a monument and Bixby being able to tell you information about this as well as recommendations of restaurants nearby. The display has a resolution of 2960 x 1440. The Galaxy S8 (both variants) comes powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC (in international markets, Exynos octa-core). Other features include 12MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera, 3,000 mAh battery (3,500 mAh battery on Plus model), USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water and dust resistance capability, support for wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0, and support for LTE Cat 16. It runs Android 7.0. Prices are yet to be announced.
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Samsung Launches Galaxy S8 Smartphone

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  • Boom baby! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:29AM (#54134901)

    No headline like "explosive launch"? :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I hate how these are all so big and long. Like 5.8 inches is just way too big for me to handle. I need smaller. Like closer to 5 inches than to 6 inches. I know some people slobber for big ones that are 6 inches or bigger, but I prefer them small. It doesn't even matter whose it is, they're all too lengthy for my hands. I can't get a good grip on them. Please, somebody, offer me one that's smaller! I want to be able to handle it easily.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://youtu.be/pfJVUd1gjT8

  • Samsung store catches fire:
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/S... [notebookcheck.net]

  • by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <DenisBergeron@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:46AM (#54135015)

    From last year second level Corp. Like my zenfone 3 that have 4gb and 64gb in its smallest version, and you can get a 256gb zenfone for the price of a Samsung 7!

    • The silly thing is Samsung is the world's largest DRAM and NAND manufacturer. It would cost them literally a few dollars to bump up the amount of RAM and storage on their devices.
      • The silly thing is someone thinking this is silly because of reason X without having any of the inside information that went into the design and engineering.

        It's even sillier complaining about this on a phone with an SD card slot. I for one will be buying the smallest version available because unlike other manufactures this one doesn't limit my storage.

        • by Joosy ( 787747 )

          It's even sillier complaining about this on a phone with an SD card slot. I for one will be buying the smallest version available because unlike other manufactures this one doesn't limit my storage.

          SD card memory is handy for storing photos, videos and movies, but not so good (typically it's useless) for installing programs.

          • but not so good (typically it's useless) for installing programs.

            And yet the vast majority of programs have no problem running on the SD card. Mind I'm truly in awe of anyone who actually needs this function, given the over 100 apps I have on my crappy little 16GB device.

      • The silly thing is Samsung is the world's largest DRAM and NAND manufacturer. It would cost them literally a few dollars to bump up the amount of RAM and storage on their devices.

        You're assuming that Samsung is just big pile of products and divisions.

        In reality, Samsung's mobile device manufacturing company has to BUY components from Samsung Semiconductor company. They probably get an extreme sweetheart deal; but I can guarantee they don't just "transfer stock" for zero dollars over cost.

      • This is not how embedded device companies think/plan.

        I want to sell 4million S8s over the course of a year for a price below X (X related to prices of the competition).

        If I pay $10 more in RAM for each unit, then the production price goes up by about $40 (rule of thumb: $x more spent in production for one part ends up as 4 * $x in the final costs .. YMMV).

        So: what now? If we increase the original planned selling price, we are "cost neutral" but might miss the market.
        If we swallow the cost, then we have to g

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "bezel-less curved edge"

    F that! I already have a hard enough time holding my phone with a bezel without accidentally touching the edges of the screen. Forget putting adding a protective case to protect your multi-hundred dollar toy as you won't be able to use the edges of the screen.

    • by The Snowman ( 116231 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @12:14PM (#54135851)

      F that! I already have a hard enough time holding my phone with a bezel without accidentally touching the edges of the screen. Forget putting adding a protective case to protect your multi-hundred dollar toy as you won't be able to use the edges of the screen.

      I traded in my S7 Edge specifically because the curved edges were so damn annoying. I would almost constantly trigger functionality on the edges of the screen, interrupting what I was doing. Adding a case did not help: the pressure the case put on the edges actually made it worse. Touching elsewhere on the phone would distort all the interconnected pieces of the case just enough to trigger a touch in a random place. It was also annoying when playing games where I might need to touch near the edge of the screen: the curvature made it harder to read the screen and touch the edges.

      Upgrading to an "old-school" flat-screen phone eliminated all of the annoyances caused by the curved edges. I will never buy another curved-screen phone. Since Samsung is committed balls-deep to technology that actively pisses me off, I doubt I will ever buy another one of their phones.

