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6 hours ago

Samsung announces Galaxy S8 and S8+: Here's everything you need to know

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

We knew this was coming, but now it's all official.

A continuous flow of leaks and speculation came to an end today as Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ on stage at its event New York City. Naturally they confirmed plenty of what everyone speculated to be true about the latest flagships from Samsung, but there are a few details and subtleties we didn't know until now.

Here's everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

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6 hours ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ hands-on preview

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Samsung Galaxy S8

What do you do when you're already on top?

Despite 2016's late stumble with that phone, Samsung is still on top of the Android world. Part of that is due to its extreme popularity in the mid- and low-end phones that sell in dramatic numbers around the world, but it all falls under the halo of the flagship Galaxy S line. Last year's Galaxy S7 was (and still is) a great phone that cut back on gimmicks to just provide a fantastic overall experience that did just about everything the market wanted. There weren't many shortcomings to speak of — so how do you keep people interested, without giving up the things that brought you so much success?

For fear of looking like it's standing still, Samsung took a proven platform and refined it, keeping everything that made the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge so popular while adding a handful of big features that will keep people interested. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are undeniably successors to the Samsung Galaxy S line in terms of looks, but make legitimately good moves toward usability. The same goes for the software, where a couple of big features and design changes lay on top of a familiar interface to the hundreds of millions of current Galaxy owners.

It can be tough to stay on top for long, but Samsung wants to keep pushing even though it's ahead. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are how it does it — here are our first impressions of the phones.

Get up to speed

Galaxy S8 and S8+ Hands-on video

The latest flagships from Samsung are easily the biggest Android phones of the year in terms of influence and sales at the top end of the market, and that means there's a whole lot you'll want to learn. Kick it all off with our hands-on preview video, then read along for more details on what Samsung has to offer in 2017!

Samsung Galaxy S8

Gorgeous refresh

Galaxy S8 and S8+ Hardware

"Cool new Galaxy!" is a thing people say today, much in the same way they'd remark if you were carrying a fresh iPhone the day you took it out of its box. The brand identity of Samsung's last two generations of Galaxy S line cannot be overlooked, and it isn't taking this for granted. That's undoubtedly why the Galaxy S8 and S8+ look so similar to their predecessors, even if it's frustrating to the smartphone nerds among us who want to see altogether new designs year after year.

This is a distinctly 'Samsung' design, simply refined for 2017.

At a glance, from any given angle you'd be hard-pressed to immediately pick out the "new" phone between the Galaxy S8 and S7 series of devices. Yes the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are gorgeous phones, but they use the same recipe as 2016 — with just a slightly different proportion of the ingredients. Finely milled metal and curved glass are mixed together, and in 2017 there's simply a whole lot more glass.

83% of the front of the Galaxy S8 is usable screen real estate, which as you can see in the photos means there's minimal bezel to speak of on the left and right sides of the display. Even the top and bottom have shrunk, nearing the point on the top bezel where you can't go much smaller assuming you want a front-facing camera, sensors and call speaker. That top bezel is so thin that Samsung even sacrificed its bold SAMSUNG branding that has graced the top of every previous Galaxy S phone — leaving the silkscreen logo on the back to stand alone. On the bottom, the home button and capacitive navigation keys have been abandoned — perhaps the only part of this design that is a clear departure from previous Galaxy S phones.

The shrinking bezels align with the change in display aspect ratio foreshadowed by the LG G6 — Samsung has moved to a super-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio, making the Galaxy S8 actually narrower than the Galaxy S7, but notably taller thanks to its diagonal screen measurement of 5.8-inches to the GS7's 5.1-inches. The display corners are also curved, just like the LG G6 ... which doesn't add much but a neat bit of symmetry to the curved corners of the phone. But even with much smaller bezels, both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are still quite tall compared to traditional 16:9 phones — the GS8+, in particular, seemed tough to manage in one hand in my brief time with it.

The screens are bigger, taller and equally curved on both models.

2017 also marks the death of "edge" branding within the Galaxy line, as both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are technically edge phones, sporting dual-curved displays of the more subtle variety closer to the Galaxy Note 7 than the more dramatic Galaxy S7 edge. And with this distinction gone, it means the two models are nearly identical — with only the size of the screen (5.8-inch vs. 6.2-inch) and battery (3000mAh vs. 3500mAh) being differentiators.

