samsung_dex

Its acting head was arrested, its phones caught fire, making them the butt of jokes, and yet the company still reckons it can take on Apple, but that's not why it has got front, oh no. It's new phone, however, now that really does present a new front for the company.

Question: how do you convince the world you have learned the error of your ways without mentioning your error? Samsung has tried to answer that very question, and in part that answer came in the shape of the new Note Eight which is literally all front, and a bit of side to boot.

The phone's screen is the phone's front, and it's curved too - corrr- meaning the screen wraps around the sides.

By all accounts, it scores on the aesthetic front too, a right beauty, to make the iPhone look distinctly, well less curvy and with less screen.

But then it's been an odd time of late. Its acting head, Lee Jae-yong was arrested last month in connection with a corruption scandal that also claimed the scalp of South Korea's impeached President Park Geun-hye. Yet the Samsung share price soared over the last 12 months, rising by more than 50 per cent.

Then there is the small matter of the Note catching fire, banned from airplanes and all in all giving Samsung the kind of name that is in the wrong ball Park (geddit) altogether.

But then the note brand is so strong, that the name isn't changing, just the number. the Seven is gone, the Note Eight is in.

And while Samsung Mobile President DJ Koh, who presented the new phone to an intrigued audience in New York, managed to avoid saying such words as 'seven' and 'fire', he did talk about 'important new beginnings' and being 'humble enough to learn from our mistakes,' and 'overcoming obstacles.'

In practice, what that means is a company that has doubled down on testing, emphasising and re-emphasising this in its advertising, but also a new phone whose battery is no bigger than the previous one, and which is said to offer no improvement in storage capacity.

So that's two unique selling points, a lot of front and a battery that offers no great advances - except for the advance it is hopefully a lot less likely to explode. Oh yes, and it's meant to have a longer life, that is to say, a year or two after you have bought the phone, the battery is still expected to be working properly, and if it can pull that off, then this may be no small achievement.

Much of the media's attention has focused on the new voice assistant Bixby. The jury is out on how this will differ from rival offerings, but what is interesting about Bixby is that it is designed to work on other devices - your sofa for example. Do you think Bixby will learn tact, for example, if you are entertaining the in-laws, or a new girl/boy friend, will it realise it won't be good for your cool to ask if you want it to record the latest episode of Doctor Who?

But one especially interesting new feature is Dec, a device for turning your smartphone into a PC and connected to a monitor or mouse. This is what Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, had to say about that: "The smartphone has become the central point for the modern mobile professional, and when giving a presentation or editing documents remotely, it means they can work effectively using just their smartphone. We developed Samsung DeX with the highly mobile worker in mind, giving them a convenient and flexible desktop experience. Our collaboration with key partners such as Adobe and Microsoft was essential in the development of Samsung DeX, as they share our vision for building excellence in mobile productivity. With Samsung DeX, enterprise users can also be assured their smartphone and data is protected by the Samsung Knox security platform built into the smartphone. Samsung DeX redefines what a smartphone can do to keep mobile workers productive.”

And a smart phone that has a monitor for display, really does have a lot of front.