Everything we think we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung’s next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, will be arriving very soon.
The pressure is on for the Korean electronics giant to deliver a flagship phone that not only improves on the specs of last year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, but also kicks the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’ butt.
Adding more features has always been Samsung’s approach with new flagships, but as the company is no doubt aware after the Galaxy Note7 literally burned out, everyone will be watching closely to see what new safety measures it includes on the S8.
What exactly can we expect from the S8? Here’s what we’re hearing from the rumor mill.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a Quad HD screen. Will the S8 be Samsung’s first phone with a 4K display? Credit: Keith hopkin/mashable
Samsung’s gone with Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) displays for a while now and has yet to launch a phone with a 4K screen.
While rumors suggest (opens in a new tab) the Galaxy S8 will finally make the leap to a larger (5.8-inch) and higher resolution 4K Super AMOLED display (3,840 x 2,160).- if only because the increased resolution and pixel density will make mobile VR look crisper.- it’s by no means a lock-in.
Another possibility is Samsung will release two S8 phones, a “regular” model and an “Edge” model with Quad HD and 4K resolutions, respectively. According to unverifiable case schematics leaked to GSMArena (opens in a new tab). Samsung might even drop the “Edge” model and release a “Plus” model with a 6.3-inch display instead.
Conversely, another report (opens in a new tab) claims Samsung might ditch flat displays altogether and only launch the S8 with curved edges. (Not a terrible idea since the whole dual curved screen look has become a signature Samsung aesthetic.)
It also wouldn’t be a stretch if the S8’s screen is HDR-ready, like the Note7 was.
No home button
Speaking of the display, Samsung is reportedly planning to embed the fingerprint sensor underneath it (opens in a new tab) as opposed to putting it inside the home button.
By doing this, Samsung will be able to either increase the screen size and keep the S8’s phone dimensions the same (or roughly the same) as the S7, or shrink the device’s dimensions (specifically, the height, for better ing and one-handed use).
A recent Samsung Display TV ad (opens in a new tab) showed off a mock-up for a phone with no home button. It’s unlikely Samsung leaked the S8 and was just showing a reference design, but even if the phone shown in the ad isn’t the S8, it at least shows Samsung is thinking of getting rid of the home button.
These renders (opens in a new tab) from case makers also seem to support the curved screen and no home button design.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2017 (opens in a new tab) ” target=”_blank”Evan Blass, however, suggests the S8’s fingerprint sensor won’t be located underneath the screen, but on the backside, to the left of the camera (an awkward place, for sure).
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip is based on a 10-nanometer process and will be in most flagship phones in 2017. Credit: qualcomm
If history is any indication, Samsung might release the S8 with two different processors.- one powered by its own Exynos chip and another by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.
Last we heard (opens in a new tab). Samsung might go with an Exynos 8895 chip and a Mali-G71 graphics chip that is said to provide up to 1.8x more graphics performance than the S7.
The other model is expected to come with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor, which will.- surprise, surprise.- be produced by Samsung using its 10-nanonmeter process for greater power efficiency. With the 835 chip, the S8 would gain a 27 percent boost in performance over the S7.
As for how much RAM, we’re hearing some sources say 6GB of RAM and others claim 8GB. Either way, it’ll be more than the S7’s 4GB.
Goodbye headphone jack?
Will the S8 have a headphone jack or join the iPhone 7 and remove it? Credit: Brittany herbert/mashable
Apple caused quite a ruckus when it removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7/7 Plus. And this year, Android phone makers appear to be ready to join the #noheadphonejack club.
There are conflicting reports saying Samsung will and won’t ditch (opens in a new tab) the headphone jack. If the S8 has a headphone jack, Samsung will be able to rub it in Apple’s face. But if it doesn’t.- then it’s time to accept it and go wireless.
‘Bixby’ AI assistant
The iPhone has Siri, Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile phones have Cortana and Google’s Pixel phones have the Assistant. Now Samsung is said to be launching its own AI digital assistant.
