Samsung Galaxy S8 Specs
Size: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm
Weight: 155 grams
Screen: Quad HD+
Display: 5.8 inches
Resolution: 2960 x 1440
Processor: Octa-core Exynos 8895
Storage: 64GB (expandable with MicroSD)
Operating System: Android 8.0
Cameras: (rear) Dual Pixel 12.0 MP (F1.7), (front) CMOS 8.0 MP (F1.7)
Colours: Midnight Black
Design and screen
Samsung Galaxy S8’s good looks are probably its defining feature. The glass screen curves on both sides, extending right to the edge. The sleek look of this model naturally translates to it being fragile when dropped but very few models on the market can withstand much impact. Some of the button positioning is questionable too. Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby gets its own, which is just unnecessary when it’s not yet sophisticated enough to be of any real use to consumers. The volume rocker sits right above Bixby so hitting that button instead when trying to adjust the volume is far too easy, sometimes disturbing what you’re listening to.
The back of the phone is kept flat thanks to designers opting out of the dual-lens sensor. Next to the camera is where you’ll find the fingerprint scanner – probably the oddest thing about this model. If opting for this phone, be prepared to change your habit of unlocking your device with a fingerprint on the display. Clearly, sleekness was the priority for S8’s designers and there wasn’t really a space to add a fingerprint scanner, especially when the phone can be unlocked with a retina scan and face ID. The new fingerprint scanner location is, understandably, awkward to get at to start. With time though the hand gets used to it and if you like the look of the display, it becomes a worthwhile trade off.
It should be noted that the retina scanner and face ID don’t work as well as they should, if you’re thinking that you can just opt for those instead of the fingerprint (or pin) option. When trying to unlock the phone with the aforementioned features, you may find that they’re just not as fast or responsive as they need to be, though the retina scanner is undoubtedly the better choice.
Fans of the headphone jack will be glad to know that the S8 has kept it alongside the addition of a USB Type-C connection at the bottom.
Performance and processor
Samsung have had some issues with the Android interface but a lot of these have now been ironed out. It looks clean and fairly intuitive to use too. We liked the Device Maintenance feature which helps you to keep your phone running at optimal levels. It does this by scanning your device and giving you a score out of 100 depending on the performance of the battery, CPU, and apps. You’ll get notified when your less-used apps are being put to ‘sleep’ until you reopen them, which helps the phone to perform at its best. When the S8 was launched, it was one of the most powerful phones available and that translates to high performance and satisfying responsiveness even two years on. Sure, other flagships now outdo the S8 on the numbers but for regular, daily use, you’re unlikely to feel a huge difference.
The camera on this model is still fantastic, with the ability to capture sharp images with the right balance of light and colour. It’s also able to deal with low-light conditions much better than previous models. The lack of a dual-lens sensor might concern some, but this makes the process of snapping a good quality picture easier and faster overall. While this camera won’t win over serious photography buffs (it does struggle with sharpness at full zoom), the typical user will be more than happy and there’s the Pro Mode to play around with too. Selfie lovers will be happy to know that the front camera delivers in that department.
Battery and Charging
The average user is likely to get a full day’s charge from this model. Additionally, the S8 has plenty of power-saving modes that really go a long way in extending your battery life. There are two charging options: fast and wireless, with the latter working with any standard wireless charger). How fast is the fast option? You can go from flat to about 7% in five minutes. It’s worth noting that the battery isn’t the most powerful on the market at 3000mAh, many models now go up to 5000mAh, but it’ll do the job for average users without issues.
The Always-on Display is a nice feature and it got an upgrade for the S8. Before, the display had the capability to show the time, date, and a few other bits when the display was turned off. Now you can have your favourite photos saved on the screen to enjoy without turning on the display.
Price & release date
The Samsung Galaxy S8 was released in March of 2017. On release, the S8 cost £689 without for the handset only. Since then the prices have decreased for handset and contract options as it’s no longer the flagship model. It’s worth shopping around as there are lot of great deals available so you’re likely to find a good price.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 remains a good all-rounder for the average consumer. It’s a premium-looking and feeling device that appears as attractive as more recent flagships. It’s got an impressive display (sometimes leaning a little too bright!) and decent battery life. Some of its features aren’t as great as they should be, plus you’ll have to get used to the new placement of the fingerprint scanner. The phone’s biggest advantage though is probably its price – because it’s two years old, the phone is far more affordable. You can also find really good Samsung Galaxy S8 deals around the £25 mark and get healthy amounts of data.
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