The Galaxy S8|S8+ : Let’s recap

Image taken from GadgetHacks.com

Samsung unveiled their latest flagship device; The Galaxy S8 and S8+ last Wednesday (29 March 2017). The reception has been mostly positive, but there have been voiced concerns, mostly about the lack of increased battery capacity in comparison to last year’s Galaxy S7 Edge.

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is sporting a 3,600 mAh battery and the Galaxy S8+ falls just a tad short with a 3,500 mAh battery. While both devices have a 1440p Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have more screen real estate, which should in theory draw more battery to power the Infinity display. A slightly bigger battery would’ve been preferred to decrease the offset in screen-to-battery consumption; however, The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have a default resolution of 1080p set out of the box(presumably to save on battery draw).

Speaking of batteries, I’m sure all of you remember the debacle with the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has since implemented an 8-Point Battery Safety Check to ensure that no more Note 7 mishaps will occur, so you should be perfectly safe with your new S8|S8+ device.

Let’s outline some of the specifications of the new Galaxy devices:


Specifications:

Galaxy S8

Dimensions:
148.9 mm (5.86 in) H
68.1 mm (2.68 in) W
8.0 mm (0.31 in) D

Display: 2960×1440 1440p Super AMOLED, 5.8 in (150 mm), 225 ppcm (572 ppi)
CPU: Exynos 8895 (International) Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (North America)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB
Removable Storage: Expandable up to 256GB
Rear camera: 12 MP (1.4 µm), f/1.7 aperture, 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 240 fps
Front camera: 8 MP, autofocus
Battery: 3,000 mAh
IP68 Rating
Release date:
April 21st(US) April 28th(UK)

Galaxy S8+

Dimensions:
159.5 mm (6.28 in) H
73.4 mm (2.89 in) W
8.1 mm (0.32 in)

Display: 2960×1440 1440p Super AMOLED, 6.2 in (160 mm), 208 ppcm (529 ppi)
CPU: Exynos 8895 (International) Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (North America)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB
Removable Storage: Expandable up to 256GB
Rear camera: 12 MP (1.4 µm), f/1.7 aperture, 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 240 fps
Front camera: 8 MP, autofocus
Battery: 3,500 mAh
IP68 Rating
Release date:
April 21st(US) April 28th(UK)

The new devices are identical, only differing in screen size and battery capacity.

The New & The Old

At the Unpacked 2017 event, Samsung showcased the devices and some of the software features, both new and old, that will come with your device. Here’s the recap:

  • Infinity display (new)
    Samsung is innovating on the Edge design by pushing past the bezels and incorporating a display that almost completely encompasses the device.
  • Invisible home button (new)
    Gone is the traditional home button. This time around, Samsung is introducing a pressure sensitive button built into the screen that’s persistent throughout the entire OS, even if an app is running full screen on the display. The invisible home button also delivers a satisfying vibration to mimic the feel of a traditional one.
  • Fingerprint reader (new location)
    With the addition (or rather removal) of the invisible home screen button to make space for the Infinity Display, the fingerprint reader has been moved to the back of the device, next to the camera. While this is arguably a bad positioning for it, it was a compromise for the Infinity Display. Get ready for a lot of camera smudges.
  • Iris scanner (old)
    The Iris scanner from the Galaxy Note 7 makes a comeback this time around with some speed improvements.
  • Face unlock (old)
    Face unlock has been a security feature in Android devices for years; however, it can still be fooled by a picture of the user’s face as it has in the past in the new Galaxy devices.
  • Bixby (new)
    Samsung unveiled its new digital assistant called Bixby. This is Samsung’s answer to other digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. Samsung feels confident about their new digital assistant to the point where a physical hardware button has been added for quick access.
  • Snapdragon 835 (new)
    The latest and greatest Qualcomm CPU is here. Other than bringing speed improvements all around, the new Snapdragon 835 features two major additions: Gigabit LTE (boy it’s fast) and Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Dex (new)
    Samsung is expanding the capabilities of your mobile device by including a Desktop-like experience with its new Dex Station hardware (sold separately).

Improvements have been made all around to Samsung’s latest device and one cannot simply ignore the beautiful new display. Carriers and some retailers are sweetening the deal by bundling a new Gear VR and Gear VR Controller with your pre-order, so check with your carrier or local retailer for pricing and details. I’ve pre-ordered my device (Galaxy S8+) and am eagerly awaiting its arrival (crossing my fingers for a repeat of carriers shipping the devices early last year). You can watch the Unpacked 2017 event by going to Samsung Mobile’s YouTube channel here.

Let me know what your thoughts are on these new devices. Love it, hate it?