Samsung Galaxy S8+ review: Infinity and beyond
Infinity and beyond
What was once an impossible fantasy - a sketch in someone's book, a render of an ambitious concept - is now a reality. These are just some thoughts that come to mind holding the Galaxy S8+, the big and bold next step Samsung took.
And yet, such is the progress the smartphone industry has been making that the Galaxy S8+, with its exquisite, elongated shape and borderless display, was the logical way forward rather than a result of a vain experiment.
Bigger is better, the old mantra goes, but is it really that simple? How deep does the average pocket go and how far does the average thumb stretch? And, most importantly, how tall is tall enough? Samsung were after more screen in less body and that is far from the only argument in favor of the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio, nor is Samsung alone in its endeavor.
The LG G6 is already a reality, with its 18:9 display and Google itself is on board as well, more than encouraging the widescreen experiments. Yet, it will be some time before media content catches on so the S8 pair do come with some early-adopter hurdles. But, if the widescreen mobile experience is truly the way of the future, there is hardly a better way to start the journey than the 6.2" Galaxy S8+.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ key features
- Body: Polished aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back; IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. Arctic Silver, Orchid Grey, Black Sky, Maple Gold, and Coral Blue color schemes.
- Display: 6.2" Super AMOLED, 2,960x1440px resolution, 18.5:9 (2.06:1) aspect ratio, 529ppi; HDR 10 compliant (no Dolby Vision).
- Rear camera:12MP, f/1.7 aperture, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, OIS; face/smile detection, Multi-Frame Image Processing; 2160p/30fps video recording.
- Front camera: 8MP, f/1.7 aperture, autofocus; 1440p/30fps video recording.
- OS/Software: Android 7.0 Nougat; Samsung Grace UX; Bixby virtual assistant; Smart Connect, Smart Connect Home
- Chipsets: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835: octa-core CPU (4x2.35GHz Kryo 280 & 4x1.9GHz Kryo 280), Adreno 540 GPU. Exynos 8895: octa-core CPU (4x2nd-gen Mongoose 2.3GHz + 4xCortex-A53 1.7GHz), Mali-G71 GPU.
- Memory: 4GB of RAM (6GB option for some markets); 64GB storage (128GB option for some markets); microSD slot for cards up to 256GB, UFS cards support.
- Battery: 3,500mAh Li-Po (sealed); Adaptive Fast Charging (same as S7); QuickCharge 2.0 support; WPC (Qi)&PMA wireless charging.
- Connectivity: Single-SIM, Dual-SIM available in certain markets; LTE-A, 4-Band/5-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.16/13 (1Gbps/150Mbps); USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac MU-MIMO; GPS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader; iris recognition, face recognition; single speaker on the bottom; 3.5mm jack; bundled AKG headphones.
- No stereo speakers
- Inconveniently placed fingerprint reader
- The bulk of the photo and video content doesn't make the most of the available screen area due to the unusual screen aspect ratio
The good thing is, the extraordinary display is only one piece of the great package that is the Galaxy S8+ and it has plenty of other things going for it. One could expect nothing less given the pressure that the new flagship is under, following the unfortunate demise of the Note7. Samsung hasn't gone a full year without a new flagship since 2011 and, given the growth it's seen since, this is arguably its most important launch yet.
Judging by the early response, the company got the presentation right, but the S8 really needs to keep going strong beyond the hype stage. It just has to deliver performance that matches the wow factor, a user experience as compelling as the design. Guess what, we are here to find out if it does.
Follow along the next few pages as we dive head-first and explore Samsung's new beast of a flagship.
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