Rumor has it that the S8 will come with its own assistant, possibly called “Bixby” and powered by Viv, the artificial intelligence assistant Samsung acquired in October. Interestingly, the creators of Viv are the same people who created Siri before selling it to Apple.
Assuming Samsung doesn’t dumb Viv down, it could stomp all over Siri.
Samsung’s been waterproofing its phones for years. With the S7 and S7 Edge, the company stepped up its Ingress Protection rating to IP68, meaning the phones can be submerged in up to 4.9 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Additionally, the IP68 rating means they’re dust, dirt and sand resistant without needing any caps or covers.
With that level of protection, it seems unlikely Samsung would take a step back with the S8 and nix the weatherproofing. According to The Investor (opens in a new tab). the S8 will sport the same IP68 rating, making it just as weatherproof as its predecessor.
One or two cameras?
So far, we’ve heard almost nothing about what kind of improvements will be made to the S8’s cameras.
The logical thing would be for the company to copy Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera setup. After all, any phone that uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 chip will be able to support dual cameras without any complex wizardry.
The closest clue to Samsung pursuing dual cameras for the S8 is a patent (opens in a new tab) Samsung filed previously. But like all patents, it may never end up in any real product.
As for the front-facing camera, now (opens in a new tab) claims Samsung will give the S8 and 8-megapixel camera with autofocus (up from 5 megapixels on the S7/S7 Edge). Sharper selfies than the iPhone 7 (7 megapixels)? Yes, please!
Traditionally, Samsung has used the annual Mobile World Congress as the stage to announce its new flagship phones.
Samsung has confirmed it won’t be showing the S8 at MWC. Reports suggest (opens in a new tab) Samsung might announce the phone on March 29 and release it sometime in April. Samsung’s reportedly using the month-long wait between the announcement and release to make sure the batteries are safe and won’t explode using its newly developed 8-point battery check safety check (opens in a new tab).
As much as we think we know about the S8, there’s still a lot that we don’t know.
For example, how big will the battery be, and what will the software will look like? Will the front-facing camera get an upgrade? Will the S8 include the Note7’s iris scanner? Will there be wireless charging? How about expandable storage?
Heck, we don’t even know if Samsung will continue with the “glass sandwich” design it has used for the last two years, although a leak from Evan Blass (@evleaks) suggests this is what the S8 will look like:
Rumors can only tell you so much, and while most of them usually end up being true, there’s still plenty of room for Samsung to surprise us.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: What’s the difference?
Samsung has announced its new flagship smartphones at its latest Unpacked event. The two devices, called the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, have been the subject of plenty of leaks over the last couple of months but now their official details have been revealed, confirming many of the expectations.
You can read about how the S8 and S8 compare to the Galaxy S7 in our separate feature, while here we are looking at how the Galaxy S8 and S8 stack up against the Galaxy S7 edge.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Design
- Slimmer bezels on S8 and S8 Plus
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on S8 Plus
- Similar footprint despite screen increase
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both slim down the bezels surrounding their displays considerably for almost “all-screen” fronts and futuristic, lovely designs. The physical home button has been ditched on both, the fingerprint sensor has been repositioned to the rear on the right of the camera lens and both also have a dedicated side button for launching the Bixby AI system.
In terms of physical dimensions, the S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8 Plus measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and hits the scales at 173g. This means that despite the screen size increases, the S8 is smaller than the S7 edge, while the S8 Plus is quite a bit taller but almost the same width as last year’s device. The S7 edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm and hits the scales at 157g.
