Samsung has blamed the Note 7 fires on design and manufacturing defects in its batteries.
about 3,000 people in Central Texas.
The Galaxy S8 features a larger 5.8-inch screen without adding bulk to the device. The company said it made room for the screen by reducing the size of the bezel — or the forehead and the chin — on the face of the device. Samsung also made the home button into a virtual button and shoved it under the display.
With the Galaxy S8, Samsung also rolled out its virtual assistant, Bixby, to rival Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Similar to previous virtual assistants, Bixby responds to voice commands.
Samsung has blamed the Note 7 fires on multiple design and manufacturing defects in its batteries. Inspectors concluded that the initial batteries were too small for their capacity, and that their external pouch put pressure on the internal structure, leading to damage and overheating.
Samsung recalled the phones and shipped replacements, but the newer batteries had welding defects and a lack of protective tape in some battery cells. Samsung recalled the replacements, too, and scrapped the phone.
The company says phones will now go through multiple inspections, including X-rays and stress tests at extreme temperatures.
The standard-size S8 phone has as much battery capacity as last year’s Galaxy S7, but the phone is 4 percent larger by volume. The larger S8 Plus model has 3 percent less capacity than the Galaxy S7 Edge and the same capacity as the Note 7, but the phone’s volume is larger by 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
The Note 7 recall cost Samsung at least $5.3 billion. Though many customers remain loyal, any further misstep could prove fatal for the brand.
“We’re in the process of earning back that trust,” said Drew Blackard, a senior director of product marketing for Samsung.
In the U.S., Samsung will start taking orders Thursday, with shipments scheduled for April 21. Prices haven’t been announced yet.
Time — and sales — will tell whether the Galaxy S8 will restore confidence in Samsung’s smartphones.
Jan Dawson, an independent analyst for Jackdaw Research, said the Galaxy S8 could help Samsung recover as long as the product worked reliably.
“Note 7 definitely did some damage to the Samsung brand, especially for people who had little or no personal experience with Samsung devices,” he said. “But as long as the S8 does well and doesn’t suffer from any of the same problems, the memories of the Note 7 issues will fade and Samsung will recover well.”
Samsung last year also issued a separate recall for 2.8 million washing machines in the United States. The machines were prone to detaching from the washing machine chassis, posing a risk of injury.
The Galaxy S8 will arrive in stores next month with a starting price of $750.