  • Now that's it's been launched, will it explode on impact? ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:52AM (#54135063)

    Bring back the removable/easily swapped-out battery _with_ waterproofing. Stop thinking thinness is the primary design goal.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This. I don't mind a thicker phone if it has a larger capacity or swappable battery, and it will likely be easier to hold anyway especially if it has a stupid bezel-less design.

    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Yes: thinness is an anti-feature, just like bezel-less screens.

    • by eam3 ( 962365 )
      Agreed 100%. Looks like I'll keep my trusty S5 and keep updating until Samsung decides to abandon it.
      • by Bratch ( 664572 )

        Same reason I am still using my Note 4. One of the batteries makes the phone suddenly shut down around 30%, so I just ordered another one yesterday. The other one will run the phone all the way down to 1%.

        I also miss having a built in FM radio. ehhhhh get off my weeds ....

    • I'd prefer a thicker phone too (I had to add a case to my Nexus 5 to make it thicker because I kept dropping it). But I believe the reason Samsung got rid of the removable battery was because too many people were killing their phone in the water. The Galaxy S5 was waterproof and had a removable battery. But that required the back cover be removable with a big gasket around its edge. People weren't placing the cover on properly, so the gasket wouldn't seal and the phone would leak and die when placed und
    • Bring back the removable/easily swapped-out battery _with_ waterproofing. Stop thinking thinness is the primary design goal.

      Please go buy another phone. I don't want a removable battery with *compromised* water proofing (because that's what it is), and I sure as hell don't want a thicker phone because of it.

    • by Thruen ( 753567 )
      Here, this is what I wrote back when people were saying they want removable batteries because Samsung's phones were exploding. Basically it's never going to happen more than it already does because there's no demand and no real benefit for the vast majority of customers, but have a read:

      I see a lot of people saying they'd prefer a phone with a removable battery. Here's the thing: They exist, you have that option, everyone does and nobody takes it. Phones with removable batteries don't sell very well and that's why you don't see them advertised all over the place nor do you see manufacturers trying to pack in more features when it's not worth the effort for them. I know, everyone wants to believe the lack of removable batteries is so you'll be forced to replace your phone due to a dead battery instead of getting a new battery. I am going to tell you what my S/O who has sold this stuff for the last decade has told me repeatedly: They made a lot more selling extra batteries than they do selling replacement phones, there has been no notable increase in the rate at which people replace phones while we've made the move to non-removable batteries, and it's actually less common that people come in with complaints about their battery now than before as batteries now typically work well for as long as the average consumer uses their phone. It's also worth pointing out that, back when replaceable batteries were common, folks would often complain about the short lifespan of their batteries claiming they were being forced to buy replacements just to keep their phone on for a day at a time.

      I know, I've been using the same phone for years, too. I could use a replaceable battery as mine is not holding a charge the way it used to. We are the minority, most folks don't suffer many ill effects from not being able to replace the battery in their phone. This situation is a fluke, and even after this you will only see a very small minority of folks talking about the need for replaceable batteries. The vast majority of consumers don't care about replaceable batteries and wouldn't really benefit from them.

    • I think the Phone hype curve has peaked. We had ten years of iphone/android fun, but I just bought an Oppo F1S that looks just as shiney as any flagship phone. Iphone/Galaxy/Pixel etc are $1300+ in my market, the Oppo was $320 and does the job for 99% of the use cases. I suspect Samsung, Apple etc are in for a post-expensive-phone shock as people tire of the never ending cycle. It's just a phone, and we've now reached 'good enough' that people will stop caring about new features.
  • I wonder if it will be able to identify monuments from unique angles or with the location turned off, the restaurant thing makes me think it's location based mostly, unless the restaurant part is a separate thought, but then Siri and Cortana do that too.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Galaxy S8 (both variants) comes powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC (in international markets, Exynos octa-core).

    So international markets have a different chip? The tinfoil hatter in me says it's because the US government put a back door in one of the chips, but I'm wondering what other reasons there might be for this?

    • The tinfoil hatter in me makes me wonder if it is because the Snapdragon is more resistant to unlocking the bootloader or rooting, while other countries don't really give a rat's ass about that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Qualcomm have LTE patents, and their ARM based Silicon has LTE modem built in, creating a financial advantage in using their chip in markets where it holds the patent since you can use their chip and get the license included.

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:55AM (#54135093) Journal
    Clearly a lie - after all Apple would have done it if it could be done!
    • Don't worry Apple's new headquarters are nearly finished.

