The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 was recently unveiled in an event tagged, “Unpacked 2017” in New York and it is well worth the buzz.
Sporting an all-glass design, curved screen, digital home button and wireless charging, the Galaxy S8 is set to go head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone 7 – and the iPhone 8 when it launches later this year.
The brand has definitely upped its game in this one, rising above the setback of the Galaxy S7 that had to be recalled due to overheating and was exploding situations.
From its slim design and barely-there bezels to its eye-catching display and biometric security features, this is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones money can buy right now.
Here’s what you need to know:
The new device has an all-glass body, and is slim and long compared to most modern smartphones, designed to be held in one hand.
The Galaxy S8 comes in two sizes – the S8 with a 5.8-inch display, measuring 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, and the S8+ with a 6.2-inch display, measuring 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm.
The physical Home button has been removed, and replaced with a pressure-sensitive panel placed underneath the screen, so that the front of the device is a sheer pane of glass.
The fingerprint reader is now located on the back of the phone, next to the camera module, and is designed to be used with an index finger rather than a thumb. The phone also supports iris scanning for added security.
Despite rumours that Samsung was planning to follow Apple in ditching the headphone jack , the Galaxy S8 has retained this feature. The smartphone also comes with a pair of high-performance AKG by Harman headphones in the box.
The reason for the Galaxy S8’s unusual shape is its ultra-wide display, which has an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 rather than the conventional 16:9, and extremely narrow bezels around the edge of the screen.
Samsung describes the display as “Quad HD+”, which is the same classification as the recently launched LG G6 , and translates to a screen resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels.
It is also the world’s first mobile device certified by the UHD Alliance as “Mobile HDR Premium”, meaning it lets you see the vibrant colours and contrasts that filmmakers intended while watching your favourite shows.
Features and specs
The Galaxy S8 features a 12-Megapixel “Dual Pixel” camera on the back, for improved low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos, and an 8-Megapixel selfie camera with smart autofocus on the front.
It has an IP68 rating, which means it is water resistant to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, and is protected from dust, dirt and sand without the need for extra caps or covers.
The Galaxy S8 boasts the industry’s first 10 nm chip, which Samsung claims enables heightened speed and efficiency. It also contains 6GB RAM and 64GB of in-built storage, expandable up to 256GB with a MicroSD card.
The smaller model has a 3,000 mAh battery, while the larger one has a 3,500 mAh battery. Both offer a choice of wired or wireless charging.
Both devices run the latest version of Google’s operating system, Android 7.0 Nougat .
This includes new productivity features such as multi-tasking, which allows two apps to run on-screen at the same time, so you can continue watching a video on YouTube while replying to an email.
The Galaxy S8 also comes with the Edge software, which allows you to add shortcuts to contacts and apps in a pull-out panel on the edge of the display, and enhanced security features.
As well as the fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S8 features an iris scanner and facial recognition software, so users can choose their preferred biometric authentication method.
Bixby personal assistant
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 come with a new artificially intelligent personal assistant called Bixby.
Like Apple’s Siri, Bixby responds to spoken commands, allowing users to control their phones with their voices alone.
However, Samsung claims that Bixby offers a “deeper experience” than other voice agents or assistants in the market.
Firstly, when using a Bixby-enabled application, Samsung’s personal assistant can support almost every task that the application is capable of performing – so you don’t have to remember which features work with voice command and which don’t.
Secondly, you can call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application, allowing you to continue what you’re doing without interruption.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the device, which you can press to call up the virtual assistant.
To begin with, only a subset of pre-installed applications will be Bixby-enabled, but this set will continue to expand over time.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 will launch in the UK and Europe on April 28.
It will be available in two colour variants – Midnight Black and Orchid Grey – with potential availability of a third colour, Arctic Silver, to be announced in due course.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 costs £689 up-front, while the S8+ costs £779.
If you can’t afford to splash out the full price of the Galaxy S8 all in one go, you can pay it off in monthly instalments with a tariff contract from one of the major networks.
Photo credits: Daily Mirror, CNET