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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: Cometh the Moment, Cometh the Phone!

May 17th 2017

The community of smartphone users is not easily satisfied. Long gone are the days where a few new features would carry a phone to its commercial success. The recent generation of smartphones need to have it all or risk getting eliminated out of the market. The fierce competition between the top brands of smartphones means users get an enormous amount of choices and to stay in the race, companies are continuously trying to get the best product in the consumer’s hand. The modern smartphone has to have all the latest features, have reasonably long battery lives, work smoothly and quickly respond to simulations, provide sufficient security and ease of access at the same time, have a good outlook and be worth its price. That being said, the newly released Samsung Galaxy S8 can provide you with all these and then some more.

With the market already been swallowed up by high-end phones like Apple iPhone 7 and LG G6, the market space for Samsung Galaxy S8 is not enough, alongside, the note performance of the Note 7 phone has made the brand name a curse rather than a praise. Moreover, a late release meant that it also has a lot of ground to cover. With all those factors mounting against the Samsung Galaxy S8, the release of this new phone was a factor of interesting concern for tech heads like the writer here. After finally getting my hands on the Samsung Galaxy S8, I can now confidently tell you more about this phone.

As mentioned above, Samsung had its share of a bad spell in the recent times, with their chairman getting arrested, a number of the Note 7 phones spontaneously combusting, injuring quite a few users in the process, and what not. Following the spell in the recent past, critics said that if the Samsung Galaxy S8 does not work out, it may just throw the giants out of the game. So, was the Samsung Galaxy S8 able to rise to the occasion? Well, it certainly did! Samsung bounced back to make a landslide profit within only the first few days of release and then going on to release the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, both fantastic phones and getting back in the game quite strongly.

So far, Apple had been leading the tech world in terms of design, the new Apple iPhone 7, like its predecessors also boasts a great design. However, Samsung might just give Apple a run for their money with the Galaxy S8, which, in one word, is beautiful. The sleek smartphone is one of the best looking phones Samsung has ever produced with special attention given to symmetry and minimalism. The security systems are quite improved from previous versions and the new AI framework Bixby, although undercooked, promises a good future. Although it might be said that the price is a bit on the upper end of the range, the phone itself is in the upper end of the range as well, and might as well have earned its value. Other high-end phones like the OnePlus 3T and the 7Plus LG G6 also feature great design, but it’s safe to say that Samsung might have just beat them all fair and square. 

The Hardware

The processor of the phone is Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Samsung Exynos 8895, depending on location and manufacture. The phone offers 4GB RAM for fast and smooth operations. With all that firepower, the phone is not too heavy, but not lightweight either. Galaxy S8 weights 155g with a dimension of 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm, whereas the S8 Plus weights 173g, measuring 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm. Both phones are water resistant with a rating of IP68 rating.

The most controversial part of the phone is probably where it placed its fingerprint sensor. Keeping the symmetry of the phone and the general theme of pulling all your focus on the display, the sensor is moved to the back right beside the rear camera, mirroring the LED flash that lays on the other side of the camera. Many users would prefer symmetry being disregarded for a more accessible position of the sensor. On the bright side, putting the sensor on the back means that the front has no keys at all. The three traditional touch buttons that usually appear on the bottom are integrated inside the display, making the front face of the phone almost entirely covered by the display.

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Speaking of sensors, the phone can be unlocked in a lot of ways, out of which three are most prominent. The facial recognition, the iris scanner and the fingerprint sensor. Out of these, the fingerprint sensor and the iris scanner are more reliable than the facial recognition, which is fast but not totally trustworthy.

Of course, the positioning of the fingerprint scanner, which lays beside the camera caused debates all over the smartphone community, as many people claim that the placement was not ergonomic for regular use, you may have to stretch your fingers to reach towards the sensor and might be a challenge for those who prefer to operate their phone with one hand only. Also, the placement runs the hazard of swiping over the lens cover accidentally, and while a little finger is unlikely to cause much damage, but over time it could result in scratches and the protective layer in front of the lens could turn foggy.