Whether flat or curved, these displays look fantastic — and you shouldn't be surprised at this point that Samsung can make an industry-leading AMOLED panel. Not having spent a large amount of time with it I can't speak to its visibility in fringe situations like harsh sunlight or very dim areas, but based on what I have seen I have no doubts about its abilities. In both screen sizes the resolution is "QHD+" which means 2960x1440 — so that's 400 pixels taller than your typical 2560x1440 screen.

More: Complete Galaxy S8 and S8+ specs

The hardware is simply wonderful, even if it isn't a massive departure from 2016.

What metal remains in the bodies of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ has been polished to a sheen rather than left in a more raw state, making for a more seamless look from the slick glass to the now-slick metal. The change is most dramatic on the black and silver color variations, in which there's little differentiation in the colors between the two materials. The colors all around are more subdued yet iterative takes on the Galaxy S7's available palette, with black, gold, silver and blue making a return — the one new color, "orchid grey," is a subtle purple-grey combo that's simply wonderful.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are really beautiful pieces of technology in either size, but much has remained the same from the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6. Within the proper proportions, the volume and power buttons have stayed put on the sides, and the combination of a headset jack, data port (now USB-C, of course) and speaker are on the bottom.

For everything that was added, Samsung didn't take away a single hardware spec or feature.

The core tenets of what Samsung calls the "Galaxy foundation" are still here as well. That means you're getting an SD card slot, IP68 waterproofing and biometric security — all table stakes for Samsung at this point. A core point of that foundation is also the camera experience, which is big point of strength for Samsung. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have the same camera hardware as last year, meaning we're looking at a 12MP "Dual Pixel" arrangement with an f/1.7 lens, leaving any improvement in quality to the new ISP (image signal processor) of the new Qualcomm and Exynos SoCs in the phones, as well as software improvements. Samsung says it has improved blur reduction simply by changing the processing, and as we've seen recently with the LG G6 and Google Pixel, a whole lot can be done in software nowadays.

Samsung has to prove that camera processing improvements alone are enough.

On the other side of the phone, the camera is a complete overhaul. Samsung moved to a new 8MP sensor with a bright f/1.7 lens that finally includes auto focus, something that you very rarely see even on high-end phones. A welcomed improvement that will make each and every selfie look better.

The Galaxy S8's hardware runs the risk of not moving the needle those who haven't necessarily been drawn to the Galaxy S6 and S7 in the past, but it's clear at this point that there are hundreds of millions of people who over the years have decided they do indeed like the modern Galaxy styling. Samsung managed to make the Galaxy S8 bigger without making it unmanageable, and the Galaxy S8+ is a secondary option that gives people who want more screen the full experience in a larger footprint. All the while, these phones didn't lose a single feature the original Galaxy S7 and S7 edge had.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

More of the same

Galaxy S8 and S8+ Software and experience

In continuing with its messaging about the "Galaxy foundation," Samsung isn't really playing the specs game anymore — at least, it isn't marketing the specs game. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have the specs you need, but Samsung isn't adding more just for the sake of more — the focus is on providing the experience people expect from a top-end phone. You're getting top-of-the line processors in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 and double the base storage to 64GB — but at the same time, it's staying put at 4GB of RAM and battery capacities that haven't increased from the Galaxy S7 generation.

To most people, the amount of RAM and precise size of the battery don't really matter — what does matter is performance, and there's a great chance that with either the Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 paired with 4GB will do great. And doubling the base storage to 64GB while keeping the SD card slot is a nod to helping you store everything today and in a year when your apps and media appetite grow.

See everything new in the Galaxy S8's software!

Samsung always packs a ton of features in its software, and the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are no exception. To get up to speed with everything that's new in the software, be sure to read our full breakdown here!

Read our complete Galaxy S8 software breakdown!

And on the software side, Samsung is working with a known quantity, building on Android 7.0 Nougat that looks and acts much the same as the updates that have rolled out to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. (I was also told the intention is to launch with Android 7.1 — we'll see how that works out.) That means you're going to find mostly white and grey interface elements, along with pops of color throughout for icons and big touch points. The launcher has dropped an app drawer button but retained the drawer itself using a swipe-up gesture, just like Google's Pixel Launcher, and that kinda of subtlety can be found throughout the interface with a bit more transparency used all around in place of explicitly huge buttons.

Samsung's software is good, clean and fast. Let's hope carriers don't mess it up too much.

