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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

The Samsung Galaxy S8 vs the rest of the world

The much-awaited phone is being touted as the saviour for the brand’s image, says Rajiv Makhni

brunch Updated: Apr 10, 2017 10:02 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
The new Samsung Galaxy S8
The new Samsung Galaxy S8

By the time this column is out, each of you will have reams of information about the all-new phone that must play the role of being the saviour of the Samsung name and honour. Everything about the S8 was leaked a few weeks back and some of it turned out to be true. Finally in a very ‘glitter and glam’ event, the much awaited and anticipated phone turned from theory to reality. I’m not going to waste too much time going into details of the phone. Instead, I’m going to compare it to all the competition.

In a nutshell

Here’s the shortest possible review of the S8. Stunning design, almost zero bezel around the screen, absolutely brilliant curvy HDR display with an unusual 2960 x 1440 resolution and aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Too much screen in front forced the fingerprint scanner to be placed at the back – a bad placement decision as the fingerprint scanner is right next to the camera (you’ll keep rubbing your finger on the camera lens). Gorilla Glass 5 in front and back and rather large amount of security systems including Iris, face, finger, pattern and password. Strangely, no major upgrade in camera optics from the S7 has been done. They’ve gone and called their all new personal voice assistant Bixby (why Samsung, why?). A cool add-on is the Dex dock that converts your phone into a full desktop system. And, the battery has almost zero chances of exploding as Samsung played safe and went with just 3000mAh.

The phone has a fingerprint scanner at the back, right next to the camera
The phone has a fingerprint scanner at the back, right next to the camera

Vs the iPhone 7

S8’s beats the iPhone 7 on design, display, bezel-less front screen and in-hand feel. The iPhone’s design and looks feel truly antiquated in front of the S8’s very modern lines. Also better IP ratings for the S8 means it’s more robust in terms of water and dust resistance. In optics, the iPhone has dual cameras but the S8 has the better F stop aperture rating at 1.7 and an autofocus front camera. Bixby wins the war on strangely-named voice assistants, but Siri has never won any accolades for being a great name either. Dex is definitely a huge move forward for desktop level apps. Plus, the S8 has a 3.5mm headphone jack and the iPhone doesn’t. So, right now, the S8 is ahead of the iPhone 7.

S8 has a personal assistant strangely named Bixby
S8 has a personal assistant strangely named Bixby

Vs the Google Pixel

The Pixel loses in design to the S8 massively, and comes nowhere near in terms of display and screen but plays up well in optics, battery and overall performance. Pixel spirals down due to no MicroSD slot which the S8 does have. Pixel does strive ahead as it’s a pure play Android Nougat OS and will get updates way faster than the S8. Battery life on the Pixel is also way better. Bixby and Bixby Vision seem to be streets ahead of Google Assistant in terms of features, but they need to be tested to see if they deliver. So, as of now, the S8 beats the Pixel hands down too.

The Dex Dock converts your phone into a desktop system
The Dex Dock converts your phone into a desktop system

Vs the One Plus 3T

Kudos to One Plus that a phone at almost half the price of the big guys is constantly featured in all top of the line shootouts. And the 3T does do a great job to take on the S8. In design, screen, IP ratings and overall performance, S8 is ahead. 3T brings it back with 6GB RAM, very good optics and better battery. But One Plus needs to bringout the One Plus 4 to really take on the might of the S8.

Vs the LG G6

The G6 is the only phone that comes close to the S8 in terms of bezel, thin border, great screen and aspect ratio. It has a dual camera at the back and expandable memory too. But in terms of performance and design, it can’t hold a torch to the S8. If LG (finally) learns how to market their phones, G6 could be a contender.

The S8 has an amazing infinity screen and Gorilla Glass 5 in front and back too
The S8 has an amazing infinity screen and Gorilla Glass 5 in front and back too

Vs the iPhone 8/X/10/edition

Well, just a poor comparison to do as this becomes a comparison of a real phone versus one that is purely being built inside people’s mind. Also, the real war will be between the then released Note 8 and the new iPhone. One little wager I’m willing to take though. The new iPhone won’t have a home button and won’t have a ‘anywhere onscreen fingerprint scanner’. Thus the only place for the FPS will be unfortunately at the back too!

The S8 has got great momentum out of the start gates, has people very excited and has pushed all the right buttons to sell it in huge numbers. Time for the rest of the world to catch up.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, April 9

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First Published: Apr 08, 2017 21:54 IST

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