Do the new phones live up to their hype and can they restore confidence in Samsung after the disastrous Galaxy Note 7? Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal, Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff, and Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong weigh in on this week’s MashTalk podcast.
New smartphone releases can feel underwhelming these days with most annual releases being only slightly better versions of the previous.
There’s no denying the Galaxy S8 is a gorgeous phone (2:48) that looks like no other phone thanks to its larger and taller “infinity display,” and smaller top and bottom bezels. But it’s not a phone without some trade-offs that may or may not bother you.
The physical home button’s gone and has been replaced with a virtual home button (5:56) and the fingerprint sensor’s moved to a really awkward place on the back (7:25).
How will the Galaxy S8 compare to the iPhone 8? We’ve still got about six months before we find out what Apple’s working on and if any of the rumors on the iPhone 8 are true.
Though the phones were the stars of Wednesday’s Unpacked event, Samsung also unveiled a couple new accessories (15:01), including the new Gear VR with controller, an updated Gear 360 camera that’s capable of live streaming, and Samsung DeX, a dock that transforms the phones into a desktop-like experience.
SpaceX’s big launch
Space Reporter Miriam Kramer joins to tell us about the successful SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch that happened on Thursday (20:14).
While SpaceX has successfully launched nine rockets into orbit before, none of them were as significant as this week’s. The launch was the first time a previously flown SpaceX rocket successfully flew into orbit and landed back on Earth.
Its success opens the door for reusing rockets to get payloads (and eventually people) into space, which will drive down the cost of space travel (22:27).
Change is in the air
Lastly, we have tech Intern Freia Lobo come on to break down all of the changes Facebook and Twitter made to their services this week.
Facebook copied Snapchat again (31:15) for the billionth time and now includes a Stories feature within its app. It’s a blatant clone and Facebook’s not ashamed.
But is it overkill, now that it’s in the Facebook app and every other app Facebook owns, like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger? Or is it brilliant? Does the idea of content that expires even make sense on Facebook (38:10), which is all about preserving memories for revisiting later?
Twitter also ruffled some feathers. The company finally loosened up its 140-character limit (41:32), and now longer counts usernames towards it. Not everyone is happy with the changes, though. In fact, many users are now complaining about how replies now work.