Samsung’s ultra premium smartphones – the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus were launched in India last week. They are not only the most anticipated smartphones of 2017, but their sleek and shiny shoulders carry a lot of responsibility of reviving Samsung’s image in the market after various setbacks hit the South Korean tech giant. Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also, to a great extent, bring to life the company’s dream of making a truly bezel-less phone that it was literally codenamed the Project Dream two years ago.
Now that the phones have finally launched in India, there are several things that you must know, apart from its new ‘infinity display’. The phones would sell at Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 respectively and will only come in 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant. They will be available both online and offline.
The variant selling in India will house an Exynos chipset that is designed by Samsung, while the US variant runs the Snapdragon 835, designed by Qualcomm. Though benchmarks say there isn’t much difference in the performance, but the Exynos Chip is better in some aspects.
The company also introduced its own AI-based virtual assistant Bixby which comes pre-loaded on the device, but it doesn’t support India English like Google’s Assistant does, which is also supported by the phone. So the choice for you, for now, would be clear.
Galaxy S8’s design is the biggest reason to buy it. It looks stunning as a smartphone and something you would want to have for sheer looks of it. It just makes the latest iPhone 7 look some 90s stuff. Off course when you use it, the Super AMOLED infinity display also feels amazing and if you have used the Galaxy S7 Edge before, you know how dual edge phones enhance the experience.
But unlike the S7 edge, the curves are not a problem with the Galaxy S8. They aren’t as deep but very subtle, only halfway (or may be lesser) towards the edge that gives you some metal body to hold, yet a corner-less screen to behold. There is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back of the phone, which the glassmaker says can survive 1.6-meter, shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to 80% of the time.
The other part of design is squeezing out more display area and this is where Galaxy S8 surpasses every other phone. Removing the home button, it gains about 12 percent more screen area over the S7. Using the phone it is hard to believe you hold a 5.7 inch screen in your hands, even bigger that the iPhone 7 Plus, but in no way!
We didn’t miss the home button, and the haptic soft button on Galaxy S8 is not a worthy replacement. But the odd fingerprint sensor placement is not so odd, you can comfortably reach it. Yes, it is odd for the Galaxy S8+ though. The phone retains water proofing so it is still immune to 6ft water for about half an hour.
On the camera front, Samsung has improved just the processor and software part of the image making, keeping the same 12MP dual pixel sensor and f/1.7 lens. The sensor has fastest AF a phone can have, but there are phones that would capture better details (read Google Pixel). The bump has been completely flattened though and the experience of taking and previewing images is nothing like any other phone, thanks to the display.
The front is a better 8MP sensor which has good low light performance and surprising AF accuracy.
To unlock the phone comes with face-detection and iris-scanner authentication, apart from the fingerprint sensor. For the time we spent with the phone, the face unlock feature was fast and so was the iris scanner. But the latter requires you to align your eyes in line with the sensor and that takes some precious seconds.
Both Galaxy S8 and S8+ house small batteries for their humongous display sizes. It goes without saying that their run time on single charge won’t be impressive. But the Galaxy S8 charges very fast with its bundled charger, almost up to 50 percent in 15 minutes and full in 40 minutes.
Galaxy S8 runs Android Nougat OS with its own UX on top. The operation feels smooth and the phone is really made for delivering high-end performance. So it would take anything you throw at it, 4K recording and playback, graphic-intensive gaming or extreme multi-tasking.
Samsung has surely made a marvel of a phone in the Galaxy S8. But 2017 is the year of curved and bezel-less smartphones. Apple is planning one, Android creator Andy Rubin has teased one and Samsung itself is rumoured to bring Note 8 with dual cameras. You ought to feel spoiled for choices now.