Samsung is gearing up for its moment in the spotlight, with the widely anticipated release of its Galaxy S8 smartphone, just a few months after a faulty battery issue sidelined the Galaxy Note 7.
An event is set for March 29 in New York City, one month after the Mobile World Congress, the annual event in Barcelona where Samsung typically shows off the newest member of the Galaxy family.
Samsung was probably enjoying the extra time to ensure it had every detail of the Galaxy S8 perfect, said Werner Goertz, a research director at Gartner. Samsung was likely conducting extensive testing to ensure complete confidence in the new batteries, which were the root cause of the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
"I think the reason why the S8 was not announced as usual is that they wanted to be extra careful to ensure all of the testing was fully satisfactory and that the next device is going to be a safe device to take on the airplane," Goertz told NBC News.
The South Korean company is already hinting at a new feature coming to the Galaxy S8 — a personal assistant named Bixby. The conversational helper will be "fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants in the market," InJong Rhee, Samsung's executive vice president, said in a blog post.
"Starting with our smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all our appliances," Rhee said. "In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby... As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life."
Goertz said the "tighter integration" of cloud-based virtual personal assistants into all aspects of our lives is a key trend for 2017 — and one he believes will make Samsung's next smartphone a standout.
While Samsung has frequently pushed the envelope when it comes to tech — notably with fast charging and an iris scanner in the now defunct Galaxy Note 7 — the company is also known for its cutting-edge design.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told NBC News he's expecting "big things" from Samsung. Chief among them is an edge-to-edge display with a fingerprint reader.
"This is hard to do, but looks beautiful as we finally get to [use] a piece of glass as our smartphones [kind of like] what we have seen in sci-fi movies," he said.
While March 29 is just a little more than a week away, we may already have an idea of what the rumored new phones will look like.
Evan Blass, a reporter at VentureBeat, tweeted photos of what he said was the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus — showing three color choices and a sleek design that would indeed be at home in a science fiction film.