So Samsung are about to announce their next big flagship at MWC this week, only problem is the entire launch video for the S9 and S9+ has leaked. While the original video was pulled, obviously the internet knows this routine by now, so was saved and re-uploaded. The video walks us through the major features and use cases for the Galaxy S9, which in some ways is a shame, this means Samsung’s announcement on stage this week will simply be going through the motions of explaining everything we know, rather than an actual, exciting product reveal.
This video focuses on highlighting the aspects of the phone’s functionality as it relates to business and productivity, so don’t expect the full list of tech specs in this one.
Split screen applications
Not a feature that’s unique to Samsung, in fact Google have included this in later builds of Android and naturally the new flagship phone from Samsung will run the latest version of Android, Oreo.
Using a dock, you can dock your phone and have it be the brains to run a desktop OS, when connected to an external display. This feature has been in previous devices, but speaks to Samsung’s push to make this a device business considers in their fleets. When docked, the phone’s touchscreen becomes an input device to the experience, while a smart use for the hardware, it’s unlikely this will gain mainstream adoption given most of us have laptops in meetings.
The AI-powered digital assistant on your phone, Bixby returns for a ride on the S9 and the software can be used for live text translation, useful if you’re trying to read labels in different languages. Another implementation with the camera is for AR and the video shows a simulated example where a person positions their phone in front of their server rack and augmented reality display labels for the ports, potentially useful if you’re network engineer trying to remember port numbers.
Expect to see the return of a hardware button to activate Bixby. Lets hope that on the software side of things, Samsung is able to execute on more of the original vision of Bixby. That is you should be able to command your phone, by voice, to do anything you could using touch inputs. In the S8, the reality fell way short of the marketing pitch. If Samsung can execute on this, it’ll be a key differentiator between their hardware/software combination than other Android manufacturers.
You can create shortcuts for a pair of apps. This is like a macro to launch two of your favourite apps together, one on the top half of the screen, the other on the bottom. Surprisingly even Windows that prides itself on multi-tasking doesn’t offer this, it should. If you find yourself in work mode, perhaps you want email and twitter to launch together. If you’re in personal mode, you may want YouTube and Facebook to open together. This is a smart, user-focused approach that leverages the size of the display to achieve a positive experience. How often you leverage this is up to you as the user.
Facial recognition is something Apple took the lead on with the iPhone X. While Samsung and others have tried, nothing has come close to the speed of the iPhone. In the fine print it has some pretty big disclaimers about being a certain distance, if you’re wearing glasses, direct sunlight etc, enough to make us think even Samsung doesn’t believe their facial recognition is as good as Apple’s. Of course the other biometric sensor in the device is the fingerprint reader on the back, which this time looks sensibly positioned further away from the camera lenses and in a more reachable position.
This looks like a special mode the phone can be put in (presumably by your IT department). This separates business and personal data and enables new features like Firmware updates over-the-air to ensure the device is secure at all times. This also guarantees security updates for up to 4 years. Again, the fine print on this will be interesting as its unlikely your battery will hold in for that long, even if that is an inviting prospect for your IT department.
Now check out the video for yourself.