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Samsung Galaxy S8 Review: The Best Phone Out Yet

Samsung Galaxy S8: The Best Review of the Best Smartphone of 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8

After the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung made a rebound with its Galaxy S8, whose display has been rated the best phone display. Truly, the best in its lineage, the S8 packs an amazing array of features, performance and camera in a gorgeous metal and glass body. While it could have made some more improvements in the battery, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is no doubt the best phone out yet and in this review, I will show you a complete review of this device and of the immense improvements it has made.
My first Samsung phone was a Galaxy Note N7000. It ran on Touchwiz OS. While it was quite shitty filled with bloatware (even a game), since it was my first migration from Nokia to Samsung, I was quite okay with it then

Now, years down the line, and after a migration from two different phone brands, I have returned to Samsung with a Galaxy S7. A complete revamp- the S7 packed features, enough to brand itself the best phone of 2016 (Google Pixel and OnePlus 3T can be argued for the spot too).
And now, there is the Galaxy S8.

Specs of the Samsung Galaxy S8

Specification chart of the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy S8 specs
Click to enlarge
While both the S8 and S8+ variants have 4 GB RAM (memory) with 64 GB internal storage, but Samsung Korea's website have listed a new variant of the Galaxy S8+, which comprises 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, while all other specs remain the same. It also offers the Samsung DeX station dock for free with the device.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Design

While the S7's design was pretty much jaw dropping, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is actually even better. With a 5.8 inch body, curved at the sides, made of metal and glass, the phone is almost "bezel-less". It has till now, 5 confirmed color options- Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold while not all of them are available everywhere.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Colors

This time, there is not going to be any "Edge" phones following up because the S8 and the S8+ pretty much offer the same thing. The beautifully rounded edges add beauty to its tapered sides. 

And, its curves have been made more subtle, just like the Note 7, so the phone feels easier to use in hand. The body glistens in light, midnight black model offering the least shine however.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy S8's body glistens in light
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is IP68 rated, which means it can withstand dust completely and can resist water till a depth of 1.5 meters for about 30 minutes. 

Samsung has almost killed bezels which add bang to its beauty. The display therefore look much longer and have a 18.5:9 display ratio.

Check out the Best List on the Best Gaming Laptops of 2017!

The phone's dimensions are 159 x 74 x 8 mm, and the device is pretty light, weighing about 155 gram. However the build is quite solid and has a premium tinge to it! The front display and the back panel of the device is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The screen does not offer much of an improvement towards protection from fingerprint smudges however.

Because of the long screen and killing of the bezels, the capacitive navigation keys have gone. While I am a capacitive navigation key lover, and was at beginning, against this decision, now it seems that is not a bad thing at all. The keys are placed just where they were. Software-integrated and kept hidden, so that they don't distract you while you use the screen, they come up, just when you need them.

The home button of Samsung, located just at its usual location offers 3D touch functions and haptic feedback, when you touch it.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Similarly, owing to the place of the fingerprint scanner on the front of the device, it has been relocated to the back of the phone, beside the rear camera. I am not, much of a fan of this change, because I keep constantly touching the camera mistakenly. While, Samsung has been a pioneer in offering multitasking since its Galaxy S3 , something Google just came out with in its Nougat (READ: iOS 10 vs Android Nougat: The Best Comparison), its huge display, does help a lot.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung also offers Iris Scanner and Face recognition protection for the phone, the latter of which is seriously flawed, as shown by iDeviceHelp.

The Face recognition software in the Galaxy S8 opens your device even when an image of your device is held upto it. So if you are looking for an alternative to fingerprint lock on your phone, go for the Iris scanner, which is quite fast and secure. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 face recognition software loophole

Samsung Galaxy S8 Display

Samsung was always one of the leaders when it came to phone displays and the Galaxy S8 is no different. 

DisplayMate Technologies, a company which rates and analyses phone screens has rated Samsung Galaxy S8's display as the best smartphone display. Because of the increased display size, the aspect ratio is now 18.5:9, which covers the phone screen from almost end to end. The Galaxy S8 display is about 17% taller and 18% larger than its predecessor.

(Instead of this display section visit this infographic post on Samsung Galaxy S8 Display for an easy run-through on the phone's premier display) As the display has rounded corners, the S8's display is curved at both sides to provide Edge displays that are customizable and can be viewed from the top or sides of the phone or even when the phone is turned upside-down.