Samsung is, for the first time, using an on-screen navigation bar with soft keys, which is something I'd bet Google is happy about — this basically leaves HTC as the final "big" name that doesn't at least give you an option for on-screen buttons. To help soothe those who felt so attached to the physical home button you'll still find the home button present on the always-on display you can push to bring up the lock screen. Samsung achieves this without "accidental" touches by using pressure-sensitive technology to make you press harder to activate the button on the always-on display.

It isn't clear that Samsung intends to use this pressure sensitivity anywhere else in the interface, though, and during my brief time with the phones in the company of Samsung representatives nobody even mentioned the feature. The second part of the equation is a much-improved haptic feedback engine that gives you more of a physical feeling when pressing the button — very similarly to Apple's new iPhone 7 home button and MacBook Pro trackpad. The pressure sensitivity and improved haptic feedback are welcomed additions, but it feels a bit odd to not see the functionality expand beyond the home button. Maybe that's a sleeper feature waiting to be enabled in the future.

Pressure sensitivity and improved haptics are great — but they aren't used throughout the interface yet.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+'s tiny bezels necessitated the move to on-screen buttons, which also means it had to move its fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone. Rumor has it that Samsung wanted to get some sort of under-glass fingerprint sensing into the Galaxy S8, and when the technology wasn't ready ... well, we got this. The fingerprint sensor is placed next to the camera, which on these extra-tall phones is way up there. Those who hold their phone in their left hand are in double trouble as they have to reach up and around the camera lens to access it. It's likely to make it even harder to keep the camera lens clean, and Samsung's camera software even has a warning reminding you to clean your lens when it notices it's dirty.

Thanks to the precarious placement of the sensor, it makes sense that Samsung is really high on its iris scanning technology. Whether it's through a change of hardware or software, the iris scanner is much faster than the Galaxy Note 7's, which is a welcomed change. Of course I was using it in good lighting and for a short amount of time, but it recognized quickly and unlocked right away. Now, how will it do when viewing my eyes from the side, at night and while I'm walking down the street? Undoubtedly it will have less precision than just touching the fingerprint sensor. This is one that will take more real-world use to see how it does over time.

Bixby on the Galaxy S8

Bixby

Voice is viewed as the next big thing right now, and not to be left out Samsung created Bixby — and it was so excited about it there was actually a pre-announcement before the Galaxy S8. It's easy to initially think that because Bixby is a voice interface that it competes with Google Assistant and Alexa, but Samsung actually sees it entirely differently.

Bixby isn't an AI assistant per se, but a new way to interact with all parts of your phone.

While Bixby does do some predictive intelligence, it isn't so much an "assistant" as it is a new way to interact with your phone via voice in order to replace touch entirely. Bixby is designed to be an ever-present voice layer that you can talk to at any time and have it navigate the phone's interface for you. For example, while in the Gallery app you can hold down the "Bixby button" — a hard key underneath the volume keys — and say "show me my photos from Barcelona" to get results. When viewing an image, you could say "apply a black and white filter, and rotate it to the left." These are things you could do with touch, but you can speak to Bixby instead and have it do the actions for you — be it because you don't have the ability to touch the screen at that moment, or you just don't know how to do the function with touch.

Beyond being able to navigate through every corner of "a handful" of Samsung's own apps, the company is really bullish on Bixby because of the way it handles contextual and incomplete information. Bixby knows where you are when you request something, and can act accordingly rather than starting from scratch. If it doesn't completely understand your request, Bixby is also able to get you part of the way there rather than failing entirely and requiring another complete request.

If Samsung thinks people have trouble using its apps, maybe it should just make its apps easier to use.

Now, skeptics would say that if your interface is so hard to use with touch that you need a voice assistant to replicate those movements for you ... well, maybe your interface should be simpler. And, as a generally skeptical person myself, I agree entirely. While I immediately see the value in using Bixby for accessibility and the handful of times when you actually just can't touch the display, I see no reason why I would stand there, holding my phone, and choose to press the Bixby button to ask it to do something in the app I'm currently looking at. It would be useful in an informative tutorial sense, but ideally I would want to learn for myself how to do things with touch rather than relying on Bixby to navigate apps for me.

It's clear there's an intense amount of time and engineering being put behind Bixby, but right now it's a neat demo of voice technology and that's about it. The fact that Bixby supports over 50 languages is fantastic, and the demoes I saw did work, but I'm not quite seeing the real-world value of telling Bixby to do things rather than just using apps myself. If Samsung thinks people have trouble using its apps, maybe it should just make its apps easier to use.

Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX dock

DeX

DeX is the first big software feature differentiator on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and it's one that leaked the least going into the phone's release. It lets your Galaxy S8 or S8+ dock into a little breakout box that connects to a traditional computer monitor, keyboard and mouse to bring your phone's power to a bigger screen for vastly improved productivity. When docked, the monitor will display a desktop-like representation of your phone screen (rather than a tablet view, as some would guess), with app icons along the left, a "start" menu of sorts with commonly used apps and a full status bar in the bottom-right corner.

The Galaxy S8 definitely has enough power for DeX, the questions are all about app support.

Android has long supported external keyboards and mice, so that's not a problem at all here. But app support is a real question. Samsung says it has designed its own apps to work in fully resizable windows, and has also struck deals with Adobe and Microsoft to make sure apps like Lightroom, Word, Excel and Powerpoint (still the mobile apps, mind you) look good on the big screen and can also be resized.

It wasn't hard to see the utility of plugging in a phone to this setup and instantly browsing in Samsung's own Internet browser while typing in a Word window and even replying to text messages. The question is, how long will it take for other app developers to get on board and make sure their apps run great on DeX? That's going to make a big difference in how much people will consider using this.

Then, of course, is the next question of how often you're going to be in a situation in which it makes sense to use DeX connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor rather than just using a computer that's likely already attached to those peripherals. While DeX running on the power of a Galaxy S8 or S8+ would absolutely do the job for casual users ... those are precisely the type of users who don't want to have a keyboard, mouse and monitor. They just want a laptop — and probably a Chromebook at that.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Another winner, it seems

More Galaxy S8 to explore

We've only just scratched the surface on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. With the phones going up for pre-order on March 30 and released on April 21, we have a few weeks to wait before they're broadly available and can start to truly dive deeply into all of their features.

But even without seeing the phones for a deep evaluation, there's a whole lot to be excited about. Samsung continues to make some of the most gorgeous and perfectly executed hardware in the industry today, punctuated by a fantastic display that is now surrounded by even smaller bezels. You get more screen than ever before, and can choose between two sizes of phones with no differentiation in specs or capabilities aside from the battery capacity.

Samsung added to the experience without taking away a single piece of what made the Galaxy S7 great.

A year on from the all-around hit of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Samsung added the latest top-end processors, more base storage, new iris scanning capabilities, the foundation for whole-phone voice control and a new desktop docking system. At the same time, it didn't take away a single feature that made the Galaxy S7 series great — you still get waterproofing, an SD card slot, fast charging, wireless charging, a known great camera and integration with Samsung's vast ecosystem of products and services.

Even if you (understandably) aren't entirely sold on Bixby's abilities or the idea of using DeX to replace your desktop computer, you can absolutely look past those features to see a fantastic overall phone. Fringe features aside, Samsung is still absolutely nailing the basics with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, providing the features and performance you expect out of a high-end phone while also giving you a great hardware that's wonderful to both see and hold. As always you're going to pay handsomely for Samsung's top-of-the-line experience, but as was the case last year you're going to get your money's worth here.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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11 min ago

Google makes sure developers know how to build an app that looks good on the Galaxy S8 and LG G6

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"Super widescreen" phones need some special attention if you want your app to look great.

The age of larger display format phones is here. LG's G6 sports an 18:9 screen aspect ratio and the Galaxy S8 brought an 18.5:9 display to the party. Since those two phones will be the most popular high-end Android models for 2017, Google has posted a quickie on the Android Developers blog to make sure everyone building an app knows how to take advantage of all the screen, all the time.

This isn't anything new. For better or worse, Android apps support scaling and resizing really well and it only takes a few lines of code to make sure an app uses the screen without being squished, stretched or sporting the dreaded black bars of nothingness.

First, you need to make sure the maximum aspect ratio is expressed as a floating-point number instead of an integer in the app's <application> element. Then make sure your app supports an aspect ratio of 2.1 or higher. Set this in the <application> element, too. You'll find complete instructions and a bit of demo code at the Android Developers site.

These two small changes will make a world of difference for everyone who uses a phone with a large-format aspect ratio and we expect to see more phones adopt it and join the "super widescreen" world.

