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SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday that preorders for its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, have surpassed a whopping 720,000 units in just seven days, heralding a major hit for the company.
The Galaxy S8 smartphones feature high resolution displays that bend on both sides and come with various innovative biometric technologies, such as a face recognition scanner and a smart voice assistance program named Bixby.
After showcasing the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus late last month, Samsung Electronics kicked off local preorders on Friday which will last until next Monday. The official release is slated for later in April.
Given the current pace, preorders for the Galaxy S8 series may top 1 million units, industry watchers expect.
Preorders of the Galaxy Note 7 phablet whose production was discontinued last year due to battery problem, hit 400,000 units from Aug. 6 to 18.
Samsung said it will expand the eco-system of the Galaxy 8 series by beefing up cooperation with companies and rolling out various gadgets linked to the smartphone.
The tech firm said it will make efforts to further expand its own mobile payment service, Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay uses magnetic secure transmission technology, allowing users to make transactions with their smartphones, even through traditional credit card machines.
Samsung Pay is already available in 12 countries, including the United States, China and South Korea.
Samsung said that Galaxy S8 users will be able to make financial transactions and authentification more easily compared with past devices by making use of the built-in iris-scanning function, it said.
The company first placed an iris scanner, a popular and unique feature on the Galaxy Note 7, with the S8 getting the same feature. Through the iris scanner, users can log on to websites or make financial transactions.
Among the cutting-edge features incorporated into the new flagship, the artificial intelligence (AI) system Bixby is a new addition that could give the phones a similar or better user experience compared with rivals like Apple Inc.'s Siri voice recognition system.
The tech giant also introduced the DeX, or Desktop Extension, which allows users to utilize the Galaxy S8 smartphone like a personal computer. Just by inserting the smartphone into the DeX, users will be able to use their handsets like a desktop computer.
Samsung also unveiled a new edition of the Gear 360, a virtual reality camera that has a 360-degree field of view. The first device of its kind was introduced in February last year, along with the Galaxy S7.
The new Gear 360 is easy to use and can take high-resolution motion pictures. Compared with its predecessor, the device is also lighter and more compact, and even has a screw so it can be mounted onto a conventional camera tripod or monopod.
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