Samsung Galaxy S8 display

The Samsung Galaxy S8 boasts a 3K resolution (Quad HD+) display with a pixel count of 2960 × 1440 pixels. Its pixel density is 570 pixels per inch, resulting in quite sharp images. However, the phone is set to render Full HD display out of the box, which you can easily change in the settings menu.

The S8 also uses a Sub-Pixel Rendering technique, which improves the display sharpness by addressing the individual Red, Green and Blue Sub-Pixels as independent image elements where they are not bound together into fixed Pixels, so the closest sub-pixel is used when rendering the image. Sometimes, this technique can make the screen appear to have up to 3 times the resolution of normal pixel rendering.

Add to it, the display is the first smartphone ever certified by the UHD Alliance as HDR (High Dynamic Range) Mobile Premium. The Samsung Galaxy S8 can therefore play all the 4K HDR stuff that are for UHD HDR Premium TVs. So, you can easily stream HDR videos from Netflix or Amazon Prime, when they start streaming HDR content for phones (which can be predicted to happen soon enough).

Samsung Galaxy S8 display

HDR expands the color, contrast and provides a brighter display. Apart from having the required Digital Cinema DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, which is a feature available in only the most premium televisions, the Galaxy S8 can obviously provide perfect black (a basic AMOLED feature) and theoretically infinite contrast ratio. I said "theoretically" as the contrast will be affected by light sources from outside. 

The DCI-P3 Gamut in the S8 is 26% larger than the Rec.709 Gamut that is used in 2K Full HD TVs.

Even if you do not watch, HDR videos, the S8's video processor can provide an Expanded Dynamic Range for standard video content causing a HDR-like effect.

The S8's display can achieve a maximum brightness of over 1000 nits, so sunlight will not affect the display in any way.

Samsung Galaxy S8 has also made the thoughtful improvement of providing the phone with dual Ambient Light Sensors. The function of the light sensor is to adjust the automatic brightness of your phone, by measuring the amount of light incident on the screen. 

However this measurement is flawed because mostly the phone screen remains in the shadow of your head. Since your eyes are more adapted to the surrounding light, the phone display actually looks quite dim. With the Dual Ambient Light Sensors, the sensors at the back and front provide a much better automatic brightness control, that has been further improved upon to provide optimal transition time, with changing surrounding light levels to let your eyes adjust to the change in brightness.

According to some researches, blue light affects sleep. The "Night Mode" in the Galaxy S8 filters blue light by changing  the color balance of the display. There is also a configurable slider called Filter Opacity to vary the amount of blue light produced by the display. There is also a timer that turns the Blue Light filter on and off as and when you choose everyday.

We all know that the main battery killer in a smartphone is the display. Be it LCD or AMOLED. But the Samsung S8 has a Super Dimming Mode that can lower the screen brightness all the way to 2 NITS, without affecting the picture quality at all. However, actually it will be extremely difficult to view the display unless you are in a dark place.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Display

The Samsung Galaxy S8 also has a "Always On Display" mode, which consumes only about 3 to 5 % of the phone's maximum display  power. The content that is displayed through this mode, can be moved using Integrated Circuit Hardware and not software integration, as it consumes very low power. The Always On Display shows various personalized clock and calendar screens, memos, notifications, and images on the main screen when the phone is in standby mode.

The Always On display will be off when it senses a dark environment, such as when you put it in your pocket or turn the display upside-down.

As for power-efficiency of the display, Samsung's S series has decreased its power consumption by the phone display by 56% since 2013. LCD displays are more power efficient, for images with an unrealistic full screen white content, while OLED screens, like that in Samsung use less power for mixed content (you don't watch plain white screens all day long, I presume😉).

Samsung also has been a pioneer in providing multiple display modes. This feature is quite an overlooked feature of a phone display and very few phones provide a set of user optimizable Screen Modes that are available under Display Settings. All Samsung Galaxy smartphones including the S8 provide a number of Screen Modes that can be changed based on user and application preferences; with each mode providing different Color Gamuts accompanied with levels of Color Saturation and display calibration.

Last but not least, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has one of the highest Absolute Color Accuracy in its display compared to its other contemporaries.

The Galaxy S8 display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.

