Samsung revealed the Galaxy S8 on Wednesday, its most recent flagship smartphone featuring a new voice and top display as the technology titan looks to steal the march on Apple and regain ground after the embarrassing Note 7 saga. The device comes in two models with different screen sizes, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus. Certain key features of the device include an "infinity display", giving the device a curved edge and a 12 megapixel back camera.
"The high-end big phone market is growing and we had a challenge of the mentioned, people getting a bit tired of renewing their phone with the same design. So we decided to take a big step forward and change the design," Jean -Daniel Ayme, Samsung's corporate vice president for mobile in Europe, told CNBC in an interview.
The Galaxy S8 is possibly one of Samsung's most significant device launches of contemporary times as it faces firm competition from the likes of Apple and Huawei, a growing smartphone market, and looks to make the Note 7 episode, in which it was required to recollect and Discontinue the smartphone because they were burning out.
"The S8 is unquestionably a strong product but Samsung must now deliver a faultless launch to move on from the difficulties of 2017. If this happens it will emerge in an even stronger position," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by email.
"With the Samsung Galaxy S8 breaking design boundaries and with high expectations for a significant upgrade to the iPhone to mark the product's tenth anniversary, 2017 could be the year that smartphones emerge from an innovation slumber."
When asked by CNBC if he is confident the Galaxy S8 will not face any problems like the Note 7, Ayme said "absolutely", directing to a new quality control measures the company has put in place. Additionally, Samsung introduces Bixby, a smart voice assistant to competitor, Apple's Siri. It will be able to answering questions you ask, but Samsung highlighted how it's different. One use case includes taking a picture of a monument and Bixby having the ability to convey information about this as well as recommendations of nearby restaurants. Bixby to gather up the photos taken in London.
While Bixby's functions will be restricted at the beginning, functionality will improve. To this end, Samsung Connect was also released. It's an app that lets users control a number of internet-connected home devices such as TVs or refrigerators. Bixby will release with the capability to understand American English and Korean. Samsung is cooperating with partners to allow Bixby to control other apps and appliances.
"We will enrich it with partnerships with other companies like Amazon for buying things or for displaying information about monuments," Ayme said.
Bixby could give Samsung the ability to differentiate its device versus other Android players and Apple, analysts said, which could drive sales.
"Voice is the easiest way to interact with the phone, you can just ask, and you do not need to go through apps." Those who are able to provide the best experience will win this game, "Francisco Jeronimo, research director of mobile Devices for Europe at IDC, told CNBC by phone.
"If you are engaged, and used to use something like Siri and it gives you a good experience, you will buy an iPhone. If Bixby is better than Siri there is more chance for Samsung to sell more phones."