Samsung has announced the opening of eight permanent retail outlets across the UK, as it seeks to offer an 'Experience' to rival Apple's plush high street stores.

The new Samsung Experience shops - which arrive in time for the Galaxy S5 release on Friday - opened their doors in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff, Bournemouth and two in Newcastle.

The Korean firm had previously set up camp in Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands but the UK had been limited to pop-up stores and the company's flagship shop in Stratford, London.

The Experience stores showcase the entire range of Samsung smartphones, tablets, wearables and laptops and are being run in cahoots with those fingers-in-many-pies folks at Carphone Warehouse.

Not Geniuses, Experience Consultants...

As well as selling the latest tech, the Experience stores are designed as customer service centres, with users able to bring in their Samsung gadgets when they have problems or wish to seek advice.

The concept is much like Apple's 'Genius' programme, although Samsung calls its experts 'Experience Consultants.'

Have you popped in to experience the Experience yet? Share your impressions in the comments section below.