New Delhi: Electronics giant Samsung today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, Galaxy S8, that will be available in India for Rs 57,900 onwards. The handset will be available in two versions — Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus (Rs 64,900). The devices will be available at select retail outlets and online exclusively on Samsung Shop and Flipkart from May 5, 2017. Pre-booking for the phones begins today.
These two premium devices will compete head-on with Apple’s iPhone as well as products from the stables of Sony, LG and Asus. “These two devices are among the most awaited smartphones and are already receiving great response worldwide. These push the boundaries of traditional smartphones with its design, technology and services,” Samsung India Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Asim Warsi said.
Coupled with Samsung DeX, users can transform their smartphone into a full desktop-like experience, he added. Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus buyers will also get a double data offer from Reliance Jio. On a monthly recharge of INR 309, users will get 448 GB of 4G data over 8 months. The response to Galaxy S8 will be crucial for Samsung which was on the receiving end last year following incidents of its big-ticket flagship, Galaxy Note 7, catching fire.
The Galaxy Note 7 was not available in India but globally, Samsung had to recall the device that had battery issues. The entire episode cost Samsung billions of dollars in losses. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker with 21.2 per cent market share in 2016. In India too, it led the market with 24.8 per cent share at the end of the December 2016 quarter, as per research firm IDC.
The company has said the pre-orders for Galaxy S8 have exceeded those of its predecessor — S7, a sign that consumers remain unfazed by what has been described as one of the world’s worst product safety failures. As per reports, one million pre-orders have been booked in South Korea alone, where the device goes on sale from April 21. It will also go on sale in the US and Canada on the same day. Analysts are of the view that Galaxy S8 could play a major role in the comeback of Samsung in the premium high-end smartphone market.
In India, Samsung has 10 handsets in its portfolio, priced above Rs 25,000. This includes the two new devices, Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Galaxy C9 Pro, Galaxy C7 Pro, Galaxy A series (A5 and A7) 2017, Galaxy A9 Pro and Galaxy Note 5. The S8 will have a 5.8 inch display with no physical phone button, rather an invisible home button, while the S8 Plus will have a 6.2-inch screen. The S8 features a 1.9GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. It will be available with 64GB storage on board along with 256GB expandable memory. It also features a 12MP rear and 8MP front camera, 3,000 mAh battery. The S8+ has a 3,500 mAh battery.
Samsung has done away with the physical home button and replaced it with a touch sensitive button underneath the screen. Both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will come with an AI-based voice assistant, Bixby that is similar to Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. These devices also have integrated Iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, Samsung Knox and Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay — a payment platform — now works with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Cards, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank in India.