Samsung announced its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on Wednesday, and early reviews might be positive enough to make people forget that its last highly touted phone was more of a very expensive time bomb. "This is a journey," USA Today quotes the president of Samsung Electronics America as saying. "We're rebuilding the brand." So long as that journey doesn't end in fire this time around. So far, things are looking positive. USA Today calls the S8 and S8 Plus "fast, sturdy, good looking." And Wired decrees them "pretty dope." Perhaps most promisingly, Samsung has completely changed the way it tests and inspects its batteries after what happened with its doomed Note 7.
The first thing that jumps out about the S8 and S8 Plus are the screens, which are super big, take up 83% of the phone's face, and wrap slightly around its edges. Some other features: The phones can be unlocked using facial recognition software, can survive 30 minutes underwater, and can be converted into a desktop computer by attaching a dock, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. T-Mobile says the S8 will be the fastest phone on its network. And the phones mark the debut of Bixby, Samsung's version of AI assistants like Alexa and Siri. There has, however, been one bad omen raising the specter of the combusting Note7: Cnet reports a Samsung store in Singapore caught fire the day before the debut of the S8 and S8 Plus. Samsung's new phones go on presale Thursday and will be available next month. (Read more Samsung Galaxy S stories.)