Here’s a secret: I wasn’t aflame for the Galaxy S8.
When Samsung aboriginal appear the smartphone, I acquainted like I was watching a epitomize of aftermost year’s Galaxy Note 7. A arced display, an iris scanner, and abundant tech beneath the awning to accomplish a geek’s knees ballyhoo with excitement. We’ve heard this story, though, and aftermost year Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was recalled alert and ultimately dead due to adulterated batteries. I had ordered and alternate the buzz twice, and so, for the aboriginal time in contempo memory, I absitively not to buy the Galaxy S8.
Now, afterwards a anniversary testing Samsung’s new device, I anticipate I ability absolutely buy it. It’s the best agitative accessory to barrage so far this year, is declared to be abundant safer (though alone time will acquaint if the array will authority up this time) and is future-proofed to abutment faster Gigabit LTE networks as carriers activate rolling them out this year.
The Galaxy S8 has shortcomings, which I’ll altercate in this review, but so continued as Samsung can abstain any above recalls, it’s abundant to put the company’s smartphones appropriate aback on the map.
The highlight affection of the Galaxy S8, at atomic the one best association are activity to apprehension first, is the sharp, angled and bright AMOLED display, which was afresh rated the best on the bazaar by affectation experts.
Samsung is affairs two versions of the Galaxy S8. The alone aberration is accepted archetypal has a 5.8-inch affectation while the Galaxy S8 sports a 6.2-inch screen. The new “Infinity” anatomy factor, however, allows the 5.8-inch awning to fit on a accessory that’s abundant abate and added pocketable than the iPhone 7 Plus, alike admitting Apple’s accessory has a abate 5.5-inch screen.
The arced edges advice aish borders forth the ancillary of the screen, acceptance it to attending like it’s abounding over the abandon of the device. It’s taller and spans about from top to bottom. You feel like you could bore appropriate into the device.
Samsung accepted the above archetypal is already added popular, but I activate it added bulky to use. It’s adamantine to ability the top of the buzz with one hand, which was frustrating. The 5.8-inch affectation admeasurement of the abate Galaxy S8 was added than ample abundant for gaming and watching movies and abundant easier to hold.
And speaking of easier to hold, Samsung anchored the home on appropriate into the display. There’s a baby breadth at the basal of the awning that can be apprenticed to acknowledgment aback to the home awning at any time. It works great, and helps accommodate a abundant cleaner design.
I accept two gripes about the phone’s automated design. First, the aback of the accessory feels clammy and gross absolutely quickly. It additionally attracts fingerprints and looks appealing bedraggled alike afterwards aloof a few account of use. I acclaim a case to advice dness this botheration instantly. Second, the awning seemed to blemish absolutely calmly during a anniversary of tests, alike admitting I was accurate to try to accumulate it from administration a abridged with my keys.
Samsung is application Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor in the Galaxy S8. In fact, it’s the alone smartphone maker that’s been able to get its easily on this new chip, abrogation competitors to clutter to either body their own chips or use Qualcomm’s beforehand Snapdragon processors. The Snapdragon 835 is one of the aboriginal chips to abutment Gigabit LTE. That’s a dispatch bean to next-generation 5G networks, which carriers are activity to alpha rolling out this year.
In my tests, with the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 7 Plus aing to one another, I consistently got faster download speeds on Samsung’s device. That’s after Gigabit LTE alike alive yet, and attestation to the ability of Qualcomm’s modem and Samsung’s antenna design.
Think of it like this: if you buy the Galaxy S8, you’re advancing yourself to get abundant faster download speeds, absolute for alive HD or alike 4K video, aback they’re available. It’s a nice way of future-proofing yourself.
Samsung blimp the accomplished kitchen bore in the Galaxy S8.
Let’s awning the basics afore we dive in too much. Connectivity was abundant on T-Mobile’s arrangement during my tests, and I didn’t acquaintance any alone calls. Aloof already I had to echo myself during a buzz alarm aback the added user wasn’t able to apprehend me for a few seconds.
Also, the Galaxy S8 runs on Android Nougat, the latest above absolution of Android. The UI is clean, which hasn’t been archetypal of Samsung phones in the past, and actual quick and fluid. As with beforehand iterations of Samsung Galaxy S devices, you can run apps ancillary by side, or pop out video for watching while assuming added tasks.
I additionally like appearance like the Dejected Ablaze shade, which cuts out dejected ablaze while you’re account at night so you can abatement comatose easier. Apps like Samsung Connect will let you tap into SmartThings accessories throughout your home, aggregate from refrigerators to ablaze bulbs and acute vacuums, admitting I didn’t own any of these to analysis with.
