Samsung launched Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus at the Unpacked Launch Event in New York City three days ago, and claims that the device is the smartest gadget in the market right now. Along with thousands of Samsung enthusiasts, I was also excited about the launch – even more so after the fiery fate of Samsung Note 7.
I am not a technical person, so what I look for is very different from what others (like Mister) require in a good phone. I have lifestyle requirements (like how good will the selfie really be?); if you are also more about what’s one the surface than inside tangled microscopic wires, this post is for you, and here’s what you need to know about Samsung Galaxy 8 (courtesy cnet, trusted reviews, the verge and the guardian).
Samsung Galaxy S8 features Infinity Display, a massive 5.8-inch curved screen that wraps its way around most of the phone. There’s no flat version this year, and the back also curves into your palm. It comes in three colours – a dark black, bright silver and a grey with a blueish tinge, and there’s no ugly white front plate in sight. The S8 is thin, light at 155g, and the display melts away into the sturdy metal rim. It’s a much subtler curve than on the Galaxy S7 Edge, and that makes it a lot easier to use. There’s still a bit of extra reflection on this portion of the screen, and can make for a handy mirror in a pinch.
Samsung has introduced its own virtual assistant, Bixby, which promises to help you get stuff done on the phone itself: you can set reminders, search through photo galleries, and cast your phone screen to your Wi-Fi-connected TV, all by pressing a dedicated Bixby button and talking to it. It’s also able to identify physical objects out in the wild (well, some of them at least). It’s is too soon (and the supporting data too sparse) to actually give out a verdict on Bixby’s efficiency, but we are certainly hopeful.
Another new feature to look out for is called ‘DeX’ – a £150 dock that connects to an HDMI-equipped monitor and turns your Galaxy S8 to a mini PC. Dock the phone via the USB-C port inside the cradle and a new desktop – which looks a lot like Windows 10 – pops up. Your apps are displayed in a very familiar layout and there’s a dock along the bottom that lets you access all the phone and text functions of the phone. You can even stream your actual Windows desktop if mobile apps aren’t quite enough.
You didn’t quite understand this bit? Me neither. Let’s move on to camera please.
Camera gets no love this year
The Samsung Galaxy S8 camera hasn’t really been given much of an upgrade compared to the Galaxy S7, which will be a bit of a disappointment for some (including me). However, the 12MP sensor on the back is still one of the best around, offering speedy snaps and great performance in low light. This year Samsung has added in something called multi-frame image, which takes three snaps and finds the sharpest, so the quality should be improved in terms of what you’re looking at, at least.
The front-facing camera has been boosted to 8MP, and there’s also a fun new effects button which you can use to give yourself a range of augmented reality makeovers to entertain your friends, as they wonder why you’ve not just decided to use Snapchat instead.
It can be safely dunked for up to 30 minutes in up to 3 feet or 1 meter of water. I would still put my phone in a plastic Ziploc when at a beach, because I am cheap like that.
Rear mounted fingerprint sensor, facial recognition and iris scanner in front
Excessive connectivity and exposure makes me queasy, which is precisely why I abhor Google Assistant. But it is trendy, and Samsung included its own patented version of intrusion in Galaxy S8. Samsung has incorporated facial recognition for authentication, enabling a user to unlock their respective phones by just glaring in the camera. Then there is iris scanning, which is a biometric tool you can use for mobile payments (you can’t use face unlock for this). Lastly, fingerprint sensor that is nestled a little too close to the camera lens can also be used to unlock your phone. Someone please tell me what was wrong with entering a code manually?
Samsung Galaxy S8 price is $720 (£689) – which certainly makes it one of the most expensive phones on the market.
It won’t catch fire
Aren’t you happy about it? It has been tested rigorously against all fiery triggers, and has been labelled safe.
So do you think you will go for Samsung Galaxy S8 when it’s time for yearly phone upgrade? Or will you wait for Apple’s release and then decide? Or better, invest in an underdog like Huawei and feel fly about it?
In case you want to know even more about Samsung Galaxy S8, here’s the official video for you (though really, how curious are you? Are you a Sagittarius by any chance?)