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20 min ago

You probably don't need to upgrade your Gear VR for the Galaxy S8

About that "New Gear VR" Samsung unveiled with the Galaxy S8.

Alongside the launch of the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung unveiled what they called the New Gear VR with Controller. It's available for free to anyone that pre-orders the Galaxy S8 from just about anywhere, and after the phone has launched this bundle will be available for $129. Since the previous Gear VR was priced at $99, and the Gear VR Controller will be available separately for $39, it sounds like this new bundle will be a pretty good deal for future Samsung phone owners.

But when we started digging into what was actually new about this new Gear VR, that deal started to sound less and less like a good thing.

Read More at VR Heads!

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41 min ago

We have a Galaxy S8 — Come discuss it in the forums!

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The Galaxy S8 is here, so we want to know your questions!

It's a good day, because there's a very nice new phone in our hands, and it's one of the most important releases of the year. This is the Galaxy S8 in orchid grey.

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Daniel Bader 03-29-2017 03:14 PM “

Hey everyone, for the next couple of days I have a Galaxy S8 to put through its paces. The hardware is pre-production, and the software isn't final (though it's close) so I thought I'd get a discussion going. This is, specifically, the SM-G950W, which has a Snapdragon 835 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. At first glance, this is a very nice phone. The smaller...

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We're discussing this new phone in the forums, so join us if you want to learn the things that we didn't know about during the preview period. There are some really interesting hidden features to the phone, including the fact that iris scanning and face scanning are two separate features — one aimed at security, the other at speed.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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1 hour ago

Galaxy S8's most powerful Bixby feature won't be in Europe at launch

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Bixby

Bixby voice recognition will only support U.S. English and Korean later in the year.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 arrives in Europe on April 28, but when the phone hits European shores it'll be missing one of the key features in Samsung's Bixby AI platform.

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1 hour ago

Where to buy the Galaxy S8: Pre-orders start March 30, U.S. unlocked coming May 9

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Samsung Galaxy S8+

Here's how, when and where you'll be able to buy Samsung's latest phones.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are going up for pre-order starting March 30, which precedes a full release on April 21 in stores and online. With the three week lag time that means you'll have a little while to decide what size and color you want, but also lock in your order early so you can get it as soon as possible without hunting one down in store.

Here are the details when it comes to online and in-store availability of the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Note: This story is being constantly updated with new information.

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2 hours ago

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will have 646 new emoji

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The newly launched Galaxy smartphones are shipping with Nougat, making them the first Samsung smartphones to include the new Emoji 4.0 right out of the box.

It's always fun to see the way different companies design their version of emoji. Google may have announced new and additional emoji for Android Nougat last year, but Samsung was slow to keep up. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the first to ship with the new emoji right out of the box.

A total of 646 new emojis will be available on Samsung's new smartphones. If you already happen to have the Galaxy Tab S3 in your hands, you have access to these new emoji right now, since it's also running on Android 7.0,

A total of 646 new emojis will be available on Samsung's new smartphones, which ship with the Nougat.

Every male emoji now has a female equivalent and vice versa. You'll also have options for a scientist, judge, pilot, and teacher emoji, as well as laptop-wielding technologist emojis. Samsung's version of this seemingly niche profession features people in front of a Samsung laptop, naturally, in the same vein that Apple presents those particular emoji on iOS and macOS plopped in front of MacBooks. To change the skin color of the individual emoji, you can press and hold in the keyboard app to choose from the other variations.

A few emoji have also been tweaked. For instance, the Children Crossing emoji now looks like a regular street sign rather than some symbols slathered on top of Samsung's old blue-hued skeuomorphic color scheme. Flashbacks!

samsung emoji

The Galaxy S8 is the first smartphone from Samsung that will have the new emoji right out of the box. Those with Nougat on their older Samsung smartphones may see that they also have access to the new library of emoji. You can check out the full Galaxy S8 emoji changelog at Emojipedia.

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2 hours ago

What color Galaxy S8 or S8+ should I buy — black, silver, or orchid gray?

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The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be on sale soon. Time to figure out which of its color options defines you.

Did you hear? The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are coming, and they'll be available in three stunning color choices once they're on sale April 21. You'll be able to choose from Arctic Silver, Midnight Black, and Orchid Gray.

Samsung fans overseas will have access to an additional Coral Blue and Maple Gold version of the flagship in either size. It's a bummer we won't be seeing those two options stateside, but perhaps the Orchid Gray will be enough to tide over those of you looking for a smartphone that's just a bit different from the status quo.

