Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8 overview
What do you do after the fiery demise of the Galaxy Note 7? You go back to the drawing board, think long and hard about what makes your devices unique, and take that to the next level. The result is now making waves all over the high-end smartphone market: the Samsung Galaxy S8, and its bigger brother, the Galaxy S8+.
Before taking you on a quick tour around the Galaxy S8, you can jump straight into our elaborate Galaxy S8 review, find the full Galaxy S8 specs list, check out the best Galaxy S8 tips and tricks, or get to know more about the best Galaxy S8 cases out there.
Galaxy S8 main specs
- 5.8-inch Infinity display, 2960 x 1440 pixels
- IP68 water resistant
- 12-megapixel dual pixel camera, AF, 4K video
- 8-megapixel front camera with AF
- 10 nanometer Exynos 9 or Snapdragon 835 soc
- 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, micro-SD
- Fingerprint reader, iris scanner, facial recognition
- Android 7.0, Samsung Experience UX
Galaxy S8 design
If you’ve ever held the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 is best described as a premium version of that device. We say this, knowing full well that the Galaxy S7 is a very premium phone in its own right. Samsung has upped its quality game considerably, in the past 12 months, as the Galaxy S8’s glass and metal blend together very, very tightly. Needless to say, the Galaxy S8 is IP68-certified, so the housing is water resistant.
The one thing, however, that catches the eye, is the enormous ‘Infinity display’ – a silly marketing term for a screen that covers about 83% of the Galaxy S8’s front. Thanks to clever use of its edge screen technology, Samsung has managed to cram a 5.8-inch display into a body not wider than that of the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7.
Galaxy S8 hardware
As usual, Samsung is using cutting edge technology for its flagship model. Depending on where you live, the Galaxy S8 comes with Samsung's own Exynos 9 series soc, or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835. Despite the conservative choice of using 4GB RAM, the S8 is a very snappy, smooth running device.
If you want a lot of onboard, fast storage, you'll be happy to know the Galaxy S8 comes with 64GB UFS 2.1 out of the box, though in some markets the slightly slower UFS 2.0 seems to be in use.
Galaxy S8 camera
For the Galaxy S8, Samsung went all-in on the design and build quality front. Camera-wise, the phone packs an upgrade version of the technology that gave the Galaxy S7 stellar performance in this department. With a slightly upgraded sensor, the Galaxy S8 still has a 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with OIS. The result: pictures that are equal, and often, better than those shot with the S7.
The biggest camera upgrade can be found on the front of the Galaxy S8. The selfie camera now has an 8-megapixel resolution and autofocus, which is a first for the mobile device market.
Galaxy S8 battery life
In the same vein as the main camera, the Galaxy S8 comes with a battery that is comparable in size and capacity to that of its predecessor. The resulting stamina can be best described as 'more than sufficient'. It won't break any records, but it will get most users through a long work day without problems.
Galaxy S8 biometrics
Where Samsung is really taking things to the next level with the Galaxy S8, is the biometrics department. The phone has a fingerprint reader, an iris scanner, and it uses its front camera for facial recognition. The latter is so fast, the phone will often unlock before the user gets a chance to get a good lock at the lock screen.
Because the Galaxy S8 does not have a physical home key, the fingerprint reader can be found on the back of the device. Though it may seem awkward it first, our experience is that after a while finding the scanner becomes easy enough for regular use.
The iris scanner made its debut on the Galaxy Note 7 and is now on the Galaxy S8 as well. It does not unlock the device as smoothly as the facial recognition, but it works in low light conditions and provides enhanced security. We recommend using it to protect your private folder or stored passwords.
Galaxy S8 software
The Galaxy S8 was released running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. More interesting, is the latest version of Samsung's own UX, now dubbed Samsung Experience. It is by far the most sensible skin Samsung has ever made. Though its look can be customized with custom themes, wallpapers, and even icon packs, that standard version is actually pretty clean and beautiful.
As we are used to, there are quite a few nifty features that add great usability to the Galaxy S8, such as the secure folder, and different performance and energy-saving modes. The only real mixed bag here is the feature that Samsung touted most in the run-up to the Galaxy S8 launch.
Together with the Galaxy S8, Samsung intended to launch its complete revamped AI assistant Bixby. Several months of launch, however, it is clear Bixby is at best a highly experimental project. Though individual parts of the assistant are functional, the most important one (voice recognition) is barely usable in most markets.
All of this would not be so remarkable if Samsung did not put a physical key on the Galaxy S8 to start Bixby. But they did, and therefore the device holds the prize for the phone with the most useless hardware button. Of course, this can still change, but it remains the S8's weirdest feature.
Galaxy S8 updates
For anyone wondering how the future of the Galaxy S8 in terms of Android and security updates looks, we can give you at least a few basic considerations. Samsung has been reliably providing two major Android OS updates for its flagship devices. Practically, this means the Galaxy S8 will get updated to Android O in 2018, and then to Android P in 2019.
Security-wise, Samsung has a spotty record. However, aside from a few hiccups, its flagship phones have been getting security patches on a near-monthly basis for some time now.
Galaxy S8 wrap-up
Overall, despite its futuristic looks, Samsung particularly nails the basics of the Galaxy S8. With solid battery life, good software, and a great camera, the impressive design is merely the cherry on top. And if you re-purpose that useless Bixby button, there's even some merit to having an extra hardware key.
Now, go check out our full Galaxy S8 review, or keep on reading to find all the latest Galaxy S8 news, tips, and updates.
Tips & Tricks 5
Galaxy S8 Tip: Get faster iris scanning with one simple change
The Galaxy S8 is the only Samsung flagship on the market right now that has an iris scanner. The feature is great for controlling access to…Read more
Galaxy S8 Active specs surface yet again
Samsung is due to release an "Active" variant of the Galaxy S8 in the near future. The handset was recently referenced on Samsung's own webs…Read more
Carphone Warehouse now accepting pre-orders for the Coral Blue Galaxy S8
The Coral Blue color variant of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ can now be pre-ordered exclusively from Carphone Warehouse in the United Kingdo…Read more
Samsung releases Bixby Voice preview for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+
Samsung announced last week that it will conduct a preview program in the United States to test Bixby Voice before the much-awaited feature…Read more
Samsung possibly preparing for Bixby rollout with new updates
Samsung has only properly released Bixby in South Korea where Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ owners can take full advantage of all of the features…Read more
Virtual Reality 5
Samsung’s next-generation Gear VR should have a super-high resolution display
According to industry insiders, Samsung's working on a standalone Gear VR that's equipped with an OLED display, which is believed to have an…Read more
Samsung shares its own tips and tricks for the Galaxy S8
Samsung put a lot of work in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ to provide users with a smartphone that fosters convenient and intuitive interacti…Read more
Galaxy S8 with dual cameras pictured yet again
There were a lot of rumors in the days leading up to the Galaxy S8's launch about the new flagship featuring a dual camera system at the bac…Read more
Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 pre-orders now live in the United Kingdom
We reported two weeks ago that EE is going to be the only carrier in the United Kingdom to sell the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in Arctic Silve…Read more
Trade-in your old phone and get up to $350 off the Galaxy S8 from Samsung
If you're thinking about changing your smartphone and currently have one that's still in working condition, you can trade it in and Samsung…Read more
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 BOGO offer for T-Mobile available again
Samsung's buy-one-get-one-free offer for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ on T-Mobile expired not too long ago and the company has decided to br…Read more
Galaxy S8 Active referenced on Samsung’s website
The upcoming Galaxy S8 Active (SM-G892A) has been referenced in a document, which outlines all of the applications it will ship with, on Sam…Read more