The New Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Is Here
The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 is here, and it could well be the phone of the year.
Dongjin Koh, the president of Samsung’s mobile comms, said recently:
“As you all know, this has been a challenging year for Samsung …today, we are here to celebrate a milestone, not just the launch of a new device, but the beginning of a new way to explore the world.”
What will the smartphones look like?
Finally, Samsung has shown us pictures of their new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
Exciting times are upon us – the iPhone killer may have arrived.
The first thing that you notice about the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the large and pretty much flat screen which covers the whole of the phone. It even features curved edges in a way similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7, but they are now somehow a little smoother, also known as the ‘infinity display’. It is, without a doubt, one of the nicest new features of the phone. It’s pressure sensitive, and the home button is a digital version, giving the phone a simple feel.
The actual UK launch date will be on the 28th April with the Samsung Galaxy S8 set to retail at £689 with the slightly larger S8+ at £779. Cheaper than the equivalent iPhone – but still not particularly cheap. You are getting a lot for your money though. In the UK you will be able to buy either a black or a grey version.
The Samsung Galaxy S8’s appearance
So the phone doesn’t look a whole lot different to its predecessor. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 looks similar to the old S7 of course, but it is far from the same.
It has moved on quite a bit. It looks fantastic, this is without doubt.
The full-screen viewing experience (if you haven’t used it before) does give the device a feel of a bigger unit. Similar to an iPad mini in some ways. You feel like you have something more than a phone in your hand, especially when it starts playing video.
Let’s just say that this thing looks amazing. Holding it in your hand is great. One handed use is probably not its strong point – but we guess that may not be a deal breaker for you!
The phone’s screen
The new screen has an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 instead of 16:9. It makes for a taller screen and gives you more room to manoeuvre than the Samsung Galaxy S7 – a total of 5.8 inches in length which may sound oversized, but it still fits nicely in most pockets. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ uses a 6.2-inch screen for people wanting something a little bigger.
The huge new screen uses AMOLEDs and gives you a serious 2960 x 1440 resolution. It also happens to be able to claim ‘Mobile HDR Premium’ certification. Which means that it will be able to make the absolute most of any streaming music services (such as Amazon Prime) when the technology is adopted by the various providers (which is happening now). It makes for a much more pleasant viewing experience of videos with a sharper picture and deeper, truer colours.
For people who have used the S7 or other similar Samsung models in the past, these specifications and features will be of no great surprise. If you are an iPhone user who has never used one of these things, then we think you need to take a look. Samsung has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with a mobile phone screen. The iPhone is starting to lag behind in this respect.
Samsung makes a big fuss about their new mobile assistant Bixby which can be used to find products by scanning pictures of them and the searching online. There are various apps around already that can do this, so it remains to be seen if this is a great new addition or not.
Bixby may be a little more intelligent than Siri – what with its apparent ability to know what you are referring to – it tries to put things where you would want them. Apparently, Bixby tries to understand your whole sentence as opposed to just recognising individual words and acting on them, like Siri.
Bixby works with the camera, contacts, photos and messages, so integration is pretty good. At this stage finding local restaurants and other services are limited to the US and Korean phones. However, these features will be coming to the rest of the world shortly.
You can also access Bixby through a button on the side of the handset – so that part is simple – the answers you get may not always be what you are looking for, however. We look forward to trying this out ourselves over a period of time.
To find out how Bixby compares to Google’s Assistant, check out our article: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel
The phone also includes ‘Samsung Connect’ which allows you to control smart devices around the home, look in your fridge, turn the lights off, this kind of thing. Different modes can be programmed so when you leave the house certain devices will automatically switch off or on.
One unexpected addition is the new ‘DeX’ docking station. It is a stand for your phone – however, once you put the phone in the stand it turns the phone into a desktop version of windows that you can plug into an HDMI ready display, with access to everything on your phone right there in front of you. It can also run Office applications, surf the web all the usual stuff – and external keyboards and mice can add on giving you a pretty neat home computer without the huge box!
Also worth noting is the fact that Samsung has redesigned the Android IU so that is can easily be used with a keyboard and mouse. It does not struggle with resizable windows and works great as a desktop browser.
There is a fingerprint scanner, and also an iris scanner which works more quickly than the one fitted to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the phone includes a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Thanks for not taking that away Samsung. It even comes with headphones.
The battery will last the whole day according to Samsung, and it is also possible to charge the phone up wirelessly. Hopefully without any of the explosions that created problems with the previous Samsung Galaxy S7, resulting in it being banned by many airlines. It can charge fast through the USB charger.
If you’re into virtual reality, this phone also boasts tighter integration with Samsung’s new Gear VR headset – a great value VR solution that is becoming more popular by the day. The phone fits directly onto the VR goggles.
There’s a 12-megapixel camera on the rear and an 8-megapixel version for your selfies. Similar to the HDR feature on the iPhone the Samsung Galaxy S8 uses ‘multi-frame image processing’ in that it takes several pictures and puts them together for the best possible effect.
These are not much different to what is in the Samsung Galaxy S7. Both have an F1.7 aperture, and both take fantastic razor-sharp images that look great on screen.
It’s completely Waterproof!
Would you believe the S8 has an IP67 waterproof rating? Which means it can survive underwater for a short time. But this does not mean you should go ahead and take it diving.
It is a step up from the new iPhone 8 which is shower proof. Do not take the Samsung Galaxy S8 swimming though. Even though it has a waterproof microphone and speakers pushing this protection to its limits may not be your best-laid plan.
A new era for smartphones?
We believe the Samsung Galaxy S8 marks the beginning of a new era for flagship smartphones.
This wonderful piece of technology gives you a second to none viewing experience – nobody else is even close. Dex lets you make use of the phone in ways that were not possible before.
The phone is so thin and you can easily store it away. It is something that you need to hold and use to appreciate how wonderful it is. Words cannot adequately describe the experience of using this lovely little device.
The ball is now well and truly in Apple’s court. But, they just may not be able to return this massive serve from Samsung. It could be an ace.
OS: Android 7.0
Size: 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8.0 mm
Processor: Octa core 2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad 64 Bit
Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (expandable)
Screen: 5.8” long 1 2960×1440 pixels, 570 pixels per inch
Main Camera: 8MP AF
Back Camera: Dual Pixel 12MP OIS
Battery: 3,000 mAh, fast charging on wired and wireless
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11, VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, Bluetooth v 5.0