Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ has been out for months, but they’re still among the best phones you can buy.
Samsung is a massive player in the smartphone space, and that all comes down from up high with the flagship Galaxy S line. The Galaxy S8 and its larger partner the Galaxy S8+, build on the core features and experiences from the Galaxy S7 and bring things into the future with great new design and a few eye-catching features that it’s new for 2017. They almost the same thing with the Galaxy Note 8, which is slightly bigger and features an S Pen stylus, to form a trio of excellent hardware and important software updates.
Here’s are the things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
Galaxy S8 and S8+: The primary basics
Galaxy S8 and S8+ can only be differentiated by their screen size and battery capacity, and it comes in at 5.8-inches and 6.2-inches with extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio displays. The battery is 3500mAh for the Galaxy S8+ and 3000mAh for the standard Galaxy S8. Take note, the Galaxy S8+’s battery is 100mAh smaller than the Galaxy S7 edge of last year, while the Galaxy S8’s is the same size as the Galaxy S7.
The batteries haven’t increased in size though; the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside — that’ll be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Samsung Exynos 8895, depending on the region — will surely give some help. The phone processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM, an increase to 64GB of storage, and of course, also have microSD card slot. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged regarding its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens but has improved processing thanks to new software and a new ISP (image signal processor).
The overall design for the phones looks alike in both sizes, and is still shimmering glass and metal much like the previous generation. It’s punctuated by the long edges of the displays curving subtly off the side, more so like the Galaxy Note 7 than the more dramatic Galaxy S7 edge — and to that point, there is no “edge” model here, as both phones sport the curves.
The displays have an 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they’re extra tall while staying relatively narrow. Samsung has also moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That necessitated the movement of the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7 to try to pick up the slack.
Here are the Galaxy S8’s specs.
Category Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Display 5.8-inch AMOLED 2960×1440 (570 ppi) 6.2-inch AMOLED 2960×1440 (529 ppi)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8895 or Samsung Exynos 8895
Storage 64GB (UFS 2.1) 64GB (UFS 2.1)
Expandable microSD up to 256GB microSD up to 256GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
Rear Camera 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels OIS 1.4-micron pixels OIS
Front Camera 8MP, f/1.7 auto focus 8MP, f/1.7 auto focus
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou Bluetooth 5.0 NFC, GPS, Glonass,
LTE Cat.16 Galileo BeiDou LTE Cat.16
Charging USB-C Fast charging Qi wireless USB-C Fast charging Qi wireless Powermat wireless Powermat wireless
Battery 3000mAh 3500mAh
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Security One-touch fingerprint sensor One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner Samsung KNOX Iris scanner Samsung KNOX Iris scanner
Dimensions 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight 155 g 173 g
Notable camera improvements on the GS8
On the front face of it, the spec hounds among us won’t be satisfied with the fact that Samsung has stuck with the same camera specs from the Galaxy S7 in the new Galaxy S8. Definitely, that means we’re looking at a 12MP “Dual Pixel” camera with a f/1.7 lens — but remember that the software and ISP (image signal processor) have been improved since last year, and this was arguably the best camera of 2016. On the other side, Samsung has completely revamped the front-facing camera to an 8MP unit with autofocus — You would be able to enjoy your selfies of all types.
Compared to the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 takes naturally sharper photos (meaning it uses less artificial sharpening), and also takes less-saturated and more accurate photos. Those are both overall quality improvements, while the GS8 also remains lightning quick with lots of extra software features to boot.
The Galaxy S8 has what it takes to capture beautiful photos with extreme reliability, but unlike this time last year, it is challenged overall by the flagship competition — namely the LG G6, Google Pixel 2 and HTC U11.
There are some new software features in the Galaxy S8.
As Samsung often does, we got a good sneak peek at the Galaxy S8’s software experience in the form of the Android Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. But there are some changes to make a note of.