Galaxy S8 in black

gs8 black

Black car, black sunglasses, black three-piece suit — all you need to finish out accessorizing that outfit is a black Galaxy S8 or S8+. Yeah, it's a pretty basic color, but there's a reason so many manufacturers produce their smartphones in black — it goes with everything. A black chassis also means scratches and nicks will be less obvious in the long run.

Samsung's really keen on the bezel-less smartphone life, and those lack of bezels are specially apparent on the all-black Galaxy S8 and S8+. You won't see the rounded corners unless the screen is on, and the effect makes it appear as if the screen really is an infinity display.

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to keep it simple, as well as anyone who really doesn't like the reflectiveness of the other Galaxy S8 and S8+ color combinations.

Galaxy S8 in silver

gs8 silver

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ in Arctic Silver are definitely cool looking, but that depends on how much you enjoy seeing your reflection every time you pick up the phone. Who asked for the built-in mirror?!

Regardless, even though the Arctic Silver variant is hyper-reflective and hyper-distracting, it's still an attractive offering. If you end up choosing this variation, you may find it's safer inside a case. Scratches and fingerprints become grossly obvious against this kind of sheen.

Who is it for?

Anyone who doesn't care what color their carrier representative grabs for them from the stock room.

Galaxy S8 in orchid gray

gs8 gray

Finally — a little something different from Samsung. Rather than launch the standard gold, silver, and black trio of devices, the company opted for this attractive, lilac-toned gray hue in lieu of gold. It's called Orchid Gray, and like a real life orchid, it's just as rewarding to look at as it is to take care of it. You'll definitely want to wrap this up in some sort of case. It's too pretty to scratch up.

It's also nice to see a typically feminine color skew a bit toward the masculine. Orchid Gray works for anyone, and it's a nice addition to Galaxy S8 color lineup.

Who is it for?

Orchid Gray is for anyone who wants to stand out. You'll want to hold out for this one if you're looking for something special.

The colors you won't see in the U.S.

coral blue gs8.

Remember that gorgeous Coral Blue Galaxy Note 7 that was offered overseas before the whole battery fiasco recalled it? It's back on the Galaxy S8, though it's still limited to certain markets. It's a bummer, too, because the pigment in the coral blue variation of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is truly impressive. Hopefully, the future of smartphones means brighter, bolder colors. Maple Gold is also an offering for Galaxy S8 fans overseas, and it's similiar to the gold variation of last year's Galaxy S7.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will launch on April 21.

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2 hours ago

Win a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Android Central! Enter now!

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have been announced, and it's time to give one away to an Android Central reader.

The latest flagships from Samsung are easily the biggest Android phones of the year. If you haven't already, you're definitely going to want to check out our detailed hands on preview of the new phones, as well as dive deeper into all the new features that you need to know about. When you're done watching and reading all about the latest innovations Samsung is bringing to the table, come back here and enter to win one of these phones for yourself! All the details are below, so get yourself entered!

THE PRIZE: One Android Central reader will be taking home their choice of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+!

THE GIVEAWAY: Head down to the widget at the bottom of this page. There are multiple ways to enter, each with varying point values. Complete all of the tasks for maximum entries and your best shot at winning! Keep in mind that all winning entries are verified and if the task was not completed or cannot be verified, a new winner will be chosen. The prize does not include service, and we cannot guarantee that the device will work on all carriers. International winners will be responsible for any customs fees incurred during shipping.

The giveaway is open until April 4th, and the winner will be announced right here shortly after the close date. Good luck!

Android Central is giving away a Samsung Galaxy S8! Enter now!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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2 hours ago

Your Galaxy S8 will remind you to clean finger grease off its camera lens

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Once you add a fingerprint, your GS8 will warn you to de-gunk your lens regularly.

The Galaxy S8's fingerprint sensor location has been one of the more controversial elements of the phone's design, with concerns being raised over reachability, and the potential for fingerprint smudges to accumulate around that rear camera lens. And it appears Samsung, too, is aware of the potential for picture-smudging grease to build up back there.

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3 hours ago

Super Mario Run Tips and Tricks

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Best your friends in Toad Rally races with these tips and tricks for Super Mario Run.

As expected, Super Mario Run has quickly jumped up to the top of the Google Play Store app charts, as millions of Android users finally get a chance to check in with Mario's latest adventure.

