The Samsung Galaxy S8 is finally here. Samsung has been pushing the envelope a little further with the release of every smartphone to stay ahead of the competition. Samsung continues that trend with the release of the Galaxy S8, this is an attractive high-quality premium smartphone.
The Galaxy S8 is an amazing phone, however, there’s room for improvement. In this honest review, I will discuss some of my likes and dislikes about this phone.
The Galaxy S8 has a hefty price tag, and many people may not consider this phone a viable option as a result of that. Mid-range phones have gotten much better within the past few years. Someone who’s content with using a great mid-range phone such as the Oneplus 3T may not be willing to spend the extra money to buy a phone such as the Galaxy S8.
However, if that person goes to their local smartphone dealer to test the Galaxy S8 they will understand why it’s more expensive than all the mid-range phones on the market.
Things I Dislike About The Samsung Galaxy S8:
Most premium smartphones on the market today come equipped with a fingerprint scanner for security and convenience. Samsung went above and beyond this with the release of the Galaxy S8.
This phone can be unlocked via your face, a fingerprint, an iris scan, or you can enter your PIN if you choose to do so. This makes the phone extremely secure.
Due to the big, attractive display screen on the Galaxy S8, Samsung decided to move the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone. It’s located in a place that’s difficult to reach when you’re holding the phone in a natural position.
So this forces you to modify the position of your hand and hold the phone in an unnatural position to reach the scanner. This also makes it easier for you to accidentally drop the phone.
The fingerprint scanner has an elongated shape which makes it a bit difficult for the scanner to read your fingerprint. You may have to scan your finger a few times before it registers, this can be frustrating when you’re in a rush.
I’m a bit disappointed with this feature because sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it has a hard time recognizing your face. It will not work in a darker setting and it can be bypassed with a photo of your face.
I think Samsung needed to spend more time developing this feature and getting rid of all the bugs before they added it to the phone.
To access this feature you must turn the phone on, line up your eyes with the iris scanner when it recognizes your eyes it will confirm your identity and the phone will be unlocked. Sometimes this feature will work exactly the way it was meant to and sometimes it won’t.
Sometimes this feature may not work if you’re walking, it seems as though the scanner has a hard time recognizing your eyes when you’re moving. This feature should be flawless considering the amount of money that they charge for the phone, hopefully, they will get it right next time.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Bixby:
One of the main features of the Galaxy S8 is Bixby, this is Samsung’s voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa.
On the Galaxy S3 and S4, Samsung released S Voice to compete with Siri but Siri was much better. With the implementation of Bixby Samsung is trying to compete with their competitors in the area of artificial intelligence assistants.
Located on the left-hand side of the phone is the Bixby button for accessing this app. At the moment the Galaxy S8 in South Korea has voice recognition but the U.S. variant does not. This feature will be added to the U.S. variant sometime in the near future. This feature will not be very useful until the voice recognition feature has been added.
There’s Bixby Vision, the button to access this app is located in the corner of the camera. This app is supposed to analyze what’s being shown through the camera’s viewfinder. It will give you information about a place that you’re visiting, if it’s focused on an object it will let you know whether or not you can buy it.
The concept is great but the app doesn’t work very well. The results of image recognition will mainly show you things on Pinterest. The shopping element doesn’t recognize anything, and the places option is inconsistent.
There’s also Bixby Reminders, this feature will alert you of things that you made a note of in the past. You can set a location trigger to remind you to buy something the next time you’re at a certain location. You can also configure the app to ping you at a certain time to remind you to call someone.
At the moment Bixby isn’t very useful, however, it will be able to understand things contextually in the future. At the moment it will only work with some of the pre-installed apps and it cannot interact with any third-party apps but Samsung says this may change in the future.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Display Screen:
The Galaxy S8 phone has the best display screen on the market, Samsung manages to improve the quality of their display screen with every phone. The display screen is a 5.8-inch quad-HD+ HDR-ready display screen, it looks absolutely flawless and it has a wide array of rich and vibrant colors.