There is IP68 waterproofing on all three devices and all offer beautiful solid, premium designs featuring a combination of metal and glass. The S7 edge has a front-mounted fingerprint sensor within the physical home button that sits below the dual-edge display, while the S8 and S8 have pressure sensitive controls built into the bottom of their curved displays.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 vs Galaxy S7 edge: Display
- S8 and S8 have bigger displays
- All have dual-edged screens
- S8 and S8 have higher resolution
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch AMOLED Infinity Display, while the S8 Plus has a slightly larger 6.2-inch AMOLED Infinity display. This basically means they both have a dual-edged screen like the smaller 5.5-inch S7 edge, but the corners of the display are rounded on the new devices while the S7 edge has square corners.
As we mentioned, the S8 and S8 aren’t too different in footprint to the S7 edge however. This is thanks to their 18.5:9 aspect ratios that results in a taller over wider display and therefore increase in diagonal size, compared to a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is what is featured on the S7 edge and most other smartphones.
Resolution has also increased slightly in the S8 and S8 with the two new devices featuring Quad HD, which translates to 2960 x 1440 pixels and a pixel density of 570ppi on the smaller model and 529ppi on the Plus model. The Galaxy S7 edge has a Quad HD resolution that delivers a 534ppi, meaning the S8 is theoretically sharper, while the S8 Plus is ever so slightly softer, though this won’t be noticeable to the human eye.
Additionally, the S8 and S8 feature Mobile HDR Premium, which has been certified by the Ultra HD Alliance. It means that the S8 and S8 are compatible with HDR content, which is available on Netflix and Amazon Video and will likely grow in the coming months.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Camera
- All three have 12MP rear camera, f/1.7, OIS, PDAF
- S8 and S8 have higher resolution front camera
- S8 and S8 have multi-frame image processing and Bixby Vision
The Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 and S7 edge all have a 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear camera with an aperture of f/1.7, phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilisation. The new devices have multi-frame image processing however, which is where the camera takes three photos and combines the detail to produce one better end image.
Stickers, filters and augmented reality features have also been added to the S8 and S8, and the new models also support Bixby Vision, which is a feature that allows you to scan things, like a landmark, picture or company logo and receive information and/or shopping options.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 also see a resolution increase to 8-megapixels, again with an f/1.7 aperture, along with autofocus over fixed FOCUS. The S7 edge’s front camera has a 5-megapixel resolution, also with a f/1.7 aperture, auto HDR and fixed FOCUS.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 vs Galaxy S7 edge: Hardware
- S8 and S8 have improved processor, all three have 4GB RAM
- S7 edge has a larger battery capacity, S8 and S8 have USB Type-C
- All three have headphone jack and microSD
Using the Samsung Galaxy S8 in 2021. worth it?
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 will come in two variants, depending on region, as is the case with the S7 edge. One model will have the Exynos 8895 chip, while the other will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, both of which have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and microSD support.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 have 3000mAh and 3500mAh battery capacities, respectively, both charged via USB Type-C and both supporting both fast charge and wireless charging. Samsung has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack and the two new devices also offer iris scanning in addition to the rear fingerprint sensor we mentioned earlier.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge comes in two region-dependant models, as we said above, one of which has the Exynos 8890 chip, while the other has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Both models have 4GB of RAM and both come in storage options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, all of which have microSD support.
There is a 3600mAh battery powering the S7 edge, which is charged via Micro-USB with support for fast charging and wireless charging. A 3.5mm headphone jack on board too and it has a fingerprint sensor on the front as we said, but there is no iris scanning.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Software
- Android Nougat with TouchWiz
- S8 and S8 have couple of extra features, including Bixby
- Familiar experience across all three
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will launch on Android Nougat out-of-the-box, with Samsung’s TouchWiz software over the top. The interface is similar to that of Nougat on the S7 but there are a few extra features, including some from the Note 7 and others including the Bixby AI system.
The new devices also offer support for connecting the device to a monitor for a desktop view of Android with a new docking station called Samsung DeX.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 vs Galaxy S7 edge: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature an improved design over the S7 edge, along with a larger displays, better hardware and a few camera and software enhancements.
The Galaxy S8 costs £689, while the S8 costs £779 however, making them more expensive than the £639 S7 edge, which is still a fantastic phone. It also has a larger battery capacity and a physical home button, which some may prefer.
