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#ThrowbackThursday - when Samsung ditched plastic
Just last week, Samsung took the wraps off its new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, breaking from tradition in a number of ways. First, the new Galaxy S family moves away from flat-screens altogether, offering curved 5.7 and 6.2-inch displays with 18:5:9 ratios. Second, and just as significant, with the S8 family Samsung has finally ditched its iconic physical keys in favor of on-screen equivalents.
It’s pretty clear that Samsung is hoping these new handsets will help regain any lost consumer confidence after the Note 7 debacle. By giving the phones a dramatic new design, Samsung hopes to start fresh again and shake free of last year’s failure. This feels a bit familiar, doesn’t it?
Traveling back to 2015, we look at a Korean giant that has had to endure a few years of complaints from critics over its design, as well as its ‘bloated’ software. This Samsung was ready to shake up this old reputation by breaking convention in a big way. With the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, they did just that. The (then) new handsets ditched removable batteries, plastic-clad backings, and (for just that year) microSD expansion. In exchange, the S6 family sported glass unibody designs and the software still felt like TouchWiz, but it finally killed many of the biggest complaint areas consumers and critics had with the software.
Both the 2015 and 2017 switch ups have one thing in common: they aren’t just about adding new features or removing previous ones. By making sweeping changes to the Galaxy S6 family’s design and software, the company hoped to send a clear message that a new era was dawning; and it worked. Will the 2017 makeover have just as big of an impact on the company’s philosophy and its future? And will it be just as positive? Only time will tell, but it’s pretty hard not to draw parallels here.
While taking a trip down memory lane, be sure to check out our original Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge reviews from 2015. In your opinion, since 2015, have you liked Samsung’s overall direction? If not, what would you have done differently?