Samsung Teases Release of Galaxy S8, Shows New Tablets

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  • Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book previewed at Barcelona event
  • New flagship smartphone will be released on March 29

Phone Makers Showcase New Trends

Samsung Electronics Co. teased its coming Galaxy S8 smartphone and released new tablets targeting video-gamers and professionals as the company seeks to regain ground lost after pulling its Note 7 from shelves last year.

The Galaxy Tab S3, meant for entertainment, has a 9.7-inch Amoled screen, quad-stereo speakers and lets users play 4K video, Samsung said Sunday ahead of the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The Galaxy Book, aimed at professionals, comes in 10.6-inch and 12-inch models and runs the Windows 10 operating system. Samsung, amid speculation about the S8, confirmed a March 29 release date for its next smartphone.

The world’s largest phone maker took a hit to its reputation after reports of Note 7 smartphones bursting into flame, leading to Samsung ultimately killing off the entire line. That debacle cost the Suwon-based company an estimated $6 billion and dealt a severe blow to the company just as the competitive holiday season was getting under way. Samsung opened the press conference Sunday with a video showing how it tests its devices for performance and safety prior to release.

An attendee uses the Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG Digital Noris stylus pencil on a new Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S3 tablet device ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. A theme this year at the industry's annual get-together, which runs through March 2, is the Internet of Things. Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

The Galaxy S3 tablet can be operated using a stylus pen.

Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

With consumers awaiting the next in its flagship Galaxy line, Samsung showed a video at the press event confirming the date of the smartphone release. The company will create an all-screen front for the S8 and scrap the physical home button, people with direct knowledge of the matter said in December.

In the meantime, Samsung will release the new tablets, along with a new virtual-reality viewer the company showed. The tablet portfolio “is built with premium technology that delivers a productive and versatile experience to consumers,” D.J. Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile communications business, said in a statement.

“With competitors such as Huawei and Amazon gaining share in the value portion of the tablet market, Samsung is recommitting to its higher performance units, which offer better profit margins and opportunities to enhance the brand,” Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS Inc., said in an e-mail.

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