The new devices are better looking and faster, but they might not necessarily be the right choice for everyone, especially those on a budget.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Pros and Cons: Should You Buy It?
Two months down the line, the Samsung Galaxy S8 seems to have passed the test of time, or rather fire. Nothing but good news (except the delay of Bixby, of course) seems to be in store for the new Galaxy S8.
Packed with a powerful processor and an infinity display screen, the Galaxy S8 is one of the most sought after phones in recent times. So if you are one who is itching to buy this amazing phone, we help you in making the right decision, by weighing the Samsung Galaxy S8 pros and cons.
Fantastic Edge and Display
Enough has been said about the incredible display of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 is one of the first phones to have perfected the edge-to-edge display. The 5.8-inches display blends smoothly over the edges, even the corners, giving this tall phone a smooth finish.
Plus the infinity display goes beyond providing an immersive experience. The AMOLED display is every bit bright, rich and sharp. What’s more, Samsung even gives you the option of changing screen resolution right from Settings app itself.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 debuted with the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the United States, while in Asia and Europe, it debuted with the Exynos 8895 SoC.
And coupled with 4GB of RAM, it makes up for great hardware specs.
Both of these chipsets sport the 10-nanometer fabrication process which results in high performance and better power efficiency. This also translates to the fact that the S8 will be able to render graphics seamlessly.
So, be it a high graphics game or a high-resolution video, it can render every bit with ease.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is teeming with features. Be it the incredible Always on Display or docking the screen the way you want or enhancing the gaming mode, it has pretty much everything that you’d want in a phone.
What’s more, it has a lot of customization options for audio, videos and even lets you manage apps with ease. Plus the device maintenance plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy life of the phone. And yeah, with the Galaxy S8 you can make payments safely and securely with Samsung Pay.
With the Galaxy S8, you’ll get a stellar camera performance. Even though the camera specs didn’t see much of an upgrade from the ones on the Galaxy S7, but the behind-the-scenes software tweaks and optimization renders high-quality images which are sharp and vivid.
Plus with the additional camera modes and filters, let your creativity run free. What’s more, the front camera is specifically designed to keep the selfie buffs happy. And say hello to goofiness as you play with a dozen of insane Snapchat-style filters.
Bluetooth 5.0 and IP68
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the first smartphone to sport the latest version of Bluetooth technology — Bluetooth 5.0. Which means that you can hook up the Galaxy S8 to two speakers at the same time. Bluetooth 5.0 also addresses issues in connectivity which translates to faster pairing and connections.
Along with a newer version of Bluetooth, the Galaxy S8 carries an IP68 rating, meaning that it’s dust and water resistance. So come rain or shine, you can carry this gorgeous smartphone with ease.
Poor Battery Life
Though the Samsung Galaxy S8 sports an incredible screen and even has the option to change the resolution, these two features ultimately eat into the battery life.
So, at the end of 7-8 hours of casual use, you might have to go hunting for a charger. Plus the adaptive fast charge doesn’t provide charging on the go. It takes about 1 and a half hours to fully charge your device.
Awkward Position of the Fingerprint Sensor
If you are familiar with the tech scene, then you must surely know the sacrifices that Samsung made in putting up the amazing display — and that was the fingerprint sensor.
The fingerprint sensor is located at the rear of the Galaxy S8. And given the tall frame of the S8, it’s a challenge to reach the sensor. than half of the time, you might actually end up pressing the camera bump.
Samsung didn’t spare the mighty Galaxy S8 when it came to bloatware. It has a certain number of baked-in apps which you can’t get rid off, even if you don’t use them. For instance, the Galaxy App or My Galaxy.
And on top of that, we have Bixby — the voice-powered assistant from Samsung. Unfortunately, since it was launched Bixby has been without its voice.
