Samsung’s much-anticipated “Unpacked 2017” event came and went today, and it was little surprise that the Korean tech titan finally unveiled the latest version in its flagship Galaxy smartphone series.
But Samsung used the event to debut a number of other new products from the hardware and software realm. Here’s a quick recap of everything Samsung announced.
First, the hardware.
Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ open for preorders tomorrow, and will be available in five colors: midnight black, orchid grey, coral blue, arctic silver, and maple gold.
The devices are bigger than the previous S7 models, with 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ screens respectively, and they sport the same minimal-bezel design as before.
Additionally, it will come bundled with the new Gear VR headset, an Oculus-powered controller, and a game pack for no extra cost.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the phones.
Samsung Gear VR controller & headset
This was actually announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona last month, but we now know pricing and availability too.
The headset is largely the same as the precursor, but it’s slightly bigger and heavier. What is more interesting, however, is the new Oculus-powered controller, which opens up the VR medium to more experiences and lets developers get more creative.
Debuting at retail on April 21, the Gear controller will set you back $39 on its own, or the controller / headset package will cost $130. As noted already, if you’re buying a new Galaxy S8 / S8+, you’ll get a headset and controller gratis.
Samsung Gear 360 camera
Samsung updated its 360-degree camera to make it “cuter,” in the words of Samsung.
It’s now slimmer, sports an improved camera, and can record 4K video. It also now supports iOS and YouTube livestreaming.
Samsung Connect Home: Wi-Fi mesh router
Samsung today unveiled a new Wi-Fi mesh router called Connect Home, putting it up against Eero, Google, and Luma.
It certainly isn’t Samsung’s first router, but it has a firm focus on helping users manage their internet-enabled devices at home, including TVs and appliances.
There are actually two versions of the router — the Connect Home and Connect Home Pro, and neither price nor availability is yet known.
This is actually a pretty neat device. The Samsung DeX is a docking station that turns your Galaxy S8 into a desktop PC.
It’s kinda like the Microsoft display dock, and lets you leave your laptop at home and turn your pocket rocket into a fully-functioning workstation, enabling you to use your Android apps on a PC monitor.
Pricing and availability have not yet been confirmed by Samsung.
Now, the software.
Samsung officially unveiled its new AI assistant for mobile and the internet of things (IoT) last week. But today we got a first proper look at Bixby.
Going up against the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s plan for Bixby is to have it serve as the basis for helping you manage your connected home, as well as your mobile phone.
At the launch of the Galaxy S8, there are a number of Bixby-enabled apps on board, including Foursquare, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and Pinterest. In the future, a software development kit (SDK) will be offered to allow any developer to build Bixby-enabled apps.
Samsung Health (formerly S Health)
Samsung rebranded its S Health app as [drum roll] Samsung Health.
As well as the new name, Samsung Health also packs a few new features. In addition to tracking steps and setting fitness goals, it also now includes telehealth (ask an expert), personalized insights, social capabilities, and a new interface.
Not to be confused with the Samsung Connect Home Wi-Fi mesh router — but very much related — Samsung Connect is a new app designed to help users control all their connected things from a single place
Samsung Connect will soon be available to download for all Android smartphones via Google Play, but for now it’s only available on some select “Samsung VD/DA products,” according to a statement.