Samsung’s aim for perfection seems to have gotten weak with the Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 7 had something in common: They were the most perfect smartphones Samsung had created for their time (not counting the Note 7’s battery drama), after years of letting us down with something or the other. They were particularly impressive after the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Samsung, in a bid to change its smartphone designs around, made a few compromises on the S6 and S6 edge, like removing the microSD slot and equipping the handsets with extremely small batteries.

But when you innovate, you have to be willing to make sacrifices, so many were forgiving of the shortcomings of the S6 and S6 edge. But now, two years later, and after two flagship phones that were top notch in nearly every aspect, the Galaxy S8 makes it look like Samsung is once again focusing on innovation at the expense of basic functionality. Those Infinity displays on the S8 and S8+ make them the most beautiful smartphones on the market, but there are quite a few aspects that make them a lesser package than the phones they will be succeeding.

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Let’s start with the small batteries, something we have repeatedly been complaining about since the S8 and S8+ were announced. It’s almost like we’re back in the days of the S6 and S6 edge, with the S8 particularly having a very disappointing battery capacity. The S6 edge+ and Note 5 had 3,000 mAh batteries back in 2015, and while neither handset had issues with getting through to the end of the day, they weren’t featuring as powerful processors like the S8 and S8+, nor having to content with something like Bixby running in the background or Always On Display causing additional battery drain when the phones were sitting idle.

Yes, the Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895 are more efficient than any mobile chipset that has come before, the Galaxy S8’s official battery stats are not much worse than the S7’s, and Samsung’s new batteries will work as great a year later as on day one. But for consumers opting for the S8, the tiny battery will be a cause for concern. At best, they’d have to charge it every evening. At worst, they’d have to turn off features like Always On Display and try being off mobile data as much as possible. Either way, it will be a problem, and no matter how fast your phones might charge, there’s no replacement for a battery that can keep going for long on a single charge.

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Now, about that fingerprint sensor. Everyone knows reaching it will be a difficult task on these tall phones, and Samsung has messed up big time here. The S8 and S8+ offer iris and facial recognition, but neither can be as fast or accurate as a fingerprint in every situation. Worse, you still need to wake the phone up before the phone starts scanning your eyes or your face. To add insult to injury, Samsung has made the fingerprint sensor a passive button, meaning it is always ready to detect your fingerprint and does not require a hard press anymore. It’s finally nice to see on Samsung’s flagship, but the company managed to enable this functionality right when it decided to put the fingerprint sensor out of reach.

Also Read: Why you should upgrade from the Galaxy S6 to the Galaxy S8

Now, we come to the most offensive part: Bixby. Bixby is Samsung’s official entry into the virtual assistant race, and the company is promising a high level of functionality. But at this point, Bixby is far from reaching the potential Samsung thinks it will reach. First, there’s limited language support. Second, Bixby doesn’t even have support for voice control in an important market like the US at launch. I know “intelligent personal assistants” are a tough thing to crack, but maybe Samsung should have kept Bixby in the labs a little longer instead of launching it with limited functionality, especially since Bixby even has a dedicated button.

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Like I said at the beginning of this article, taking giant steps forward sometimes requires leaving a few things behind. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ certainly have a lot going for them. Big, beautiful displays, noticeably improved cameras, the latest silicon, and even the ability to turn into a desktop computer. But the missteps are hard to ignore after something like the Galaxy S7 edge, and it will be interesting to see where Samsung goes with the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.

For now, the perfection we saw in Samsung’s smartphone lineup seems to have fallen by the wayside, and the company would do well to hope the S8 and S8+ will offer an overall experience that makes it easy to overlook its shortcomings. You know, just like it did when it dazzled us with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge back in 2015.

What do you think of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+? Think Samsung should have worked harder on ironing out the kinks, or do you think the good things about the Galaxy S8 and S8+ outweigh the bad?

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4 months 2 hours ago
Hi' I'm Steph Curry and I blew a 3-1 lead lol

is it so hard to give people a big battery like 4000mah and efficient processor at the same time? BTW only good thing about s8 is the processor and the screen and i dont mean the curved edge!