Though it was expected that it would eventually launch in a month or two, new reports suggest that it’ll be quite sometime before Bixby makes it voice debut.
Samsung Galaxy S8. 30 THINGS You Didn’t Know!
The S8 is Fragile
And lastly, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is fragile. Howsoever beautiful it is, with smooth edges gently tapering to the sides, the Galaxy S8 is extremely delicate.
So, your best bet is a protective armor, but then it spoils the show, does it not?
Will You Go For It?
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S8 bundles in incredible features that make it the perfect futuristic smartphones with its share of wireless charging options, bezel-less display, and DeX support. Plus, coupled with the all new Bluetooth 5.0 and the infinity display it’s every bit the phone one wished for.
So, will you upgrade your Android smartphone to the Samsung Galaxy S8? You know where the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section is.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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While the Galaxy S8 dazzles, Samsung’s Bixby fizzles
“Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is mesmerizingly close to perfection with its fantastic display, useful interface, and eye-catching design.”
- Gorgeous display
- Excellent build quality, design
- Useful software features and options
- TouchWiz is a lot prettier
Is the Samsung Galaxy S8 worth the hype — and the wait since the year-old Galaxy S7 Edge (which frankly looks dated now with its home button)? In a time where you can get a fantastic smartphone for 400 or less, is it worth dropping 750 or more on the Galaxy S8? We think so, and for more than its brilliant screen, but it is a big ask if money is tight. In our Galaxy S8 review, we found the smartphone to offer exceptional build quality, design, and a stellar display, not to mention plenty of power to crush any task.
A few months after the Galaxy S8’s official release, the full version of Bixby, Samsung’s artificially intelligent assistant, is finally available. If you don’t have it yet, head to Settings Software Update and tap Download updates manually to see if you have the latest version. You can also tap the Bixby button (below the volume rocker) to open Bixby, tap the three button menu on the top right, and go into Settings About Bixby to see if you have the latest update.
Bixby, marginally useful
So let’s jump right into the elephant in the room: that new assistant feature. If Bixby, Samsung’s new digital assistant, piqued your interest in picking up a Galaxy S8, you will be disappointed. Voice commands are finally available, and while they improve the usefulness of Samsung’s assistant, it’s so marginal that it doesn’t really make a difference.
But first, what exactly does Bixby do? There are four main components: Bixby Home, Voice, Reminders, and Vision. Reminders, as the name suggests, lets you create reminders with Bixby — you can use location or time as a trigger. Vision lets you use the Galaxy S8’s camera to identify objects and products. Once identified, you can either shop on Amazon for the product or show more images of similar products. I’ve used it once or twice, and it largely feels like a gimmick. Your mileage may vary, though.
Bixby Home is the main page you see when you swipe right from the home screen, or press the Bixby button. It’s an assortment of random information, such as your current step count, next calendar event, the weather, what’s trending on. and even a random GIF from Giphy that we’re not really sure how to use. Thankfully, you can customize the feed; and Home is also supposed to become more useful and offer contextual cards after it gets to know how you use your phone, such as asking if you want to call your wife on your way home from work.
Siri or Google Assistant. Rather, Samsung wants you to use Bixby Voice to complete actions on your phone, such as “turning on the Wi-Fi,” or “open Messages.” You can press and hold the Bixby button to trigger Bixby Voice, or you can simply say “Hi Bixby,” even from the lockscreen. We didn’t have any issues activating Bixby Voice, but we do wish it were a lot faster. Expect to sit around for a few seconds while Bixby gets ready to hear your request.
Bixby XP pop ups take up half the screen for a second and can feel a little repetitious.
At some points, Bixby can actually be impressive. You can ask it to “Open the Google Play Store, search for Airbnb, and install the first result.” When it doesn’t always work reliably, it takes you as close as possible to the solution you want. But the aforementioned command is something Google Assistant or Siri cannot do.
