Today, we had a hands-on experience with the latest in Samsung’s flagship line of mobile phones and we’re not going to start talking about it by waxing lyrical about its colourful history or make witty puns about certain incidents that occurred last year. Here’s the low-down on what you actually need to know about the upcoming mobile phones.
From what we can tell so far, it looks like it’s going to be a great phone. The Korean manufacturers have come out strong this year, putting out phones that see marked improvements from their predecessors.
Hardware and Features
What you notice right away about the S8 and the S8+ are their relatively huge screens. On the more petite S8, the screen measures at about 5.8 inches, roughly 83 percent of the phone’s face. That’s a lot of space for you to tap and swipe. The screen on the S8+ measures at 6.2 inches, great news for those who have grown accustomed to phablets. It’s probably worth mentioning here that apart from having a bigger screen size and more juice in the battery, the S8+ is identical to the S8.
Both phones also feature curved edges, explaining why they looked markedly similar to the Edge phones. Now before you start groaning about how troublesome and uncomfortable the Edge phones felt, I’m here to tell you that is not the case with the S8 or the S8+. Both phones felt surprisingly great in my hands. You don’t feel the stark flatness of the S7, or the harsh edges on the, well, S7 Edge.
You’ll also notice that with the extended screen, there’s no space for a traditional home button so Samsung has also switched over to the software buttons with haptic feedback. Personally, I still prefer the “clicky” feel a mechanical home button but hey, to each his (or her) own.
The cameras on the phones are something that haven’t been boosted. Surprisingly, Samsung’s opted to go with the exact same camera aboard the S7. Perhaps they feel confident that the 12-megapixel with OIS will be able to withstand this year’s competition. We’ll see how that plays out later in the year.
Thankfully though, security on the new phones have been beefed up. Not too far off from what you might see on a movie like Minority Report, Iris scanning and facial recognition is available on the S8 and the S8+. When I tried unlocking the phones with these methods earlier today, I was blown away at how fast it worked. When a friend who was wearing glasses tried out the iris scanner, however, it proved to be a tad difficult. There’s definitely still some kinks there that need to be worked out. On the other hand, he had no difficulties with the facial recognition.
We’ve still yet to try Bixby (Samsung’s version of Siri) and DeX, a feature where you can turn your S8 into a functional desktop with the help of a specialized dock, monitor, keyboard and mouse, so watch this space for updates in the coming weeks.
LTE Cat. 16*
*May differ by markets and mobile operators
S8 – 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, 155g
S8+ – 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, 173g
S8 – Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process
S8+ – Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process
4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 64GB (UFS 2.1)
S8 – 5.8” (146.5mm)1 Quad HD+ (2960×1440), (570ppi)
S8+ – 6.2” (158.1mm)1 Quad HD+ (2960×1440), (529ppi)
Rear: Dual Pixel 12MP OIS (F1.7), Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)
S8 – 3,000 mAh
S8+ – 3,500 mAh
Fast Charging on wired and wireless
Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available islandwide in April 2017 in an array of colours. For more information visit Samsung.com/galaxy