All in all, here is a chart of all the improvements and new features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Display.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Display
Samsung Galaxy S8 Display: What's new

Samsung Galaxy S8 Gear VR

The awesome display that the Samsung Galaxy S8 has would not feel well-utilized if there was no Gear VR. The S8 launched a new generation Gear VR headset that is comes with a controller. The new headset is less touch-sensitive as most users complained of the heightened touch sensitivity in the previous model.

It also has a touchpad, a button input, a "rocker" type of key which according to Samsung lets you "point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, and a lot more" while the "Trigger" lets you enhance your gaming experience.

 It needs 2 AAA batteries (non-chargeable though) and has got a wrist-strap just like that in the Nintendo Wii.

Its 42 mm lenses has been manufactured to provide you a 101-degree field-of-view (FOV) which along with advanced distortion correction reduces the chance of you getting motion sickness. The VR headset supports both Micro USB and the USB Type-C.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus do not support Daydream (probably to promote their own VR gear).

The new gen Gear VR is pretty good and may even be the best phone VR gadget. It delivers much refined graphics but I don't support their decision to not support Google's Daydream!

Read about the Samsung Gear VR 2 (2017) full Review up here!

Samsung Galaxy S8 Operating System (Software)

The Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on Android Nougat out of the box with Samsung's overlay of TouchWiz on it. TouchWiz, which was once a pretty controversial overlay, with groups going pro TouchWiz and against Touchwiz, has now been much more refined.

Actually, it has also been renamed as Samsung Experience for all the Nougat overlays by Samsung.
(Related: Android Nougat vs iOS 10: Which OS is Really the Best)

Samsung digital assistant Bixby

Also, Samsung Galaxy S8 is bringing with it its own digital assistant called Bixby, which is a complete revamp from its shitty S Voice. Bixby is pretty new as of now and has very few third-party app support like Uber and YouTube. However all of Galaxy S8's internal apps support it. Its search functionality's like finding the age of some celebrity is rather poor but Samsung has assured it will get better with time.

It can be both voice and touch controlled, and used inside apps. You can use it inside the Samsung Galaxy S8's camera to recognize places, make reservations in a restaurant or even to find out the name or reviews of an object. 

It can also be used to book rides and for online shopping. Check out this vast review on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Digital Assistant Bixby for all the information there is on it! Also, the Google Assistant is also present in the S8.

While you can call Bixby with the Bixby button, shouting "Bixby" or going to Bixby Home situated at the left-most slide on your home screen, long press of the home key, or the wake up phrase "Okay Google" brings up Google Assistant.

Anyways, coming back to the main OS talk, the Samsung Galaxy S8 lets you choose between have an app drawer or keep apps like in an iPhone (all apps on the home screen). If you are a fan of gestures, then you are sure to like S8's customizability.

The app drawer icon can be turned off, letting you bring up the drawer with an upward swipe on the main menu. Since, the keys are now software integrated, you can interchange between the recent apps and back key as per your will.

Multi-window has been optimized too. You can pin one program on top of another, while you use the other app. This does not even require the Split-screen Multi-window mode actually.

The settings menu has also been given a touch up along with the notifications. The shortcut menu has been made more spacious for even more shortcuts.

The on-screen icons(buttons) look much mature with sharp sides.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Performance and Storage

In the beginning I was dismal about the fact that the guys at Samsung did not bother to increase the RAM and left it at 4 GB in the Galaxy S8 just as it was in its predecessor. The processor however did receive a nice upgrade however.

As always, the S8 has received two different processors - Snapdragon 835 in US, China and Japan and Samsung's very own Exynos 8895, elsewhere. 

The Snapdragon 835 is Snapdragon's latest processor. The chip is just 10 nm in size, and reduced power consumption by about 20%. 
The 835 CPU is also 10% more powerful than its predecessor, the 821. Its Adreno 540 GPU is also 50% more powerful than its predecessor. The Snapdragon 835 is an octa-core processor, with 4 cores running at 2.3 GHz and the other 4 at 1.70 GHz.

The Exynos 8895 is also an octa-core processor with 4 cores running at 2.35 GHz and the other 4 at 1.90 GHz. It features a ARM Mali-G71 GPU - all in all resulting in formidable performance.

