– What is going on, tech squad? Andru Edwards here,Editor-In-Chief of GearLive.
Com, and today I wanted to talk to you about the brand new SamsungGalaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
As you guys probably know,I live here in Seattle, I flew over to New YorkCity in order to attend Samsung Unpacked 2017.
The Samsung Unpacked eventis typically where Samsung will unveil its new Galaxy S smartphone, and this year was no different, with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
Now, Samsung did briefly address the difficult year that they've had with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which obviously suffered froman exploding battery twice.
After release, recall,and then re-release, causing that phone to be recalled again, twice, in a short period of time.
But, after going over that, along with talking abouttheir new eight-point process for making sure that theirbatteries are safe going forward, they jumped in to revealingthe Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, with a heavy focus on whatthey call the Infinity Display.
Now, this Infinity Display is basically an almost completely bezel-less display.
I think it's about 95% ofthe front glass is display.
You've got a very thinbezel at the bottom, and a very thin bezel at the top, and everything else is display, and it looks fantastic.
So, I did get to playwith the two new phones after the event was over, pretty briefly, maybe for about 30 minutes orso, I was able to go hands-on, and based on that time, I havesome very initial impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus that I thought I'd sharewith you right now.
The stuff that stuck out to me.
First and foremost, thatdisplay is pretty ridiculous, in every good way imaginable.
Now, despite having accessto pretty much every flagship and mid-tier smartphone here in my home, the phone that I grab whenI'm leaving the house, is my iPhone 7 Plus.
This one has a 5.
5-inch display, it's a nice display, I like IOS, there's a bunch of apps on IOS that aren't over onAndroid that I rely on, and I do think it's a great phone.
It's a great device, powerful device, not many complaints, exceptfor the size of this thing.
The bezels are absolutelyridiculous, in my opinion.
But, the bezels on alot of large smartphones are pretty ridiculous, and so, you can't really begrudge Applefor what they've done here.
Or, at least you couldn't upuntil maybe half a year ago.
Since then, we've been seeing phones, on the Android side of things, get smaller and smaller bezels, but nothing compares to whatSamsung did with the Galaxy S8.
Despite the displays being larger, much larger, than what the iPhone offers, both models, the S8 and the S8 Plus, feel much smaller in your hand.
So, in case you're unawarethat Samsung Galaxy S8, the regular version,has a 5.
Again, this iPhone 7 Plusis a 5.
So the display on the Samsung device is about three-tenths of an inch larger, yet, it's much smallerthan the iPhone 7 Plus.
It's about the size of theregular iPhone 7, in fact.
Now, that totally impressed me.
But, even more impressive, was the fact that the Galaxy S8 Plushas a 6.
Now, mind you, that'sthe same display size as the Nintendo Switch.
But, again, no bezels, curved edges.
That phone is just atad smaller, once again, than my 5.
5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.
2 inches, 5.
Samsung is definitely leading the way in that display technology.
Another thing that stuckout to me about the display, something I've always despisedabout Samsung devices, there's no branding thefront of it this time.
I'm totally fine if youwant to put your branding on the back of your phone.
Everybody does that, butSamsung has always put their ugly Samsung logo onthe front of devices as well.
A little pet peeve of mine.
With the S8, that'sgone, because, frankly, there's no room for it.
So, you've got an unbrandedInfinity Display up front, and mirror-like glass on the back.
It's a beautiful smartphone.
Might be the best lookingsmartphone ever released.
So, you can definitely color me impressed.
Great job Samsung on that.
Next up was the biometric features.
The way that you could unlock the phone.
There's four differentways you can get into the S8 and S8 Plus.
Of course you've gotthe pin or the pattern, which pretty much everyone has.
And the other thing that prettymuch everyone has nowadays is the fingerprint sensor,although Samsung, in my opinion, put that in the wrong place.
It's right next to the camera, so when you're going forthe fingerprint sensor, more than likely you're going to be rubbing up against the camera and smudging up the camera glass a bunch.
So, if you get the phone and you want to usethe fingerprint sensor, just be sure to wipe down your camera whenever you plan on taking photos, because that's goingto be pretty annoying.
But, in my opinion, it's much better if you just skip thefingerprint sensor entirely.
Samsung brought the GalaxyNote 7's iris scanner over to the S8, which means that the phone will take an iris print,basically an eye print, and use that to authenticate you.
It takes maybe half a secondto do, but it's very fast.
But, if it's not fast enough you still, there's a fourth way that you can get into the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, and that's with the newfacial recognition feature.
It uses the front cameraalong with the iris scanner to quickly scan your faceand let you into your phone, and it is blazing fast.
So, you basically hold thephone up and turn it on, and you'll see the lock screenfor maybe half a second, and then you're in at your home screen.
It's almost as fast as TouchID on the iPhone, in fact.
Super fast, super convenient, and you don't have to mess with that weird fingerprint sensor on the back.
Now, I mentioned the camera a moment ago, one thing you shouldknow is that the camera is actually a holdover from the Galaxy S7 released last year, and the Galaxy Note 7.
The rear camera on the S8 is the same as the S7 and Note 7, no change there.
However, it's been praised as being one of the best smartphonecameras out there, so, in that sense, you can'treally call it a bad camera, there's just no majorimprovements upon it.
But, the front cameradoes see an improvement.
They've added more megapixels, and they've also added autofocus.
