By: Nick Gambino
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding battery fiasco, some consumers are justifiably a little weary of signing onto Samsung’s newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8. Though upon initial inspection, barring any future battery episodes, the S8 is pretty solid.
Right off the bat the most striking feature of the tech giant’s flagship phone is its large display. They’ve effectively done away with the bezel allowing for maximum screen real estate. The screen curves seamlessly over the edges connecting to the aluminum case. The S8’s display measures in at 5.8 inches while the S8+ is 6.2 inches.
They’ve done away with the physical home button allowing for more screen, much like is rumored with the iPhone 8. A home button still exists but it’s more of a software feature at the bottom of the screen where the old button took up residence.
With the home button gone you’ll have to open the phone in other ways. First is the fingerprint reader which is easily the biggest negative with the S8. It sits on the back of the phone right next to the camera allowing for constant misfires that’ll give you nothing more than a headache and a smudge-filled camera lens.
It’s entirely dependent on everyone holding their phone the same way which is just not the case. And with the hidden positioning you can’t eyeball, making it hit or miss. I don’t really see this as something to get used to. Instead I think they need to rethink the positioning of the reader altogether.
Additionally, you can access the phone with a facial recognition reader or iris scanner. Pretty futuristic, right? Yeah but after the gimmick wears off it all just seems cumbersome and time-consuming. It’s much easier to just tap a button or scan your fingerprint.
Moving on, the camera is awesome with a 12MP rear camera that captures 4K video and an 8MP front-facing camera. Capturing high-def photos and adjusting for low-light scenarios makes this top-notch. Though it’s a wonder why they haven’t adopted dual cameras like the iPhone 7 Plus.
The water-resistant smartphone can be submerged up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes without fear of damaging the guts. I don’t recommend testing it though, for obvious reasons. Or if you do, just remember I said it wasn’t a good idea.
Surprisingly, Samsung kept the 3.5 mm headphone jack unlike the iPhone 7. It was expected that they were going to deep-six it and settle on tech that was a bit newer. Their decision to stick with it makes the iPhone seem lonelier and lonelier.
Now the microSD slot is still here so don’t fret. The phone comes with 64GB of storage with up to 256GB available on the SD card.
Lastly the S8 launched without the touted voice assistant, Bixby. There’s even a dedicated button for it on the side of the phone. Not a very classy move in my opinion and conjures images of a company scrambling for a hit after a major fiasco. In the meantime, users can rely on Google’s Assistant which is already loaded and ready to go.
All in all, despite a few missteps the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the one of the best if not the best Android phones on the market today. This is due in large part to its massive screen that avoids clunkiness as well as the top-notch camera and superior processing power.
You can order the S8 or S8+ directly from Samsung today and receive a free Samsung Gear VR as part of your purchase (worth it!).