Tagged With galaxy s8

You did it. You waited out all the announcements during Mobile World Congress and the deluge of new handsets that debuted in the last few months. But now, after upstarts such as Essential have had a chance to shine and giants like Apple and Samsung are done plying their latest wares, there's a big question worth asking: What's the best phone out right now?

Samsung caught a whole mess of bad press last year after numerous reports of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploding. The company, however, apparently believes there's still a rabid fanbase demanding a defused version of its mobile time bomb. So a refurbished version of the phone is going back on shelves next month -- bearing what might be the most delusional name possible.

The Samsung Dex is a tiny new smartphone dock that wades carefully toward a world in which smartphones serve as our primary computers. It's about the size of a hockey puck, and when the Galaxy S8, a monitor, and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are connected, the Dex turns the phone into a surprisingly functional desktop. The idea is that instead of lugging a laptop around everywhere, you might just take your phone and drop it into a dock at home, the office, and so on.

With the exploding Note7 battery fiasco, Samsung inadvertently did something that's increasingly difficult these days: It made smartphones interesting for a flickering moment. Super interesting, in fact. Besides the intrigue of the mournful saga of Note7, whose embarrassing recall cost the company billions, Samsung also set up a dramatic release narrative for the Galaxy S8. This wasn't just another smartphone -- this was a make-or-break device charged with saving a company in the throes of an existential crisis. A smartphone that screams at the void -- yikes!

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the prettiest phones you can buy right now, but it's launching as a somewhat incomplete product. Bixby, the phone's new digital assistant, doesn't yet have one if its key features -- voice recognition. This shortcoming wouldn't be so obvious if only Samsung hadn't included a new button on the side of the phone meant to launch Bixby. Thanks to some creative geekery, however, the seemingly useless button now has a purpose.

Samsung has already botched one of the most important product launches in the company's history, and it hasn't even happened yet. Samsung confirmed that its digital assistant -- Bixby -- will not respond to voice queries when it launches with the new Galaxy S8 later this month.