Samsung has officially launched its latest elegant powerhouse, the Samsung Galaxy S8. The latest device from the mobile phone manufacturer sports an elegant design and some serious power under the hood.
When taking a closer look at the specs, we found that the Samsung Galaxy S8 features – depending on the market – either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chipset inside. Along with its powerful chipset, the Samsung Galaxy S8 also comes packed with 4GB of RAM. With these combined, Android 7.0 runs smoother than on any other device we have used in the past. With all this power under its hood, the Samsung Galaxy S8 also comes standard with plenty of storage space… 64GB to be exact, which can be upgraded – via the SIM tray – with a 256GB MicroSD Card.
Powering the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a 3000mAh, which will essentially offer up around about a days worth of battery life. Yes, this is a device that will need a charge at least once a day. With heavy usage, such as using Google Maps for an extended period of time or playing games such as Pokemon Go, you are likely to burn through the battery in about half a day. Thankfully, the Samsung Galaxy S8 features fast charging capabilities. This allows the user to, while using Samsung’s fast charging accessories, replenish 100 percent of the device’s battery life in just over an hour. This allows users to keep on the move without having to wait for their Samsung Galaxy S8 to charge. While faster charging is something the Galaxy S8 can do out of the box… Samsung also offers some great accessories such as the Wireless Charging Dock for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.
During the launch campaign, Samsung went with the payoff line “Unbox Your Phone”… This essentially meant that the company was aiming to add more screen and less bezel to the design of the Samsung Galaxy S8. This was a great move by the firm as the 2K/QHD 5.8-inch (Or 6.8-inch if you are looking at purchasing the S8+) edge-to-edge display is not only attractive, but also something rather unique to experience. Images and colours really pop on the display and watching content from online Video On Demand services is a dream. Also adding to experience is the ability to activate Edge Panels, which allow the user to add panels that feature their favourite apps, contacts, and news sources. While there are plenty of Edge Panels that come standard with the device, users can also download more.
Apart from being a powerhouse, as well as having the capability to charge rapidly, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is also water and dust resistant. Granted, this is limited to 1.5m and for a maximum duration of 30 minutes; however, it won’t stop you from navigating through the streets of Orlando, Florida – much like we did – during a torrential storm. It also won’t stop you from taking pics of the family while they splash about in the pool on a hot day.
Speaking of taking photos… the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes standard with an upgraded 8MP F1.7 front camera, complete with smart autofocus. In addition, there is a 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera, which delivers enhanced multi-frame image processing, for sharper photos, even in low-light environments. Samsung has also embedded a few great camera features. These include the ability to take a wide selfie as well as a virtual shot with the front-facing camera. The rear-facing camera also has some great features such as the ability to capture hyper-lapse videos as well as slow motion videos. It doesn’t stop there as Samsung has also included multiple filters as well as stickers and masks that can be applied to photos.
When it comes to extra features, the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes standard with the Bixby digital assistant. Bixby is an intelligent interface that, according to the firm, will help users get more out of their phone. With the new Bixby button, consumers will be able to conveniently access Bixby and navigate through services and apps with simple voice, touch, vision and text commands. At launch, Bixby was designed to integrate with several Samsung native apps and features including Camera, Contacts, Gallery, Messages and Settings, with the plan to expand its capabilities to include more Samsung and third-party apps in the near future. To add to this, contextual awareness capabilities enable Bixby to offer personalised help based on what it continues to learn about the user’s interests, situation and location.
Moving away from Bixby, which is still being improved upon by Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S8 can also be used as desktop computer with the optional DeX Dock. The docking station allows users to connect a screen, keyboard, mouse and network cable to the phone so it can be used as a computer. Software vendors such as VMware and Citrix have already announced support for DeX.
Security remains a major focus for Samsung, which means that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will come standard with Samsung Knox. To add to the security of the device, users also have the ability to secure their device either by pin, pattern or password. While these are standard ways of securing the device the Samsung Galaxy S8 also features biometric security measures such as fingerprint and iris scanning. While these work rather well, Samsung’s placement and size of the fingerprint sensor should have been reconsidered. Yes, it works well; however, it just feels and looks out of place. To add to this it is awkward to use at first. Granted, it took some time to get used to, but it still feels like a haphazard experience to unlock the device.
Apart from the awkwardly placed fingerprint scanner, the Samsung Galaxy is beautifully designed and essentially almost the perfect, yet rather costly, mobile phone. When it comes to pricing, the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be R15,499. There is also the option to pick up the Samsung Galaxy S8+, which retails for R17,499 and features a larger screen.
Whether you are looking at picking up the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the S8+ you will not be disappointed. This device is hands down an elegant powerhouse, which features military-grade security as well as a sleek and sexy design. Just be warned, while the device is rock solid when it comes to security, the front screen and back panel are prone to hairline scratches… So be sure to obtain a full body cover for the device or alternatively a back cover and screen guard.