I audibly gasped upon opening the Galaxy S8 and S8+ because they are just.so.pretty.
Here are the two phones side by side. As you can see they’re both tall phones with the S8 featuring a 5.8” display and the S8+ a generous 6.2”. The glorious bezel-less screen is the stand-out feature of these phones and it’s hard not to fall in love immediately when you realise that design-wise there is no other phone out there that compares.
Set-up and Design
WOW. It would be hard to find someone not impressed by the beautiful design of the S8 and S8+. The absence of a physical home button on the front of the phone allows the metal frame and glass screen to blend into one another beautifully. I know I sound dramatic but seriously these devices are stunning. Both phones feel light and sleek in your hands thanks to their tall and slim shape. We’re reviewing the Midnight Black variant but both phones also come in two other colours in Australia: Maple Gold and Orchid Grey. The Midnight Black version is super slick and glossy so it would probably be my pick of the three. Both the S8 and S8+ have an AMOLED screen so colours appear bright and vivid.
Samsung decided to keep the headphone jack and it is situated (thankfully) on the bottom of the devices. All the better to enjoy the nice pair of AKG earphones that have been included with both phones. Interestingly the fingerprint scanner is on the back of the phone, up next to the camera. I won’t lie, I found the placement weird. Ideally if you place a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, it’d be situated in the centre for ease of access. I’m not sure why Samsung decided not to place the fingerprint scanner in the centre - perhaps it had something to do with aesthetics because it does look nice and symmetrical placed at the top by the camera.
Next up, there’s a new button on the S8 and S8+ below the volume switch: this is Bixby. Bixby is Samsung’s virtual assistant or Siri equivalent. Bixby can be found on the left-home screen and is very similar to Google Now in that it’ll bring up your calendar reminders, location-based weather updates and will suggest news content and videos to read and watch.
With a rear 12MP and front 8MP camera, you might be thinking that the S8 and S8+ specs haven’t moved on much from their predecessors, except they have. The camera on both phones is just.so.fast; it opens in no time, auto-focusses rapidly and the detail you can capture on each photo is mind-blowing. New to the S8 and S8+ camera is a series of fun Snapchat-esque filters which you can play around with which I think people will really enjoy.
To demonstrate the kind of photos you can shoot with the S8 and S8+, here’s a series of snaps I took on a recent trip to Byron Bay:
Even in low-lighting, the S8 and S8+ capture colours beautifully:
And here are some nice shots I got in Sydney:
Both the S8 and S8+ are IP68 water and dust-resistant, meaning you can submerge it up to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins, although personally I wouldn’t recommend experimenting with these features
I found the battery life to be decent – I lasted a day and a half of moderate-heavy use before I needed to recharge. The fast-charging capabilities are so useful plus I have a wireless charger which makes things even easier.
- All glass display
- Fast camera
- Iconic design
- Placement of fingerprint sensor
I want it. I need it. Only a few months to wait until I can upgrade…