Samsung is back with the latest evolution of the galaxy S line that tries to pack a big screen experience onto a body that doesn’t feel like such.It’s also in a package that you might argue tries to do a little bit too much.
There are two sizes of the galaxy S 8 .This time around as there is now also an S 8 plus.There’s no longer the word edge in the name.That is because this display is now called the Infinity display and it’s less about the feature set of this screen and more about how it tries to defy logic.Samsung has stretched the display out as much as it possibly could on these bodies so that they even did away with the tactile home button and the Samsung branding at the top.
The result is a display that is almost all screen all the time and makes the bezzels at the top and bottom as minimal as possible.On the sides you get the edge display back where it bleeds down to the sides so that it comes down to meet the hand and it makes handling a breeze but all of these changes mean that a 5.8 inch display for the S8 is what you’re getting on the phone that definitely doesn’t feel like that.Especially when you think back to larger display devices over the last year or two.Of course if you want even more screen realistic there is the S8 plus that has 6.2 inches in its display and it’s just a little bit harder to move over in one hand. So the main problem with the S8 plus is the location of the fingerprint reader because they have moved it from the front to the back next to the camera and it’s really hard to reach for it especially if you’re just using one hand on the S8 plus.
Even with the regular S8 we felt like we had to use two hands just to unlock the device when using fingerprints. Indeed the Infinity display is the crowning achievement of the S8 lime.The main reason being because it is the most screen that you’re going to get in a body that most people can use.No one has to really gripe over a big phone anymore when Samsung has proven that in this era we have to kind of rethink what a big phone or a big screen actually means that and all of that real estate adds to what you would expect from a samsung high-end display,a Super AMOLED display that comes in a quad HD resolution and has a bunch of different features like the edge UX and the always-on display.It even punches colors harder than before mostly because this is one of the first displays to be HD already.When you go into video applications like YouTube you will notice that this display gets brighter and its colors get more saturated and it’s something you do notice going in and out of the application that we will admit it doesn’t seem to have changed the battery life all that much.However there is a small thing to keep in mind with new aspect ratio screens like this.When looking at a video like you’re looking at me right now there is going to be something called pillar boxing where there are black bars to the sides rather than the usual black bars on the top and bottom that you might be used to with other phones.Now the phone does give you an option just a small button to be able to make the video or even the application full screen but you might lose a little bit at the top and bottom of your video.In gaming you might scrunch up some of the elements or even just have some elements bleed off of the screen.This isn’t that big of a deal it’s just something to get used to and while most applications will already be in full screen mode when you boot them up sometimes you’ll get an application that has to have the black bars on the top and bottom which can be a little bit odd and again we mentioned that there’s no more tactile home button which means soft keys and the nice thing about samsung’s integration of these soft keys is that they put their own Flair on them while adding customization.
The navbar can be customized with even its own background color and it can be switched around.You can’t add any buttons to it but you can at least put the back button on the other side if you’re more used to that orientation.
There is a home button on this phone it’s just underneath the display.There is a pressure sensitive area around where the home button would be that you can press a little bit harder on and you’ll feel a vibration that does the same thing as pressing home.The classic Samsung method of unlocking the device is still here as you can use that home button to turn on the device and then start unlocking the phone.Overall the ease of use and handling a large display like this is kind of the perfect trade-off for losing the home button.We’re fine men has been the name of the game here as even the camera bump has been minimized to make the back virtually flat and though there are other colors to choose from this black-on-black is definitely one of the slickest devices we have used.As this is the latest samsung flagship specifications are exactly where you would expect them to be. Depending on your market the latest 10 nanometer xenos chipset or the Snapdragon 835 power all that the galaxy S8 can do.Backed by 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of on-board storage that can be bolstered with a microSD card.Now one thing we should mention is that we had the S8 for the majority of our time testing and we only have the S8 plus for a little bit of time.Our review today is focusing on the S8 experience.With that said the time we have spent with the galaxy S8 has shown us no issues with performance going in and out of applications even when it comes to gaming.We played a lot of Super Mario run and personally I played jade empire to pretty heavy mobile games and had no issues whatsoever.
There are virtually no connections missing in the hardware stack and to keep the phone as secure as possible there are a ton of options for unlocking the device and keeping it secure.Since there’s no home button the fingerprint reader as we said has been moved to the back,doubling up with the heart rate sensor right next to the camera optics.It’s not an ideal location like we already said but since it is in that location you probably will be using other methods like the iris scanner.Your mileage or consistency with the iris scanner might vary however while I didn’t have any problem unlocking the device at any time even with glasses on.
The main hardware edition is Samsung decks,a dock that allows the galaxy S8 to become a computer of sorts giving you a full desktop experience on a monitor that is hooked up two decks.Now we’ve done a little bit of testing on it already and we can say that there’s a lack of applications and there’s still some visual latency so it’s not necessarily the smoothest experience.The S8 and S8 plus have 3000 and 3500 milliamp hour units respectively and fast charging or even wireless charging are all available for topping the batteries up.I was actually able to get five hours of screen on time during 18 hour workdays on a few occasions however most of the time I was actually at three and a half to four hours of screen on time for the same amount of wor.Tthankfully a combination of the Super AMOLED display and a lot of different power saving features can definitely stretch out the battery life again your mileage might vary but there are plenty of ways for you to eke out just what you need so that you don’t have to go searching for a cable all the time.
Right next to the USB type-c port is the headphone jack which samsung has not given up just yet.Opposite that is the loudspeaker which is decent at best.Audio through the headphone jack is actually quite good considering that there’s no third party deck.There are a ton of different options that Samsung puts in so you can cater the sound to adjust your liking does.Even the adapts and which returns from the note 7 which gives you a bunch of beeps so that it can get a sound profile that fits you the best.