      Did you see it's shape? The distortion field generated by a coil that size will finally cover the entire planet. No more issues with range causing people on the other side of the internet to question the mighty half eaten fruit.

  • "Bixby" (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:55AM (#54135095) Journal
    Don't make Bixby angry, mister McGee; you won't like Bixby when it's angry.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather have money burning a hole in my pocket than a phone.

    I'll wait and see...

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @10:59AM (#54135111)

    The battery is removable, or they can go straight to hell with the crap. I wouldn't take it as a gift.

    • The battery is removable, or they can go straight to hell with the crap. I wouldn't take it as a gift.

      Okay. It isn't open--I think I can still return it. What would you prefer instead? I can get you a gift card to Fazoli's for the same amount, or I can make a donation in your name to the Human Fund.

    • what recent high-end phone from a major manufacturer has a removable battery? High-end meaning performance good enough to compete with iphone 7.

      This is not a satirical question, I honestly don't know and would like to find out which of the latest iphone competitors has a removable battery.

    • I'm Samsung will be regretting their decision to piss off a hand full of slashdotters by sealing the battery, while fanning themselves with millions in profits.

      Removable batteries can go to hell. Waterproof is where it's at.

  • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @11:02AM (#54135137) Homepage

    Which is good really. That smartphones have matured to a state where there is not much new each year gives us a bit of stability, which I welcome after the past few years of constant upgrades.

    But I have to wonder who now pays $800 or whatever for a phone. My current is a Moto Z Play, which is mid-range really, but I haven't found anything to complain about at all... or atleast nothing that I believe would be fixed by a faster (more power-hungry) CPU or a higher screen resolution (that I can't see). If you were in the market for an Android phone, why would anyone get a flagship these days?

    • I totally agree with your point in stability. I'm still using a BlackBerry Z30 that is 3 years old. I'm in the market for an Android, and I think a key driving factor to get a flagship is because I specifically don't want to be buying another phone for another 3 years.
    • But I have to wonder who now pays $800 or whatever for a phone.

      No one pays $800 for a phone. People pay $30/month and get an $800 phone for free (after all they were paying $30/month already).

      • Depends on the country.
        In France and in Belgium having a "rented" phone costs up to 3 times buying the phone unlocked and getting the appropriate service.

        • So people pay $30/month to get a $1600 phone for free. Point is the same, on a continuous contract basis a lot of people don't ever look at the cost of the phone, only the cost of the contract.

    • Same here, was looking at the Samsung S7, almost $800 here in Canada at Costco, went with the Moto G4 Plus for $400, am very happy I saved that cash and the phone is still much more than I generally need.

    • The various cell providers got rid of "contracts for phone discounts", no longer offer free phones, and their phones are listed with the "monthly price" (to hide the actual price from the expected uninformed consumer). The bulk of the subscribers get phones from their provider, and the monthly pricing makes it difficult for even half-way intelligent people to discern the true cost when you see an average price of $15/mo and top-end prices of $24-$30/mo, with very few phones in the $5-10 range.

      cf. Verizon S [verizonwireless.com]

  • One use case involved taking a picture of a monument and Bixby being able to tell you information about this as well as recommendations of restaurants nearby.

    In the original series Bixby would even tell you where you wanted to go and what food you were thinking of. And he lived in a plane that he named 'The Spirit' and the pilot was named Jerry.

  • If only (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @11:04AM (#54135151)

    they could make their phones 2mm thicker and add 20-40% larger battery.

    CPU and GPU performance increase is nothing to write home about despite the new 10nm fabrication process.

    The screen to body ratio is just excellent. This is what we should have had years ago.

    DEX is really cool or even more functional. Microsoft should start worrying about Windows dominance on the desktop right away.

    VR has been and will remain a gimmick people will try and then forget about in a month.

    Overall it's a very cool and functional phone Apple will be copying in the next three years. I'd buy one if not for its staggering price.

    • > VR has been and will remain a gimmick people will try and then forget about in a month.

      VR goggles are great for commercial flights. I bring my Gear VR and Sennheiser headphones with me, then I watch movies on the virtual huge screen and don't care if I can't get a window seat. :)

    • DEX is the innovation here, the phone becoming just a compute engine powerful enough sit in your bag will become a thing soon. Ubuntu knew it but never produced on the hardware front. The only reason you need a dock is to get a decent resolution to a real display. If you could do that without wires... then it becomes a game changer. Might even be enough to run a low resolution link that's acceptable enough to use for email or word type applications and bootstrap a customer base from there.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @11:29AM (#54135369)

    Waterproof, usb-c and a headphone jack...

