“…like the original S8, the new device supports iris recognition in addition to fingerprint-based authentication.”
Samsung is expanding the availability of its Galaxy S8 Active smartphone in the US. Having launched in the US this past August with AT&T as its exclusive retailer, the device is now coming to Sprint and T-Mobile.
The smartphone’s emergence this summer fit a longstanding pattern, with Samsung tending to launch “Active” versions of its flagship devices. Its Active brand emphasizes robust durability, and the Galaxy S8 is no different. It sports high resistance to shocks, dust, and water, and features a shatter-resistant screen. It also comes with a long-lasting 4,000 mAh battery, and like the original Galaxy S8, supports wireless charging.
Also like the original S8, the new device supports iris recognition in addition to fingerprint-based authentication. This was a showcase feature of the Galaxy S8, which, putting aside last year’s recalled Note7, was the first Samsung smartphone to really champion iris scanning; and given that the company has also implemented iris recognition in its recent Note8 smartphone, it appears that Samsung intends to carry the torch forward.
Still, while a press release announcing the expanded availability of the S8 Active mentioned iris recognition as one of the device’s security features, much more attention was given to Bixby, Samsung’s increasingly intelligent AI assistant. Bixby had not yet launched when the original S8 devices hit the market, but as the months have gone by Samsung has made improvements to the platform, and the company has recently indicated that it expects a technological leap forward for Bixby when its second iteration launches next year. For now, though, on the Galaxy S8 Active, Bixby operates very much like other voice-based AI systems like Siri and Cortana, answering questions and performing basic functions in response to spoken commands.
The exact release date for the Galaxy S8 Active on Sprint and T-Mobile has not yet been announced, but Samsung says it will be available through both carriers “starting this month.”