The iris scan has also raised some controversy where users are wondering if it is really a wise decision to let your phone scan your eyes. The feature is also a bit more time consuming than the others, although if you want a reasonably challenging security in a regular smartphone, the iris scan may be your preference.

The facial recognition is quite fast and easy to use, and most users opt to go for this feature instead of the others as it is very convenient and secure. However, as mentioned before, there are some reported issues with this feature that takes the edge off the facial recognition to be the undisputed preference for users.

All security features have been improved to get a faster and more accurate performance than the previous phones. You can unlock the phone with your eyes, face and your fingerprint, which makes it very personalized and secure! The phone has a heart rate monitor with the LED flash light. The speaker of the phone is on the bottom, with a fairly powerful sound and with the sublime quality of sound from the AUX port, the sound quality is as good as you can expect. The S8 also has an additional button on the left for Samsung’s AI assistant Bixby.

The Design and The Build

As mentioned earlier, the S8 is a magnificent phone that commands awe to the people seeing it and holding it. The shape of Samsung smartphones came under fire a few years back when the early Galaxy phones hit the stores. To say that this phone has come a long way from its predecessor is an understatement. The aluminium and glass body that Samsung has been sticking to since 2016 is present in the S8 and the S9 Plus too. The front consists of the curved glass edge that debuted in the Galaxy Edge and the metallic frames intersect with both the front and rear panels in a slight angular way. The AMOLED glass panel is luminous and is precise in view. The colour choices offered by Samsung are midnight black, matte purple and orchid gray, which sets the tone of how the phone should look. The answer: elegant.

The phone is entirely curves. The pebble design that was introduced with the early Galaxy models has evolved to this current form, which has curves on all the corners, edges and the panels. On that note, it should be noted that the phone’s sleek design and materials have a disadvantage: the phone is quite slippery on the hand and if your grip is loose or sweaty, you run the risk of dropping your phone a few times. The glass panels on both sides mean your fingerprints will be visible all over the phone and adding the slippery factor, it might be prudent to get a case for the phone if you are not a careful user.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have almost identical features, with the biggest difference being the display size, which is not too much different either. The S8 has a 5.8inch display and the S8 Plus being a mere 0.4 inches larger at 6.2 inches. The software is optimized to fit the elongated screen of 2960x1440 resolution. The trend of making smartphones as thin as physically possible thankfully seems to be abandoned, with the Galaxy S8 being 8mm and S8 Plus being 8.1mm thick, which is not exactly stocky, but quite not in the slim phone zone either. And the moderate thickness allows for blending the rear camera with the panel, eliminating the bump thinner phones show.

The thicker build means there is room for larger and powerful batteries with Galaxy S8 having a 3000mAh and S8 Plus having a 3500mAh battery respectively, which will give an extended battery life compared to its slimmer cousins. The larger battery size may make you happy especially if you are an Apple iPhone 7 user which has a battery of only 1,960mAh, but bear in mind that the Samsung Galaxy is a bigger phone with a larger screen compared to the Apple iPhone 7 so it needs more power to operate. The battery of the plus version does pit well against the LG G6 which has a battery size of 3,300mAh. Fast charger is supported in the phone, naturally, and USB-C port is the port offered, forgoing the micro-USB port. Qi Wireless and Powermat Wireless are also supported for more charging options.

Overall, the hardware of the phone is exceptionally attractive. The exceptional appearance and feel of the phone is one the best in the market right now and even if the software was not up to par, which is not the case, the phone would have sold out for its outlook only.

The Software

Android 7.0 Nougat powers both the S8 and the S8 Plus. The new android design is ultra-minimal, that looks quite classy. The launcher offered by default is quite tasty and you would want to keep it instead of getting a new one. The default dropped down app drawer will make you swipe up every time you want to access the bar and in return offer you more space on the pages for your customization options. The Infinity live wallpapers and other cool features that add to your visual experience makes the launcher pretty great. With the soft curved edges of the phone, these kinds of soothing, nice designs are complimentary with the outlook of the phone as well.

