After extensively leaking over the past week, Samsung has finally taken the wraps off of the eight S series flagship duo – the S8 and S8+. Apart from the usual hardware upgrades, though, Samsung has packed a wide range of standout features including an entirely new AI virtual assistant called “Bixby”, Samsung DeX, and ofcourse, the majestic bezel-less panel up front.
The new Galaxy S8 and S8+ inherit the signature all-glass build from their predecessors, however, this time they let go of the capacitive buttons on the front in favor of the new Infinity always-on display. Speaking of the display, it features an aspect ratio of 18:9 and ditches any sort of margins along the side. Another big change this year – both phones sport Samsung’s Edge technology, unlike previous years where only the larger model came with it. Moreover, Samsung has added a new haptic feedback engine that provides a noticeable feedback similar to actual clicking, nada else.
Farewelling the bezel has allowed Samsung to cram in significantly larger displays in much smaller shells. The S8 comes with a 5.8-inch screen and the S8+ rocks a 6.2 one. Both Super AMOLED and with Quad HD resolutions, of course. In comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus, that sports a 5.5-inch display, measures 158.2mm in height and is 77.9mm wide. The Galaxy S8, on the other hand, comes with a 5.8-inch panel and measures 148.9mm in height and is 68.1mm wide.
The other cornerstone Samsung can’t stop talking about – the AI-powered Bixby assistant. Aside from invoking it from voice, there’s even a dedicated physical key you can press for commanding it. Bixby, like most assistants, does the usual stuff like reporting the weather, talking nonsense and more. However, it can also suggest information such as apps based on your usage and analyse images (Bixby Vision) to search for products online, translate text, or locate nearby places.
Furthermore, both phones support Samsung’s new DeX technology that lets you turn your phone into a computer. The process is nothing new and has been done before, although never successfully. Samsung didn’t bother to alter that and has kept it mostly identical when compared to others. You connect the external peripherals such as the display, mouse and the phone to a dock and start using it. Samsung has tweaked Android’s interface to be more productivity but I think it’s time we bid this concept goodbye.
Coming now to the specifications, both the new phones are powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 (or Exynos 8895 for some regions) Octa-core chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage which is expandable up to 256GB via a MicroSD card and underneath, there’s 3000/3500mAh battery packs respectively. Along with the awkwardly placed fingerprint reader on the back, the S8 also features an iris scanner, a new face recognization technology, and is IP68 certified, hence waterproof. Additionally, there’s a USB Type-C port on the bottom and surprisingly, the S8 comes with Bluetooth 5.0. And Surprise! There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack too.
The camera arrangement includes a 12MP rear f/1.7 lens assisted with OIS, LED flash and on the front lies, an 8MP shooter with a soft flash. Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t add a dual-camera setup which is quite bewildering given they’ve always remained one step ahead of the herd. The S8’s sensor features the so-called Dual Pixel technology, which enables for much better autofocusing than the regular PDAF solution.
For software, the S8 runs on Android Nougat with obviously, Samsung’s own skin on top which the company has been drastically improved to provide a better experience. One nifty feature worth talking about here is “Bluetooth Dual Audio” which essentially, allows the phone to connect to two different Bluetooth headsets. Neat.
The S8 will be available in five colors total – black, orchid gray, silver, blue, and maple gold, though only the first three will be available in the US. It will be available in the US starting from April 21th at a price of $750 (~48500 INR) for the S8 and $850 (~55000 INR) for the S8+.