Review

Published on July 5th, 2017 | by Varuna Singh

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Review

I really think Samsung has nailed it on the Galaxy S8. They’ve had a tough past year and have more than delivered well on a flagship that competes well with the iPhone. The Galaxy S8 is impressive on so many levels from overall design to performance and battery life. The S8 feels like a good blend of software and hardware – not seen so much on Android phones.

Samsung Galax S8 Review UAE Dubai Middle-East (8)

The closest comparison in terms of screen design is probably the LG G6 and there are reasons to prefer the G6 over the S8, but overall, the Samsung Galaxy S8 wins. It turns heads and assures that phones can still be exciting from both an aesthetic and performance angles.

The S8 is Samsung’s 8th iteration of their Galaxy S series of flagship phones. It comes in two sizes: S8 and S8 plus. The plus has a big 6.2” display than 5.8” on the S8 version. I’d encourage you to see the devices in person as the displays are longer rather than wider making 6.2” sound a lot more than it actually is.

The screen is probably the best bit of the phone, its really bleeding to its limits where it covers almost 84% of the whole body making space only for essential sensors and cameras. It’s the very first impression and the screen wraps it self to the sides so well. In your hand, it just feels integrated.

Applications scale well (thanks to Android) and videos on YouTube zoom in a little bit to fit the entire screen. It’s a cool party trick until your hands touch the side.

The edges are the best and probably the most annoying bit about the phone. They do an ok job in ignoring accidental presses when you hold the phone vertically, but that experience changes when you’re holding the S8 in landscape. It gets even more annoying when you’re in your bed and you’re holding your phone above you.

The phone weighs about 155 grams to 173 grams making it a very comfortable phone to hold. Its plastic-esque housing and glass on both sides are very symmetrical. The weight is even evenly balanced and if Im not looking, I mistake the back of the phone as the front. Not a deal breaker but a compliment.

At the back alongside the flush camera lens is the oddly shaped and positioned fingerprint reader. Everyone complains about it and my feedback is nothing short of that. Its odd, annoying and the fact that its elongated makes it even more hard to use it. The faint outline of the camera lens fools you a plenty of times to give the Iris sensor a shot in recognizing you. However, its not that straightforward or easy too. Authentication is a bit odd. I understand Samsung made a tradeoff and placed it at the back but the position and size can drive you nuts.

The quality of the screen is typical Samsung. Colors pop out and for some, like me, its over done. I felt pictures, images were more on the warm, saturated side. I could move the Display setting slider to be a little cooler, but that didn’t really help much. The screen does shine in a slight artificial manner when showing pictures especially HDR images.

 

The Camera on both S8 versions is a 12MP f/1.7mm HDR camera with OIS (optical image stabilization). It’s a great camera and the screen brings a lof of both the camera and the SAMOLED display panel. The front facing camera is beautiful. Its one of the most clear cameras I’ve tried on and encourages me to take more selfies. Its an 8MP sensor with f/1.7” as well. There isn’t anything special about the camera, it’s a great camera and that’s it. If you’re looking at different modes of creation and lenses, consider other phones with dual cameras.

The UAE and Middle East gets the S8 with Samsung’s very own Exynos 8895 Octa-core processor instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 sold in the US. The good news – Exynos is faster than almost every processor out there including Huawei’s Kirin processor. It’s a bit behind Apple’s iPhone processor but not by a lot. Whats more impressive with the processor is how well it handles Android and Samsung’s memory and battery management.

Smooth Snapchat experience

The work and integration with Exynos and the mediocre 3000mAh battery capacity (on S8) yields a very fast phone that never dies in 24 hours. The S8 plus has a 3500 mAh battery but the extra screen offsets and you’re going to be happy with the battery life. I’m always left with a confident amount of charge by the end of the day. Not only that the camera and phone doesn’t heat up nor does the camera lag in both Samsung’s Camera app or Snapchat and Instagram. You know it’s a pro when Snapchat works well on an Android phone.

There is one extra button on the S8 and that’s Bixby – Samsung’s own assistant. While its still in Beta and Voice recognition isn’t available here in the Middle East yet, its essentially duplicating a lot of functions already in the S8 with Google Now and Voice Assistant – both of which are present on the S8. There is Bixby Vision which essentially reverse image searches a picture with the web. Samsung does do a little better in recognizing the object, but I really don’t see a real world use for this feature.

Samsung Galax S8 Review UAE Dubai Middle-East

Here is my realization. All the things wrong with the S8 feels like its on purpose. The negatives are Samsungs way of assuring its beliefs on people. Its Samsung’s belief and feat in the curved infinity display that forced them to compromise in both accidental touches, poor fingerprint reader position and shape. Its also Samsungs ability to think they can offer you a better assistant that they have dedicated a button for Bixby. In what seems to be a good all rounder phone, the negatives isn’t because a lack of ability, its an outcome of what innovation is according to Samsung. Only time will tell if it was worth it.

I have a few ergonomic issues with the S8 in addition to the other common ones out there – Bixby button and fingerprint position and shape. In other ways the S8 is a great all rounder. It’s a looker, an exciting phone and something that you’d love using for the most part. It doesn’t do crazy things, but does a few things really well while genuinely looking good at it.

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About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh



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