When talking about the Galaxy S8, it is impossible to ignore Bixby. It is an AI powered assistant of Samsung, a mixture of Siri of iPhone and Google now and an add-on of a camera as well. Bixby is a work in progress that does not support voice command, yet.

Although it is clear that the AI is pretty undercooked on the phone, a work in progress must be treated as one and Bixby is nothing if not ambitious. The target of this software is to take over all physical stimuli and Samsung has plans that would not restrict this AI to smartphone only, instead, they are marketing Bixby as an AI assisting in every part of your life.

Pitting it against the 7Plus LG G6

Well, to be a bit brutally honest, the LG G6 is literally no match for the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the S8 Plus for that matter, in terms of display, the S8 features a slightly larger display and has a similar resolution to the LG G6. In terms of processor, the S8 is simply more powerful with its Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 compared to the quad-core Snapdragon 821 of the LG G6. The Samsung Galaxy S8 also features a sleeker design that’s more comfortable to hold compared to the LG G6. 

Verdict

It cannot be overstated how magnificent the phone looks and feels. The extended battery life and powerful Snapdragon processor with the 4GB RAM makes the phone a powerhouse in functionality. It may be agreed upon that Samsung has come a long way from their first generation designs and is strongly maintaining its position as one of the best smartphone producers in the market along with Apple, LG, One plus and others. Within the higher price range, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are both top quality smartphone and are one of the best phones on the market in terms of design. Despite the small issues of the phone, it is a marvelous one and is worth its price. If you have the budget and the intention, you should waste no time in getting this gem for yourself.

Although the LG phone features better rear cameras and boasts a more powerful battery than the S8, it’s outmatched in terms of performance.

Pitting it against the Apple iPhone 7

Well, as a writer, I have never been quite comfortable in pitting an android phone against an iPhone, having used both, I know that although Android is quite good and robust as an operating system, the IOS operating system is able to elevate experiences to a different level. That being said, there’s still the matter of performance and hardware capacity; today, we will pit these to titanic phones against each other keeping these aspects in mind only.

So, the Samsung Galaxy S8 to start off features a larger screen compared to the Apple iPhone 7 (The S8 plus is also larger in size than the Apple iPhone 7 Plus), it also boasts better display resolution compared to the iPhone 7. Both phones have similar primary cameras of 12MP; however, the Galaxy S8 takes the edge with the secondary camera with 8MP compared to the 7MP of the iPhone 7. While some will say that the Snapdragon 835 is a more powerful processor than the iPhone’s A10 Fusion, I say that these two can’t really be competed against each other since both phones feature different builds and operating systems. The Samsung Galaxy S8, however, boasts a much larger battery life, storage (64 GB against 32 GB) and RAM capacity (4GB against 2GB). Moreover, the Samsung Galaxy S8 still allows you to listen through your jacked headphones!

Verdict

It cannot be overstated how magnificent the phone looks and feels. The extended battery life and powerful Snapdragon processor with the 4GB RAM makes the phone a powerhouse in functionality. It may be agreed upon that Samsung has come a long way from their first generation designs and is strongly maintaining its position as one of the best smartphone producers in the market along with Apple, LG, One plus and others. Within the higher price range, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are both top quality smartphone and are two of the best phones on the market in terms of design. Despite the small issues of the phone, it is a marvellous one and is worth its price. If you have the budget and the intention, you should waste no time in getting this gem for yourself.

Love the Galaxy S8 and want a shot at it? Well, you can by the S8 at a great deal, $200 off the market place by clicking here. If you are looking for the S8 Plus, don’t be disappointed, there’s something for you too! Click here and save $110 on your new S8 Plus!