Samsung, as expected, did not use its pre-MWC press conference to unveil its next flagship smartphone, and instead put the focus on tablets, virtual reality and 5G.

The South Korean vendor, which was forced to recall its Note 7 device over battery issues last year, did however start the event in Barcelona by addressing the woes it faced over the debacle, while attempting to reassure the Congress audience that it had learned from its mistakes.

David Lowes, CMO of Samsung Electronics Europe, said the “past six months have been the most challenging for the company”, and “regaining the consumer trust must be done by action”.

It also confirmed it will unveil the next flagship – which the company will hope can undo much of the damage caused by the Note 7 – on 29 March in New York.

Galaxy Tab S3
Unlike last year’s press conference, where it unveiled the Galaxy S7 in an extravagant show using virtual reality, this event was considerably more low key.

It was keen to talk up its continued belief in the tablet market, which Lowes said has “grown and matured at incredible speed”.

The new Galaxy Tab S3, 9.7 inch in size, has a specific focus on entertainment, with video and gaming at the heart of the company’s messaging.

It comes equipped with quad speakers, the first Samsung tablet to have such a design, and it also has an auto rotate stereo function, designed to redirect sound based on its position.

Its battery can cope with 12 hours of video playback, and it has High Dynamic Range and 4K capabilities. The tablet is available in both black and silver.

Galaxy Book
The second addition to Samsung’s tablet line up was the Galaxy Book, a 2 in 1 device focused on those that want to use their device for both work and pleasure.

Alanna Cotton, VP of Samsung Electronics America, said the Galaxy Book “can do anything a high powered PC can do”.

It has been developed in collaboration with Microsoft, and will be powered by a seventh generation Intel Core processor, and a Windows 10 operating system.

It includes a keyboard cover, as well as a touchpad, and also features an adjustable backlight. There are two editions of the device, a 12-inch and a 10.6-inch model.

“We’re giving users not just a perfect balance between a tablet and a laptop, but a device that can do everything their high powered PC does,” said Cotton.

VR and 5G
Last but not least, the company showed off an upgraded Gear VR headset, that will now come equipped with a handheld controller.

The motion sensing Bluetooth controller helps users “navigate and immerse themselves in VR content”, said the company.

On 5G, the company officially launched a 5G mobile network portfolio of devices.

On show were 5G chipsets, a 5G home router, a 5G radio base station and a next-generation core network infrastructure.

It said it hopes to provide “the world’s first 5G fixed networks, offering blazing fast gigabit home broadband”, by early next year.