Forgive us if we’ve been extra critical of the Galaxy S8 and S8+

It’s something I’ve meant to write about for a few days, and I finally got around to penning down my thoughts on why we here at SamMobile might be more skeptical and critical of the new Galaxy S8 and S8+, and of Samsung devices in general. Well, to be honest, the reason is simple: We’re a Samsung fan site, and spend a majority of our time with Samsung devices. Many Samsung fans likely upgrade to a new Galaxy phone every two years (or sooner, depending on how much they like to change their phones), but here at SamMobile, most of us use almost every new Samsung flagship before the next one comes out.

I started my journey with the Galaxy Note 3 and fell so much in love with the device that I decided I would only use Galaxy Note devices in the future. But that was until the Galaxy Note 4, which I felt was so poorly optimized that it put me off Samsung devices. People told us we were wrong and that there was nothing wrong with the performance on Samsung’s phones, but the company itself admitted it had fallen behind and made software optimization a priority with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.

I bought the S6 edge the day it became available here in India, and I followed it up with both the S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 as my primary devices. Finally, it was the Galaxy S7 edge last year, which I think was the most perfect Samsung device in terms of features, pricing, and the overall experience. The Galaxy Note 7 was even better, but I, unfortunately, couldn’t use it as its launch in India was cancelled before it could hit retail shelves. Last week, I placed an order for the Galaxy S8+.

Don’t Miss: Galaxy S8 and S8+ Review: Samsung brings us the future, but it’s not perfect yet

Like me, my colleagues here at SamMobile live in Samsung’s galaxy of smartphones, and that’s pretty much the reason why we have been so critical of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ ever since they were announced. Mind you, we’ve only spoken out against issues that other tech experts agree on. One is the subpar battery life of the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8, and the other is the awkward position of the fingerprint sensor.

Let’s face it: The poor battery life on the S8 means many will go for the S8+ (its larger screen will also attract consumers), and the fingerprint sensor’s placement is especially problematic on the larger model. The fingerprint sensor’s hard-to-reach nature becomes even more of an issue when you consider that the iris and facial scanner cannot always be accurate, and there is no way to make the phone fall back to either iris or facial recognition when one or the other fails.

But that’s a discussion for another article. For now, I’d just like to say that our criticism stems from the fact that we are more involved with Samsung devices than pretty much any other site out there. We thought Samsung could only go forward with its flagship devices after the Note 7, but it seems in the race to outsmart its competition with that Infinity Display, the Korean giant has ignored a few aspects that mar the otherwise excellent experience offered by the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

All I can say is that if our criticism of the S8 and S8+ have put you off, we here at SamMobile apologize. But as a fan site, we can’t help but point things out as they are, and hope Samsung takes some of the feedback and incorporates it into device development, just like it does with consumer feedback. We’re working on lots of content surrounding Samsung’s new flagships, and we’ll try to keep the negativity to a minimum.

No promises though: Being some of the most active and consistent users of Samsung devices, we stand to be a lot more disappointed with the missteps that the company takes with its smartphones. I know we fall way behind on positive content, so we’ll also try to be more energetic on that front going forward.

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27 days 18 hours ago

Though I cannot buy a truckload, let alone every single Galaxy phones, my previous phones have been Samsung’s where possible. Galaxy S, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S7 Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 4 (mine still running crazy in contrary to your opinion though had to swap out the battery!) and now Galaxy S8+ (prior to Galaxy lines, I have used Ultra Slide from Samsung as well). You could say I am a royal Samsung user. Any phone is going to have flaws and I do respect your opinions, everyone is different and therefore will have different experiences (but I have almost no respect for many tech reviewers though, they simply do not have enough time with the phone, and most of them are not spending their own money to obtain the devices). For example, I find the fingerprint sensor on Galaxy S8+ extremely easy to use, but I feel that it is difficult to get the position for the iris sensor to be correct. Regardless, I feel like Galaxy S8+ is the most complete Samsung device I have ever used, of course it has to be, being the latest and most expensive.The point is, everyone is going to have different opinions, and as long as you express that it is your opinion, it should be fine (and also respect the others’ opinions). Keep up the good work. P.S. hope the Note 8 comes out soon!

7 days 12 hours ago

I agree with you here. I’m an avid user of Samsung products as well as my other half and not everything is 100% perfect.
I’m currently waiting for the Note 8 to come out. Hopefully will be an epic phone.

