10 years of Samsung Galaxy S flagships: Looking back at the Galaxy S8!
Welcome to part eight of our 10 years of Samsung Galaxy S flagship series, in which we here at SamMobile talk about our experiences and memories of each of the nine Galaxy S flagships that have come before the Galaxy S10. Today, we look back at the Galaxy S8, the device that started Samsung’s journey into the bezel-less fad that has gripped the smartphone industry and refuses to let go. It was also the flagship that saw Samsung do away with flat screens for good, with both the S8 and S8+ featuring curved displays of varying sizes.
Samsung saw huge demand for the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and rightly so, considering the two phones were perhaps the most beautiful flagship phones on the market at the time. Those Infinity displays were great, although die-hard fans complained about those software navigation keys. Thanks to the demise of the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were the first Samsung phones to have an iris sensor that people could actually use (well, unless they hung on to their Note 7 even after the recall). And the iris sensor was especially handy given the poor placement of the fingerprint sensor on the S8 duo. The S8 had great cameras as well, with the front camera getting autofocus support for the first time.
And who can forget the Bixby button? The S8’s dedicated Bixby key was criticized by fans everywhere for being too intrusive for a virtual assistant that didn’t even do anything at launch. The key couldn’t be remapped, either. While some third-party apps allowed us to get around that limitation, it simply did not sit well with users that they had an extra button on the phone that didn’t serve any purpose. Remember, other than the US and South Korea, Bixby didn’t work anywhere else for months after the S8 was launched.
But, overall, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were excellent phones. What do we remember about them? Well, you’ll have to continue reading to find out. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts and memories about the Galaxy S8 and S8+ down in the comments section afterwards!
The Galaxy S8+ was an excellent phone in my opinion, at least in the first couple of months. Performance on the phone dipped considerably for me compared to the Galaxy S7 edge or the Galaxy S9+ later on, and as regular readers will know, I was also quite critical of the fingerprint sensor’s stupid position next to the rear camera. And the iris sensor wasn’t that quick at unlocking, either, and I guess we can put the blame for that on Samsung’s software being a little slow at waking up.
I also loved it that the front of every Galaxy S8 was all black, something Samsung should have been doing on its AMOLED phones since day one (so as far back as the first Galaxy S), because it’s awesome to see an all black front when the screen is displaying black/dark images. Another thing I liked about the S8 is that Samsung, for the first time, brought out a gold color option that looked sober. I had the blue S8+, but I was quite impressed with the gold one when I saw a friend using it.
The Galaxy S8 really made Samsung stand all against the competition at that time. You couldn’t fault the display while the design had been significantly improved as well. As far as the look and feel go, Samsung did a perfect job in my book.
Yes, there were some performance concerns down the line which was disappointing. We had expected better from the flagship. Personally, I couldn’t quite get what the fuss about the fingerprint placement was all about as it didn’t really bother me. Clearly it bother a lot of other people, though. There’s not much I can fault on the Galaxy S8. I quite enjoyed using the Galaxy S8+ as my daily driver for well over a year.
The Galaxy S8 was the first phone without a home button and the fingerprint sensor was relocated to the back. It was so horrible to use (the fingerprint sensor, not the phone) that I ended up not using it at all. Other than that, I thought the bezels could have been a bit smaller, but I thought it was a good design overall.
I bought the S8+ because the Galaxy Note 7 got cancelled, and as a long-time Note fan, it was great to see a big Galaxy S phone. It was the first Galaxy S phone that I really liked! The battery life and cameras were quite good, and to me, the S8+ was pretty much a Note without the S Pen. It was the last time I had a Galaxy S, though, once the Note 8 came out and we finally had a Note flagship in Europe (remember, the Note 5 didn’t come to Europe and the Note 7 got recalled).
Don’t forget: We want to hear about your fond memories and experience with the Galaxy S8 or S8+, so go ahead and get a discussion going in the comments!