Samsung Galaxy S8,S8+ first impressions: Killer display, great performance and Bixby delights | tech$news | Hindustan Times
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Samsung Galaxy S8,S8+ first impressions: Killer display, great performance and Bixby delights

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ was launched in India on Wednesday at a starting price of Rs 57,900. The larger-screened S8+ comes at a price of Rs 64,900. But how good are they? Here is our first impressions about the two new devices.

tech Updated: Apr 19, 2017 17:16 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Samsung S8 and S8+ were launched at Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 respectively.
Samsung S8 and S8+ were launched at Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 respectively.(Samsung)

If your company suffered a huge image setback with a flagship smartphone, then you will want to make the next one a sure hit. Samsung seems to be going for the same old logic with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

The S8 was launched on Wednesday at Rs 57,900 while the larger-screened S8+ will be available at a price of Rs 64,900. Pre-order on Flipkart start rightaway and early birds can also bag a Samsung wireless charger absolutely free.

Here are our first impressions about the two devices:

Screens to kill for: S8,S8+’s Infinity Display

Amazing displays -- those are the two words that came to my mind as the device fired. You definitely get more screen in a sleeker-sized body. What’s more? It can also play 4K videos and fit it to the display instead of cutting at the edges giving it a seamless continuous viewing experience.

Design: Phones unboxed

Samsung has truly unboxed the phone. It is amazing how sleek the S8+ looks in spite of being a 6.2-inch device. It is a little taller when compared to a OnePlus 3 but same in width when compared to a HTC U Ultra or the iPhone 7 Plus. The curved design and the glass finish make it a shiny device that craves attention. However, there is a smudge problem as we saw with the S7 Edge. The edges of the phone are not as cut like the Edge but more blended with the body making the grip also easier.

The Home button has also gone under the screen making more space for the screen. It is a pressure-sensitive button which brings up the Google Assistant on long press and the Home Screen on a single tap.

Samsung S8 Specifications
  • Size: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm
  • Weight: 155 grammes
  • Water/dust resistance: IP68
  • Display: 5.8-inch QuadHD display (2960 x 1440 pixels resolution) with 570 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Storage: 64 GB internal storage with microSD card support to 256GB
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with Exynos processor in international editions
  • Camera: 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with LED Flash, 8-megapixel front camera
  • Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh battery with adaptive fast charging
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, USB-C, GPS, 4G and VoLTE support

Performance is the name of the game

We have seen quite a few fast performers but the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sure has a place in the top of that list. We threw apps and a lot of games to it and it handled them quite well. However, we will do a little more on this to give you our detailed review. Our checklist will include thermal tests and switching apps among others.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy S8Samsung Galaxy S8+
Size148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight155 grammes173 grammes
Display
5.8-inch QuadHD display (2960 x 1440 pixels resolution) with 570 pixels per inch (ppi)6.2-inch QuadHD display (2960 x 1440 pixels resolution) with 529 pixels per inch (ppi)
Processor10-nm Exynos 8895 (octa-core)10-nm Exynos 8895 (octa-core)
RAM4GB 4GB
Storage64 GB internal storage with microSD card support to 256GB64 GB internal storage with microSD card support to 256GB
Operating SystemAndroid Nougat with TouchWiz OSAndroid Nougat with TouchWiz OS
Battery3,000 mAh3,500 mAh
Rear Camera12-megapixel dual pixel camera with LED Flash12-megapixel dual pixel camera with LED Flash
Front Camera8-megapixel front camera8-megapixel front camera
SIM slotsHybrid slot Hybrid Slot
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, WiFi, USB-C, GPS, 4G and VoLTEBluetooth 5.0, WiFi, USB-C, GPS, 4G and VoLTE
Water resistanceIP68IP68
PriceRs 57,900Rs 64,900

Software and UI: Cleaner, better and faster

Samsung has made some nice changes to its TouchWiz UI. There are better panels and icons on top to manage things quicker including a blue light filter. There is also a small search bar on the phone more like Spotlight Search.

A 3D-touch type functionality has also been added to the apps but we are hoping to see more progress on that side. The Edge panel has been retained. The Settings menu has been uncluttered as well. Most of it looks simple yetb gorgeous.

Interestingly, Samsung has upgraded the split-screen feature of the device. Now you can pin a part of an app on the screen and do something else on the other part of the screen. This opens up various possibilities. We tried watching a video on YouTube and taking a selfie at the same time, texting and keeping the camera open while walking on the road.

Samsung S8+ specifications
  • Size: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
  • Weight: 173 grammes
  • Water/dust resistance: IP68
  • Display: 6.2-inch QuadHD display (2960 x 1440 pixels resolution) with 529 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Storage: 64 GB internal storage with microSD card support to 256GB
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with Exynos processor in international editions
  • Camera: 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with LED Flash, 8-megapixel front camera
  • Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Battery: 3,500 mAh battery with adaptive fast charging
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, USB-C, GPS, 4G and VoLTE support

Security and Samsung Pay

Like that odd video that was doing rounds on the internet, S8’s face recognition and iris cannot be hacked with a simple picture. Both the S8, S8+ comes with iris scanner, face recognition and a fingerprint sensor along with PIN, pattern locks. The phone will also come with Samsung Pay support and consumers can even pay with iris scans. The phones also include a secure folder powered by Samsung Knoz where user can safely store data.

Camera: Dual Pixel but needs more

We promise to revisit this feature again in our detailed review, but initially the Samsung S8 camera was not much of an upgrade from the S7 Edge. The selfie camera is actually better than the previous one as it has an extra 3-megapixel. However, most importantly Samsung allows you to do all kinds of quick edits on the phone. This means that you can click, edit and share the image right from the phone.

Bixby delights: Just for voice

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ come with a dedicated Bixby button. Bixby can be called with double tapping the button. Bixby is integrated into the phone’s camera as well. Other than throwing up useful info throughout the day, Bixby can identify images shot through the camera and search for them on the internet. It can also setup reminders. We believe voice commands is actually going to make the feature better to use. However, Samsung has also kept the Google Assistant on for users.

Battery and others

Battery initially looks good on the S8 but it’s much better on the S8+ if you are a heavy user. Other details we shall soon update in our detailed review.