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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The New Samsung Galaxy S8 - A Review

TodayNewsReview / Technology / Phones / Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The New Samsung Galaxy S8 - A Review 350 Views

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There are two versions of the S8: the standard Galaxy S8 with a 5.8-inch screen and the larger S8 Plus with a 6.2-inch screen. Both are available for preorder on March 30th and will be shipping in the US on April 21st. Pricing, as always with Samsung, is up to the carriers — but you can expect them to command a premium price. The early word is that it will start at $720.

Galaxy S8 hardware
The screen of the S8 extends up and down to cover nearly the entire front of the phone. It also curves around the left and right, something Samsung is calling the “infinity display,” which gives it the look of not having any bezels at all. And speaking of curves, the four corners of the screen are also slightly curved instead of squared-off, which adds some elegance and perhaps some screen durability. The S8 and S8 Plus fulfill Samsung’s promise of fitting a big screen in a smaller body, and so they’re quite a bit more usable than other large-screened phones.

Extending the screen to near the bottom of the phone means that there’s no room for Samsung’s traditional hardware home button. Instead, it uses software buttons like other Android phones. It also uses some haptic feedback like Apple’s iPhones to create a virtual feeling of pressing a home button, though it only works on the very specific spot where the software home button appears. One neat feature: some Android apps hide those main Android buttons when they go full screen, but you can still firmly press the bottom of the screen to activate the home button.

Getting rid of the physical home button also means that Samsung had to move the fingerprint sensor. It’s on the back now, right next to the camera. Speaking of fingerprints, because the S8 is nearly all glass, you’ll see them on the back a lot, but they’re not as prominent as you might expect.

Both the USB-C port and the 3.5mm headphone jack (hallelujah) are located on the bottom of the phone. You have power on one side and volume buttons on the other, underneath which you’ll find a whole new button that’s dedicated to the big new software feature on the Galaxy S8, Bixby.

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Galaxy S8 Specs
As you’d expect, the S8 has the best specs you can get on an Android phone. Depending on the region, you’ll either get Qualcomm’s newest (and slightly rarer) Snapdragon 835 or Samsung’s own Exynos. In both cases, Samsung is touting that they’re built on a 10nm chip, which should theoretically help with power consumption.

The standard S8 has a 570ppi 5.8-inch screen, with a resolution of 2960 x 1440. The S8 Plus has the exact same resolution on its 6.2-inch screen, which works out to 529ppi. For my money, the standard S8 is the way to go. It still feels like a massive screen and the body is significantly smaller. The height of the screen is interesting, too: the aspect ratio is a super-tall 18.5:9, which adds a bunch of screen real estate to scroll through.

In terms of other specs, it’s pretty bog standard stuff: 4 gigs of RAM, 64 gigs of onboard storage, and an expandable SD card slot.

Galaxy S8 battery

The S8 has a 3,000mAh battery and the S8 Plus has a larger 3,500mAh battery — the same capacity that the Note 7 had. But neither is especially large when you consider the fact that they need to power towering screens. Samsung claims it has tweaked the battery chemistry to help the batteries last longer after a year or two of use.

To make up for it, Samsung is offering the usual suite of power options: Qualcomm Quick Charge and support for both major wireless charging standards.

Galaxy S8 cameras

The S8 uses the exact same rear camera as the Galaxy S7, a 12-megapixel sensor with OIS. Samsung says it’s done work on the software side to improve picture quality. The front-facing camera (aka the one you really care about) has gotten an upgrade. It’s an 8-megapixel sensor now, but more importantly it has autofocus. Switching between cameras was fast and easy, as was swiping over to get to Samsung’s kajillion photo gimmick settings. But some of those gimmicks are pretty neat, I’m especially fond of the GIF mode, though I do wish it was just automatic like you can do with Apple’s Live Photos and the Motion Stills app.

Galaxy S8 software
The iris scanning that lived all-too-briefly on the Note 7 is back, if you’d like to unlock your phone that way. But the best way to unlock the phone is Samsung’s new face detect system. It takes about 20 seconds to set up and once you do, it works really well. It’s not the same, bad face unlock that was introduced in Android years ago, it’s an entirely new system Samsung made.

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Bixby, Samsung’s personal assistant
Bixby is launched by pressing an honest-to-god dedicated physical button. It has basically three modes:
1. A short-press of the button takes you to Bixby Home (you can also swipe over to it from the home screen).
2. Long-pressing the button turns on Bixby’s voice features.
3. There’s a small button on the camera app for Bixby’s augmented reality features.

Essentially, what Samsung is trying to do is create a new kind of virtual assistant, one that helps you use the device directly in your hands rather than ask random questions from the cloud. You can open the gallery app and then issue voice commands for editing a photo rather than trying to dig through the interface to find the right button. “Bixby, rotate this photo left,” and “Bixby, send this photo to Dan.” If you live that Samsung Life, you can use Bixby to send videos to your TV or turn off your smart lights, too. The goal is that “anything you can control with touch, you can also control with voice.”

Last but certainly not least are Bixby’s camera features, which are Bixby’s best features. You can launch it either directly in the camera app or from Bixby Home, and what it essentially does is turn your camera into a photo search machine. Point the Bixby camera app at anything and it will identify it and suggest web searches for it.

Galaxy S8 release date, colors, and price

In the US, the S8 and S8 Plus will come in black, gray, and silver. Gold and blue are options internationally.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are available for preorder starting tomorrow, March 30th, and you should get a free Oculus headset with a controller and a set of games along with your preorder. The official release in the US is on April 21st. Unfortunately, Samsung won’t confirm pricing, leaving that to its carrier partners — again, it looks like it’ll start at around $720.

www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15087530/samsung-galaxy-s8-announced-features-release-date-video-specifications

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