Putting an end to all the leaks and rumors, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The devices are up for pre-orders in the US, UK, and many other countries. As expected, both the new phones come with the iris scanner and facial recognition technologies besides the usual fingerprint scanner, which has been moved to the rear. But Samsung’s facial recognition technology is not as secure as many people think.
Should you trust the Galaxy S8 face detection tech?
Samsung executives knew that relocating the fingerprint scanner to the rear panel could disappoint some users. Introducing the facial recognition technology could reduce that impact. However, a YouTube video clearly shows the Galaxy S8 face detection technology can be fooled if you have the phone owner’s photo. The S8 owner doesn’t necessarily have to be in front of the phone’s front camera to unlock the screen.
According to a live stream broadcast by Marcianotech, they were able to bypass the technology and unlock the device with a photo. Folks at Marcianotech captured the photo of the Galaxy S8 owner on another device. Then instead of presenting the owner’s face in front of the S8 camera, they presented the photo they had just captured on another phone. And it worked!
Samsung still has until April 21st to fix the issue
It is unclear why it worked. It’s quite possible the picture was taken at the same angle and distance that the Galaxy S8 would scan for when being unlocked. Had the photo been taken from a different angle or a greater distance, would it have worked? Someone at Ubergizmo tried to trick the face detection technology, but was unsuccessful.
The photo might have fooled the Galaxy S8 because the face detection software is still iffy. Samsung officials are yet to comment on the issue. The new phones would start shipping on April 21st. It means the Korean company still has about three weeks to iron out the bug. After the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Samsung desperately needs to ensure a smooth launch for the Galaxy S8.
Samsung has more secure alternatives
Fortunately, there are other security features such as the iris scanner and rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that you can rely on. With the iris scanner, you simply have to look into the front camera to unlock the screen, sign-in to webpages, and verify your Samsung account. The fingerprint sensor’s location is a bit tricky because you may accidentally end up placing your finger on the camera lens, but it is a secure technology that you can trust.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also feature a Secure Folder where you can save all your private apps and content. Only the authorized user can access the Secure Folder. Users can hide the Secure Folder to keep the private stuff secure even when the phone is unlocked. There is also Samsung Pass where you can register your login IDs and passwords for different websites, and then verify your identity using the biometric data to access those websites.
Galaxy S8 has amazing specs
The Galaxy S8 comes in two different sizes: 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch. Both the S8 and S8 Plus sport an edge-to-edge Quad HD AMOLED display. Their screens have a unique aspect ratio of 18.5:9, which is larger than the standard 16:9 aspect ratio used in most smartphones. The physical home button has been replaced with a virtual 3D Touch button embedded in the display.
Samsung has introduced its new AI assistant Bixby with the Galaxy S8. On the left side of the phone, there are volume rockers and a dedicated button to activate Bixby. The power button is located on the right side of the device. The smartphone features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, and Harman Kardon stereo speakers. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus sport a 12-megapixel main camera and an 8MP front snapper with f/1.7 aperture.
Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones run Android Nougat right out of the box. The company has also launched a Samsung DeX accessory that lets you connect the Galaxy S8 to an external keyboard, mouse, and display to use it as a computer. The Korean electronics giant is offering a free Gear VR headset with touch controller if you pre-order the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus.
The Galaxy S8 has a starting price of $750 while its bigger sibling can set you back by $850. The phones come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage that you can expand up to 256GB using a microSD card slot. The 5.8-inch version packs a 3,000mAh battery and the Plus variant comes with a 3,500mAh battery pack. Both of them support wireless charging.
The Galaxy S8 could give a serious competition to Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, which is rumored to look a lot like the Galaxy S8. Apple’s phone is also expected to have the same bezel-less design as the S8. The Cupertino company is said to be sourcing 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screens from Samsung for its 10th anniversary iPhone.