Samsung’s Galaxy S8 phone aims to dispel the Note 7 debacle

March, 2017, photo, new Samsung Galaxy S8, left, and Galaxy S8 Plus mobile phones are displayed in New York. The Galaxy S8 features a larger display than its predecessor, the Galaxy S7, and sports a voice assistant intended to rival Siri and Google Assistant.

Samsung seems to be playing it safe —at least with its battery — as it unveils its first major smartphone since the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7.

The Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, both bigger than comparable models from last year. To maximize display space, there’s no more physical home button. The S8 also sports a voice assistant intended to rival Siri and Google Assistant.

But battery capacity isn’t increasing, despite the larger sizes, meaning more breathing room for the battery. Samsung had pushed the engineering envelope with the Note 7 battery, which contributed to spontaneous combustions. That recall cost Samsung at least $5.3 billion. Though many customers remain loyal, any further misstep could prove fatal.

The phone, announced Wednesday in New York, will come out April 21. The standard-size S8 will cost about $750 and the larger S8 Plus about $850 — both about $100 more than comparable iPhones and rival Android phones.

“That’s a big bet that its phones will justify a higher price, whereas it could have used these new phones as a way to drive higher sales after a couple of years of stagnation,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research.

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March, 2017, photo, the new Samsung Gear 360 camera, right, Gear VR headset, and controller are displayed during a preview in New York.

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