Once you've completed the main story mode, Toad Rally emerges as the core mode in which you'll spend most of your time playing. Racing against other players from around the world, your goal is to collect as many coins and pull off as many epic jumps as possible. You can learn more about the basic controls in our Super Mario Run FAQ, but if you really want an edge on the competition, look no further than these seven great tips and tricks to get the most out of Super Mario Run.

Let coins and arrows to guide you to more coins

This one's pretty simple, but it's worth stating: when you see an arrow, take note and try to follow it's path. It will often lead you to new heights, more coins... and maybe even a hidden Challenge Coin.

Coins also double when you're enjoying a Coin Rush, so all the more reason to follow those arrows for maximum scoring!


Mastering the mid-air stall is key

Controls are incredibly limited in Super Mario Run, but there are a few ways you can tweak Mario's jump. Perhaps the most useful and trickiest to pull off is the mid-air stall. This special move will pause Mario's forward progress in mid-air and move you backward just a step.To perform it, touch the screen to high-jump, and then swipe to the left while in mid-air. This move is especially useful while playing as Yoshi and Princess Peach, as you can couple it with their floaty jumps to actually float a significant distance backwards. A great trick to pull in a Toad Rally if you just missed out on a treasure trove of coins.

Dying isn't necessarily a bad thing

This kinda goes against all video game logic, but dying in Super Mario Run can actually be helpful. Sure, you lose a couple of coins when you die, but it can also put you back at the very beginning of the level without resetting the content or killing clock. So, if you want to go back and get that challenge coin you missed or want to check an alternate path, you can do so with little repercussion. Just remember the further you go back, the more likely you are to run out of time, so don't dilly-dally.

Don't forget that you can tap a bubble to rewind

Instead of letting Mario fall off a ledge, you can also tap the Bubble button at the top of the screen at any time to rewind the level. Miss out on a Challenge Coin? You can bubble back and make the magic happen. Just remember that you won't get any extra time on the clock, so hurry!


Go into a boss battle powered up

Fact: It's incredibly easy to defeat Bowser with a mushroom-powered Mario. To beat him as small Mario, you have to jump over his massive shell (or time a run when he jumps into the air) and grab the axe, which falls and busts up the bridge he is standing on. It's really hard to jump over him as is, but especially when you're small mario. But if you're powered up with a mushroom, you can take a hit from Bowser and still make it to the axe. If you're playing as one of the optional characters such as Toad or Yoshi, take a minute to study Bowsers attack and jump patterns, then take advantage of their unique jump skills to coast right past him.

Play longer by turning down the graphics settings

You can lower the amount of battery power Super Mario Bros needs by lowering the rendering and graphics settings in the game. To do so tap Menu > Settings > Options. From there, you can tap the rendering and graphics settings to toggle each from high to low. We only recommend toggling the graphics setting though, since lowering the rendering is super noticeable and might throw you off while playing.

Sign up for, or log into My Nintendo

You receive extra rewards for connecting your My Nintendo account. If you played Miitomo you likely signed up then, and you can use the same account for Super Mario Run. Rewards include extra coins, Toad Rally tickets, decorations for your kingdom, and you also unlock Toad as a playable character.

Got any tips of your own to share?

Have you figured out some great strategies or discovered any easter eggs? Let us know in the comments!

Android Gaming

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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3 hours ago

How to take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8

You've got two simple ways to grab a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus.

Your Galaxy S8 (or Galaxy S8 Plus, no judgement here) can do a lot of things no other Samsung phone has been able to do, but it's also missing the big friendly button that has always been on the front of the phone. While Samsung has replaced nearly all of the features offered in that button with other tools across the phone, taking a screenshot didn't make the cut.

Whether you're new to Samsung phones or you've only ever used Samsung phones, knowing how to take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 will making life just a little bit easier for you later on. Lets take a quick look at the different ways you can take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8, now that there's no big friendly button on the front.

Method 1: How to take a screenshot using the button shortcut

This method works on just about every Android phone out there, but there are a few extra options on a Samsung phone.

  1. Get the app or screen that you want to capture ready to go.
  2. Press and hold the volume down button and the power button at the same time. You'll hear the camera shutter sound, along with a short flashing animation, and that's how you know you're good to go.
  3. You'll now be able to see the screenshot in the Gallery app, or in Samsung's built-in My Files file browser, or in Google Photos, if you use that instead.
  4. If you need to find the screenshots from a command line or through the Android File Transfer tool, they'll be in /pictures/screenshots.