Lucidfer
4 months 6 hours ago
Lucidfer

I want to congratulate Sammobile on making an objective and critical article on the brand they report on. We need more of that in tech medias, and less disguised apologetic advertisement BS. That’s also the only a company is compelled to do better.

joneil0022
4 months 1 day ago
joneil0022
I have had every Note except for the joke called the 5. In that case Samsung pissed me off and 3 V10’s got bought that year. While it was a decent phone, this really was no comparison. The hardware was not as good and the sowftware was not as good either. The screen was a big downgrade. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for the Note 7. I really disliked the curve screen, but functionality wise, it really wasn’t that bad. So after 2 returns with the battery fiasco I got stuck with the S7e. It sucked! I… Read more »
Spacks
4 months 1 day ago
Spacks
The Galaxy S7 is obviously the best Samsung phone to date. With the introduction of Galaxy S8, we expected Samsung to make sure that the S8 is better than the S7 in every aspect otherwise it makes no sense for me to upgrade to Galaxy S8 from my S7. One of the greatest mistakes of the S8 is the poor battery life. Having same batter as the S7 is wrong. Also the position of the fingerprint sensor is absurd. Placing the sensor at the back is poor design and makes usability difficult. Its high time Samsung start to listen to… Read more »
Reshock
4 months 1 day ago
Reshock
The finger print sensor on the back, concept is good. But if you can’t use it with your one hand that is holding the phone… It is no better than being on the front. ALSO my powered USB hub’s cable is long enough to pick up the phone if I need to wile I am mirroring my phone. I hope that the Note 8 has a exceptable battery. My 2+ year old Note may still work and be Perfect for my job but I am Hoping Samsung will make a usable replacement for it someday, nobody else has really tried.… Read more »
gsdworld21
4 months 2 days ago
gsdworld21
Samsung possibly need to release phones every 2 years or one year the S series and the following year the Note series. This plan doesn’t seem to be working out. Personally I don’t need a wafer thin phone I’d much prefer a phone with a decent battery and a fingerprint sensor in a sensible place. This is possibly a good upgrade for the S6 users but S7 users mostly will stick with what they have. I’m currently using the S7 edge but if the note 8 doesn’t come with the fingerprint sensor positioned sensibly I’ll be going back to a… Read more »
igc67
4 months 2 days ago
igc67

Samsung and Amazon’s Alexa, would have been a very formidable opponent to Apple…

sgs2aus
4 months 2 days ago
sgs2aus

Bixby will see the dustbin of history just like s-voice, milk, and a host of other Samsung software attempts.

sgs2aus
4 months 2 days ago
sgs2aus

The location of the fingerprint scanner is murder.

4 months 2 days ago
David Keith

I am a BIG advocate for real world tests! Because of this I’ve been paying more attention to what reviewers have been saying about the pre-production models. When it comes to battery life test, ones done by people like PhoneArena, the s8+ beats out its predecessor and is only slightly behind the iPhone 7 plus which has amazing battery life in my opinion.

TommyRXE
4 months 2 days ago
TommyRXE

I think Samsung are doing with their flagship S series phones as Apple do with theirs. That is that every other year is their better phone. For example, S6 not so great with taking away some features/issues…S7 fix those issues. S8, not so great with some issues…S9 fix those issues? Likewise for Apple, like I said…every other year, their “S version” fixes last year’s issues.

holymungdiver
4 months 2 days ago
holymungdiver
s8plus is just too thin. idgf what size the screen is its too thin.holding out for mix2….idk i held one and it instantly changed my mind. feels like a hersheys almonds bar minus the almonds…..just re release the note 7 im america already ill make sure it doesnt blow anything and if it does guess whos covering the tab? so bring it back or early release the note8 already…..really just want a 6gb ram 7 in ultra qhd with a easy replace screen/preinstalled protector . and make it bulletproof waterproof everything proof. maybe some sweet speakers (htc esque)on the edges… Read more »
SAMgalaxyXXX
4 months 3 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX

Wow, I can’t believe so many people are upset because the article brought up a genuine concern especially about the battery size.
4000-4500mAh should have been the size of the batteries regardless of how efficient the processors are (Snapdragon and exynos) or how well they have initially performed compared to iphone 7plus period.

