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Hands-on with Samsung's latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+

Galaxy s8 front cameraAntonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 on Wednesday, its follow-up to one of the most popular and best smartphones of 2016, the Galaxy S7.

We had some hands-on time with the Galaxy S8 before Samsung announced the phone on Wednesday. What we saw was a beautiful smartphone that stands out with its special design and features.

Check it out:

Here they are, Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Note the ultra-narrow top and bottom borders.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

If the screens look tall, that's because they're taller than most smartphones.

Both models have 18.5:9 aspect ratios, while most smartphones have a standard 16:9 aspect ratio.

By having tall screens, the Galaxy S8 displays can look large while still staying manageable in your hands. Tall screens also show more of your apps at one time.

This is the Galaxy S8, which has a 5.8-inch AMOLED display.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

And this is the Galaxy S8+, which has a larger 6.2-inch AMOLED display.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

They have glass backs, just like the Galaxy S7, and they will be available in black, a somewhat purple grey, and silver. Unlike the Galaxy S7, though, the S8 won't come in a gold colour option.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The metal borders along the S8's edges are more polished than they were on the S7, making for a shinier, almost steel-like finish.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

You'll find a USB-C port and a headphone jack on the bottom of the S8. You can really see the steel-like finish here, too.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The home button has been replaced by an invisible pressure-sensitive button underneath the glass panel. You'll also find the Android function buttons on the bottom of the screen instead of Samsung's usual capacitive buttons.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

And the screens have rounded corners, too.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung moved the fingerprint reader to the back on the Galaxy S8, just to the right of the camera.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Speaking of the camera, it's a similar 12-megapixel shooter as the S7 with a few minor enhancements to make photos look clearer and sharper.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It still has the dual-pixel auto-focus technology that gave the S7 it's incredibly fast auto-focus.

The Galaxy S8's front-facing camera is 8 megapixels, and Samsung added phase-detection auto-focus.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It's not the same as the dual-pixel autofocus on the rear camera, but it's the same kind of focus found on most smartphones, including the iPhone 7. It will make for clearer, sharper selfies with better focus than the front-facing cameras on most smartphones.

And here's the S8 in water -- complete with floating petals -- proving that it's water resistant.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

As expected, wireless charging is included in the Galaxy S8. The wireless chargers now don a soft leather exterior, making for a comfortable charging experience.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Both Galaxy S8 models will come with the Edge features that used to be exclusive to the Edge models of Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

As the rumours claimed, the S8 comes with the iris detection from the Galaxy Note 7.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

And there's face detection now, too, which looks like it's easier to use than the iris scanner, as you don't have to hold the phone up to your eyes.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The Galaxy S8 also comes with Bixby, Samsung's new virtual AI assistant.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Bixby will also let you search for information about objects and products, like these wines, by pointing the Galaxy S8's camera at their labels.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It looks like it can work on a variety of objects and products -- Samsung demonstrated it can fetch information about this book.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It will come with Google Assistant, too, which is Google's virtual AI assistant. We're not sure yet, but there could be a clash of assistants in the Galaxy S8.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung also showed off its Dex smartphone dock, which connects to a monitor and turns the Galaxy S8 into a sort of light PC.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

You can connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to the Galaxy S8 to make it work like a PC.

Samsung teamed up with Microsoft and Adobe for optimised apps that look pretty good on the monitor. Otherwise, other 3rd-party apps will show up on the monitor as they do on your phone.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Here, the Galaxy S8 is running an optimised version of the Microsoft Word app, which looks nearly like the full version of Word.

It also supports multiple windows, just like macOS and Windows 10, which was impressive.

Samsung also introduced some nice silicone cases for the Galaxy S8.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Expect a whole range of other cases with different materials, too, like felt and plastic.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Those who pre-order the Galaxy S8 smartphones will get a free Gear VR with a controller, and an Oculus content package.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung also said that the Galaxy S8 will come with free earphones from audio company AKG/Harman, which Samsung says are valued at $US99.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will begin on March 30, but the phone goes on sale on April 21. Unfortunately, there's no detail on pricing yet.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

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