Home > Personal Technology > Review: The Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Mobile’s comeback device, the Galaxy S8, is simply an Android powerhouse that’s out-of-this-world. The Galaxy S8 packs on incredibly speed, an intelligently-designed operating system and a stunning camera all within its aesthetically-pleasing shell. Just gripping this S$1,148 masterpiece feels different from holding on to just any other smartphone.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8, in all its glossiness, sports its signature curved-glass design, both on the front and rear of the smartphone. It’s shell seems to be gelled uniformly into a singular futuristic body of space metal that fits ergonomically in the palms of your hand.

The shimmering device shines at every single corner of the smartphone, producing a beautiful ray of reflection at every angle.

Its edge-to-edge design makes it look nearly bezel-less from a horizontal perspective and even the vertical frames are minuscule, allowing the smartphone to fully maximise its frame and increase the screen-to-body ratio of the gadget.

Although the S8 comes in at a light 155g, it still feels very sturdy. For a 5.8” smartphone, it has a mere 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm dimension, which is even more compact than smartphones with a 5.5” screen.

Due to its bezel-less design, you will notice there is no space on the front to house a fingerprint sensor, which has since been placed on the rear of the smartphone beside the camera. I felt that the fingerprint sensor might have been placed a tad too high and slightly difficult to reach for those with shorter fingers.

The S8 retains the S7’s waterproof capabilities and IP68 rating, meaning the gadget can be placed in water for 30 minutes as deep as 1.5 metres.

It’s also protected with the new Gorilla Glass 5, which pretty much gives you a scratch-proof smartphone, but I wouldn’t dare call it crackproof, so don’t go dropping it.

Display

Simply stunning. The 1440 x 2960 px screen is one of the highest-definition displays in the marketplace, and the S8 doesn’t stop there. Clarity isn’t all it gives you, it showcases amazing contrast too, thanks to its Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colours.

Although Samsung’s screen doesn’t have Dolby Vision like the LG G6, it still has a new Infinity Display panel that earned it the UHD Alliance’s “Mobile HDR Premium” certification – it is the first smartphone display to clinch this title, through a combination of 113% coverage of DCI-P3 as well as 142% of the sRGB color spaces, alongside shockingly impressive levels of brightness and contrast.

Performance

Samsung’s S8 is an ultra-fast workhouse for sure. The device comes with an Exynos 8895 processor and 4GB of RAM.

The S8 runs fluidly in every aspect. From day-to-day usage such texting and Web browsing to simple video editing. I’ve yet to experience any lags on the S8 despite installing chunks of application on the device.

I ran the Antutu benchmarks and got a score of 158,207. That’s really high, with only a few phones outperforming it.

Gaming performance is also great. I played Asphalt 8 without any lags and overheating. Running 3DMark gave me a score of 1989. This is pretty standard for flagships. Nothing exactly special here though.

User Experience.

Fast processors and aesthetically-pleasing designs aren’t anything new in the smartphone realm. What separates a great flagship from a good one is its user experience and I felt that Samsung has done it spectacularly here.

The S8 is quite literally feature-packed. It comes with iris scanners and facial recognition technology to unlock your smartphone, an intuitive user interface that even let’s you enter fullscreen on apps and even has a powerful AI Bixby to do your bidding for you.

Bixby lets you control your smartphone with your voice, text and even camera. You don’t have to ask it where’s the best place for dinner, you just have to show it on the camera!

There are also features that let you pin not an app, to your screen, but part of an app, perhaps to use as reference. That’s simply spectacular.

I did hope for the S8 to come with more than 64GB of RAM, considering its high price point. 64GB tends to be enough, but if you take plenty of photos and videos on the S8 (which you will be tempted to), then a memory crunch is still quite possible and you should invest in a good microSD card – the Galaxy S8’s microSD card slot supports up to 256GB.

Camera

There doesn’t appear to be a significant change to the already incredible camera packed within the Galaxy S7. The S8 keeps its 12MP Dual Pixel shooter armed with an impressive f/1.7 aperture and standard perks such as the optical image stabilisation (OIS) and 4K video recording.

The Galaxy S8’s camera does a lot behind the scene to give you a clear photo, taking 3 shots as opposed to 1, which Samsung calls it multi-frame image processing. It also does more to keep blur to a minimum and ensure optimum focusing too.

However, your camera gets an upgrade to the processor, which turns every single shot, edited or not, into a stunning masterpiece.

The front camera also has a very wide aperture of f/1.7 to help it shoot well under low light conditions, and it has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP to increase its resolution.

You should be able to tell that all the shots are really clear and sharp, especially low-light ones which tend to be pretty bad.

Battery Life

Samsung’s S8 didn’t quite have the battery that the S7 had. The 3,000mAh battery should be capable of lasting around 11 hours with moderate usage, and it had 1-2 hours of battery life more than other smartphones I’ve tested such as the OnePlus 3T. Recharging it is incredibly easy and fast, with 0 to 100% taking about 1.5 hours.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is an amazing device and there probably isn’t any Android device within its league at the moment. Its premium design, user interface, ultra powerful speed and camera comes at a hefty price though, but if price isn’t too large of a concern of yours, then you will certainly find the S8 to be an ideal Android powerhouse to own.

Zayne Seah
A tech geek going beyond specs.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Samsung Galaxy S8

  1. Lyn

    Love the sleek design and crystal-clear camera! <3

  2. Graeme

    Why would you say it’s feature lacking and then go on and describe a whole heap of features? That’s bizzare. Or when you wrote ‘the phone is feature lacked’ did you actually mean packed?

  3. Shawn Chung

    Hi, Graeme, that’s actually a typo – thanks for spotting it.

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