The Galaxy S8 has a rather large display screen in comparison to the size of its chassis. Samsung managed to fit a large display screen into a smaller chassis the display screen is 18.5:9 ratio.
It’s a very long display screen, this is very similar to what LG did with the newly released LG G6. I think this is a trend that other smartphone manufacturers will follow in the near future.
Galaxy S8 User Interface:
The user interface is extremely user-friendly and it has a refined look and feel to it. The user interface is now referred to as Samsung Experience formerly known as TouchWiz. Samsung did a great job streamlining the user interface on this phone. The Galaxy S8 runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat.
People who enjoy using stock Android may not appreciate the user interface on this phone. You will see contextual menus if you do a long-press on the icons, this is very similar to the 3D touch from the iPhone.
If you’re a fan of Samsung who have owned other Samsung phones in the past. It will take some time for you to get used to the placement of the home/menu buttons. In the past, these buttons have always been located directly below the display screen.
However, those buttons have been removed and they have been replaced with virtual buttons. To access these buttons you must swipe your finger across the display screen when you’re using a full-screen app.
The app drawer button has also been removed, to access the app drawer you must swipe your finger up or down on the home screen.
The Galaxy S8 has retained the Always-On Display feature and it has been upgraded from its predecessor. Now you have the option of having photos saved in the Always-On Display. So you will be able to view the photos on the display screen when the phone’s display is turned off.
One of the main features of the phone that keep the phone running smoothly is called Device Maintenance. This will scan your phone and give you a score out of 100 depending on the performance of the CPU, apps, and battery. This feature will encourage you to clean everything and to keep the score at 100%.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Hardware:
The Galaxy S8 comes equip with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chipset. The phone has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a SIM tray with a microSD card slot which is expandable up to 256GB of memory.
The dimensions of the display screen are 1440 x 2960 pixels and the phone has a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Camera:
The Galaxy S8 does not have a dual camera setup, and it has retained the same 12MP, f/1.7 aperture primary camera as its predecessor the Galaxy S7. Even though the camera is the same the quality of the images on the Galaxy S8 is better as a result of the software.
When taking a photo with the Galaxy S8 every time you press the shutter button the phone will take three photos. Two of these photos are used to reduce noise and eliminate blur which makes the end result look better. The Galaxy S8 also has an extremely fast dual-pixel autofocus along with image stabilization.
The auto-HDR does a great job of getting the right exposures for the contrast of highlights and shadows. This camera takes amazing photos whether you’re taking photos in a well-lit setting or in a darker setting you will not be disappointed.
The selfie camera is an 8MP camera, it works great for taking selfies. Samsung did a great job with the cameras on this phone.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Performance And Battery Life:
The 300mAh battery in the Galaxy S8 is by no means the most powerful battery on the market. However, the powerful processor makes the phone extremely efficient so the battery will last longer. The battery capacity in the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S8 are exactly the same.
However, the Galaxy S8 will have no problems supplying the 5.8in display screen due to its efficiency. The battery will last for a full day of moderate use and the battery will generally be about between 25% to 30% at the end of the day. The Galaxy S8 comes with fast charging via USB-C you can fully charge the phone in roughly 1.5 hours.
The Galaxy S8 is extremely fast and responsive even when multi-tasking. Whether you’re playing video games, watching movies, sending text messages, or taking photos the phone will not slow down. And there’s no stutter when switching from one app to another.
My Final Thought:
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has its pros and cons, but I think the pros by far outweigh the cons. The things I mentioned that I dislike about Bixby, the facial recognition, and the iris scanner are disappointing, but they’re not a deal breaker.
My overall experience with this phone has been a good one. If you’re looking for a fast, responsive phone with all the latest bells and whistles then you should definitely consider getting this phone.
At the time this review was written the Samsung Galaxy S8 was available at ebay.com for US $719.99 with Verizon, price subject to change. Please let me know your thoughts about this phone in the comment section below.