So, usually, when you'retrying to take a selfie, you have your camera out, and if you want to focus on something you have to reach out and tap on it, and it just takes up extratime, and it's wobbly.
So, now, with the GalaxyS8, you just hold it out, autofocus takes care of the rest, and you can snap your photo.
It actually works very well.
Then, there was Bixby.
Bixby is Samsung's virtual assistant.
In the same vein as Alexa orSiri or the Google Assistant.
Things like that.
Bixby is Samsung's ownversion of virtual assistants, and they are going so hard into Bixby, that they actually puta dedicated Bixby button right on the side of the phone.
So, you've got your power button, you've got your volume rocker, and you've got a Bixby buttonright on the left hard side.
Push the Bixby button and that allows you to get to information thatSamsung thinks you'll need.
Ask for information, ask for directions, and they're even taking it a step further by saying Bixby shouldbe able to do everything that you can do by tappingand swiping on your device.
So, one example they gave was opening up a photo using Bixby, and then telling Bixby to rotate the photo into the proper orientation.
Now, I don't know why youcouldn't just reach down to your phone and swipe and pinch it in order to rotate the photo, but that was the example they gave.
It's one thing to show that you don't have toactually do anything, you can just talk to the phone, "Bixby open this photo,rotate the photo 90 degrees," and you're good.
So, aside from searchingthrough photo galleries, you can also set reminders, cast your phone screen toyour Wi-Fi connected TV, and you can also identifyphysical objects, and this was actuallyone of the coolest parts of the entire demo ofthe S8 and the S8 Plus.
They opened up thecamera app on the phone, and went into Bixby from there, and pointed the cameraat the Flatiron Building.
It's a New York landmark that pretty much everyoneover there knows.
On the display, it recognizedthe Flatiron Building, it identified the Flatiron Building, and from there it could easilygive you walking directions on how to get to that building.
It could tell you restaurants that were around that building, all just by you opening upthe camera app, hitting Bixby, and just pointing the cameraat whatever you're looking at.
The more landmarks they get in there, and the more objectrecognition they get in there, the better Bixby is gonna be.
In a demo afterwards, I actually pointed theGalaxy S8 camera at my DSLR.
Bixby recognized the DSLR,I tapped on shopping, and it pulled up shopping search results that would allow me to buy thesame camera that I'm using, just by pointing Bixby at it.
So, Bixby's gonna be a bigdeal, and quite honestly, other phone assistants, whether it's Siri, whether it's Alexa, andthe Google Assistant are gonna have to step it up, because that is actually really cool.
That's bringing AR and mixedreality to the Galaxy S8.
The last big one I wantedto talk about was DeX.
Now, if you recall, you may not, because Windows Phonereally wasn't a big deal to anyone who didn't work at Microsoft.
But, the latest Windows Phones, the last ones that were released actually enabled you toplug them in and dock them, and then have their displayshow up on a larger monitor, and you could use it almostlike a lightweight PC.
That's what DeX is for the Galaxy S8.
It takes the Androidinterface from the phone, and turns it into an interfaceoptimized for a monitor.
So, you can dock yourGalaxy S8 or S8 Plus, and use it like a computer terminal.
You can open up your mail reader, you can send emails, youcan attach documents, you can browse through your file system, search the web, edit documents, et cetera.
It's very cool, very convenient.
If you just do light web surfing and document editing and email checking, it'll probably do you just fine.
DeX is short for Desktop Experience, and it is actually an accessory.
It almost looks like a little plastic bowl with a USB-C port sitting in it.
And, by the way, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus do now support USB-C.
Now, DeX isn't somethingthat I see myself using all that much, if ever.
I don't see why I'd wantto use my smartphone as a lightweight laptop.
I have a laptop, so I'm good there.
But, it is somethingunique that other people may find intriguing, andI'll never fault a company for trying to think outside the box and provide cool and unique experiences, even if it's not somethingthat I think I'd ever use.
The Samsung Galaxy S8and S8 Plus will release on April 21st, they arealready up for pre-order on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, and probably some of thesmaller carriers as well.
Pricing starts at $750 for the Galaxy S8, and $850 for the Galaxy S8 Plus.
I'm expecting these devices to be in here within the next week, andI can start giving you even better content andeven more first looks.
The time I got to spend with it yesterday was pretty limited, and it was pretty crowded, andit was pretty loud as well, so I'm excited to get them in and give you a much betterup-close look at these devices, but for now, those aremy first impressions of the brand new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
But, I'd love to knowwhat you think as well.
What did you think about my thoughts, what thoughts do youhave about the devices? Feel free to drop a commentbelow, and let me know, and I'll meet you down therefor further discussion.
You also get more thoughts by checking out the Geared Up episode thatwent up earlier today.
I'll leave a link to that one down below, we livestreamed the latestepisode of Geared Up, where we talked about theS8 versus the iPhone 7, versus the LG G6, another great smartphone that just recently came out.
And, by the way, don't forgetto subscribe to Geared Up.
If you want to listento it in podcast form, I'll leave a link downin the description below to the podcast as well.
Thank you so much for watching guys, be sure to click or tap on my face when you see it appear heredown at the bottom of the video, that will allow you to subscribe for free, in order to find out whennew videos are released, right here on the channel.
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Again, thank you somuch for watching, guys.
I'm Andru Edwards, I'llcatch you in the next video.