Perhaps the most awaited smartphones of 2017 have finally arrived! Samsung has officially launched its flagships, the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Most of the details regarding both phones were leaked well ahead of today’s launch. We had already seen the phone in all its glory too but the official launch event was held today at the Lincoln Center in New York City has confirmed some minor details of which we we weren’t aware.
Without any further ado, let’s take a look at what Samsung has to offer in its 2017 flagships.
Design & Display
Two variants of the Galaxy S8 were launched today. The first one is the “regular” Galaxy S8 which features an edge display. The screen size is 5.8-inch, which is more than what you get on the Galaxy Note series!
If you think that isn’t enough, the Galaxy S8+ comes in at 6.2-inch. Both displays feature a resolution of 1440×2960 pixels which is about 570 pixels per inch for the Galaxy S8 and 529 pixels per inch for the Galaxy S8+.
Both phones also feature the much rumored Infinity Display. The Infinity Display sets a new standard in the industry and offers an expanded screen size without a bigger footprint. The result? A much more immersive experience.
As far as the design is concerned, the Galaxy S8/S8+ feature one of the best designs in the industry and it is certainly Samsung’s best till date.
The edge-to-edge Infinity Display seamlessly melts over the frame of the phone and you can hardly tell where the screen ends and the frame begins. As far as the front top is concerned, you have your usual sensor placements along with the front camera and the IRIS scanner.
The front is mostly just the display because Samsung has taken the massive step of getting rid of its iconic home button. The multitasking keys have also been replaced and now you get a pressure sensitive home button and software keys.
The good thing is that haptic feedback still gives you the satisfaction of a real button whenever you press it.
Since the home button was removed from the front, the fingerprint scanner also needed to find a new place and it’s now located next to the camera on the back. It may be a bit awkward for some people and you should prepare for a lot of smudges on the camera.
Button placement is as usual, power button on the left and volume keys on the left side of the phone. However, this time there is an additional button below the volume keys. It is used to activate Samsung’s new assistant, Bixby, more on that later.
At the bottom of the device you have your USB Type-C port, loud speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The front camera on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sees an improvement. On the front you now have a 8MP camera with an F1.7 lens and this time it features auto-focus.
The back camera on the Galaxy S8/S8+ remains the same as last year’s 12MP along with an F1.7 lens.
However, image processing sees an improvement. The camera software takes multiple shots and combines them into one high-quality photo resulting in far brighter and sharper images.
The cameras also integrates Bixby Vision which can be used to scan and return information regarding what it sees.
Hardware & Storage
The Galaxy S8/S8+ sets new standard in the industry for performance.
Featuring the world’s first 10nm processor in a smartphone, the Galaxy S8/S8+ promises 10% better performance, a GPU that is 21% more capable and power consumption that is reduced by 20% compared to last year’s model.
All of this means that your day-to-day multitasking, launching apps and everything else will be faster than before while decreasing power consumption.
Both the the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also come in 2 variants featuring either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or the Exynos Series 8895 chip, depending on the region.
As far as the RAM is concerned, you still get 4GB of that. It is the same as of the Galaxy S7 and we were expecting to see a 6GB variant of the Galaxy S8/S8+ but Samsung decided that 4GB is more than enough for now.
On the storage side of things, you again get 64GB of internal storage which can also be further expanded via a microSD card.
Samsung announce its newest virtual assistant, Bixby, to rival Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant.
Bixby is basically an AI system that’s designed to make your life much easier. Not by collecting your information, searching the web for you, answering question (rest assured it can do that) but by trying to help you use your phone.
By introducing Bixby with the Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung says that it will be able to perform all tasks just by the user being able to talk with the phone instead of touching it.
For example you can ask Bixby to rotate a photo in your gallery for you, send the last you took to someone etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Bixby can do, we will learn more about it in the coming weeks.
Battery, Connectivity & Security
Another differentiating factor between the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is the battery. With the S8 you get just a 3,000mAh battery whereas with the S8+ you get 3,500mAh of battery capacity.
USB Type-C seems to the norm now and it is no surprise here that the Galaxy S8/S8+ features a Type-C charging port.
The Galaxy S8/S8+ features your regular connectivity solutions such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct etc. However, this time the flagships also support 1024-QAM and a Cat.16 LTE which means that you will be able to have faster downloads and network speeds, 20% more than the Galaxy S7 to be precise.
The IRIS scanner sees a return on the Galaxy S8/S8+. It is, however, complemented with a new face recognition feature that lets you unlock your phones at very fast speeds.
Availability & Pricing
The pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ start on the March 30th but only in the US for now.
In the US, prices will be set by their carriers, however in the UK the Samsung Galaxy S8 is priced at £689 (PKR 89,566) and the S8+ at £779 (PKR 101,282). Both smartphones will be available for sale on 21st April.
- Android Nougat 7.0 (Grace UI)
- Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm (S8) / 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (S8+)
5.8-inches, 1440 x 2960, 570 ppi, Always-On display, Gorilla Glass 5 (S8) / 6.2-inches, 1440 x 2960, 529 ppi, Always-On display, Gorilla Glass 5 (S8+)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via microSD card
- Primary camera: 12MP, f/1.7, OIS, LED flash, 4K recording
- Secondary camera: 8MP, f/1.7, 2k recording, Autofocus
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0
- USB-C v3.1
- Sensors: IRIS scanner, fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
- Battery: 3,000mAH (S8) / 3,500mAh (S8+)