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Live from Samsung’s 2017 MWC press conference


A very happy Mobile World Congress to you and yours. The world’s largest smartphone show is still a couple of days from its official kick off, but there’s plenty of news to be had this weekend. Samsung will be taking the stage tonight in Barcelona to show off – well, not the Galaxy S8. That much we seemingly know for sure.

The company announced a few weeks back that it’s holding off on the release of its latest flagship – perhaps unsurprisingly, given all of the extra safety precautions the electronics giant has promised to implement on its smartphones, from here on out. Instead, it seems Samsung will be returning to the tablet well, two years after the release of the Galaxy Tab S2.

The company’s teasers and a boatload of leaks point to the announcement of the Galaxy Tab S3, along with some other potential hardware offerings. And there are always bound to be a few surprises, like last year, when Facebook’s CEO casually walked through a crowd of Gear VR-sporting journalists. Watch today’s conference live here.

We’ll be liveblogging the whole thing right here tomorrow, starting at 7 PM CET (6 PM GMT, 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST).


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:17 am

That’s it for today. And let’s meet again on this very website for the Galaxy S8 launch on March 29th.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:16 am

Finally, the 5G router sounds like a promising device. Learn more right here.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:15 am

And await further announcement announcements. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:14 am

Read more about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 and Samsung’s Galaxy Book in our separate post.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:14 am

Samsung announces another announcement.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:14 am

And that’s all she wrote. Thanks for joining us (and for being so patient getting started). 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:14 am

It ends with the date 03.29.2017. So there you go, in a little bit more than a month, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S8.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:14 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:14 am

Looks like the big announcement is the announcement of the announcement of the Galaxy S8. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:13 am

A video shows a bunch of drawings, cakes and signs representing various phones.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:13 am

The screen says “Galaxy,” but people are probably thinking “Galaxy S8.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:13 am

“Time to access your diaries.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:13 am

I wonder what that will do to the price. The headset’s cost has long been its biggest selling point.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:12 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:12 am

Developers have to implement support for the controller. It looks like a clicker, but it probably packs more technology.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:12 am

It won’t be an optional extra. It will ship in the box with the headset. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:12 am

It’s simply called the Gear VR Controller.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:11 am

Oculus has been a key partner for the Gear VR for some time now, powering the display technology on the headset.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:11 am

Samsung shows the new Samsung Gear VR with a controller powered by Oculus.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:11 am

The company is recapping the different real world cases uses for Gear VR, from rehabilitation to roller coasters. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:11 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:11 am

(Everybody is thinking about the S8 right now. Are they going to mention the elephant in the room?)


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:10 am

“This time, last year, we launched the S7 right here in Barcelona. And alongside a very special guest Mark Zuckerberg we talked about bringing virtual reality to your phone screen.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:09 am

It’s time to recap the announcements. Not one, but two new tablets!


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:09 am

And that’s everything about the new Galaxy Book. Looks like we’re rapping up here. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:09 am

Samsung is trying to sell us an ecosystem of devices. Your phone and tablet working together. That’s why you’d feel like buying a Samsung Galaxy Book over a Surface Pro.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:08 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:08 am

The tablets come loaded with Samsung Flow, connecting the messaging app to the rest of the company’s Galaxy devices, a la iMessage.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:07 am

Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:07 am

Let’s talk about the keyboard cover. It is backlit, it has a trackpad and it comes in the box.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:06 am

There’s a bit of input lag in Photoshop so this won’t be as convenient as a separate Wacom tablet.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:06 am

Here, the Adobe partnership brings additional functionality to the S-Pen that you won’t find on devices like the Note — name tilt and pressure features that five more control of the input. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:05 am

Samsung took a similar route with the new Chromebooks, partnering with Google to tailor the stylus to that line. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:05 am

A member of Adobe Creative Residence (Becky Simpson) is now on stage for a live demo.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:04 am

“Today, I’m pleased to announce a new partnership with Adobe.” As with Microsoft, the company partnered with Adobe to create the new Galaxy Book hardware. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:04 am

All S-Pen features work on Windows with this tablet. So you can use it with Photoshop for instance.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:03 am

The tablet space has seemingly plateaued. Some Samsung is doubling down with not one, but two new tablets. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:03 am

“The same operating system that you use at work, the same programs that you use every day — bringing productivity to a new level.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:03 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:02 am

I often wake up screaming in the night. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:02 am

Collaborating with Frederic is a chore. Just FYI. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:01 am

I always hope a partner will show up and say the collaboration was really hard and arduous. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:01 am

So why would you buy the Galaxy Book over a Surface Pro, Brian?