According to Antutu and Geekbench 4 benchmark tests, the Exynos 8895 outperforms the Snapdragon 835 by a huge margin. The Exynos multicore benchmarks was even greater than that of iPhone 7 Plus. Make no mistake, the Snapdragon is pretty fast too and offers head to head competition to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The Snapdragon 835 fueled Galaxy S8 scores about 162000 - 165000 while the Exynos counterpart achieves a superb score of 205,000. For a comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus achieves a highest of 185,000.

The Exynos 8895 processor goes much above the Snapdragon counterpart to offer a 27% higher performance and 40% lower power consumption.

A feature, worth noting about the Exynos 8895 is that it features a Heterogeneous System Architecture, which in simpler terms mean, that all its cores can become active at the same time, to deliver outstanding performance. 

Also, the the ARM Mali-G71 GPU, made using the company’s Bifrost architecture, is about 1.8 times more powerful than its predecessor - the Mali-T880 MP12 GPU. The powerful GPU supports 4K video playback and also video recording at UHD resolutions at an amazing 120 fps frame-rate.

(Check out the complete Comparison between Apple A10 Fusion vs Exynos 8895 Processors i.e., iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 Performance Comparison)
Samsung Galaxy S8 Exynos 8895 benchmarks
Samsung Galaxy S8 Exynos 8895 benchmark test in Geekbench 4

The Samsung Galaxy S8 supports Gigabit LTE and Gigabit WiFi, 1024-QAM, so, the download speed in the S8 can reach 20% more, than in its predecessor.

With Vulcan support, the Samsung Galaxy S8 offers a little more intense gaming experience.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features high-quality 32-bit PCM and DSD64/128 playback support. This however depends on the file format of the audio. The earphones have been fine-tuned by AKG and they fit snugly in your ears.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 supports Gigabit LTE and Bluetooth 5.0. While, not many devices have come out supporting Bluetooth 5.0, you can use it to connect to two Bluetooth enabled devices simultaneously and play music through them.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Storage

The phone has 64 GB internal storage, with Micro SD external storage up to 256 GB.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Camera

Samsung has played it quite well with its phone cameras. The Galaxy S7 holds testimonial to that fact. While I still feel its camera to be the best throughout 2016, there is also a huge lot who finds Google Pixel's camera with the HDR+ EIS (amazing; no doubt about that) to be even better than the S7's camera which boasted the Dual Pixel technology.

However the Samsung Galaxy S8's camera is not much of an improvement over its predecessor. What I mean is that, the front one is a good improvement but there is not that many improvements in the rear camera.

The S8's rear camera has a 12 MP sensor, accompanied by a f/1.7 aperture lens that allows quite a lot of light to enter. It also uses the same Dual-Pixel technology as that in the S7. There is also an auto-focus and an Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). 

Samsung has however optimized its Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), that takes 3 shots whenever you click a picture. This results in reducing blur and noise, whenever you take a shot. There is also a PDAF (phase-detect auto focus), as well as auto HDR and a manual mode that enables you to shoot in RAW.

The front camera features a new 8-megapixel sensor along with a f/1.7 aperture lens and auto-focus. Auto-focus is pretty rare for a phone front camera. The other camera, which you may see on the front of the S8 is for the Iris scanner, which according to Samsung is much improved than that in the Note 7.

Also, the phone camera's speed has improved due to the processor. The camera app has also been slightly optimized for selfie lovers. You can zoom just with a swipe and add filters as per your wish.

In outdoors, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has amazing exposure levels and result in extremely vivid and sharp pictures. Shots of sceneries with high contrast trigger the S8's HDR mode, which succeeds in taking detailed shots of both bright and dark scenes.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is king when it comes to taking low light shots. Period. When indoors, the Samsung Galaxy S8 uses a different tactic to reduce noise while simultaneously not missing out on the super fine details of its shots.

Its low light exposures are brilliant and even at extemely dark places measuring at 1.6 nits, the images captured by the Samsung Galaxy S8 are bright and does not miss out on the details. However, the shutter speed slow down to about 0.12 second under the low light conditions. So, if you happen to take an image of a fast moving object in the dark, it may appear blurry.

But hey! Better a little blurry than all black.

As for its white balance - it is quite praise worthy, especially in low light.

