Deal update: The Galaxy S8 is no longer a shiniest citation in Samsung’s stable. The Galaxy S9 is here with a snazzier camera and AR emoji. The latest phone is really many an iterative upgrade, however, definition you’re still removing a illusory device with a Galaxy S8.
One good thing about a Galaxy S9 launch was a fact Galaxy S8 handsets were given a sizeable cost drop. At a time of writing, a smartphone is around £500 on Amazon. That’s compared to a £739 starting cost of a Galaxy S9.
Plus, as partial of a singular time Carphone Warehouse Flash Sale, announced on Friday, we can get the Samsung Galaxy S8 – for £38 per month if we compensate £59.99 upfront. This understanding is permitted from EE and comes with 20GB of data. You can also buy a handset approach from Carphone Warehouse for £629, down from £689.99.
Alan Martin’s strange examination of a Galaxy S8 continues below
Samsung Galaxy S8 review
A few years ago, a competition to be a world’s choice Android phone engineer was far-reaching open. HTC would win it one year, and afterwards LG would daunt a next. Recently, a list has turn some-more predictable: Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7, and now a Samsung Galaxy S8 is here to make a predecessors obsolete.
READ NEXT: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review
Two things have altered to make this reduction a foregone finish than it was a integrate of years ago, however. The initial is that specifications have softened to a grade that even a inexpensive smartphone is good adequate for many people. The second is a burnt-out remains of a Galaxy Note 7, private from a marketplace after reduction than dual months for being usually a bit some-more incendiary than advertised.
In short, we always knew that a Samsung Galaxy S8 was going to be good, yet a stakes have been raised. It needs to be good, and good adequate to transparent a measureless cost tab too. It’s £689 SIM-free, with contracts starting during around £45.99 per month with an additional upfront cost. That’s Apple turn pricing.
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And it’s good. Very good indeed. The best smartphone we can buy, bar none. Unless we like a bigger handset, in that box there’s always a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Whether it’s value a cost, though… that’s utterly between we and your wallet, yet hopefully, a subsequent few pages can during slightest assistance we transparent a loan to your bank manager. Print this out if we consider it will help.
Samsung Galaxy S8 review: Design
Let me start by observant that Samsung’s teaser for a S8 was some-more than a small overblown. The video, expelled forward of a phone’s exhibit final month, suggested something that would make we rethink what a phone looks like. The Galaxy S8 doesn’t do this unless you’re terminally abandoned of imagination. It’s still a retard of steel and glass; it’s usually a utterly pleasing one.
What a video alluded to is that a earthy home symbol is gone. That’s significant, yet it isn’t a initial Android phone to do that; my reliable HTC One M8 had no earthy home button, either. What is opposite is a dimensions: it’s now utterly a bit taller than a predecessors, creation it intensely peaceful in hand.
I use a Samsung Galaxy S7 as my categorical phone during a moment, itself a slim and appealing handset, and a Galaxy S8 leaves it in a dust. Putting them side by side, a differences are obvious. It isn’t many bigger, yet it uses a space many some-more effectively with around 84% of a front assigned by a shade – a not insignificant ascent on a S7’s 72%. It’s usually 3g heavier and is usually 0.1mm thicker – that is peculiar given if we put them subsequent to any other on a table, a Samsung Galaxy S8 looks almost some-more svelte.
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This time around, you’re removing winding edges possibly we like them or not, with a peaceful radius on possibly side of a shade that swoops down to accommodate a phone’s slim steel frame. You can disagree about a utility, yet we can’t disagree that it looks great. Do be certain to get insurance, though, given it looks like it’ll cost a lot to reinstate otherwise. My initial tummy feeling about this has been reliable by SquareTrade, which reports that a Samsung Galaxy S8 “performed significantly worse than their predecessors” in their hard-to-watch breakability tests.
The phone inherits 3 pattern facilities from a prior generation: It’s IP68-certified, that means it’s waterproof in 1.5 metres of H2O for adult to half an hour; it supports wireless Qi and PNA charging; and it has expandable storage for microSD cards adult to 256GB in size, should a 64GB of onboard storage infer insufficient. USB Type-C is in, that is improved in a prolonged run – yet ungainly if your house, like mine, has turn a retirement home for micro-USB cables. To make a transition reduction painful, Samsung has enclosed an adapter in a box, along with a dedicated assign cable, that means that one of your existent cables can make a upgrade, like a guaranty channel a Chess residence to turn a Queen.
There’s even room for a 3.5mm headphone jack. Odd to consider that’s a argumentative move, yet Apple, HTC and Lenovo’s new decisions to mislay it have finished including a 60-year-old pier a vital offered indicate in a 2017 flagship. To get a many out of this, Samsung has enclosed some rather good AKG earbuds in a box. While they’re no surrogate for a good span of over-ear headphones, they are almost improved than a customary pack-in earphones, and a braided fabric wire prevents too many tangling. Samsung has given reliable that they will be in any box, so value perplexing before we lapse to your aged devoted cans.
@droid_life The earbuds tuned by AKG will be in any sell package. There is also an early offer of AKG on-ear cans + 256GB label for $99.
— Philip Berne (@philipberne) April 19, 2017
There are usually dual issues we can legitimately have with a design. The initial is that a whole symbol is dedicated to Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant, that during a time of essay doesn’t do a good deal. For now, it’s radically a second home button, yet a fact that Samsung has given it such inflection suggests it won’t be forever, so we can give a association a pass on that. (Previously a handful of apps on a Google Play store betrothed to let users repurpose a Bixby symbol for their possess ends, yet a new firmware refurbish has apparently stopped this mod in a tracks.)
