The Samsung Galaxy S8 is just days away from its official release.
Set to be unveiled at an event in New York on March 29th, anticipation is continuing to build for Samsung’s next flagship smartphone.
The device is due to sport an overhauled design and build, with Samsung reportedly planning to ship with an impressive, almost bezel-less edge-to-edge design, marking the first dramatic shake-up for the Galaxy S design in over two years.
But now the company has also revealed another of the standout new features that it hopes will make the Samsung Galaxy S8 one of the smartest devices around today.
Many top mobile devices available today feature some kind of smart assistant, such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, or the Android Google Assistant.
These services bring together information from the user’s habits, trends and communications to offer up helpful hints and recommendations.
Now it seems Samsung wants in on the game, as the company has today officially revealed its own smart assistant.
Named Bixby, the service will launch alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 next week, and mark the company’s most ambitious software release to date.
So what exactly can we expect from Bixby?
Samsung clearly has high hopes for the software, which it says is part of the company’s attempts to improve relationships between man and machine.
It described the new service as, “our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone.”
In a blog post announcing Bixby, InJong Rhee, CTO of Samsung Mobile said, “instead of humans learning how a machine interacts with the world (a reflection of the designers’ abilities), it is the machine that needs to learn and adapt to us.”
Bixby is set to play a major role in the Galaxy S8, with a number of pre-installed apps optimised to work closely with the service.
The Galaxy S8 will also come with a dedicated Bixby button, which Samsung hopes will make using the service quick and easy.
Located on the left hand side of the device, the Bixby button will be activated with a push, meaning it is able to fire up and respond to commands in super-fast time.
Samsung says that Bixby is smarter and more developed than the other assistant programs on the market today thanks to several key features.
The company says that Bixby will offer more control and usability than other services, and that users can even configure apps to work with the service, rather than the other way around.
This means that any action previously carried out by human touch commands should be able to be replaced by Bixby voice controls instead.
The service is even smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information, unlike other offerings which require you to say set phrases in order to operate.
Bixby can even detect when apps are malfunctioning or running poorly, and can offer help or advice to fix this.
Bixby will not just be a Galaxy S8 exclusive, with Samsung confirming the service will soon be coming to its other connected products.
The company says it dreams of a future where you can control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby, which is located in the cloud.
“Bixby is at the heart of our software and services evolution as a company,” Samsung says.
“We are fundamentally and conceptually changing our attitude toward software and services and working hard on innovation throughout all aspects of our mobile ecosystem.”
“With the continued investment from Samsung on artificial intelligence, the possibility of what Bixby can become is endless.”
Bixby’s reveal is the latest in a series of high-profile stories as the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date comes ever closer.
Yesterday, photos leaked online revealed that the new device will go on sale on April 28th.
Rumours have claimed that the Galaxy S8 will be available in either Black Sky, Orchid Grey, or Arctic Silver.
The next-generation smartphone will retail in Europe for €799 for the basic S8, roughly £692, and the entry-level S8+ will retail for €899, roughly £778.
That’s more expensive than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which went on-sale for £639 with 32GB of internal storage.
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are already available to pre-order, despite not having an official UK release date or price.
The Galaxy S8 is widely-tipped to arrive with a large 5.8-inch Quad HD display, but maintain the same footprint as the Galaxy S7.
There is also expected to be a 6.2-inch QHD AMOLED display model, marketed as the Galaxy S8 Plus.
The upcoming device will also reportedly sport an iris scanner, water resistant design and 64GB of expandable memory.
Qi wireless charging, contactless transactions via Samsung Pay and additional security features from Samsung Knox will also be included.
It has previously been rumoured the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor.
The Snapdragon 835 is the slimmest chip the company has ever made and will be much more efficient than previous generations meaning you should never see a drop in performance.
Express.co.uk will be at the latest Samsung Unpacked Event, and will bring you the latest news about the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and any other announcements, as it breaks.