Succeeding last year’s flagship from Samsung; the Galaxy S7, we have the all new Samsung Galaxy S8 which is, by no doubt, one of the best phones of 2017. With alternatives like iPhone and OnePlus clamoring for consumer’s attention and money, Samsung Galaxy S8 certainly has a lot to show for. However, as the most beautiful phone on the market, S8 is an eye-catching, and feature-rich smartphone. Let’s see how the phone from Samsung stacks up against other phones in the market after 4 months of usage.
Similar to S7 from the previous year, S8 comes with metal rims and a glass back. The futuristic body with curved edges and the bezel-less display has set a new standard for other smartphone manufacturers throughout the world. Anyone will choose a phone with a bigger screen if it were as easier to fit in their pockets. The cutting out of side bezels has allowed Samsung to trim the phone down to a smaller size while keeping a 5.8-inch screen with the similar 1440p resolution Super AMOLED display. The phone does look a bit taller at first glance, but if you put it side by side with other phones, you can see that it has a perfectly normal size. Plus, the narrower phone makes it easier to hold in hand as well.
While using the phone, the slippery glass back did make it riskier to use, since I was always half-terrified of dropping the phone.
And, although the phone is IP68 rated waterproof, and can be safely used in water under limits, it will certainly break if dropped from a height. So, I would recommend you to get a case.
Samsung has also removed the home button and shifted the fingerprint scanner at the back in a difficult position. Instead, now the home button is an on-screen software button that can sense pressure touch like the iPhone’s 3D touch. The fingerprint is hard to use, so it is more intuitive to use iris scanner or face scanner to unlock the phone.
The phone has an unusual 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a Super AMOLED Quad-HD display. The screen is bright and colors on the device look vivid and saturated. Watching YouTube or scrolling through News Feed is smooth, and the display offers one of the highest resolutions in the market. You can choose to watch videos with side black bars at the default, 16:9 ratio or crop in the video to fill the whole screen in S8. This crops out some parts of the video but results in a better viewing experience.
In Asia, Samsung provides an Exynos 10 nm Chipset instead of the Snapdragon 835(with similar performance), along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, easily expandable via a microSD card.
Fulfilling all the expectations of a flagship device and even after seeing the launch of Galaxy Note 8, the Samsung Galaxy S8 powers through all the daily tasks like browsing the internet, watching high-res videos and even playing high-end mobile games like a breeze. The benchmarks results are high and are at the top with other competition.
S8 comes with a 3000mAh battery and lasts a whole day at least. I tested my S8 review unit putting it at the max QHD+ resolution instead of the recommended FHD+ res and still got a solid 4hrs of screen-on time. So, the efficient processor coupled with Samsung’s power saving software tricks does make S8 a long-lasting phone. But! Does the S8 explode like the Note 7? The answer, UNTIL NOW, is a No. There have been no issues reported about the battery or explosions of S8. So, it is safe to assume that S8 surpasses Note 7 here.
Samsung’s cameras are, without any doubt, the best ones in the market and this one is no exception. Samsung S8 has iterated over the already excellent S7’s camera and comes with a new 12MP camera sensor at the back with a f/1.7 aperture. The photos taken by the handset comes saturated and exposed at just the right amount. With optical image stabilization(OIS) and PDAF autofocus, the camera excels at night, by taking well-lit, low-noise images, while the competition struggles to take respectable images. The videos are smooth and rich in details. Even while walking during a video, the phone manages to minimize the shakiness of the video giving it a professional touch.
The main change, however, is at the front, where Samsung has included a new 8MP selfie shooter. It has a new Smart Autofocus system that introduces autofocus feature to the front camera. Plus, now, the camera has an all-new eye-vision integrated with Bixby that allows doing a picture-search of the photo taken.
Aside from the revamp of the Samsung’s traditional TouchWiz, the smartphone giant has now introduced its own mobile assistant, the Bixby. Now competing with the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, Bixby has still not gained all its functions. Bixby has a card setup like Google Now and has a new feature of picture-search where you can take a picture and find items that look like the object in the picture. It still hasn’t gained the voice control options, so we can’t assess it completely. But, with its own dedicated button below the volume rockers, Bixby is here to stay.
Talking about the UI, it’s a delight. The app drawer can be accessed by swiping up and has neat new app icons stacked in a traditional Android layout. The edge menu also has got an upgrade with an app menu, people’s edge (a simple contacts menu) and compass as an easy shortcut.
Overall, the Samsung UI with the new Android 7.0 is visually beautiful and functional. The new Bixby assistant is alright and if the updates are good enough it might be a great alternative to the Google assistant.
Samsung S8 costs
88,000 Rs.76,000 in Nepal, and around $750 internationally. The excellent display and an outstanding smartphone design build up an all-around great smartphone. The bigger screen on a smaller body does wonders and justifies the ‘infinity display’ tagline. Cameras are more than good enough, as it sets the standard for a good mobile camera. Excellent performance, elegant design, and sharp display, thus puts S8 at the top of our smartphone list even after 4 months of usage.