Method 2: How to take a screenshot by swiping the screen

Samsung's got another cool feature in its smartphones for taking screenshots. And some of us think it's actually the easier way to take a screenshot when compared to the button method. (Though it does get a little more tricky if you're using the larger Galaxy S8 Plus.)

  1. Tilt your hand to the side a little, so your thumb is pointing away from the screen.
  2. Swipe your entire hand across the screen from left to right.

Just like in the other method you'll hear the shutter sound and see a short on-screen animation.

This method is enabled by default, but you can turn it off in the settings if you prefer, or if you find you're accidentally taking screenshots.

  1. Go into the settings menu.
  2. Scroll down to Motion and choose Motions and gestures.
  3. Tap Palm swipe to capture.
  4. Hit the toggle button from on to off.

Extra Credit: How to take a scrolling screenshot on the Galaxy S8

Sometimes you need to capture more than just what you see on the screen. The good news is you don't need to take multiple screenshots with the Galaxy S8. You can just take a scrolling screenshot instead and capture one giant long screenshot!

It's a feature that has been around on Samsung phones since the Note 5, but here's how it works on the Galaxy S8.

  1. Take a screenshot, as before.
  2. Tap the Capture more option to scroll down and grab more of the screen.
  3. Keep on tapping until you've captured what you need or reach the bottom of the page.

Fair warning: Scrolling screenshots can get very large. Samsung helps with this somewhat. Single-screen grabs are output at full resolution — 1440x2690. But once you start adding them, the width is downscaled to 1080 pixels wide, and the whole screenshot is saved as a JPEG and instead of a PNG. Still, be careful. It's not uncommon for these screenshots to get up to 6-7mb.

Now that you have a screenshot

You did it! Not as strange as it seems, right? Now that you have your screenshot, you can keep it for later or share it immediately.

If you want to share the screenshot immediately, tap the Share button that shows up after you capture the screenshot and choose from the list of apps that shows up how you want to deliver your photo. If you want to share it later, the Attach function in any app will be able to find your screenshot so you can add it to a social post or an email.

Once you take the screenshot it is treated like any other photo, which means it takes up space on your phone and will be added to your cloud backup through most photo apps. If you find yourself taking a lot of screenshots and don't feel the need to keep them around forever, it may be worth occasionally going through your photo gallery and cleaning them out to save yourself some storage for later. Enjoy!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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4 hours ago

How to use public transit directions in Google Maps

5

Google Maps is an amazing resource for finding public transit information.

In addition to driving directions, Google Maps offers a wealth of options if you rely on public transit for your daily commute. The service gives you a list of the various forms of public transportation for your journey, and it also offers the ability to set a departure time and see the options available at that particular time.

Google Maps catalogs public transit information — including bus, train, ferry, and tram schedules — from over 100 countries and 25,000 towns. Along with finding the optimal transport mode for your daily commute, Maps makes it easy for you to find transit information when visiting a new city.

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4 hours ago

Samsung Connect Home aims to be more than a Google Wifi competitor

1

It does more than mesh networking. Samsung Connect Home acts as a hub for all your smart home gadgets, too.

Samsung revealed its first Wi-Fi system today alongside its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Samsung Connect Home is a mid-tier system that comes in a pack of three, similar to Google WiFi and Eero. One unit connects to your existing broadband modem, while the other two units work in tandem as network extenders, the idea being you can create your own fluid Wi-Fi network without too much complication.

If you were a SmartThings Hub user, good news: you won't need a separate hub if you bring home the Connect Home.

The Connect Home also features its own app, just like Google Wi-Fi. You can use it to manage your home network. At launch, you will need one of the newfangled Galaxy S8 devices to use Samsung Connect Home. Towards the end of the year it should be available to other Android devices — and maybe even iPhones.

If you were a SmartThings Hub user, good news: you won't need a separate hub if you bring home the Connect Home. The device has Zigbee and Z-Wave compatibility built-in, so your house can stay smart. It's also compatible with other smart home devices, including Philips Hue Lights and the Ring Video Doorbell.

There isn't too much information about the Samsung Connect Home yet and the company has yet to settle on a release date or price point. There is a Pro version that will launch alongside the Connect Home, though as a single unit. We'll hopefully have more details in the coming weeks.

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