The wait is finally over. Samsung has finally dusted off the clouds of stardust that its previous flagship disintegrated into! It is back with a different ‘bang’ this time around – and it’s the sound of confidence, elegance, and performance, the classic hallmarks of Samsung’s Galactic excellence! Find out all about the Samsung Galaxy S8 in our detailed review below.
- Wireless Charging
- Iris Scanner
- Non-removable battery
The Samsung Galaxy S8 raises the bar right away with a stunning display and extremely sleek and beautiful exterior. With a sweet screen-to-body ratio of 84.4%, the S8 maximizes the display in almost similar physical dimensions as that of its predecessor, the Galaxy S7. This is amongst one of the highest ratios to date. This has been achieved by thinner bezels all along and eliminating the physical home button by embedding a digital one into the display.
The Galaxy S8 has a polished aluminum body, fortified by Gorilla Glass 5, front and back. Strong metal rim adds to its smooth finish. The camera is flush with the frame, removing Galaxy S7’s icky cam protrusion.
Fingerprint scanner has been provided at the rear but at a rather odd location. Sitting on one side of the camera, instead of being under it, the scanner gets the job done but with a slight inconvenience to left-handers. Also, in search of the scanner, the user’s finger is bound to swipe the camera glass every now and then.
With dual curved edges reclaiming the screen area, the Galaxy S8 has been successful in crafting an ‘infinity display’ with Quad HD resolution. Pixel count has been enhanced by almost half a million pixels.
At 18.5:19, the aspect ratio is a tad unique. Although the concept is not entirely new – the LG G6 instantly coming to mind with 18:9 – it remains to be seen how the unsightly black rectangles would be handled for the more orthodox media content at 16:9 ratio. Else, the black bars at sides would certainly be inevitable for this media. Other than that, the S8 is mobile HDR certified which means HDR content can be streamed on the phone.
With two variations, it is available in 5.8-inch & 6.2-inch (S8+).
Powered by industry’s leading processors, the Galaxy S8 leaves no doubts about how effortlessly it would handle all processor intensive applications while making the overall experience reliably smooth and comfortable.
The S8 is launched with two platform variants – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 (US market) and Samsung’s very own Exynos 8895 (European/Asian markets). Both are manufactured using Exynos’ 10nm fabrication process, and hence provide the same level of performance.
We dug around for performance benchmarks for both the processors realizing that the concept of having two different cores for different markets might be very intriguing especially for tech-enthusiasts, reassurances from manufacturers notwithstanding. It has transpired that the Exynos 8895 performs 27% faster and consumes 40% less power in comparison to Snapdragon’s 835. However, this difference is barely discernable under normal usage, as we know for a fact that benchmark results are sometimes unintentionally skewed in favor of a particular model.
All in all, no matter which processor variant you end up using, it is bound to give you the same level of performance.
The Galaxy S8 does, however, leaves a lot to be desired in the battery department with a paltry 3000mAh offering. One would have expected higher capacity especially in wake of an enlarged display area. Nonetheless, it certainly isn’t a big disappointment and easily manages to scrape through a day’s toil – pretty standard disposition for any smartphone these days.
The Galaxy S8 picks off from where Samsung left in its previous offering of cameras in Galaxy S7. Carrying S7’s sensors into S8 is a tad disappointing. Front cam has been upgraded to 8MP, but that’s pretty much all the update the camera section sees. Dual lens, a feature expected of flagships these days, could have added more worth just as it did for LG G6.
Nougat 7 with its Grace UX interface is visually, aesthetically and functionally very decent. It comes with much more rounded app icons. Navigation keys are customizable. Samsung Connect is a new service that puts control of all the smart devices into one pallet.
Bixby, the AI based assistant, makes its debut with Galaxy S8. Its performance is yet to be fully determined though it’s a lot like Google Assist with some improvements, of course. For instance, it can translate between 52 languages in real time. It’s activated by a physical button on the body or an audio keyword. Initial feedbacks are extremely positive and indicate that it’s second to none amongst a myriad of AI assistants in the smartphone industry.
The new Gear VR, an additional accessory, makes excellent usage of the processor and provides for a seamless operation over this new platform.
The desktop experience is provided by making use of DeX station – a dock for charging and communication ports – Ethernet, HDMI, and USB. It is a breeze to setup and eases the desktop switch. The desktop rendering looks very much like windows 10.
The Samsung Gear 360 provides HD VR streaming, an experience made amazingly smooth with S8’s powerful processor.
The iris scanner feature is one of its kind and pretty much makes up for the tacky fingerprint scanner, and chances are you might even ditch it in favor of the iris scanner though it remains to be seen how well it works under low light.
Bluetooth 5, another first, is offered with S8. This standard is twice as fast and enhances the range of connectable devices to a whopping 800 feet.
The Bottom Line
The Samsung Galaxy S8 launched with much fanfare is a solid flagship product but leaves much to be desired. It carries over quite a few features from Galaxy S7 which is a bit disappointing. The Galaxy S8 does, however, introduces quite a bit of innovations– its unique but beautiful screen design, powerful processors, mouth-watering accessories coupled with Samsung’s signature smooth and elegant user experience enables it to compete handsomely with competitors. Our verdict – If you are thinking to upgrade from Galaxy S7, don’t expect a big change, unless you want a classier display and intend to make good use of the beast of a processor that the Galaxy S8 puts at your disposal. If you haven’t used Galaxy S7 before and would like to enjoy the ‘next level’ of smartphone experience, take the plunge!