Ok, on to the goodies, some of which you don’t see on best smartphones.
There are a few appearance we’ve apparent before, like wireless charging and quick charging, the closing of which allows the accessory to abstract up faster at the outlet.
There’s alike an iris scanner, which is defended and works able-bodied but initially fabricated its admission on the blighted Galaxy Note 7.
My admired affection is face unlock. It unlocks the affectation about instantly, afore I can alike blazon in my pin code, so continued as it recognizes me. It’s not secure, though. I was able to fool it with a account of myself. Samsung says it’s not meant for aegis and is artlessly meant to accomplish the buzz accessible to unlock. I’m not abiding I buy those claims, so beware that it’s not meant to accumulate your buzz bound from ambitious hackers.
There’s a fingerprint reader, too, which can be acclimated to verify your character to alleviate the buzz or for adaptable payments either online or at tap-and-go stations in places like coffee shops or grocery stores. It works well, but it’s placed in such a abhorrent spot. It’s aing to the camera which makes it adamantine to ability — I was consistently flipping my buzz and attractive for it — and acquired smudging on the camera aback I absent the fingerprint reader.
Speaking of adaptable payments, the Galaxy S8 sports Samsung Pay. It’s my admired adaptable acquittal technology, alike avant-garde of Apple Pay, because it allows you to accomplish purchases at terminals after NFC readers. That’s acknowledgment to technology it acquired from LoopPay which allows wireless adaptable payments to assignment with simple mag band readers in best locations. Alike cooler, Samsung includes accessible admission to coupons and added deals appropriate central the app, so you can bash through them while you’re cat-and-mouse in band at the checkout counter. I alike accustomed a $20 allowance agenda for registering my aboriginal acclaim agenda in Samsung Pay, which I acclimated at a Dunkin Donuts after hiccup.
The Galaxy S8 appearance the aforementioned camera sensor as the Galaxy S7 that launched aftermost year, admitting Samsung says it accomplished acquainted some of the software beneath the awning to accomplish it alike better. I didn’t accept abundant to accuse about aftermost year and that still holds accurate here.
The camera autofocuses about instantly and snaps admirable photos. It’s one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, appropriate up there with the Google Pixel — generally beheld as the best of the best — and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Finally, Samsung is introducing its new “Bixby” bogus intelligence abettor on the Galaxy S8. It’s abortive appropriate now.
Bixby can advice appearance you the acclimate or account belief for capacity you ability affliction about in a console that sits to the larboard of the home screen. You’ll additionally acquisition things like trending capacity on Twitter, accidental GIFs, agenda updates, Samsung capacity and more. Save for the acclimate forecast, I never already looked to Bixby for assistance.
Bixby additionally exists central the camera app, acceptance you to point your camera at specific items and again boutique for them online. It almost formed with specific things, like a tube of Clorox wipes I had at my desk, but not at all with added abstruse objects, like the Sony camera sitting on my desk. In the case of the latter, I aloof saw an angel chase for accidental cameras. It doesn’t assignment able-bodied and you’ll acquisition bigger assuming software congenital into apps like Amazon, which accommodate a added seamless affairs experience, too.
The articulation functionality that will acquiesce Bixby to act added like Siri isn’t yet accessible yet, which agency you can’t say things like “Hey Bixby what’s the Yankees score?” There’s alike a committed action for this affection that should be advantageous already articulation abutment is added in the advancing weeks. For now, though, it aloof launches the Bixby ancillary panel.
Bixby should ultimately be a above aspect of this smartphone. It’s camp Samsung isn’t including abounding functionality at launch. The acceptable account is users can still admission Google Assistant, which works absolutely well.
The smartphones we’re activity to alpha to see after this year and above will accept screens that booty over best of the avant-garde display, abutment for the next-generation of wireless networks that will activate rolling out this year, thinner designs than anytime afore and new biometric aegis appearance like iris scanners. Samsung is the aboriginal to accompany all of these to bazaar in a accumulation customer device. I doubtable Apple will chase with some of these features, including the avant-garde awning and the iris scanner.
If there’s one affair you should booty abroad from this review, it’s that the Galaxy S8 is a absurd smartphone that’s able-bodied account the cost. Will it draft up? I achievement not, but I additionally anticipate that there’s abundant actuality to draw Samsung admirers aback to the brand, and to advice Samsung replant itself as one of the leaders in the smartphone market.
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