WATCH | The big changes found in the new Galaxy S8 and S8+ are expected to come to other phones soon.
Side by side: The S8 (right) and S8+ (left).
Samsung Wednesday announced its new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Android smartphones, both featuring a new flagship design that centers around their nearly bezel-less "Infinity" displays. But: more than just a big change for the Galaxy line, these new phones mark a big change for how all popular phones will look from here on out.
Let's start with the screen: The S8 phones are basically “all screen.” There are no real bezels on the sides of their curved-off displays, leaving only small framing on their tops and bottoms. This is the look phone makers have been ramping up to for some time, and even Apple is expected to bring it to the next iPhone later this year.
To create room for all that screen, the Galaxy's clicky home button had to be replaced by an on-screen button, also something reportedly coming to the next iPhone. The Galaxy fingerprint sensor is now on the back, like some other Android phones.
The virtual home button. Other Android phones have had them for years. You can expect to see one of them on the next iPhone, too.
Want to market a phone moving forward? It better have a well-branded artificial intelligence assistant. Bixby is Samsung’s, and it’s launching on the S8 and S8+.
Like iPhone’s Siri and the Google Assistant coming to more Android phones in the future, Bixby is context aware and can do things like send messages or calendar events automatically includes whatever info you're looking at.
The rear camera on the S8 is more or less unchanged from the Galaxy 7 phones, and that's fine because the Galaxy S7 has a great camera. But the front cam on the S8 -- the arguably more popular lens (because it's used for selfies) -- is being bumped to a sharper 8 MP this time around.
That feature has been seen on some more obscure Android phones, but with Samsung setting the mark, we will hopefully see that luxury come to more popular handsets in the future.
The fingerprint sensor on the S8 is on the rear of the phone -- a first for a Samsung phone, but it could be the trend for most phones moving forward.
The S8 and S8+ will be available starting April 21 at price tags of $720 and $840, respectively. A bit more expensive than last year's Galaxy phones and unfortunately another possible trend in smartphones, considering the iPhone 8 is rumored to cost as much as $1,000 when it comes out later this year.