The world's biggest smartphone maker, Samsung, will have to throw a lot of innovation and previously unseen features into its comeback phone this week to win back customers and keep Apple at bay, telecommunications experts warned.

The South Korean tech giant is due to launch a new flagship smartphone in New York on Thursday morning - the first model since its disastrous Galaxy Note 7 phone that was recalled twice for bursting into flames.

While the unprecedented worldwide recalls were said to cost Samsung more than $US5 billion (NZ$6.6 billion), the company could lose even more if it fails to dazzle consumers with its Galaxy S8 smartphone this week.

Reuters reports Samsung plans to sell refurbished versions of the Galaxy Note 7 amid the burning battery scandal.


Forrester vice-president Thomas Husson said Samsung lost "prestige and consumer trust with the debacle of the Galaxy Note 7" and needed to deliver a feature-packed and reliable alternative or face losing more customers to rivals like Apple.

"Samsung only has a window of opportunity of several months before the launch of the 10th anniversary iPhone," he said.

"The launch of the new device must be perfectly executed for Samsung to gain innovation leadership and to gain market share in the high-end smartphone segment."

Husson predicted the Galaxy S8 would feature a borderless design and no home button, while Samsung itself confirmed the new phone would feature an artificially intelligent voice assistant named Bixby.

In a blog post, Samsung software and services research and development head Injong Rhee said Bixby would be "fundamentally different from other voice agents" like Siri and Google Assistant, as it would offer a more complete set of commands, would be more aware of what you were trying to achieve, and could understand "commands with incomplete information".

"Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone," Mr Rhee said.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is also rumoured to come in two sizes, and to feature water-resistance, and an iris-scanner like the Note 7.

Samsung will reveal the smartphone at Lincoln Centre in New York, starting at 2am AEDT on Thursday.