Technophiles have been waiting eagerly for Samsung to officially announce their latest flagship phone. Thanks to numerous rumours and leaks, it came as no surprise that they announced not one, but two devices. Here are the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.
The most talked about feature is not the processor or battery life. It’s the design of the device itself. With the Infinity Display, both the S8 and S8+ offer a bezel-less design, with an all-new screen ratio, and a super slim form factor. Both devices are edge displays, and the only difference between the two is size. The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch screen, while the S8+ ups the ante to a massive 6.2 inches. Samsung’s familiar glass and metal design makes a welcome return, while the physical home button is gone. The “forehead” and “chin” have been slimmed down to almost nothing, giving the device a great all-screen appearance,
Those with smaller hands should fear not because the S8 is only 6.5 mm taller than last year’s S7. That’s just a quarter of an inch. Meanwhile, the S8+ is noticeably larger than the S7 edge, at 10.5 mm (.41 in) taller. The devices are narrower as well, so they should both fit relatively nicely in the hand. Contrast that with the classic smartphone design of generations past, and you have quite the effect.
The same 12-megapixel shooter sits on the back of both devices, and 8-megapixel on the front. While the rear camera is last year’s reigning champ, the biggest updates are under the hood. New image processing software will stitch together multiple frames, which Samsung promises to use to get the best shot every time. The front-facing camera gets a bump up from 5 megapixels, which Samsung admitted is a response to modern selfie culture. Cue the angry baby boomers shaking their fists at them darn millennials and their Snapgram.
Both devices feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 for some markets and Samsung’s in-house Exynos 8895 in others. Both are certainly flagship-level processors. So yes, both the S8 and S8+ should be stupid fast.
It’s no secret that batteries have been a sore topic for Samsung. While continuing their promise of the most stringent testing procedures ever, the two devices will come with two different batteries. The S8 gets a 3,000 mAh battery, while the larger S8+ will accommodate a 3,500 mAh unit. They both support fast and wireless charging, and will reportedly suffer less battery degradation over time than previous devices. I’m refraining from making any explosion jokes here.
64 GB is standard, and your only storage size option in most markets. China is the only country to have 128 gigs available. You can still pop in a microSD card, with up to 256 GB supported.
Other Fun Hardware
The iris scanner from the Note 7 is back, and the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the rear of the device, to the side of the camera. The phone also features face recognition for quick unlocking. The lowest part of the screen is pressure sensitive, allowing for a more natural feel of the home “button”. This is kind of similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 7 home button, merged with what Google has encouraged with their Nexus and Pixel phones.
The new charging port standard, USB Type-C, makes its first appearance on this flagship line. In addition, the 3.5 mm headphone jack is still here, because that’s apparently something we actually point out now.
I certainly have mixed feelings about Samsung’s new personal assistant, especially considering how much I like Google Assistant. Nevertheless, Samsung will be Samsung. So, this is the first device to launch with Bixby on board. Samsung is promising great contextual features, even built into the camera. A connected app reminiscent of Google Now will display all kinds of relevant information and will work with all kinds of Samsung IOT devices. We already covered Bixby here, after Samsung announced it separately.
Will You Buy the Galaxy S8?
This is a very promising device, and this humble writer will definitely pick it up. Preorders begin tomorrow, and depending on your carrier, the S8 starts at $720. Both devices go on sale April 21st, with plenty of early order perks like free Samsung Gear. Three colours will be available at launch – Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, and Arctic Silver. Coral Blue and Maple Gold will follow afterward.
Will you be buying a Galaxy S8? Or, does the S8+ strike your fancy? How do you think this compares to the new LG G6? Let us know in the comments below!