Sheer mobile brilliance

No wonder Samsung’s double entendre promo for the new Galaxy 8 says, “Unbox your phone”.

The superb curved glass skin entices you to pick it up and, when you do, you will marvel at the exquisite smooth design elements and how well it fits in your hand. Samsung have left nothing to chance on the Galaxy S8 and 8+ as they again take the mantle from their peers as the phone of choice.

The display

You'll notice that the S8 and S8+ screens are longer and take up 88 per cent of the screen surface. Most smartphone screens have a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Samsung built the S8 screens with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio to give you more screen in your hand. Samsung calls these screens "Infinity Displays," and they run at resolutions as high as 2960x1440 with HDR Premium capability (Netflix and YouTube). Switching the phones on give you 2220x1080 by default. For games and VR, you can dial up the top resolution in display settings. There's also an option to dial down the screen's resolution to "HD+," or 1480x720, in case you need the longest battery life you can get. The length of the screen makes multi-window multitasking easy and your apps will also automatically scale to fit the entire screen. This applies to the S8+ as well. Its bigger body means that Samsung was able to engineer a larger battery inside.

Inputs

There's a USB-C port and a headphone jack (yay!), with waterproofing. Both devices are IP68 dust and water-resistant, and good for up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 metres of water. That said, there’s no need to brag by leaving it in the sink with the dishes where it fell - do take it out. Your 4G can be super-fast up to 1Gbps with Cat 16 LTE (in capital cities). With superb design and weighing in at only 155 grams for the Galaxy S8 and 173 grams for the S8+, Samsung have redefined the big phone so that it actually feels comfortable in your hand.

Software

TouchWiz has had a serious makeover. You just swipe up or down on the home screen to see everything you've installed with a search bar at the top. Long-pressing an app icon launches a pop-up window with options to add a shortcut to the home screen, select multiple apps and uninstall or disable the ones you've selected.

Both phones have curved displays so they inherited the Edge models special shortcut panels. The fine tab on the right side of the screen reveals panels you can load up with your favourite apps and contacts. You can select and record parts of the screen and scrawl over them to create GIFs on the fly. A great feature is the Secure Folder where you can hide files and install separate instances of apps away from the rest of your stuff. For example, this means that the photos you take with the camera placed within the Secure Folder can only be viewed when you've successfully unlocked it.

Assistant Bixby

Bixby, Samsung’s assistant, is included with voice activation to come (Google Assistant is there for now). Samsung promises you'll be able to control your S8 with your voice as well as you can by tapping on its screen hopefully later this year. Bixby Vision is an augmented reality camera that identifies what's in front of you. It works particularly well on wine labels, and in a partnership with Vivino, it will give a score before you buy. Also pointing the camera at foreign street signs will give you the English translation.


Bixby Vision is an augmented reality camera that identifies what's in front of you. It works particularly well on wine labels, and in a partnership with Vivino, it will give a score before you buy. Also pointing the camera at foreign street signs will give you the English translation.


Camera

Samsung’s clever one-hand operation makes it easy to zoom in or out, change front to back and whatever mode you need. The 12-megapixel sensors gives your images high quality and well-exposed excellent colour. The dual-pixel cameras focus is lightning fast with optical image stabilization and a big leap in low-light performance with 1.4µm sensor pixels and f/1.7 apertures. For video, you get up to 4K with great colour (check out the examples on

).

Battery

On test, the S8 goes for up to two days of regular use and the bigger battery in the S8+ can get you up to three days with the right power settings.

Sound

Supporting UHQ Audio 32bit sound means you get the best possible quality ultra high fidelity music that you can pump out to 2 users at the same time.

Security

With biometric authentication you can use the iris scanner, facial recognition, fingerprint our join-the-dots, whichever you prefer and don’t forget the expandable memory up to 256GB and wireless/fast charging.

Introducing Samsung DeX

Farewell PC and hello Dex. Just plug your 8 or 8+ into the DeX holder and line up a screen, keyboard and mouse and voila – your set to browse the Web, edit documents or videos, do your email and social media, how good is that?

Price

Street price for the S8 start at around $999 and $1249 for the 8+. Plans begin from $60 a month.

Summary

The Samsung Galaxy 8 and 8+ are simply the best and without peer in the mobile market and selling like hot cakes with over 5 million sold already.

Feature Image Courtesy: Tract Consulting
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