If you follow me on social media then you know that for the last few weeks I have spent time with the Galaxy S8+. I normally go for the standard model to do my testing and review on but this year I decided to give the larger of the two a chance, This was partly because of my experience with the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. So after weeks playing with it what are my thoughts on it? Well, let me share them with you.
- First, I LOVE the display on this phone. Which is a good thing because that is almost 84% of the front of the phone. Samsung knows what they are doing when it comes to mobile displays. The 6.2 inch Super AMOLED panel is bright and as colorful as ever. Because I prefer my screen as color accurate as possible I switched the Screen Mode to AMOLED Photo. I guess I should spend some time with it on Adaptive Display to see how living with those punchy and ultra-vivid colors is like.
- There is no Edge model this time around. Instead, everyone gets an edge(cue the Oprah meme!)! Much like the Note 7 the sides fall slightly down the sides giving anything on the screen a slightly more immersive feel.
- Samsung and LG both have moved to a different aspect ratio this year. LG went with a 18:9 with their G6 while on both Galaxy S8 models you will find a 18.5:9. This means that the phone is narrower than years past. This also means that a 6.2 inch screen device is easier to hold. Though reaching across the screen isn’t any easier for my small hands.
- Lets talk about the size of this phone for just a little. Like I said, I don’t have large hands. This is part of the reason that I have largely stayed away from the phablets. But with the narrower body of the Galaxy S8+ made me think “okay I can do this.” This though was also brought on by knowing that the S8+ is only a bit taller than the Note 7 which I loved so. But those extra millimeters do make a noticeable difference. I almost wish I just went with the regular S8. But then I watch something that takes up the whole screen and I temporarily forget about the issue of reaching across the screen. I would highly suggest holding someone else’s S8+ minus any case and try to reach across the screen. If you are okay with how it feels then go with the S8+. If not, check out the more tame 5.8 inch S8.
- Much has been made about the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Moving it to the back as clearly not their first choice. And if you follow the constant stream of leaks on these things then you know that this was because they could not get the screen fingerprint scanner working in enough time. So I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. That being said most review sites have pointed out how awkward it has been to unlock and that touching the adjacent camera lens is enviable. Samsung even goes as far as giving you are warning when you open the camera app for the first time to check for fingerprints on the sensor. But I am left-handed. So the scanner’s placement is great for me! I feel bad being so happy about how much of a non-issue this is for me personally but so many things in everyday life is righty friendly. It’s nice to have a win now and then.
- An all glass phone is a double edge sword. It looks great. But since day two(and mainly because my co-worker insisted) I have had the phone in a case. I’m not a huge fan of hiding the design or how the case changes the feel in the hand. But at least it’s protected? Look, I know it’s worth it but I’m not going to pretend I’m excited about this case. You can’t make me.
- Samsung has shown some maturity in their UI. But there are some moves that still make zero sense to me. I’m not a fan of their camera interfaces usage on the screen real estate, Or being taken out of my shot when changing a setting. Being able to swipe up to bring up the App Drawer is a good move. But being about to swipe down to bring it up…not so much. It would make way more sense to have this gesture bring the notification down. Hopefully at the very least that will be addressed in a future update.
- Speaking on the camera, I need to complain about this. So I have been doing some shot-for-shot comparisons with the iPhone 7(you can find some of those on my Instagram). When I went to do a 4K video comparison I notices a pretty annoy issue with the Galaxy S8. There is a 4-6 second delay between you pressing the record button and the phone actually recording. For some users, THIS is going to be their only video camera. So imagine trying to catch a video of your kid doing something amazing and missing some of it. 4-6 seconds is more than enough time to miss that moment. For a device that is costing you more than a months pay, I personally would except better.
- So far, the battery life hasn’t be anything spectacular but also hasn’t been anything horrible. It haven’t had any issues getting through a day of use. I did get to spend some time traveling to New York and have some amazing little girls test how many hours of gaming and picture-taking the battery can take. And it made it through with just under 25% left.
I am working on my full review and will get that up as soon as possible. Until then make sure you follow me on social media to see more photos and videos from this phone and of course comparison shots!