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Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review: Raises the bar for 2017 Flagship Phones

Samsung’s new flagship phone is unquestionably a beautiful phone. Samsung redefines and challenges every notion of what a smartphone must feel like with its new flagship that also sets the benchmark for upcoming flagship phones from other manufacturers. There are several bold decisions that Samsung has taken siding with the near bezel-less display and new form factor. Let’s see if there are implications that you need to be worried about or not.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Specifications and Features

  • 2-inch Super AMOLED, 2,960x1440px resolution, 529ppi; HDR 10 compliant
  • Exynos 8895 octa-core CPU (4x2nd-gen Mongoose 2.3GHz + 4xCortex-A53 1.7GHz), Mali-G71 GPU
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, MicroSD card support
  • 12MP, f/1.7 aperture, dual pixel PDAF, OIS,
  • 8MP, AF, f/1.7 aperture
  • Android 7.0 Nougat based Samsung Experience UI
  • 3500mAh battery, Adaptive fast charging, Wireless charging support
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac MU-MIMO; GPS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Others: Fingerprint reader; iris recognition, face recognition

The Display

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a gorgeous HDR 10 compliant infinity display that’s peculiarly tall, owing to the new and unconventional 18.5:9 form factor. The display covers most of what’s on the front, has rounded corners and subtly curved dual edges.

Most of the phone on the front is simply a screen. Samsung is using an AMOLED panel which is configured to full HD resolution by default, but you can change it to QHD (2K) from a slider present within display settings. The display quality, colors, and brightness are top notch. Apps and content are aptly scaled to fit the infinity display well.

This is one of the best displays we have ever seen in a smartphone.

Design and Build

Due to the unique display, several adjustments had to be made. Samsung isn’t using the physical home button this time, and thus privileges like the double press to quick launch camera app and the front fingerprint sensor are no longer present on the S8+.

But you can still unlock it using the iris scanner and face-recognition. Both of these work better than what we had expected but can’t quite match the convenience of a front mounted fingerprint sensor. The S8 does have a fingerprint reader but it’s odd positioning (more so on the S8+ than on S8) would mean that you would only use it on rare occasions. For instance, when you are logging in an app and scanning your finger feels easier than typing in details.

The glass plate on the rear also folds towards the edges and seamlessly merges into the metal side frame to give it a firm grip. In spite of space constraints, Samsung thankfully still managed to make room for the trusted 3.5mm audio jack.

All said and done, the Galaxy S8+ is charming phone through and through. Samsung has managed to fit in a rather huge display in a very compact body and the unique form factor ensures that it’s still easier to wield. It looks so good that you will be willing to forgive and forget its minor flaws.

Camera and Imaging

Another forte of the Galaxy S- series has been the camera performance. Equipped with the dual autofocus pixel tech, Samsung’s Galaxy S8+ camera has the fastest focus and it also excels in low light performance.

Samsung is using the same hardware as the last year for its rear camera but there are software enhancements for improved performance. It’s till one of the best smartphone cameras that you can score.  The front camera gets a lot better with its autofocus tech. This is a great alternative for selfie enthusiasts looking for uncompromised performance.

Software and Performance

Samsung has been gradually improving its TouchWiz experience over the years and the Galaxy S8+ includes the most refined offering from the south-Korean giant so far. Samsung calls this Xperience UI which is an incremental update over TouchWiz that you might be familiar with.

The star addition is Bixby assistant that can also be summoned by double pressing a dedicated button on the right edge. The assistant understands the context and also has some control over the phone’s hardware. It can use the camera to peep into what object lies ahead and can even recognize popular one.

In practice, however, it’s still in its nascent stages and we didn’t find ourselves using it very often. The phone also supports Samsung Pay and Secure Folder feature.

We had the Exynos powered variant with us. The performance on the new Galaxy S8+ is exceptional as you would expect. Everything runs fast and smooth, but the handset does run warm if you play high-end games for more than 30 mins at a time. However, the temperature is under control and it won’t affect your usage.

Call connectivity and multimedia experience are pretty awesome too. The mono speaker on the bottom can’t match HTC Boomsound but still does a reasonable job. The AKG headphones bundled in the box are reasonably good ear buds too.

Battery, Price, and Verdict

If you are a moderate or heavy user using the Galaxy S8 at WQHD+ resolution, you might have to search for a charging point somewhere through your day. With FHD+ resolution, the battery stretches through a full day of usage.

Samsung is naturally asking top dollars for its innovative and exciting flagship. It’s a premium phone with premium pricing of 64,990 INR. And living with the phone for the past couple of weeks tells us that it’s well worth its price. So, if you are looking for a flagship smartphone, you can definitely opt for Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Author: Pooja

Pooja is passionate about blogging and Tech which makes life easier and interesting. While she is not exploring tech trends, you can find her devouring epic fantasy adventure literature and movies from across the globe.

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