Brian Heater
February 26, 201711:01 am

Johnson called the Samsung/Microsoft “super, super special.” You can really feel the love in here (or maybe it’s time to turn down the thermostat). 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:00 am

(Obviously, Brian and I are taking a break as Johnson is mostly saying that Microsoft *loves* Samsung. How surprising.)


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201711:00 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201711:00 am

Microsoft Executive VP of Business Development Peggy Johnson is now on stage to talk about the device.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:59 am

Like the new Tab, the Galaxy Book ships with optional LTE built-in. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:59 am

There are two USB-C ports (take that, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook).


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:59 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:58 am

The Galaxy Book features a 7th gen Core i7 processor. This is a legit powerful machine. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:58 am

The 12-inch model supports 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:57 am

At 7.4mm, it’s the thinnest Intel-powered Windows 10 tablet.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:57 am

It weighs 744 grams, just about 1.5 pound.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:56 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:56 am

“The Galaxy Book is enterprise-enabled.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:56 am

The company is showing off the device running Photoshop. It seems they’re looking to tackle the creative professional along with the plain old office professional. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:56 am

And, of course, you can use the S-Pen.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:56 am

The video shows a metal frame with holes for the ventilation. It runs Windows 10 indeed and you can pair it with a backlit keyboard.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:55 am

Samsung has tried pro tablets in the past, but this device is really drawing a line in the sand, with a pro tablet that runs Window, far more useful in an office setting than Android. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:54 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:54 am

TL;DR: if you really want a tablet and you need it to run Android, the Galaxy Tab S3 is a fine tablet.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:54 am

And now it’s time for the new Galaxy Book 2-in-1. A more pro device designed to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s Surface line. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:53 am

“So when you’re looking for your next tablet for your entertainment, and you need to be productive, you deserve the best tablet — the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:53 am

“To sum up, this is an amazing tablet.” You heard it here (at the Samsung press conference) first. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:52 am

“We believe that the S-Pen will do more than redefine how you think about styluses, it will redefine how you think of tablets.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:52 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:52 am

Samsung has partnered with Staedler for a special edition S-Pen. It looks like a pencil, but it has an S-Pen tip. It really looks like a pencil indeed. Very revolutionary device.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:51 am

The S-Pen has a clip on it, but the Tab itself doesn’t have a slot for it, so you’ll need to carrying it in a pocket and hope you don’t lose it like every other pen you’ve ever owned. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:51 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:51 am

The S-Pen is bundled with the Tab S3 so you don’t need to buy it separately. It’s supposed to work better than previous versions of the S-Pen. You don’t need to pair it or charge it as the magic happens in the display.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:50 am

The S-Pen is based on Wacom technology. It’s really a large version of what you find (or, rather, found) on the Note line. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:50 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:50 am

I’ve tried the Pogo keyboard. I was actually pretty impressed. The company has done a much better job mimicking a standalone keyboard than the cases you’ll find on most of these convertibles. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:50 am

There are two Samsung accessories, the keyboard and the S-Pen. The keyboard doesn’t need charging, you can just put the S3 on it to connect it to the keyboard (just like the iPad Pro keyboard).


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:49 am

The Tab S3 will also be coming in an LTE model. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:49 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:48 am

Samsung uses the accelerometer to detect how you’re watching a video. This way, the Tab S3 automatically adjusts the sound depending on the way you hold the device.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:48 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:48 am

Samsung is also working with AKG to ship new AKG earbuds with every Samsung device in the future.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:47 am

Let’s switch gear and talk about the sound. Just like the iPad Pro, the Tab S3 has four speakers. They’re made by AKG.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:47 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:47 am

The Tab includes Game Launcher, a software feature that blocks notifications when you play.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:46 am

The screen supports high-dynamic range. If you can stream an HDR movie, then it’ll look better.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:45 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:45 am

It is available in silver and black and runs Android Nougat.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:44 am

It has a glossy back design ans an aluminum frame. It weighs 429 grams.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:44 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:43 am

