Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus: Australian pricing and availability


WhistleOut
30 March 2017

After many months of leaks, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. While the rumour mill was pretty spot on the most part, we did learn some important information: the pair of phones will go on sale on April 28, with pre-orders kicking off on March 31. However, customers who pre-order could recieve their phone early, starting from April 21. Outright, the Galaxy S8 will set you back $1,199, while the larger Galaxy S8+ will go for $1,349.

Locally, you'll be able to get the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in a choice of three colours: "Midnight Black", "Maple Gold", or "Orchid Grey". Telstra, Optus, Virgin, Vodafone, and Woolworths Mobile will all offer the phone on a contract. JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Samsung will sell it outright. 

As with last year's Galaxy flagships, you'll get a bonus Gear VR virtual reality headset if you pre-order, valued at $199. 

In case you've missed out on the leaks, the Galaxy S8's headlining feature is a curved edge-to-edge display that almost takes up the phone's entire front. This means that Samsung's been able to fit S8's 5.8-inch display into a phone that's a similar size to last year's Galaxy S7, and the S8+'s 6.2-inch display into a phone that's a similar size to the Galaxy S7 Edge. 

Since Samsung's chopped away bezel at both the top and bottom, the phones have an extra tall 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio like the newly launched LG G6. As a result, the S8 and S8+'s fingerprint has been banished to the back, and oddly, sits right next to the camera. 

In terms of specifications, the phones share most of their hardware. Both Galaxy S8 models will be powered by either a Snapdragon 835 processor (in US models) or an Exynos 8895 processor (in global models), tout 64GB of expandable storage, 4GB of RAM, an iris scanner, rear-facing fingerprint reader, USB Type-C port for charging, IP68 water-resistance, a 12MP rear-facing camera, and 8MP selfie camera. 

The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 packs a 3,000mAh battery, while the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus has a slightly larger 3,500mAh battery. Both screens run at resolutions of 2960x1400 pixels and both run Android Nougat. 

The S8 and S8+ will also be the first Samsung smartphones to ship with its new artificial intelligence, Bixby. 

While artificial intelligences like Siri and Google Assistant can in some ways be considered an extension of search, Samsung says that Bixby-enabled applications will allow voice to support "almost every task" the app can do through touch.

It's not just about setting timers or getting the weather forecast, but, for example, sending a photo you're looking at to a family member without entering contact details or swapping apps. Samsung has yet to confirm specifics, but you might end up saying something along the lines of "Bixby, send this photo to dad". 

Samsung says that Bixby enabled applications will also be context aware, and as such allow you to continue your current task without starting over from scratch when you go from touch to voice. 

Bixby won't be available on Australian Galaxy S8 models at launch.


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