Samsung Galaxy S8 Review

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review
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What is the Samsung Galaxy S8?

Editor’s note: Samsung has started updating the Galaxy S8 to Android 8.0 Oreo, but it seems to have stalled the update due to some bugs. We’ll update this when we know more. 

Since Samsung unleashed its 2017 flagships the edge-to-edge design it started has spread.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 – Design

Nothing comes close to the Galaxy S8 design-wise. It’s the best-looking phone I’ve ever seen, leaving every other handset trailing in its wake.

The curved rear, as seen on the Galaxy S7, nestles perfectly in your palm, while the glass shimmers as the light hits it. The device is available in three colours – a dark black, bright silver and a grey with a blueish tinge – with no ugly white front plate in sight.

My review unit is the black option, and it’s properly black all over, with shiny sides that blend into the display. It feels like one complete piece, with the glass, screen and metal combining all together.

The volume rocker and standby switch are joined by a new button on the side. This is a dedicated Bixby button – which I’ll cover in more detail in the Software section – and while it shows Samsung is taking its new virtual assistant seriously, it feels too much for Bixby to have its own button.

The S8 is thin and incredibly light at 155g, but it feels sturdy and precisely made. The last time Samsung opted for a huge change of direction with its flagship, many of the basic features were lost in the transition. Thankfully, this isn’t the case here. A microSD slot continues to sit tucked away with the nano-SIM, the criminally underrated Qi wireless charging is also present, and the device is IP68 water- and dust-resistant too, so it will survive a dunk in water for 30 minutes to depths of 1.5 metres.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 – Screen

Not only has Samsung crafted what is, in my opinion, the best-looking phone out there, but it’s slapped on the finest display too. Although, when you consider that Samsung has demonstrated the best screen tech for a number of years, this isn’t really a surprise.

There’s more to the display than just the curves. First, it has a new aspect ratio of 18.5:9, rather than 16:9. This means it’s taller, essentially giving you more space in a body that isn’t that much bigger than that of the S7. While the Galaxy S7 had a 5.1-inch display, the S8 bumps that to 5.8.

It sounds huge, but the phone itself is compact and Samsung is keen to point out that it can still be used comfortably in one hand. I wouldn’t say that you can do quite ‘everything’ with one hand – especially reaching to pull down the notification tray – but this is far from a phablet.

The 5.8-inch display size is in some ways deceiving, however. Don’t pick up this phone thinking it will have the same size of screen as the Nexus 6P or HTC U Ultra in a much smaller body. This is a tall screen and it’s bigger than the S7, but it’s much narrower than proper phablets. Width-wise, it’s barely wider than an iPhone 7 and noticeably narrower than the Pixel XL.

Like the majority of Samsung phones, the panel is AMOLED and has a slightly odd quad-HD+ 2960 x 1440 resolution. It’s also ‘Mobile HDR Premium’ certified, so you’ll be able to stream HDR (high dynamic range) shows from Amazon Prime and Netflix when those apps are updated. Colours are gloriously vivid, but it manages to avoid oversaturating brighter shades while still displaying the deepest black. Like the iPhone 7, it covers the DCI-P3 cinema-grade colour gamut for a much wider spectrum of colours, and in certain situations, the brightness can break the 1000-nit barrier. Considering most phones, including the LG G6, only go up to about 650 nits, this is seriously impressive stuff. In fact, this screen is so bright that I can keep it on 25% brightness and it’s perfectly visible indoors.

In a move that’s surely to try to stretch out the fairly small 3000mAh battery, when you unbox your Galaxy S8 it will be set to display at 1080p rather than quad-HD. Most people probably won’t notice the difference – and that’s fine. But I’d suggest hopping into Settings and switching things up. Downscaling can leave some apps with oddly big fonts and a softer look on texts and icons; considering you’re spending £600/$700+ on a phone, you’ll probably want it to look its best.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best phone out there for media binging, and I’ve started picking it up instead of my iPad when I want to watch something on the go. There’s a clever mode called ‘Video Enhancer’, which boosts the contrast and brightness in certain apps – Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and so on – to give a pseudo-HDR effect. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it on all the time, due to the increased battery drain, but it does make a fantastic display even better.

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Where to buy ?

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Samsung Galaxy S9 UK PRICE CRASH: Deal could allow iPhone and Galaxy S8 users to save £250

Samsung Galaxy S9 UK PRICE CRASH: Deal could allow iPhone and Galaxy S8 users to save £250

February 23, 2018 -

However, the user has also revealed details about a forthcoming deal for Galaxy S9 customers. According to the Redditor, Samsung is preparing a launch deal that supposedly slashes up to $350, some £250 converted, from the price of a new Galaxy S9 or...

Samsung resumes roll-out of Android 8.0 Oreo for Galaxy S8, S8 Plus

Samsung resumes roll-out of Android 8.0 Oreo for Galaxy S8, S8 Plus

February 24, 2018 - Digit

About a week earlier, Samsung halted the Android 8.0 Oreo update for its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones as they caused random reboot issues on some handsets. Now the company has resumed rolling out the update with build numbers G950FXXU1CRB7 and...

Samsung resumes Android O update for Galaxy S8

Samsung resumes Android O update for Galaxy S8

February 22, 2018 - Engadget

Well, that didn't take long. After pausing the Android Oreo rollout on Galaxy S8s over a reboot glitch, Samsung has restarted the process in Europe. As SamMobile reports, it's an altogether different firmware version. The rollout has resumed in Germany...

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