As for the video captured by the Samsung Galaxy S8, the exposure levels are quite appreciable. The video stabilisation in the Samsung Galaxy S8 is better than that in the S7. Also, the colour accuracy in the video capture has been further honed upon in the Galaxy S8, compared to the Galaxy S7.

The Samsung Galaxy S8's HDR camera mode results in quite great contrast in its images. Its flash has also improved and can preserve quite a high level of details in the shots.

So to sum up all about the Samsung Galaxy S8 camera, here is a pro and con list on its photos and videos by DxOMark.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Camera

You can read the DxOMark review on the S8's camera if you want to know about it in even more detail.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Battery and Charge Capacity

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is powered by a 3000 mAh battery. I kind of find that to be quite small for everyday use. However Samsung assures that its new processors will cause less power drain, so you can use the phone for more time than that in its predecessor.

  • Snapdragon 835 causes 20% less power consumption
  • Exynos 8895 causes 40% lower power usage
Then there is also Samsung's fast charging capability using USB Type-C cord. With USB Type-C, you can plug in the charge port anyway you choose. It means there is no up or down of the cord.

Then there is the Wireless Charging. Just keep the phone on the charge socket or prop up the charger and let your phone charge as you stream a video or do something else.

But, the one thing that makes me doubtful about the battery's power drain is the phone's display. With the QHD+ and the high pixel density of the display, the phone battery is sure to get affected.

Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX Station: Computer in Android

Samsung's DeX Station is sold separately for about £150, and it turns your Samsung Galaxy S8 into a mini-PC, when connected to a HDMI equipped monitor and the phone docked inside it through a USB Type-C port. 

It has a power port, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet connector and cooling fans at the base which prevents the phone from heating up. It also charges your phone while you work.

Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX

The PC apps are displayed in a Windows 10 - like layout including Microsoft Word. The apps are completely resizable, when you switch from phone to tab and back. There are slots to plug in the keyboard and mouse too. 

A Windows 10-like desktop is propped up in your phone, filled with shortcuts, a taskbar and an app launcher. Your phone however can also be used to send texts, recieve or make calls or even use its own apps.

Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX

While, you can use the DeX to do almost 90% of all that you use a PC for. I was kind of unimpressed over its design. Still, function completely beats style in this case. The DeX simulates your PC using the power of Samsung's superb 10 nm processor. Both the Snapdragon and Exynos are powerful enough to offer unparalleled performance through the DeX.

Read: Samsung DeX Review

Samsung Galaxy S8 Summary and Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be expensive all right, but that's no new thing with any flagship (Yeah! Except the OnePlus 3 and 3T). However it does pack a great deal of power in its gorgeously designed phone that is sure to catch eyes of everyone around you. The display has also been rated as the best phone display. 

Then as for the performance, the Exynos is more powerful than the iPhone 7 Plus, while the Snapdragon variant seems to be just as fast in YouTube speed comparison videos. Samsung Galaxy S8's security is pretty tight, with its Iris and fingerprint scanner (No, not with the face recognition however at least until Samsung patches it). The OS has also been improved quite a lot and might even be the best Android OS around as of now.

There is also a good chance, that you are going to love Bixby, which comes with several amazing upgrades. The phone is also IP68 rated, so dust and water are not going to bother you, unless you plan on taking the phone for scuba diving.😂

The only reservation I have about the phone is of its battery. Will the processor, really keep up to its name and help the phone stay alive through out the whole day. If you are someone, who keeps the charger with you, this might not bother you.

Don't forget to share your views on the Samsung Galaxy S8. If you like the post share it among your circles and let them know of Samsung's latest- The Galaxy S8!

Where to Buy the Samsung Galaxy S8


  1. Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagship devices were two of the best Android mobiles of 2016. The new S8 handsets build on the solid foundations of the S7 pair, with an even more gorgeous and impressively slender form factor - despite boasting much larger displays. Everything else has been tweaked too, from the internal specs to the 12-megapixel rear camera. Samsung is now out to prove that it's still a mobile heavyweight after the Note 7 disaster. Which means that the Galaxy S8 really does stand out from the crowd with its seriously impressive near bezel-less design work.

  2. Yo Prefiero Revomrbtdar Un X1 y A8 De AgM Mas Económico Y Resistente

  3. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ (review) are conceivably some of the most high profile Smartphone’s launched in a while. According to our Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ review, the Exynos version has proven to be an absolute beast in terms of benchmarks.


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