    Why can't Apple just include these...?

  • I'm not a fan of removing the home button AT ALL, and I dislike the rounded edge screens. You know what I *would* pay for, though? A phone that didn't need a case, and that could be dropped from chest height with no visible damage. That is the next killer feature in my book. Paying top dollar for a slick-looking phone that you have to wrap in an ugly, thick Otterbox case to hope to *maybe* protect it, is a waste of a good design.

    • Motorola X Force (x1580) from Nov.2015 @ ~$300 from various outlets, and on sale @ eGlobal for $229 [eglobalcentral.com]. 3GB RAM, 32GB Flash, sd-card, shockproof, water resistant, etc.

      Have already dropped the x1581 model from above waist-height and the phone landed (with no damage) on it's side onto a wood floor. Although you may need to roll your own updates, which can be found over at XDA in the "Droid 2" forums.

      The Moto Z Force as well, which is more current (2016) with 4gb RAM, but 2-3 times the price.

    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      The home button always was an awkward anti-feature. This is about the only good decision Samsung has made. Just hope they figured out to put the back and recent buttons in the right place, too.

      • by Geeky ( 90998 )

        Just hope they figured out to put the back and recent buttons in the right place, too.

        Apparently it's now a software option to swap them from Samsung's version to the Android standard, so yes.

        Unfortunately they put the fingerprint scanner right next to the camera lens on the back. Great idea if you want all your photos to be soft focus through the fingerprint smudges...

    • You know what I *would* pay for, though? A phone that didn't need a case, and that could be dropped from chest height with no visible damage.

      I dropped my Nexus 4 from higher than that, onto cement, and I'm still using it. Landed solidly on one corner, now slightly chewed, damage barely visible. No massive shatter. [gstatey.net]

  • Where do you hold the thing?

  • Does it come with fire extinguisher or do you have to buy it separately and does Bixby handle voice commands that activate fire extinguisher?
  • I don't understand how anyone with any technical aptitude could choose a Samsung mobile device. They don't respect their customers at all. The thing's loaded with proprietary software, locked bootloaders, and all manner of other user-unfriendly "features." Not to mention they cripple Android with buggy, bloated software. And all that's before you even consider phones starting on fire and exploding. You might as well buy some crappy Apple product—seems like the difference is negligible these days.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have high technical aptitude. I don't want to unlock the bootloader to my phone, I consider Galaxy phones fast, I can easily ignore the software I don't use with no harm done, and my phone has never exploded, nor do I consider it remotely possible it will do so.

      Overpriced? Maybe you are just poor or old (probably both, considering you are a 5 digit UID). Considering how much I use cell phones for, paying what amortizes to $1/day or $1.50/day is an amazing price. People easily pay a lot more for barely

  • By my math this thing is close to 600 pixels per inch. WHY? 300ppii, 400ppi at the most is just all that most people can see from any reasonable distance. The rest is just waste, resulting in worse battery life and slower performance as useless pixels are driven.

    • By my math this thing is close to 600 pixels per inch. WHY? 300ppii, 400ppi at the most is just all that most people can see from any reasonable distance. The rest is just waste, resulting in worse battery life and slower performance as useless pixels are driven.

      Proving that Samsung has NO idea what PRODUCT design means, and pure specsmanship for no real advantage is actually a DISadvantage.

    • The s6 is 577 ppi and it's definitely not good enough for VR apps.

      I remember back in the day people saying 150ppi was all people could see, and that's obviously not true. I haven't done the Pepsi challenge, but I'm willing to believe that higher ppis do in fact look better.

    • by joemck ( 809949 )

      I've got an S7 Edge and it's 534 DPI. If I draw a non-antialiased line, I can still see jaggies, though small, with it about a foot from my face. And when I put it in a Gear VR, the RGB dots are very noticeable.

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @03:58PM (#54138019) Journal

    Great job doing what the whiners said, the whiners who don't buy your phones.

    "We want metal" - now they're heavier, less flexible, more prone to break. (Apple, HTC fans)
    "We hate the home button" - finally removed.
    "Make it flashy" (forced curved screen)

    Excellent job. You've added all the shit which NON SAMSUNG CUSTOMERS whined about, meanwhile alienating Samsung customers.

    I can deal with the transition to a metal case, but the home button and especially the curved display? Great job. You lost a long time customer if you force this shit on the next model.

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