My Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ – And Yes the Red iPhone 7 Plus looks better!

Samsung officially launched the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones. The S8 comes with a 5.8 inch screen and the S8+ a 6.2 inch screen. The S8 has a 3,000 mAh battery versus the S8+ with a 3,500 mAh battery. Apart from that the phones are identical.

Key Features

– Infinity Display – with AOD, Multi Screen, Edge Screen
– Bixby AI with Hardware Button
– Security unlock with Face, Eyes, Fingerprint and PIN
– Camera – 8mp front camera with Auto Focus. Same hardware for rear camera as S7.
– Samsung Pay
– Samsung DeX – Desktop dock
– Samsung Connect
– Bluetooth 5, also connect 2 bluetooth devices independently
– Water Resistant as last year
– Micro SD card support
– Gorilla Glass 5 back and front
– New 10nm Exynos Processor or Snapdragon 835 in some countries.

Pricing £690 and £780.

So what do I think so far. On paper it seems small upgrades over the S7 Edge. Larger screens. New screen aspect ratio. Better processor. Bluetooth 5. Virtual hidden front screen home button. Finger print sensor next to the rear camera. The new VR Headset with Bluetooth controller look nice as did the new Samsung Gear 360 camera.

I will be honest, I wasn’t blown away. The new processor combined with the software is the one aspect of this phone that will make a difference for it. Small bezels and glass edge to edge means more screen breakages if dropped. The rear mounted finger print sensor next to the camera lens is stupid. It will be difficult to reach for left handed people and will end up with finger print smudges on it. At least the camera software advices you to wipe the lens if it detects smudges. Samsung is hoping face unlock will be the preferred method.

Bixby does nothing at the moment as on launch this is a Korea and US feature only. Samsung Pay is not available in the UK. So 2 of the key features highlighted at the Samsung Unpacked event are not available in the UK yet. Bixby is larger than just one phone of course, and in future could link into Samsung Smart Things and a lot more. But currently it does nothing in the UK and will probably take time to develop.

The DeX Dock has potential, maybe if you used Citrix app on your phone and then used the larger screen with the dock. But running android apps seems odd on a larger screen.

The near Gear VR looks superb as does the new Gear 360. The Gear 360 now works with iOS from iOS 10 upwards.

The camera uses the same hardware as the S7. So the improvements are all down to software and the prowess of the new processor. I do believe we will see improved quality images. Samsung has added snapchat type filters within the camera app.

The battery sizes are too small. No wonder Samsung has implemented a screen resolution reduction feature in the battery saving settings. The smaller S8 should have had a least 3,500 mAh and the S8+ should have been 4,000 mAh minimum. It appears Samsung has played it safe with its batteries, which is understandable, but these phones are going to run flat fast.

The new aspect ratio means app developers will have to update their apps to adjust to the new screen size. This impacts the LG G6 as well.

At this price point, Samsung faces stiff competition. It will probably sell well but honestly I would look at all the options out there, including the phones still to be announced in April.

Finally, out of all the colours available currently for this new S8, I still prefer my red iPhone 7 Plus.

What about you?

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14 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ – And Yes the Red iPhone 7 Plus looks better!

  1. Gavin I really understand your frustrations with Samsung but to say that the iPhone 6 plus,6s plus,or 7 plus in any colors looks better is just not right because there is zero comparison between the 2 phones

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most reviewers who actually used the new S8 say you can’t judge the design from the pictures. Also I’d like to see the evidence that the Samsung Edge like devices are more breakable. The screen damage is more likely to be related to user life style and if they use a case or not. At least Samsung are pushing the boundaries not just painting phones with different colours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree Jah that user lifestyle will be the factor that could equate to phone drops. I did say this too. The point I was making (and it’s not just Samsung ) is when a phone drops if there are bigger bezels the screen may survive better. Also whilst the large screen is great, not denying that point at all, it seems from what I know, have read and seen confirmed from Samsung that out of the box the resolution is only 1080p. Not the full QHD+. The weakness in this design is the battery life. These phones needed a bigger battery to cope with those huge screens.

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  3. It looks like a nice phone, however the S7 Edge can be picked up for a reasonable price now, and if I already had one of these I would feel zero reason to upgrade to the S8. There is already no false touch technology built into the S7 – meaning I was constantly scrolling back or activating something when grappling the S7 Edge. I don’t imagine the S8 will be any easier – and personally I would really miss that home button and fingerprint scanner setup.

    I don’t imagine the camera will be much better even with a better processor.

    I’m not going to criticise Samsung for this as it is a good incremental upgrade that doesn’t leave S7 users feeling cheated, however I wouldn’t personally buy it. I like the look of the G6 more anyway.

    I’m happy with my G5 and iPhone 7 Plus combo at the mo anyway!

    The S8 will do well for contract upgraders I think. It’s a decent upgrade to the S6, aside from the annoying fingerprint scanner location

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A bit disappointed that there wasn’t a hardware upgrade of the camera. That’s a bit of a dealbreaker for me and a compelling reason to consider the s7 edge.

    However I think the design is probably the nicest I have ever seen on a phone. When you compare the iphone side by side with the S8, the iphone looks like a beast from a bygone age (yes even in red!).

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    1. However nice these designs are, I do think they come at the expense of usability. I don’t think bezel-less designs get over the problem of fitting larger screens into smaller bodies entirely as you get a lot less usability from the fact that you have to be more careful how you hold your phone – particularly when watching media in landscape. I was always accidentally going back within an app’s UI or accidentally selecting things on the S7 Edge, where I have never done this with any other Android

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  5. Okay, I have pre-ordered. I want to see what the audio quality is like with Samsung’s UHQ over BT. I am hoping that Sammy will use Wolfson DAC for the Exynos chip S8s.

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      1. S8 is fine size wise as I’ll also get the Note 8. Got amazing deal on Three at £34 per month and £27 upfront after discount for customer loyalty. Will play with it and then give to wife.

        Liked by 1 person

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