after the dangerous fiasco of note 7 samsung returns and hopes to be atoned with its new 2017 flagship galaxy s8. despite the merciless trolling and against all the conspiracy theories about the company’s demise, destruction etc, s8 broke all preorder records and made a very strong debut. for me, that either means that the market is mature enough not to react with panic in cases such as note 7 or that samsung has a really strong base of fanatic followers
that trust the company no matter what. i am sakis karpas, you are watching unboxholics and this is galaxy s8+ the largest of the two models samsung made available. and to be clear from the start, the differences between s8 and s8+ are just in the screen size and the battery capacity. i’ll start from the most impressive aspect of s8+ in my opinion which is none other than the design. i admit that when i heard about 6.2 inches i was afraid
that i’d have an uncomfortable phablet in my hands. what samsung’s designers managed though is a great achievement. the device feels like a 5.5-inch phone, keeping the slim line. that wouldn’t be possible if the bezels hadn’t been reduced drastically. after all, that’s the selling point of the device, a phone full of screen. more or less at least, as there is still some space left that houses the camera, the iris sensor, the speaker and the led notification light on the upper side, while there is similar space on the bottom because of the speaker, the usb type-c port and the 3.5mm audio jack.
this time samsung didn’t give an edge option but rather enforced it. so both s8 have a curved screen on the left and right. the curve is not so intense though, so people that are annoyed by the edge screens – like me – will be much more comfortable. but i continue to think that it’s useless and causes more trouble than it’s worth for example when you’re reading text in responsive webpages where the letters on the side get deformed. there’s a whole platform embedded in the software to accompany and enrich the usefulness of the edge function, mostly with shortcuts,
but i don’t use them at all. the screen is protected by gorilla glass 5 and has a samoled panel with a resolution of 2960×1440 pixels a bit more than the standard 2k screen, because of it’s unique screen ratio. it’s not impressively better than the s7’s screen but the user enjoys the content more on this screen mostly because of the infinity display, as samsung calls the new philosophy of the screen’s design. the panel was – as expected – magnificent, with great sharpness beautiful, vivid colors, dark blacks and true whites.
the only thing that bothered me was its length which made the usage with just one hand difficult. and no, the "one-hand use" function does not suit me at all. a useful tweak is the ability to change the screen’s resolution from 720p to 2k. this has a significant impact in the battery’s life without annoyingly affecting the sharpness. the battery is at 3500mah and to be honest i was not impressed since i couldn’t get a day out of it with my usage. oneplus 3t – my latest daily driver – did that with ease.
as always there is the fast charge technology, both wired and wireless. one of the biggest mistakes on design is the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the back, right next to the camera. 9/10 times the finger first touches the camera and then slides into place. the positioning is so wrong, especially when you have such a tall device. furthermore, it’s not the fastest sensor nor the most accurate, at least for my fingers. and since we’re talking about security, besides the normal options there is the face recognition and the iris scanner. the first one can easily be tricked and even samsung warns it shouldn’t
be used for sensitive data. it failed on my face a lot, i guess due to my beard. the iris scanner is safe and reliable but it’s slow. i don’t have anything special to say about the speaker, since it’s mediocre but i must mention the headphones that come in the package. they are made by akg and offer quality sound that you don’t find in other phone headphones. once more the device is waterproof and dustproof with ip68. it doesn’t just resist some drops but you can even take some underwater photos in a pool. inside we find the octa-core exynos 8895 which is accompanied by 4gb of ram.
samsung chose not to take the step towards 6gb ram, as other android devices and the truth is that maybe it didn’t have to, since the phone will run everything fast and with no problem. the storage, at least for now is at 64gb, expandable via microsd card up to 256gb. s8 is also the first bluetooth 5.0 phone, which means when this becomes mainstream on other devices, it will give a great advantage to its owners with the speed and the range and it can also transmit sound to two bluetooth speakers simultaneously. the software is a lot different than we are used to by samsung and comes fully refreshed in design and a lot lighter.
the useless apps are gone and the navigation in menus and apps is now enjoyable. it comes with the 7th edition of android, nougat, and in combination with samsung’s touchwiz ui there is a wide choice of tweaking options available, which made me really happy. the new effort samsung made in digital assistants is called bixby. i will not judge the company’s bold move to enter a market where siri, cortana, google assistant are dominant but i will judge the positioning of its physical button where it gets confused with the volume rocker and the lack
of languages and voice support. despite that the device is already in the market, bixby is not ready and lacks a lot of basic functions, which samsung says they will add in the future. so for now, at least in greece, bixby is only activated by mistake. the front camera has been significantly improved in comparison with s7 from 5mp to 8mp and with autofocus for crystal clear selfies. the main camera remained at 12mp and didn’t change much in specs but there is a difference in the image processing. don’t expect major differences from s7.
either way, it still produces amazing results even now. i found minor tweaks in the camera software as well such as the shutter button slide for zoom. the record didn’t break just for preorders but in price too as it reaches â‚¬929 for the s8+ and if you prefer the s8 it will cost you â‚¬100 less. i’ll be totally honest. i was a very satisfied owner of s7, jumped to oneplus 3t and now i have s8+.
on daily usage, i still believe that oneplus 3t which costs less than half is the best option. now, if someone has the money and wants something more flashy and renowned s8 is certainly one of the dominant choices. overall, the device is beautiful, fast and capable but i feel samsung rushed a lot and i think the note 7 drama had a part in it. what do you think? is s8 attractive for you? let me know in the comments below. that’s all for now, i’ll catch you up on unboxholics.com