Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Feature Articles
First looks: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ - To infinity and beyond!
By Zachary Chan - 19 Apr 2017,12:20pm

Intro

Samsung's first 2017 Android Flagships - Galaxy S8 and S8+

The rumor mills have been working overtime predicting Samsung’s next flagship device, especially since the company took a much subdued stance in the months following the Note 7 affair. But, they’ve been picking up steam again with aggressive advertising and marketing to put the point across that any battery issues are a thing of the past. These days, you wouldn’t be able to browse a website or watch a video without seeing Samsung’s 8-point battery safety check ads.

Which brings us to today, the actual launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 family of devices at the first major Unpacked event in New York. While you’re tuning in to the live-stream of Unpacked 2017, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with the devices the day before to bring you some actual product shots of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. 

The frontal view of the S8 and S8+ is a sight to behold. In order to eke out as much display as possible, there isn't even the traditional Samsung logo on the front.

The glass covered back however remains to be a huge smudge magnet. Some of the colors available. Clockwise from the top right Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will indeed come in two variants, a smaller 5.8-inch S8 and a larger 6.2-inch S8+. But unlike the previous S7 and S7 Edge, both the S8 and S8+ have identical specifications, software and design considerations. The only difference between the two devices seem to be their physical screen sizes and battery capacities. As such, the choice between the two will come right down to what fits your hand the best.

Headphone jack is still intact, and the positioning of connectors and antenna bands remain similar to the S7 Edge, but do take note that the S8 and S8+ have finally transitioned to USB Type-C charging port.

Similarly, the SIM and SD slot is at the top of the phone like its predecessor.

The right side of the phone has the standard power button.

On the left, the longer button on the top is the volume rocker, while the smaller button at the bottom is a dedicated Bixby activation button (we'll get to Bixby later on page 3).

At first glance, both the S8 and S8+ look like souped-up S7 Edges. As expected, the S8 and S8+ will be getting a major boost in processing power, one of the first devices to use next-generation 10nm processors (either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 depending on market, and I'm told that Singapore will receive the Exynos version), faster LTE Cat. 16 (up to 1Gbps peak download speeds) and Android 7.0 out-of-the box. The front camera has also been bumped up to an 8MP shooter (from 5MP on the S7 series) with an F1.7 lens, smart autofocus and face detection capabilities. Because of this, the S8 and S8+ will now support facial recognition unlocking, in addition to fingerprint and iris scanning.

No more physical Home button, but the virtual button does have haptic feedback.

No changes to rear camera hardware, but the fingerprint scanner has been moved next to it.

As the fingerprint scanner isn't centered, be careful that you don’t brush across the rear camera as you feel for it, or you'll be wondering why your photos are always blurry.

However, the rear camera remains the same 12MP, F1.7 Dual Pixel as found on the previous S7 series. Other features that you should expect to come standard from a flagship Galaxy device include IP68 weather-proofing, always-on display, fast wireless charging and microSD support up to 256GB.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be globally available from April 21st 2017. We'll update this article as soon as we can confirm Singapore's launch date specifically.

I won't go into too much detail about other specs as they’re pretty straightforward if you look at the spec sheet below. What’s truly new about the S8 series is Samsung’s Infinity Display design and Bixby intelligent assistant integration, which I cover more in the following pages.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ compared

 

Galaxy S8

Galaxy S8+

OS

Android 7.0

Network

LTE Cat. 16*

*May differ by markets and mobile operators

Dimension

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, 152g

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, 173g

AP

Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process

Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process

*May differ by markets and mobile operators

Memory

4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 64GB (UFS 2.1)

*May differ by markets and mobile operators

Display

5.8” (146.5mm)1 Quad HD+

(2960x1440), (570ppi)

6.2” (158.1mm)1 Quad HD+

(2960x1440), (529ppi)

1 Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

Camera

Rear: Dual Pixel 12MP OIS (F1.7), Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)

Battery

3,000 mAh

3,500 mAh

Fast Charging on wired and wireless

Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA

Payment

NFC, MST

Connectivity

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM

Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC,

Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)

*Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited.

Sensors

Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor,
Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor,

RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor

Audio

MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB,

FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF

Video

MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.