After the whole debacle with the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung was really busy. They wanted to make sure that we would forget about it. Because of that, Samsung focused on making a better and SAFER product.
At their Unpacked event last night, Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus!
There is a lot to “unpack” with what they announced, so I’m here to give you 10 things that YOU need to know about Samsung’s new flagship smartphones.
If you need that one good reason to get the Galaxy S8, it would be the display. Unlike previous Galaxy S phones, Samsung ditched their signature home button in order to get more screen on the front of the phone! Dubbed the “Infinity Display”, they also took advantage of having curved sides to get more screen! Because of that, the Galaxy S8 has a 2960×1440 resolution with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The screen might look weird but it really does look gorgeous!
Last year, only the Galaxy S7 Edge got the curved edges and the smaller body with a big screen. Now, we get two of them. We have the Galaxy S8 AND the Galaxy S8 Plus! The S8 has a 5.8-inch 2960×1440 display while the S8 Plus gets a whopping 6.2-inch 2960×1440 display!
Thanks to the whole Note 7 problem last year, Samsung decided to play it safe with the battery. The S8 has a 3000mAh battery while the S8 Plus has a 3500mAh. We have yet to see how the smaller batteries affect the battery life of the phones.
Invisible Home Button.
Since the front of the phone is basically all screen now, they ditched their signature home button on the Galaxy S8. Instead, they put a pressure-sensitive sensor on the bottom of the screen to act as the home button. With that, they are also now using software buttons as opposed to capacitive buttons on the previous Galaxy phones.
One of the First to Get the Snapdragon 835!
Samsung’s latest flagship is one of the first mainstream smartphones to get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor! Expect better battery life, built-in support for Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for less shaky videos, and Quick Charge 4.0 for EVEN FASTER charging!
Sadly, only the US versions will get a taste of Qualcomm’s new processor. The rest of us will get Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chip (which could be faster than the 835 anyway).
Remember S Voice? No? Don’t worry about it too much. S Voice flopped SO HARD even compared to Siri. Because of that, Samsung went and bought the original creators of Siri. The fruits of that purchase came in the form of Bixby. It is an intelligent assistant that aims to make using your phone easier.
It is part Siri and Google Assistant that takes commands and responds based on them, and part voice assistant layer to different functions of your phone. I have yet to see whether this is even worth it when Google Assistant is actually on the Galaxy S8 as well.
Samsung better make this worth using since they put a dedicated Bixby button on the left side of the phone.
It Can Be a Desktop Computer!
Turning a phone into a desktop computer isn’t a new concept. A LOT of phone makers tried and failed in bringing this to a mainstream audience. I guess Samsung doesn’t mind trying again.
With the Galaxy S8 and an additional accessory, you can use Samsung DeX. (Yes, that stands for Desktop Xperience. Ughh.) It essentially brings you a desktop experience with your phone. You can also access the usual apps from your phone in this mode. Windowing support is included! (It boggles my mind why Microsoft can’t figure THIS out.)
Samsung worked with third-party developers to optimize their apps for Samsung DeX. Based on hands-on experience from some media outlets, they find DeX to be quite useful with some apps like Chrome, Facebook, and Microsoft Office apps.
A Rear Camera and a Better Front Camera.
Since Samsung was busy with the whole Note 7 debacle, they probably didn’t have time on the S8’s rear camera. It’s alright though, it held its own even against Google’s amazing Pixel phone and Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. The S8’s rear camera is still just one sensor, a 12-megapixel one to be exact. Nothing much to talk about, but I’m still hoping for great things.
The better story is on the front-facing camera. It is now 8 megapixels compared to the 5-megapixel front shooter on the Galaxy S7. If that’s not enough, Samsung also included Snapchat-like filters and stickers to the Camera app! Neat! Everyone’s copying Snapchat!
More Choice for Security.
In 2017, a flagship smartphone without some form of biometric security will be a big knock against it. Good thing that the Galaxy S8 has more ways you can secure your data.
Thanks to their bold move on making the front of the phone all screen, the fingerprint sensor is on the back. It would be okay if it was in the middle of the phone, but NOPE. They put it beside the camera. I guess you have to keep cleaning the camera when using the S8 then. (It’s worse when you’re left-handed. Okaaaaaay.)
The Galaxy S8 also has an iris scanner previously found in the (RIP) Galaxy Note 7. Out of the three, this one has the better security since it only checks your eyes in order to unlock the phone.
Lastly, the S8 can also unlock your phone using facial recognition. When people heard of this, they already have one question in mind. Does the phone unlock when using a photo of the owner? Sadly the answer is yes. If you buy this phone (I’m dead sure you’re convinced just by the display alone), I DISCOURAGE you to use face unlock.
Are There More Features?
Of course there are! This is a Samsung phone after all. Since both Galaxy S8 phones have curved edges, all the Edge functionality you know and love are on there. Even some features previously just available on the Note are here too. Like previous Galaxy S phones since the S5, the S8 has IP68 water and dust resistance.
The S8 and S8 Plus comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. They also support expandable storage up to 256GB. It is the first phone with Bluetooth 5.0 including the ability to connect to TWO Bluetooth-enabled headphones and speakers!
Galaxy S8 Pricing and Availability in PH
Unlike most flagship smartphones, we pretty much know when the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will hit Philippine shores. Based on many sources, here are details regarding when will it come out and how much will it cost.
- The Galaxy S8 costs P39,990 while the Galaxy S8 Plus costs P45,990. Considering both come with 64GB storage AND a set of Harman AKG Earphones, that’s a steal in my opinion.
- Pre-orders will be from April 17-29 through Samsung Experience stores, Lazada, Globe, and Smart. Info on how much the cashout price will be
- The PH Launch event of the S8 will be on April 20, a Blue Carpet event for Samsung VIPs is on April 30, and the official retail release is on May 5.
I’m actually really tempted by that nice display! I sincerely hope I can get my hands on one for review! That, and so I can compare this phone with the iPhone 7. Hehe.
Are you excited for the Galaxy S8? Is there anything in particular that helps convince you to get one? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!