Samsung has proven that they are able to stretch out their first party deck as much as possible but I really do think that in app would have been be cherry on top here.That said Samsung did go a slightly different route and instead enhance the headphones that come with this phone.They are tuned and to be honest they sound pretty incredible that phones are also good for phone calls as the inline controls include a microphone and the audio quality turned out pretty good.Speaking of phone calls we didn’t have any problems with connections on the t-mobile network on either the S8 or the S8 plus.No dropped calls and mobile data with as fast as it should be especially on all of our unlimited networks.
We move from audio to visual as we take on the camera a 12 megapixel shooter with the big focus pixels returns on the main shooter allowing for very fast autofocus while the front-facing camera has been bumped up to 8 megapixels and has what is called a smart.Auto focus system out of focus is not something you usually see on front-facing camera so it’s nice to find it here.That said the selfies do benefit from higher megapixel counts and it does a pretty good job in most lighting situations.In low-light the pictures obviously lose their sharpness as the shutter speed requires a little bit more time to properly expose the picture.So while there might not be video stabilization on the front facing camera which is not that big of a surprise, one thing that I do love about the front-facing camera on the galaxy S8 is that it can record 2k resolution video.which takes us to the main camera which mostly doesn’t change from last generation the interface is about the same as before prioritizing swipes and certain gestures to keep shooting as easy and one-handed as possible.You can record 1080p resolution video at 60 frames per second so that’s one of the main additions and when it comes to the video side of things.Samsung tells that there is a multi frame processing involved here where the camera takes multiple shots of the same image and puts them all together to get the most detail and color out of the scene now this is something that we did try to test out against the s7 edge and we found that while there is a small upgrade in terms of its quality.It’s not going to be so much that most average users will really feel the changeSo the quality and the experience are largely similar to the note 7 and s7 providing enjoyable photos and video in all but the darkest of conditions.
Focusing is really speedy as we mentioned already and there’s always the selective focus mode if you want an option that has a little bit more flexibility.
So we can finally talk about the software experience and we’re going to talk about big speed.Samsung’s assistant that is going to be built into the galaxy S line.Now unfortunately bixby will not have all of its features available for most users out of the box.You’re going to have to wait for a software update and because of that we kind of think that bixby is a bit of a half-baked feature especially right now but we do have high hopes that it’s going to turn into a killer app for the galaxy S8.But with that said let’s talk about what the phone actually does provide.
Since we just talked about the camera we can talk about bixby vision.Essentially this is a scanning layer that’s built into the camera software that allows you to scan not only text but also items and even wine no matter where you are you’ll be able to get information on a myriad of different things.The biggest issue right now with bixby vision is that it is hit or miss right now.
The shopping apparatus is still relying on Amazon and even then it’s not really able to pull information for a lot of items that I tried to scan.The text portion was also pretty inconsistent as certain business cards were not scanned properly and I had to do multiple tries just to get it right and add that person to my contacts.Really the only other portion of bixby that is actually kind of ready for marketNow Bixby home is essentially like Google now in that you can have it as a home screen if you swipe all the way to the left but there’s also a brand new button on the side the Bixby button that allows you to launch it right away .A simple click of that button will bring you to Bixby home where you’ll get a number of different contextual cards that include things like your most recent gallery images or your next appointment using the calendar application or reminders that you can set using a built-in reminders application that is actually pretty good.Using the reminders application you can hit share on pretty much any item in the phone and you can make it a reminder that will then show up in the Bixby home area.Overall it’s the main part of the Bixby experience that we actually enjoy because it actually has all of its features working properly as long as you use the built-in Samsung applications then you’ll be able to get all that contextual information.
Third-party application should be supported in the future but as of right now you’ll have to use Samsung’s own applications to get the most out of bixby home.As I said already we’re going to have a follow-up review in order for us to really show you what bixby can do once it’s voice capabilities have been added on to it and it’s scanning capabilities have been further updated and are more consistent.But overall the software of the samsung galaxy S 8 really shows how Samsung has been tryingto pair back its interface essentially you’re not getting tutorials all over the place and it’s not incessantly trying to make you understand its features rather if you dig into the settings and find all of the different options you can then do your homework or your due diligence and just learn the ins and outs of this phone.Indeed samsung’s version of Android NOGHUT turns out to be one of the better looking ones and also one of the heaviest of this feature set but that’s something that we’ve already expected coming from a samsung galaxy devic.But that’s where one of the issues come in because the experience of the samsung galaxy S8 is one that feels very familiar because Samsung has been working really hard to give you their version of services that we kind of have already bixby is of course an assistant that you can use alongside or even on top of the already included Google assistant.You also have the ability to use samsung pay once it gets updated to support the S8 but you can always download Android pay as well.If there’s anything that the galaxy S8 kind of proves to us it’s that it’s trying to do everything at once even if it feels redundant.At times that’s not necessarily a huge negative to the galaxy S8 however because users with this great screen and the wonderful handling for a big screen will have all of the choices in front of them so they can really cater the experience to what they want.The samsung galaxy S8 and the S8 plus will be made available across all major networks for the prices that you would expect for a premium flagship.But the SI plus is going to cost you a pretty penny more especially considering its larger display and it’s a larger battery which are actually the only two differences between the two.Especially since big speeds not going to be fully available until later on in the S8 lifespan as of right now it’s a whole heartedly recommended device mostly because most people want a big screen phone and they’re getting it here in one of the easiest to handle packages.From there however the samsung galaxy S8 does everything you would expect it to and it’s going to be one of the most reliable phones on the coming year and probably even beyond.So with that in mind we do give it very high marks but we don’t think it’s the absolute best phone out there at least not yet.