Samsung shows off two new tablets, but no sign of Galaxy S8

Samsung has unveiled a selection of products, including two tablet computers and a VR headset, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, most notably, it stuck to its word and did not reveal the Galaxy S8.

The South Korean tech giant’s president of mobile communications business Koh Dong-Jin said last month that the latest addition to the Galaxy S series would not be introduced and this was indeed the case.

“Who could benefit from the vacuum left by the Samsung S8?  LG, Huawei, Sony? The window of opportunity is limited since Samsung will announce its new flagship device on 29 March,” said Forrester’s VPs & principal analysts Thomas Husson and Julie Ask in a joint statement. “Samsung was certainly right to delay the launch to make sure they put the quality assurance process to deliver their brand promise.”

Instead, Samsung presented the Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Book, Gear VR with controller, and a portfolio of 5G products and solutions.

The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 9.7-inch super AMOLED display and is designed to focus on mobile entertainment. It features 4K video playback, quad-stereo speakers, and a ‘personalised gaming experience’. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Book is targeted at ‘on-the-go professionals’ – coming in a 10.6-inch TFT LCD version and a 12-inch super AMOLED version. It is built on the Windows 10 operating system and can be transformed from tablet to notebook.

“Like most of its competitors, Samsung has seen its tablet sales erode in recent years, as larger smartphones have pushed into tablet territory,” said Rhoda Alexander, director at IHS Technology. “With its AMOLED displays, Samsung is well positioned to produce highly differentiated products.”

Samsung’s new Gear VR with controller is once again powered by Oculus. The remote control is designed to offer one-handed control, featuring a touchpad to enable the user to interact with VR apps and motion detection.  The headset has a strap where the controller can be held when not in use.

The latest Gear VR is compatible with recent Galaxy S and Note devices.

Younghee Lee, executive VP of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, said: “The Gear VR with Controller expands our VR ecosystem to help consumers get more engaged and immersed in VR content – whether it’s games or videos.”

In addition to the tablets and VR, Samsung also announced its portfolio of 5G mobile network products and solutions. Products included consumer devices for fixed wireless access connectivity, a 5G radio base station, next-generation core network infrastructure, and more.

Samsung recently deployed 5G systems in five US cites, with the help of Verizon, ahead of customer trials set to begin in April.