10basetom
4 months 3 days ago
10basetom
“The Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 7 had something in common: They were the most perfect smartphones Samsung had created for their time (not counting the Note 7′s battery drama), after years of letting us down with something or the other.” I have nothing against or for the Galaxy S8, but this is not a very strong argument against it. First of all, perfection is in the eyes of the beholder, so what’s “perfect” to you may not be so perfect to someone else. Secondly, you can’t call something perfect and then exclude the biggest thing that makes it… Read more »
4 months 3 days ago
Johnny Dwyer
Can’t agree more! It has a great screen, but the ratio sucks. The design is a step backwards in my opinion. LG did a much better job in terms of design with the G6. I’m excited about the 835, but can wait for that in a different device. Really liked what they did with the Note 7’s design, but of course that excitement fizzled quickly. If I want a faster and smoother phone I can go with the Axon 7 premium or the One plus 3, the Apollo, the Nubia Z11. Some of these phones are not only super fast… Read more »
Talalkh
4 months 3 days ago
Talalkh

There will NEVER be a perfect phone. Otherwise there won’t be NEW phones 🙂

gtone339
4 months 3 days ago
gtone339

Galaxy S9 will be the real deal of what the S8 should have been, just like what they did with the S7 last year.

4 months 3 days ago
David Berry
More efficient processor means this is not really a thing at all. I agree the note 7&s7e were great & probably the best phones ever all round. I still use my note7 & s7e daily & they both perform like they did on day one. Hopefully the batteries have improved as my note 5 died after 18months from what I believe was battery issue. After a yr of use the note 5 just stopped taking charge. Shame as I lost everything as the only back up I had was lost when my Windows tab died as well. 32g of music… Read more »
4 months 3 days ago
Johnny Dwyer
Lol, that’s funny= they both perform like they did on day one. It’s funny how ONLY Samtard fanboy’s say that. Yet I owned a Note2, Note3, and I’m on my Note5 right now and had ( have) performance issues with all of them. I’m actually on my second Note5 because I returned the first one for how bad the performance was after only 8 months. Had this one now for 10 months and can’t wait to get rid of this. Thing performs worse that my original EVO from 10 years ago. But I know, it’s just my devices.
Antykain
4 months 3 days ago
Antykain
Yes, it must be your devices.. or rather, whatever the @#$% your putting on them. Not saying you have done anything to cause all of your Sammy devices to have performance issues.. but ALL of them having issues?? ok.. I have the Galaxy S3 up to the S5, along with the Note4 Edge and Note5 myself. Even my old S3 still works great. Hell.. All of them have never had an issue, hardware wise, with performance. Around the same time I bought the Note5, I picked up a Nexus 6P.. which initially I loved. But that phone was plagued by… Read more »
5770 mp
4 months 3 days ago
5770 mp

Ofc they can do better…
But the battery life test is very good compared to other..
Is amazing device.
S7e here.. strying to wait for s9 so hard!

4 months 3 days ago
Sarah Cursaro

Wow I have never had a problem with my Samsung galaxy s6 edge or any of my other phones before that. I had stop reading got tired of some one wineying. No phone is perfect my cousin has had trouble with iPhone and Samsung. No phone is perfect have the writer every thought it might just be phone they got.

othmanhu
4 months 3 days ago
othmanhu

Nothing perfect in this life!

djitall
4 months 3 days ago
djitall

I’m happy if the battery life is on par with the S7 edge. As for the fingerprint scanner I’m not worried about the position. I’ve got a case for the S8 and there’s no problem reaching it. Also i use Smart Lock when at home and connected to my Gear S3 so most of the time i don’t have to use it anyway….

4 months 3 days ago
Jose Fuentes
WOW another article that headlines like a whiny little girl and then blathers on about how we’re always being dissapointed. Sounds to me like the writer has no humility what so ever because they simply cant appreciate the improvments. I have enjoyed every generation of galaxy because yes they always get better, but to post such negative articles about a very good device is just pathetic. Im also getting so tired about all the media groopies saying the same thing about the fingerprint sensor, are all of you really that dumb you can get use to the new positon without… Read more »
4 months 3 days ago
andihope
Seriously Mate, he’s actually being objective. I know that is a pretty alien concept to you and most on this site, but I just don’t understand why people like to live in echo chambers of their own blinkered opinions. Every argument he’s made is factually correct. The S7/ S7 Edge righted virtually every shortcoming and caveat of the S6 variants. The S7 Edge is as near a perfect device as I’ve ever owned, but I’m skipping a generation or waiting to see what the Note 8 brings to the table. We are talking about near $1000 devices, if I’m expected… Read more »
alastairgreen_Nexus
4 months 3 days ago
alastairgreen_Nexus

I hope that Samsung will create a poll for the upcoming Note 8 release so that they can directly know what customers want on their phone. As demand for bigger batteries increased despite of the Titanic-like dilemma of the Note 7.

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