Samsung is also pronounced to be creation it probable to invalidate a Bixby symbol on a Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, yet hasn’t finished it easy. Firstly, you’ll need to get a latest chronicle of Bixby and Bixby Home around a Galaxy Apps Store in My Apps. Once updated, a new choice will seem in a Settings menu (accessible around Bixby around a Settings idol in a tip right-hand corner. From here we will be means to invalidate a underline by toggling Bixby to a ‘off’ position.
The second is harder to defend: a plcae of a fingerprint scanner. It’s right subsequent to a camera lens on a back of a device. While we was means to get used to this for unlocking over my time with a Galaxy S8, it was never as peaceful as one placed subsequent a screen, as on a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Apple iPhone 7, or on a side of a device as with Sony’s new smartphones. Placing it right subsequent to a camera lens also means we mostly find yourself touching a lens, rather than a scanner, so you’d best get used to giving it a good gloss before we take a photo.
By all accounts, this was a late pattern preference on Samsung’s partial interjection to a fact that a record for embedding fingerprint scanners in a touchscreen wasn’t utterly prepared for primetime. That feels trustworthy to me, and I’d be dismayed if a fingerprint reader doesn’t pierce residence before a Samsung Galaxy S9 arrives. Maybe even before then, perhaps, in a Galaxy Note 8?
Intriguingly, according to a new consult – incited into a graph by a friends during Statista – a many appealing of these facilities is a waterproofing, that has been a underline of Samsung phones for 4 generations now.
In fact, a facilities that are privately new to a S8 make adult a bottom 4 of a list, that does advise that copiousness of people would be happy with an S7. Or an S7 Edge if we contingency have those curves.
Samsung Galaxy S8 review: Screen
Once you’re finished gawking over a poetic design, a subsequent thing you’ll notice is that a arrangement looks a small opposite to stream phones: it’s prolonged and thin. While many phones work to a 16:9 aspect ratio, a S8 increases things to 18.5:9, with a fortitude of 1,440 x 2,960. That’s a somewhat taller ratio than a LG G6 with it’s startling 18:9 mix. The idea, according to Samsung, is that we can get some-more shade genuine estate in a handset that won’t be worried for a small-pawed among us.
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Of course, this isn’t precisely a case. As The Verge points out, a unchanging 16:9 5.8in handset has a larger area – and, even if we like a newer, high design, it isn’t though a issues. For starters, many apps now black out a bottom of a screen, withdrawal a informed Android buttons in place. That means that a pursuit could be finished usually as good by a bezel for a many part.
The genuine advantage is for cinema and video, yet there are issues there, too. 16:9 is a concept customary for video (notwithstanding a round of Hell indifferent for YouTubers, who take video in mural mode). And if we watch any of those on your S8 afterwards you’re going to have to confirm between black bookends during any end, or gathering off a tip and bottom of a screen.
Whether or not we consider that’s a scapegoat value creation for a stylish, peaceful handset such as this will change from chairman to person, yet you’ll be unsurprised to hear that this AMOLED shade meets Samsung’s common standards of high quality. It reaches a flattering splendid 415.16cd/m2 rise liughtness on primer mode, and a withering 569cd/m2 in involuntary in a right conditions. Also, it covers 99.9% of a sRGB spectrum. For comparison, here’s how that looks opposite a pivotal competitors:
In other words, this is about as good a shade as we can get. It’s extremely brighter than final year’s indication and shutting in on a scores performed by a IPS screens of a iPhone 7 and a recently expelled LG G6.
Samsung Galaxy S8 review: Performance
While a year-old S7 still pushes nearby a tip of a category per performance, it would be startling if Samsung’s latest didn’t broach a healthy opening boost alongside a cosmetic upgrade. This isn’t a Moto G5 situation: Samsung has indeed stepped adult to a image with newer components that broach a healthy kick.
It shouldn’t warn anyone to learn that a Galaxy S8 feels impossibly discerning and manageable out of a box. That’s partly given no Android handset should feel indolent from a initial foot (although some conduct to pile-up head-first into that insultingly low bar), yet also given Samsung has packaged a latest record into a skinny frame.
You’re looking during a 2.3GHz octacore Exynos 8895 processor (or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 for US-based customers), with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, expandable around microSD card. It’s among a initial smartphones in a universe to use a 10nm production routine to furnish a chip, that promises to urge potency and battery life, as good as yield a best opening around.
That kind of technicality is dark divided from sight, yet what we can contend with certainty is that a Samsung Galaxy S8 is super-fast. Every benchmark suggested speeds during a really tip of a class, as you’d design in a smartphone shutting in on £700. In a Geekbench 4 multi-core test, it crushed past a iPhone 7 and LG G6, with usually a Huawei P10 Plus entrance close:
As for graphics performance, it was a identical story. The S8 is a powerhouse for mobile games:
To be clear, these graphical tests are intense, with cheaper handsets customarily removing single-figure support per second scores. While many 2017 handsets should hoop a infancy of games on a marketplace, it’s flattering transparent that a S8 offers distant some-more future-proofing than any other device we’ve seen to date.
If we wish serve explanation of how ridiculously discerning a Samsung Galaxy S8 is, we should know that it’s powerful adequate to run Gamecube games uniformly around a Dolphin emulator – one of a few phones around able of doing this.
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