Still, Bixby keeps asking you to teach it and that puts us off. Allowing users to teach the assistant is one way to improve it, but it becomes annoying when it keeps asking us to select options to improve its results — especially when you need something done quickly. The same is true when Bixby pops up with how many reward points you have for using the service. Gamifying it is fine, but these Bixby XP pop-ups take up half the screen for a second and can feel a little repetitious.
As useful as having these voice functions are with Bixby Voice, we don’t think they are functions we would use most of the time. Google Assistant, which is thankfully on board, reliably helps us with most of our requests instead. Bixby isn’t a feature worth buying the S8 for, but it’s nice to know Samsung is continuously working to add to and improve upon the service.
Brilliant screen, eye-catching design
The Galaxy S8 is the prettiest smartphone of 2017 — easily among the best smartphones of the year — and it will certainly be tough to beat. It’s smooth and soft to the touch, and the all-glass design means you won’t feel a disconnect between the back and the front of the smartphone — it’s seamless.
But we can’t write a Galaxy S8 review without first addressing its brilliant screen. Both the S8 and the S8 Plus have a resolution of 2,960 × 1,440 pixels, allowing for crisp image quality. The Super AMOLED screen gets impressively bright, offers darker blacks, and its mobile HDR Premium certification means it boasts greater color volume, meaning you can watch colorful High-Dynamic Range (HDR) content, which is the new hot thing in video. This has the best screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.
You can stream music to two different Bluetooth devices at the same time.
To showcase this vibrant display, Samsung added skimpy bezels (edges around the screen) on the top and bottom, and utilized its Edge display. As such, the screen takes up 83 percent of the front panel, and it’s absolutely the first thing anyone will notice on the phone. It looks “futuristic,” my sister told me; she hardly cares or pays attention to technology at all.
The bigger display improves the smartphone experience. Even sending an email feels nice because the screen makes well-designed apps look even more gorgeous. But while eliminating bezels may be the current smartphone trend, gripping the phone without triggering the screen is difficult. It takes some getting used to, but that’s because we have to rethink smartphone sizes, and what they mean.
The Galaxy S8 Plus is 6.2 inches, and the S8 is 5.8 inches — those are some of the largest screens we’ve seen on a smartphone. But as the screens have gotten larger, the smartphone’s frame has stayed nearly the same size. The curved edge-to-edge screen coupled with minimal bezels make it tough to grab the phone from a flat surface at first, for example, but it gets easier after a few hours. You also may find yourself accidentally triggering the screen when gripping the phone (more so with the S8 Plus), but again we adapted fairly quickly. You probably will, too.
The all-glass design means the phone is slippery and fragile, not to mention a fingerprint magnet. (Make sure you grab a case and keep a microfiber cloth handy at all times.) You’ll find the power button on the right side, and the volume rocker and Bixby button on the left. The headphone jack is on the bottom, to the left of the USB Type-C port. To the right of that port is the phone’s sole speaker, which is bottom-firing, like the iPhone.
This has the best screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.
The decision to only go with one bottom-firing speaker is unfortunate. As is the case with most single, bottom-firing speakers — such as the ones on the Pixel and the LG G6 — our hands end up blocking sound when holding the phone horizontally. The S8’s speaker quality is pretty good, but it doesn’t get as loud as the iPhone 7.
The back of the phone feels like an afterthought, though perhaps it’s simply overshadowed by the beauty of the front. There’s nothing special about it. The design looks almost the same as the Galaxy S7. The camera sits flush, next to the flash and heart rate sensor, and a fingerprint sensor. That’s right, for the first time Samsung has removed the home button from the front of the phone. Despite the rumors, the company hasn’t embedded a fingerprint sensor in the display so you’ll have to use the one on the rear. This causes two major problems, but we’ll dive into that later.