It looks a lot like an iPad but with some unmistakable differences. First, you can use the S-Pen, Samsung’s stylus. The bezel is also bigger, but I’ve got to say that it looks like a big improvement over the Tab S2. It is much thinner.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:42 am

Lowes announces the Galaxy Tab S3 with a video.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:42 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:42 am

Samsung is clearly positioning the tablet as a replacement for the laptop, but more portable.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:41 am

“Today, we’re introducing two new tablets for an emerging category of consumers.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:41 am

“We think we’re now at a turning point for tablets.” That’s a bold statement.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:41 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:41 am

“Many people, myself included, see the tablet and smartphone as quite interchangeable depending on what you want to do.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:40 am

“There’s been a misconception that tablets are primarily for people on the go. But in fact, customer behavior clearly shows that most usage takes place in the home.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:39 am

Lowes is back on stage. “We have big ambitions in 2017. The tablet is just a few years old, but the category has grown and matured at an incredible pace.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:39 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:38 am

A lot of promises of a better feature. Come on, Samsung, give us tablets.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:37 am

5G is definitely going to have a big impact on how we use our phones, cars and more. But I’m not sure a big consumer electronics press conference is the right stage for this.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:36 am

We were promised revolutionary gadgets, and all we got was a conference about 5G networks ?


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:35 am

Verizon is now talking about its network. “You’ll see several announcements over the next few days at MWC.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:35 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:34 am

Also new, Samsung will launch a 5G router for your home. This kind of devices can replace your home connection.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:34 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:33 am

Samsung is also showing some B2B 5G infrastructure devices. Telecom companies will probably enjoy this more than tech bloggers.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:33 am

Wow, Samsung is launching at a home router. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:32 am

“Today, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of our commercial 5G network.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:32 am

“5G will connect everybody and everything. Think of hundreds of connected devices in the home, millions of devices in smart cities.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:32 am

5G is also all about reducing your ping and improving the overall infrastructure with more people connecting to the same cell tower.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:32 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:31 am

Baxter is giving a definition of 5G. “Ultra-fast, we’re talking gigabits of speed, 4K movies, in-car infotainment…”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:31 am

“At Samsung, we’ve invested heavily in 5G. And we think Samsung is uniquely positioned.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:31 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:30 am

“We are in fact just getting started.” We’re moving fast here at the beginning. Now we’re onto IoT, with a recap of the smart appliances the company announced last month. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:30 am

Samsung is showsing some old devices on the screen supporting 2G, 3G and 4G. Let’s see if Baxter is going to make any actual announcement during this 5G segment.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:29 am

Interestingly, Samsung seems to be kicking things off by talking futureproofing, instead of announcing any products. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:29 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:29 am

Lowes is starting with 5G. “Now, we’re on the verge of making it a reality.” Tim Baxter, President and COO of Samsung Electronics America is going on stage.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:28 am

The “reach higher” message from CES is now “pushing boundaries,” which is arguably what got the company in this mess in the first place. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:28 am

Here are the three big themes of today’s conference: 5G network, tablet and VR.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:28 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:27 am

Lowes is struggling to regain his balance after that distraction, understandly. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:27 am

A protester briefly got on stage with a recycling sign with Samsung’s logo at the center.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:27 am

He’s reiterating most of what they announced a couple of months back when they discussed all of the extra R&D they’re spending money on.


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:26 am

Samsung now has additional protocols such as multi-layered safety procedures, third-party advisors, academics and more.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:26 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:26 am

“We recognize that earning consumer trust can only be earned by actions, not words.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:26 am

The company is doing the same apology tour it did at CES, kicking things off humbly with an apology for not meeting their “high quality standards.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:25 am

“If you ask people one this Sunday evening what they want, I suspect they’ll say ‘a pause button.’” 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:24 am

Samsung Electronics Europe CMO David Lowes is taking the stage. “The song makes a very good point, you’ve got to get the people what they want.”


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:24 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:24 am

“Quality is our priority.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:23 am

And the company is kicking things off with a promotional video showing all of the extensive testing they do. It’s almost tongue in cheek. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:23 am

The lights are down, some funky music is playing and we’re getting a lot of silhouettes of what looks to be a tablet. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:22 am

Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:21 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:19 am

This is an interesting futuristic take on Waiting for Godot.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:19 am

How long have we been in this room? The guy in front of me has a Galaxy S10. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:19 am

The display seems perfectly fine… 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:18 am

“Ladies and gentleman, we are testing the display at the moment.” There’s no such thing as too much testing, right Samsung?


