Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung introduces new iPhone attackers

Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung introduces new iPhone attackers

Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung introduces new iPhone attackers
Samsung boss DJ Koh presents the Galaxy S8 and the S8 +.  Source: REUTERS

The new Galaxy models presented this evening in New York are physically lightweights at 155 and 173 grams. But the smartphone flagships from Samsung are faced with serious challenges. “It was a challenging year,” admitted DJ Koh, head of Samsung Mobile, right at the beginning of his presentation and later assured him: “We have the humility to learn from our mistakes.”

First of all, Koreans have to prove that they can build reliable, high quality cell phones. Nobody had any doubts about it for years. But the memory of the embarrassing bankruptcy with the Galaxy Note 7, which had to be recalled worldwide in September due to the risk of spontaneous combustion from defective batteries and cost the company around five billion dollars, is still all too fresh. The fact that the Note 7 was not a predecessor model, but the reliable S7 series – only loyal fans make this subtle difference.

Then the scratched image of Samsung has to be polished up. That was not only damaged because of the risk of fire, but also because the Samsung superiors initially wanted to fob off their customers with a repair and only initiated a recall under public pressure. In addition, there is the arrest of Samsung CEO and corporate heir Jay Y. Lee on charges of bribery and embezzlement, which has led to a power vacuum in the executive suite and has shaken the company. Samsung desperately needs positive news.

Who sold the most smartphones in 2016

After all, the S8 models have to ensure that, after the Note 7 defeat, Samsung makes up ground in the hotly contested and increasingly saturated market for premium smartphones. Not only against permanent competitor Apple with its iPhone series, but also with the cheeky Chinese attacker Huawei, who has advanced into the top trio of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers with its Mate 8 and Mate 9 series and their Leica cameras. That is mainly decided by how many owners of the Galaxy S7 are seduced to upgrade, which mainly depends on the quality of the camera, the sharpness of the display and the life of the battery.

More display, smaller battery

How equipped are the new top models from Samsung, which will go on sale on April 21 and cost 799 euros and 899 euros, respectively, for these many expectations? First of all: Except for the display, which now takes up almost the entire front of the phone, they don’t offer anything drastically new. Since Apple defined the shape of modern smartphones with the first iPhone ten years ago, it has hardly changed.

This is Samsung’s new top model
Galaxy S8 Source: dpa
Display of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: AP
Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: dpa
Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: AP
Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: dpa
Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: AP
Docking station for the Samsung Galaxy S8 Source: AP

The S8 and its bigger brother, the S8 +, score highly in terms of face and inner values. According to the manufacturer, the processor is 21 percent faster than its predecessor in the S7. The display is slightly larger and sharper. The battery has surprisingly lost capacity. If it was still 3600 mAh on the S7 Edge, it has now shrunk to 3000 mAh and thus offers the performance of the S7 entry-level model.

The S8 + has 3500 mAh. And that despite the larger displays. Here, Samsung seems to prefer to play it safe after the debacle over flammable batteries. Everyday tests have to determine how this affects the operating times. But it could discourage interested parties from buying, especially since the batteries are permanently installed.