Samsung makes some of the best smartphone hardware, and the Galaxy S8 series is all the evidence you need. Both models feel incredibly smooth, thin, and the construction is seamless. We suggest opting for the S8 over the S8 Plus, because it’s compact and far easier to hold.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the first phones to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor (international variants use Samsung’s Exynos 8895), which means it’s supposed to deliver 27 percent better performance than phones that use the Snapdragon 821, such as the Google Pixel and the OnePlus 3T. Qualcomm also claims the 835 is more energy efficient, though we haven’t seen a noticeable improvement in battery life from last year.
You’ll find both S8’s have 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage — though you can expand it with the MicroSD card slot.
Initially, we ran into a horrible bug during our Galaxy S8 review. Our Galaxy S8 Plus was stuttering all over the place, particularly in the notification drawer and the Recent apps section. A factory reset fixed the issue, and we’ve tested each of our originally installed apps to figure out what caused the issue, but we can’t figure out what went wrong. We’ll update this review if we run into the problem again. So far, it was an isolated problem.
Now, the S8 flies with almost zero hiccups. We tested games such as Asphalt Xtreme and FIFA Mobile, and found no performance issues. Dawn of Titans ran well for the most part, but we did see some occasional stutters. We had no problems moving through apps and multitasking.
We ran through some benchmark tests, and the Snapdragon 835 more or less outperformed the Google Pixel’s Snapdragon 821:
- 3DMark SlingShot Extreme: 2052
- AnTuTu: 155253
- Geekbench 4: 1762 single core, 5723 multi core
For reference, with Geekbench 4 the Pixel earned 1,665 in single core and 3,691 in multi-core; the iPhone 7 Plus received 3,367 in single core and 5,491 in multi-core.
We’re hoping we don’t see the initial issues again, and we’re enjoying the smooth performance from the Snapdragon 835. Still, we don’t think the Galaxy S8 offers smoother day-to-day performance than the Pixel, and that’s likely because Google can optimize its software and hardware far better than anyone else (except Apple). Samsung phones also tend to slow down a little over time, so we’ll keep you updated if anything changes.
TouchWiz UI is stylish
TouchWiz, Samsung’s Android skin, has never been the company’s forte. At times, it had a less than appealing design, and bogged down the operating system. That has changed with the Galaxy S8.
There is a clear, attractive design aesthetic — with uniform app icons and slick fonts. The lack of a physical home button also gives the smartphone a more modern look. Samsung has embedded a pressure-sensitive home button at the bottom-center — it’s not just an on-screen button, because you can press and hold it to go home even in full-screen apps or if the screen is off.
The facial recognition technology on the Galaxy S8 is also noteworthy. Sure, it may not work 100 percent of the time — especially if you’re moving or are in a darker environment — but it was often faster than using the fingerprint sensor. You can also choose to use the iris (eye) scanner, though we didn’t find it as effective. The fingerprint on the rear is the third option, and here’s where those two downsides come into play.
The fingerprint sensor is almost impossible to reach on the Galaxy S8 Plus — and that’s coming from someone with large hands. And even if it is reachable, you probably won’t make use of the fingerprint gestures, because the placement is so unnatural. The second problem is how your fingers will naturally touch the camera sensor on both models. Samsung knows this is a problem, and even warns you to clean the camera often to make sure there are no smudges. But it all could have been avoided if they placed the sensor lower, like almost every other Android phones that opts for a rear sensor.
All in all, the software experience on the Galaxy S8 is surprisingly useful, and you can toggle most options on or off to your heart’s content.
Stellar shots in the right conditions
The 12-megapixel rear camera hasn’t changed much from the Galaxy S7. That’s not a bad thing. The S7 also offered stellar photos.
In broad daylight, Galaxy S8 photos have great picture quality and accurate colors, but things were a little trickier in different lighting conditions. Occasionally, we had to take a photo twice to make sure it wasn’t blurry.
Low-light photos sometimes suffered in picture clarity, but other times photos were relatively sharp in dark environments.
We wish Samsung had done something different, new, or exciting with the rear camera, like a dual-camera setup. At least there are quite a few modes to choose from, including Selective Focus (like Apple’s Portrait Mode), Panorama, and even a Pro mode, where you can change the shutter speed, FOCUS, and ISO if you’re more experienced with a camera.
