Switching to the Galaxy S8: My first impressions
I firmly believe that the Galaxy S6 edge+ is one of Samsung’s best smartphones to date. It’s the last handset I remember being genuinely excited about. For some reason, the Galaxy S7 didn’t cut it for me, so I decided to make the jump from Android to iOS and pick up an iPhone 6s, followed by an iPhone 7 Plus.
It’s safe to say that my excitement for Samsung’s next big thing returned when I placed my pre-order for the Galaxy S8+ on Friday, April 6. As each day passed, I checked the online order tracking page multiple times hoping there’d been some sort of slip up and it had been despatched early. Unfortunately, it hadn’t.
After what felt like an eternity, I finally got my hands on the Galaxy S8+ last Monday, and coming from an iPhone 7 Plus, it’s a big change. Transferring my data was a breeze, though I was disappointed to learn that some of my content wasn’t compatible, like WhatsApp backups. But that’s not such a bad thing.
The thing I found most difficult to get used to was the edge-to-edge screen. While it makes Apple’s offering look somewhat antiquated, it feels incredibly fragile. I kept thinking that if I drop the device, it’ll smash into a thousand pieces, even if several tests have found it to be pretty durable.
Once I realized that it’s just a smartphone, however, and not a Qianlong vase, I quickly got used to the slightly menacing design. In addition to looking fantastic, the Galaxy S8+ feels great in the hand. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the first handset from Samsung that actually feels premium (in terms of hardware and software).
Navigating around Android is surprisingly smooth for a unit that runs TouchWiz, or — as it’s now known — Samsung Experience. Applications open quickly and are responsive for the most part, but many developers are still yet to optimize their creations for the device’s 18.5:9 Infinity Display, which is a shame.
Even though I’ve only been using it for a week, I’ve come to the conclusion that Samsung has really hit the nail on the head with the Galaxy S8+. Sure, battery life could be a bit better, but Adaptive Fast Charging makes up for the need to carry a charger if you’re going on a long day trip.
Somehow, the Galaxy S8+ made the iPhone 7 Plus, a handset I hold close to my heart, feel antiquated, cumbersome and sluggish — and I’m thankful. I needed a change and desperately wanted to return to Android, but none of the smartphones on the market were well-rounded enough to compete with the iPhone.
Up until now, that is.