Greg Joplin
28 days 3 hours ago

I always appreciate it when people tell the truth.
I am waiting for the Note 8 and I hope Samsung gets it right.
Samsung should leave the software business to Google.

I am currently using a Note 5.
When the Note 7 came out it was beautiful but had a short life.
Samsung needs Competition for sure.

29 days 3 hours ago

I still own and use as a main phone that phone that you mentioned as the one that put you off from Samsung devices, Note 4. The truth is that you never gave it a chance. It is not a problem to criticize the device, but it is an utter bias what you people here at Sammobile sometimes do in your stories. That Note 4 is after 2.5 years still a beast phone, it is actually so optimised now that it is much better in my opinion than S6 Daniel mentioned to be optimised better after Samsung realised it’s faults… it is a killer device, still, and has many advantages nowaday phones don’t have – IR, removable back and battery, and still has 3GB ram, stunning QHD, excellent camera and so on and so on…
There are people here that follow Samsung since S1 and I’m one of them, I can say that I’ve never owned a better device than Note 4 (to exclude Note 7 for we-all-know reasons), and it is really harsh what you say about this phone here very often.
It is okay to say critics, but it is not okay to be biased and play a role of unhappy fanboy. We here love technology and thrive to receive objective thought about new devices. None of them is perfect of course, but don’t overreact with anything. I like coming here and reading, but sometimes it really hurts.

28 days 16 hours ago

I certainly agree with you. The Note 4 is still a very very capable device and although Samsung really stopped supporting it 6 months after the release (I mean no new features), it was still capable of even running the Note 7 ported ROM pretty flawlessly. And instead of criticizing Samsung for their unfair decision of letting go of the device, this site strongly supported Samsung and that’s why I think the criticism on this site is much less than it actually should be.

29 days 9 hours ago

Unfortunately if they bought the unlocked version from Samsung they will never be updated either…you guys need to start pointing that out too!

29 days 10 hours ago

I was starting to think this site was exclusively sponsored by Samsung, because the criticism is something you do very little of. Samsung flagships have been full of compromises recently and without an honest media to connect OEMs and consumers with each other it was only going to get worse. For example little battery capacity is a serious issue to some and not reflecting that would have been unprofessional of you and would have made this site an unreliable source.
Thank you for being critical and please do more of it when you see something’s not right.

29 days 18 hours ago

Dont Know waht to really say…My battery life (s8+) is even better than my S7 Edge, no red tint, lots of new options, faster, better UI, better camera, Infinity Display…simply the BEST phone i ever had, ah, yes! …fingerprint?, Iris is faster a as safer as the finger…

29 days 13 hours ago

But it won’t work with apps like 1Password which require fingerprint only.

29 days 10 hours ago

Fingerprint works good, for me it’s not that terrible

Martin Eugeniev
28 days 17 hours ago

I agree… I think that people are getting over it a little more than it needed to be! I saw the S8 in the store and I am sure that I need 1 or 2 days and I will be all set with the new placement of the fingerprint sensor…

29 days 22 hours ago

No, you should continue to criticise if the criticism is deserved – that’s what separates you as a fansite from a fanboy site, and why readers can trust your site because you are displaying objectivity rather than simply shilling your favourite brand regardless of their problems.

29 days 19 hours ago

Agree 100%.

There will be fanboys in the comments who will look away from the device missteps, but you still sammobile shouldn’t. I keep visiting this site because you are objective

1 month 1 hour ago

When i use the S8 a lot i have a good SOT but what kills it is the standby on which is uses a lot of battery.
Right now i have 4 hours of SOT but i still have 50% battery left and used the device for slightly over 5 hours, meaning no standby which could use up my battery.

1 month 2 hours ago

I had read the prior reviews about S8 battery life and cancelled my pre-order. Then Verizon offered too good of a deal, so last Saturday, I took the plunge. I chose the S8 over the S8+ because while I loved the S7 edge, it was bit big as far as pocket fitting goes. I have really endured it’s smaller size with the bigger display.

But the surprise is that my S8 battery life has been astounding, much better than the S7 edge. Could you have a defective unit or network connection challenges that drain your battery faster?

29 days 12 hours ago

I used the S8 for a week in India, and the battery life has been pretty bad. Could also be because it’s summer here (40-42 degree celsius), and the body temperature of the phone increases. Maybe that could lead to bad battery life. But surprisingly, the S8+ (which I have been using for past three days) has been giving me pretty good battery life, at least compared to the S8.