We’ll need to spend more time with the Galaxy S8 to see how long it lasts, but we’re expecting more or less the same results due to the smaller screen.
Both devices support high-speed wireless charging, which is always a plus, as is the USB Type-C connector, which is probably new for you, but will soon be a standard on most devices.
Samsung offers a standard 1 year warranty for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. That covers manufacturing defects, but not much else.
The company has started an advanced warranty program called Premium Care, which will run you 12 per month (first month is free). This plan covers accidental drops, cracked screens, water damage, and mechanical defects. Samsung will provide you with a new or reconditioned device, though you’ll have to pay a 99 deductible. The device is either shipped or hand-delivered to you.
With Premium Care, you also get access to help via HelloTech, a company that will send authorized technicians to teach you about all the features on your phone.
The Galaxy S8, in both its sizes, is an excellent smartphone with great build quality, a fantastic screen, solid cameras, and standard daylong-battery life. The Bixby voice assistant is underwhelming, but you can turn it off and opt for Google Assistant instead (or use both). Bixby will get better over time, we hope.
If you prefer compact phones, the standard Galaxy S8 is your best bet. The S8 Plus might have slightly longer battery life, but it’s unwieldy for many hands (especially reaching that fingerprint sensor).
Are there better alternatives?
Yes. There are a ton of good smartphones that cost less than the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, such as the HTC U11, Google Pixel and the LG G6, or even the iPhone 7 if you’re not looking for an Android device. We also recommend a number of cheaper smartphones.
However, none compare to the Galaxy S8’s display.
How long will it last?
It should last you a little longer than two years. Samsung, and most Android manufacturers, stop supporting devices after two years. Expect the S8 to receive the same treatment. You should know that Samsung also delivers software updates far later than when Google rolls them out, so don’t expect the next annual version of Android (Android O) any time soon after its release this fall.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you have 750 or more to spare, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are among the best smartphones you can buy right now. It’s an incredible amount of money, though, and you should note the plentiful number of more affordable options. Still, if you’re eyeing the S8, you’re likely looking for the cream of the crop. Well, you’ve found it.
Update: Added our thoughts about Bixby Voice.
Julian is the mobile and wearables editor at Digital Trends, covering smartphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more…
Samsung is one of the most recognizable names in modern smartphones. It has a well-deserved reputation for offering an expansive lineup of great phones with something for just about everyone. This means if you’re looking for an Android phone, you’ll have a hard time finding a Samsung model that’s not worth considering for your needs and budget. In fact, the number of choices can be a bit overwhelming, but the good news is that we’ve explored the entire range and highlighted the best Samsung smartphones you can buy in 2023.
Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra gets the nod for the best overall Samsung phone, and that’s not just because it’s Samsung’s premium flagship device. Sure, it’s the most expensive in the lineup, but you’re getting some incredible bang for your buck with a large and gorgeous display, excellent cameras, and a new processor that offers unprecedented levels of performance. And if you’re looking for something more unique, more able, or more affordable, you’ll find a lot of other great options on our list in every category, with links to detailed reviews for each.
The Galaxy S22 series, especially the Galaxy S22 Ultra, still features some great phones. But to get one now that the Galaxy S23 series is out, you would probably have to settle for a used one, and with that comes some uncertainty.
Samsung has the solution, as the entire Galaxy S22 series of phones has entered its official Certified Re-Newed program, and at lower than you would have originally paid.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro last August, the big new health feature for both smartwatches was the skin temperature sensor. Except there’s been one small problem with it: we haven’t been able to use the sensor at all.
Thankfully — nine months after the Galaxy Watch 5’s release — that’s changing. On April 19, Samsung announced that it has finally activated the temperature sensor on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro. However, at least in its current state, there’s just one use for it: more in-depth cycle tracking.
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