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:16 am

If we wait long enough, maybe they’ll announced the Galaxy S8, too. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:14 am

Every time the music stops, we get excited. And every time, the music starts again. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:12 am

The people behind us are clapping, hoping that gets things started soon. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 201710:12 am

Why is it so hot? They are probably stress-testing their new batteries under extreme conditions.


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:10 am

Even Samsung’s own people are getting anxious now.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:08 am

It’s starting to smell like bloggers in here. Time for the air to kick in. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:08 am

Everybody is sitting — except for the people who couldn’t find any seats. If we’re waiting for all of them to sit down, it’ll be a long night.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:07 am

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Samsung press conference is about to begin [still]. Please take your seats.” You’re already sitting, right?


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:05 am

It’s still early where I’m from. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 201710:05 am

It’s also getting late, but these things never start on time. T+5.


Brian Heater
February 26, 201710:05 am

It’s getting in hot in here. Romain has just removed his first layer. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:58 am

The company makes nice slates, sure. But they’re not cheap. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:57 am

But the tablet market has shifted considerably back toward the iPad recently. Apple’s numbers are down, but the company is still the leader in the space. The other side is dominated by low end Android devices. Is there still room for Samsung?


Romain Dillet
February 26, 20179:57 am

Samsung also takes advantage of these conferences to give us an update on their various VR projects. Last year, the company spent a lot of time talking about the Gear Camera.


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:56 am

Keep in mind, it’s been a full two years since the release of the S2, so Samsung is long overdue. 


Romain Dillet
February 26, 20179:55 am

Brian, let’s run down what we expect to see tonight… I think the main star of the show is going to be a new tablet, right? I thought tablets were a thing of the past, but maybe Samsung has something special in store…


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:54 am

This tiny space is packed, by the way. There are literally journalists lining the walls. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:54 am

Well, you heard the lady. Sit down and enjoy. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:53 am

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Samsung Press Conference is about to begin. Please take your seats.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:48 am

Is it just me, or is the five second piano music bed getting louder?


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:47 am

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Samsung press conference. Priority entrance will be granted to press members and guests. Live streaming is provided at Level Zero.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:44 am

T-Minus 15 minutes and we’ll never have to hear that live streaming announcement again. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:39 am

I wish I had one of those Nokia 3310s. A game of Snake would really help pass the time. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:38 am

Pro tip: when you’re in Europe, every building has a level zero. Taking an elevator can get sort of confusing when you’re jetlagged. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:38 am

LEVEL ZERO, Brian. Pay attention!


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:37 am

Does anyone know what level they’re live streaming on? Frederic?


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:37 am

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Samsung press conference. Priority entrance will be granted to press members and guests. Live streaming is provided at Level Zero.”


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:36 am

The PA voice sounds eerily like this place is about to self-destruct. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:35 am

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Samsung press conference. Priority entrance will be granted to press members and guests. Live streaming is provided at Level Zero.”


Romain Dillet
February 26, 20179:34 am

Thanks Freddie. Not sure people are tuning into our liveblog to see my face ?


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:33 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:33 am

This is making me nostalgic for the old weird Samsung press conferences, back when there was a magic show attached.  


Romain Dillet
February 26, 20179:32 am

What about the music? Samsung is looping the same 20-second audio clip over and over again. It’s like we’re on hold with customer support.


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:31 am

You know it’s a slow MWC when the two biggest announcements so far were from BlackBerry and Nokia. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:18 am


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:17 am

A month back at CES, the company kicked off its press conference with mention of the Note 7 situation, including an apology and highlights of its plans to increase device security. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:16 am

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Samsung press conference. Priority entrance will be granted to press members and guests.” Over and over again. Every minute.


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:15 am

It seems likely that the company originally planned on launching the Galaxy S8 at the event, but opted to push it back relatively recently. 


Brian Heater
February 26, 20179:15 am

I guess we didn’t need that telephoto, after all. We’re in the second row, with about 45 minutes to go. 


Frederic Lardinois
February 26, 20179:11 am


Romain Dillet
February 26, 20179:09 am

Here we gooo! Brian, Frederic and I just got into the main conference hall. It’s a smaller venue than last year (it’s also in a basement). Does it mean that there will smaller announcements? Who knows! Stay tuned, the show should start in about 50 minutes.




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