Freelance technology writer Pat Pilcher reckons there are 8 reasons why Samsung's new Galaxy S8/S8+ will get snaffled up by discerning smartphone buyers.
Reason #1: Display
The curved display of the GS8+ means Samsung can squeeze a whopping 6.2” screen onto a smaller phone chassis.
This means that its usable without palm stretching warm ups. There's more screen real-estate at both the top and bottom of the phone. This sees the GS8+ with an 18.5:9 screen ratio. The upshot is that you get more screen on a very pocketable phone.
Design aside, its Super AMOLED display is both vivid and bright. Contrast levels leave those of LCD behind, resulting in a pin-sharp and colourful display.
Reason#2: Mobile HDR
The GS8/GS8+ is one of the first smartphones with Mobile HDR. This means that subtle details can get pulled out of dark (or bright) areas on the display. For playing videos, or browsing photos, Mobile HDR makes a huge difference.
Bixby is Samsung’s answer to Apples Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now. Most digital assistants listen for a “hot phrase” before they do your bidding. Samsung chose a dedicated Bixby button. The logic behind this has more to do with the fact that listening for a hot phrase eats into battery life.
Bixby isn’t only about talking. You can type commands, or use the camera. Bixby Vision analyses captured images and provides location information, language translation or even currency conversions. The full Bixby experience has yet to launch in NZ, but it looks compelling.
Reason#4: fingerprint plus Iris scanning
The fingerprint sensor is now at the back, next to the camera. There's also iris recognition. This allows you to unlock the phone by looking at it. It works well (it feels very James Bond too!)
The rear camera uses a 12MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. This should make for better low light photos. The rear camera shoots three images, each with different exposures in rapid succession. These get merged to produce the best possible photo. This technique produces extra sharpness and more accurate exposure levels. The front camera also has an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus to give you the best selfies possible.
Reason#6: Virtual home button
Moving the fingerprint sensor around the back frees up a tonne of valuable screen space. Looking at the front of the phone you’d think there was no front home button.
Samsung have buried it beneath the screen and included a pressure sensor. Pressing down on the virtual home button registers a brief vibration. When the home button is not needed, it disappears, freeing up space for phone chores. All told, the virtual home button is a super-smart, zero compromise solution.
It looks great. The gentle curves of its screen get complimented by similar curves on its back. These make it a very comfy fit in the hand.
In an age where smartphone design has become more and more generic, there’s nothing quite like the GS8/GS8+. Powered off, it looks like a slab of polished Onyx. Powered on it looks stunning.
Reason#8: Water resistance
This is indeed a cutting edge flagship smartphone, but wait, there’s more. The GS8/GS8+ is also IP68 rated. This means it can be submerged in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. The upshot of this is that you get a phone and camera you can use in the rain, or even take swimming!
Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S8.