29 days 10 hours ago

I am sure there’s a reason for that because most of the reviews I have been watching on YouTube these last days in my country (Spain) where very good about battery life, in fact most of them said that the battery life was better than the galaxy S7 Edge… The galaxy S8+ battery life it’s still a surprise because whe think in “MAH” , and when we are talking about the new processor everything can change for good, we have been asking Samsung to create better batteries , and they just did that ! ( better performance , longer lifetime, no more explosions…) and then comes the screen with new technology that combined whit that makes less do more.

1 month 4 hours ago

THAT’s the problem. You started with the Note 3 so you’re still a Samsung novice. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it lays down a very clear foundation that provides context for why it is you write what you write.

A lot of people in your audience have a longer history with Samsung and smartphones, and their predecessors (Palm / Handspring / Sony / Nokia days), than most of you guys do, so we are critical of your criticism based on our long-term experience watching the trajectory of these devices, and mobiles in general.

1 month 4 hours ago

the reason why battery life of s8 is longer than op3t with bigger battery is that 6GB ram drains battery faster and Samsung may have worked hard on battery management on s8, considering s8 has twice the pixels to push with bigger display and reports claim that s8+ gets anywhere from 6hrs-8hrs screen on time, that’s a significant improvement over s7 edge, in this case there’s more to it than just battery size that determines the battery life, it would be nice if Sammobile studied on some of them and let people know about technical side of Samsung devices….I’ve got a friend of mine who works at a phone repair shop and he says Samsung phones are one of the phones with least problems

1 month 4 hours ago

I’ve had my S8+ since April 20th and so far the battery been very good.
Yesterday I had 9hours and 6minutes of screen on time with 16% battery left. Resolution at Max, brightness around 60% and all syncing etc turned on. Medium/ heavy use during a full day and then some.

And so far the battery doesn’t “drop” spider fast line so many other phones when below 35-40% rock solid performance that is noticable.

And yes, fingerprint sensor isn’t perfect in it’s location but I still find it less annoying then under the camera placement since I don’t have to bend my finger.
And if you are like any normal person and put a case on your brand new S8/S8+ there is almost no way you mix up the fingerprint sensors location. Samsung’s silicon case is pretty nice as well as Spigen liquid air case.
Takes out the guess work with all sensors flush on the back of the phone.

Very likely the best and most likable phone I’ve ever owned.
And a final note, iris scanner works great unless you walking in direct sunlight = choose any other method…

1 month 5 hours ago

nothing racist but I watched a lot of review videos on s8 from all over the world including India, what I felt every time I watched videos by Indians is that they are far too focused on specs on paper and judge everything by them,, for example, a lot of them mention 4GB RAM 6GB RAM and saying whatever with 6GB RAM is the better one, however, I’ve read many tech reviews and many say it’s not important or some say it’s unnecessary and explanation follows, this isn’t the case with Indians…battery life too, they judge everything by how big of battery it carries w/o taking into consideration there are other ways to manage it….I hope Sammobile becomes more technical or professional in it so that people coming here can have some info or explanation on technical matters, I think that’s how it can set it apart from other sites…

1 month 6 hours ago

Pls tell i am eagerly waiting for the reply as when can we get our hands on s8 in india

1 month 6 hours ago

Can any body tell me when can we get s8 in india when in the situation where i have pre booked it

29 days 12 hours ago

The midnight of May 4.

1 month 6 hours ago

I haven’t hand issues with with the s8 battery at all. And from my experience nits actual noticeably better than my s7 and in real life usage where I do charge the phone and make sure I have 100% before I leave a place but generally do find my phone being around 20% more battery life remaining than my s7 at the end of the day

1 month 7 hours ago

I must be slow, I hadn’t noticed much criticism!

Have to say the Note 4 was my favourite phone and it was only 1 build of lolipop that was slow, which they sorted.

I love my S8+ and haven’t had any problems with it, battery included. The fingerprint placement is terrible, but the iris scanner is so good that it makes fingerprint scanning redundant!

