Samsung Galaxy S8 Unwrapped: Everything You Need to Know

Ever since the Note 7 Crisis, which almost stripped it off of its nice reputation, Samsung has been putting effort after effort to redeem its glory as a reliable and dominant phone maker. A day ago, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 plus were announced, amongst other new versions of their gadgets such as the Gear 360.

As usual, there’s the good which is worth mentioning and on the other side, the bad or sometimes the ugly that we also have to mention.  No doubt Samsung has this big ambition to overcome Apple, a confession that was made public through their vice president of product strategy. And the dream is nothing else other than the newly out Galaxy S8.

During the event, DJ Koh, Samsung’s president of mobile communications remarked that the Samsung Galaxy 8 is precisely a culmination of years of effort and an aggregation of work done on its previous phones. Well, whether the phone lives to the hype or not is a matter that rests with the users but for now, let’s explore this device to see the hits and misses.

Well, whether the phone lives up to the hype or not is a matter that rests with the users but for now, let’s explore this device to see the hits and misses.

Overview

This may sound a bit flattering but if we have to call a spade a spade, then the Galaxy S8 is a masterful piece of technology. Forget about flat screens and think of a slender yet tall beautifully crafted piece that comes in glass and metal and with two curved sides.

Yes, I’m talking about the elegant design this unit comes in, it feels really good in the hands and you will not tire wanting to hold and keep it like it’s your new baby.

Anything else? Well, a premature digital assistance which is a great addition to the S8 but nothing to be over-excited about because it’s still a crawling child.

Improvements in battery performance (a big deal to anyone now since we don’t wish for a continuation of Note 7’s wildness) make this unit worth 85% of your trust and additional new camera tricks plus Samsung deX which is a feature that lets you make your S8 your computer add to its loveliness.

Design

DJ Koh admits that the introduction of the curved screen was destined to be Samsung’s identify and he’s right. If you remember the Samsung Galaxy S7, this was one of the most profound features that got everyone talking.

Well, it’s no doubt pleasing to the eyes but beyond that, the curved screen is what allows for a wider screen in a thin, smaller and lighter frame. Proof of this is in the fact that in its category, S7 edge was probably the narrowest. Not even the Apple 5.5 inch plus could match up to that.

After all, don’t we all relish this new breed of smartphones with wide screens yet narrow bezel? But unlike the S7, the new S8 and S8 plus have their display really stretched out to the corners, thanks to the 18:5:9 aspect ratio display.

The result? Well, thin strips of borders round the unit and adding on the curved edges, you end up with a really futuristic phone.

All that glory aside, some users (you could end up being one of them) faulted the closeness of the fingerprint reader to the rear camera. Whether or not you have sausage-thick fingers, chances are high you could smudge the unit’s lens while trying to unlock it via the reader.

Bixby

Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and even Facebook already have their foot into this emerging space of virtual assistants. We could say they are already dominant. Samsung now joins the fray with their virtual assistance dubbed Bixby.

Of course it’s almost an uphill task for Samsung to match up to the likes of Google Now for various reasons so the company took a unique approach to this: designing Bixby to be that intelligent buddy that complements the phone’s services as opposed a know-it-all kind of assistant.

You could perform a range of different tasks through its three divisions: Bixby voice, Bixby home, and Bixby vision.

You can speak your commands to the Bixby voice. At the moment, there’s very little you could do with this besides asking it to toggle WiFi settings or share a picture with someone or perform other minor tasks.

You can either use the Bixby button (embedded right below the volume keys) or a wake word to active this voice assistant.

Bixby home is a user interface that comprises a list of things such as weather, news and some suggestions on what you do often, which it could remind you of if you often do them at specific intervals or time. There’s an option to customize this as well.

Bixby Vision works in a similar way to Google Googles. It’s a camera feature that utilizes an optical image recognition to perform a range of tasks such as extracting text (OCR), reading QR codes or identifying objects.

Overall, it’s a promising new feature only that it’s a work-in-progress and more remains to be explored when the final version comes out.

Battery performance

Memories of Samsung’s Note 7 series of explosions haven’t faded yet. We have all our focus sucked into this space and what everyone wants to know is: Yes, S8 is no doubt a masterpiece but just how secure is it?

DJ koh admits that this one was not just a painful experience but a painful accident as well. And in response to that, the company set up a series of measures including extensive test centers to solidify the safety of their batteries and devices.

Dan Seifert from the verge was taken on a tour of their battery testing facilities and he speaks of long term usage simulations as one of the checks instituted by the company to test out the credibility of their batteries and units. In fact, the company has stretched out the battery testing process to an 8-point battery inspection process which they used to test out the S8 and S8 plus.

Another thing about the S8 battery is that it’s more tuned towards long-term performance as opposed to short-term. This means the battery, unlike the previous models, will be able to keep a longer charge after up to 2 years.

The S8’s battery capacity is set at 3000 mAh while the S8 plus caps at 3500 mAh.

Camera Features

Well, there’s nothing significant to note in regards to the camera as the unit retains much of what is contained in the previous model.  But some new tricks you will want to note include the autofocus on the front facing camera, the floating shutter button which is an optional feature, and perhaps the additional filters plus image decorations.

Samsung also claims an upgrade was done to the post picture process. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll find out when the unit finally launches into the market.

Other important features to note include:

  • Display Size:8-inches for Samsung Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inches for Samsung Galaxy S8 plus
  • OS: Android Nougat 7.0
  • Internal storage: 64GB
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor/ Samsung Exynos 8895
  • Connector: USB-C
  • Gigabit-Class LTE ( for 5G internet)
  • Face-unlocking feature (not the same as iris scanning)
  • Samsung DeX (bought separately) – a complete unit comprising of a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It displays your phone’s content on the monitor.
  • Water resistance (IP68)
  • Wireless charging
  • Colors: Gray, Black, Silver, Gold, and Blue.

Here’s a brief overview of these two beasts:

Price and Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is slated to come out officially as from April 21st 2017 but pre-orders start today (30th march 2017).

Pre-order customers will receive free Gear VR and Controller plus Oculus content pack. Alternatively, you can pick the $99 experience box comprising Gear VR and controller, Haram Kardon earbuds and a 256GB microSD card.

You can make your preorders on Verizon. For Samsung Galaxy S8 click here and for S8 plus click here.

You can as well pre-order from BestBuy

Prices start from $720 for the S8 and $840 for the S8 plus.

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