Look and feel
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is no longer growing horizontally to accommodate a bigger screen. It is now growing taller instead. But do not mistake it for having the same screen aspect ratio of the LG G6. The S8 is having a totally different aspect ratio of 18.5:9 on its 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display, also known as, curved edges.
On the surface, the most distinct looks that will strike you first are the reduction of its bezel and the removal of the physical home button. All these are protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on its front and back. On the side, you will still see the same volume rocker, the power button and a Bixby button (function is not available in Singapore yet). Right on its back is the dual-tone flash, camera and the fingerprint sensor.
The S8 runs on the latest Android OS 7, which complements very well with this gorgeous-looking phone on-screen. It has an Octa core 64 bit processor and 4GB of RAM. Like many of its phones, the S8’s 64GB of internal memory can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 256GB.
The Home button is gone on the S8. It has been replaced with a virtual set of buttons, which the dock is customisable in terms of colour and whether you want the back key to be on the right or left. It works similar to the iPhone’s haptic sensor that reads your pressure to assure you that you have pressed on the Home button.
Unlocking the phone
Since Samsung has changed the Home button to a virtual button, the fingerprint sensor has been shifted to the rear just beside its camera. The position seems a little awkward but I did manage to touch it easily with my index finger. But it could be an issue for people with shorter fingers or people who are left-handed.
That said, there are other alternatives to unlock the phone. You can use the facial recognition mode or the Iris sensor. I tried the Iris sensor but it did not read as fast as it should. A little disappointing but hopefully when we get a full hands-on experience we will get to understand how to make it work faster.
Samsung is sticking with its 12MP f1.7 Dual Pixel camera at the rear of the S8, similar to the S7 Edge but added a little caviar. It has an enhanced image processor that takes 3 moving images and 5 still images at a time and combine it to produce an anti-blur photo. Thumbs up for this!
The front camera is where lies the most improvement. It got a bump from 5MP on the S7 Edge to 8MP on the S8. It has a wide-angle lens and with the added auto-focus, you can take selfie and wefie like never before.
The S8 has a fast-charging and wireless charging enabled 3,000mAh battery. Samsung said that although the new phone can do more than before, it does not compromise on the battery life.
Issue of the screen
The most common issue raised by the Edge users is the curved edges, which hinder viewing experience when lying down on the bed. Samsung has sort of resolved this issue by giving it more metal at the sides yet still provide users the whole Infinity Display experience. We gave it a try and it does help to reduce the occurrence of accidentally activating on-screen functions, but it has not fully eradicate the annoyance.
We have nothing but good things to say about the S8. It is slim, light and beautifully made. Aesthetically, it is an attention-grabber. Most functions and all remain almost the same but we are not disappointed at all. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
If you are looking to upgrade your phone in April, we strongly recommend that you take a look at this phone. We have never said this before so trust us. 😉
The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be available globally on 21 April. The price is still to be confirmed.