1 month 7 hours ago

I walked into a Samsung Store today expecting the very worst for the S8/+ especially when it comes to the fingerprint scanner placement ;however, after about what felt like 30 seconds of using the phone it was ridiculously easy to reach the scanner with barely any strain. I don’t have the largest hands on the planet but I am one of those who don’t understand the criticism towards its placement

1 month 7 hours ago

Meanwhile, Gsmarena says S8 battery life is better than S7′s battery life.

1 month 8 hours ago

I also don’t understand the comments about poor battery performance on the S8. I come from the Note 4 (great phone btw) with new original battery and I am stunned by the great battery life I get out my S8. It is so much better on the S8. I can browse the internet for hours and only loose a little percentage of battery charge. Only thing I noticed is that the camera set the screen very bright while in use. The phone is a delight to use, so fast and smooth. Camera is great also as is the stunning screen.sound quality of the Exynos version is also top, great soundstage and very clear placement of instruments. Even the included AKG headset is very decent. A little to much high tone prone compared to my Sennheiser Momentum’s over and in ears but not bad at all. When I started out I had problems with the fingerprintscanner as I had to look to place my finger correctly. After a while I discovered that when I have the phone in my right hand (I use the Led view flip cover) The placement is perfect if you use your rightindex finger from the top of the phone. It almost automatically ends up on the sensor. Give it a try for yourself. All in all I am very happy with my new phone and everytime I pick up my Note 4 it feels like a phone out of another era.

Ps: there seems to be a big gap in battery life between SD835 and Exynos versions with the latter beating the Snapdragon by over an hour in the reviews I read

1 month 4 hours ago

Exynos here as well and S8+ seeing crazy numbers compared to any other phone I ever owned. (Posted higher up)

1 month 8 hours ago

Its ok
I forgive you
Also dont cry now

( note 4 wasnt that much bad after lollipop .. also it has latest april security patch – india )

Chris Banks
1 month 8 hours ago

I just find it very odd that of all the tech blogs that I read daily, the Samsung Fan site is the only one that calls the battery life of the S8 poor… My own experience aside (which coming from the S6 Edge, this battery seems stellar to me), sites that have run tests on the battery life put it somewhere between 4-5 hours of SOT and usually lasts an entire day. Not to mention it seems to only be beat by the iPhone 7 Plus and S8+ in daily life span. I’m at work for 10-11 hours and I usually leave with more than 70% battery left (not plugging it in during the day).

It’s 10nm chip along with Android N seem to make it very efficient. But hey, everyone’s experience will differ I’m sure, I’m just a little confused on this point. I could see the battery being labeled “Good (but not the greatest)”, or even “Okay”, but “Poor” sounds like a bit of a “Hot Take” to me….¯_(ツ)_/¯

29 days 12 hours ago

I am coming from the S7 edge, and S8+’s battery life seems to be slightly lower. However, the S8 seems to have particularly bad battery life. S8 wasn’t lasting me till 7 PM. S8+ seems much better.

1 month 3 hours ago

Most tech blogs are saying that is average or good not excellent even if it’s better than S7. All manufacturers should be aiming at 11/2 -2 days with their flagships because they are not cheap, period and Samsung should and could have fitted a bigger battery on both, period.
Samsung is still my favorite brand and planning to stay with it for now mainly because of the Note series but I’m not a blind fan and Samsung hasn’t been taking the right decisions all the time since the release of the S6.

1 month 8 hours ago

I’m really running out of writers on this site to like. The quality of the articles have really been dropping over the past year.

1 month 9 hours ago

Nothing to apologise for. You have just flagged up genuine and almost universal concerns like the battery size and the fingerprint scanner position.
Having said, though the fingerprint scanner position is not ideal I also agree it shouldn’t be a deal breaker, a shame it’s smaller than it should be and too close to the camera.
Yes, we all know that Samsung had no choice and it was a rushed decision because the reader under the display wasn’t ready but a company of this side and expertise should have had a plan B and C before hand just in case.
Now the battery sizes are not rushed decisions and I’m pretty sure that even before the Note 7 fiasco (with its small battery) that was the planned sizes for the S8/S8+ all along and it’s simply not enough. One day battery is not enough for a flagship costing that much despite fast charging, period.

1 month 10 hours ago

I find the critical evaluation of the S8/+ here to be quite refreshing. Too many platform or manufacturer specific websites end up being just a bunch of identikit contributors fawning over the latest bit of shiny, regardless of its flaws (I’m looking at you iMore). I’d much rather have a balanced look at the state of Samsung than pointless propaganda.