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Samsung S8 -- Here's Why It Is The Smartphone I've Always Wanted

We have been teased before with curved screens and large displays. Samsung has definitely outdone themselves with their S8 OLED Display technology.

19/04/2017 03:54 SAST | Updated 19/04/2017 03:54 SAST
Kim Hong-Ji/ Reuters
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S8 smartphone

The 2017 Samsung S8 and S8+ are the smartphones of the future that we will be using today! Actually, the phones are scheduled for release on the 5th of May 2017 here in South Africa (29 April 2017 in Europe). The front of the phone is made up of almost the entire screen. There are no buttons and only a small bit of bezel exist at the top and bottom. We have been teased before with curved screens and large displays. But in the case of the S8, Samsung has definitely outdone themselves.

After watching so many reviews and comparisons of the S8, it is clear to see that this phone is currently unmatched in the smartphone market. Samsung's OLED Display technology is one of the phones most defining and outstanding factors. Every single reviewer of the S8 preferred the Samsung's S8 display over other rival smartphones such as the Google Pixel, LG G6, and Apple iPhone 7. It's fitting that the S8 should have a great display seeing that the front is almost only made up of the phone's display. It's even more fitting that Apple has been rumoured to have ordered thousands of these OLED screens for its next-gen iPhones.

The S8 will also come shipped with in-ear headphones manufactured by audio giants AKG. This means that you can finally expect a proper sounding set of earphones with your S8. There are also a few other features that I did like about the new S8 and S8+. Read on to find out if this phone is actually worth its R16K price tag.

Pricing

S8 & S7 launch price comparison
2017 Galaxy S8R 15499
2017 Galaxy S8 PlusR 17499
2016 Galaxy S7 32GBR 13999
2016 Galaxy S7 Edge 32GBR 15999

People are saying that the pricing has dramatically increased from last year's S7 prices. But the S8 is more comparable to the S7 Edge because of its curved display. The S8 Plus is actually a totally new model in the Galaxy S range.

Display

The S8 has a 5.8-inch display and the S8 Plus is 6.2 inches. The iPhone 7 Plus is larger in size to the S8 Plus but with an actual screen size of only 5.5 inches. This is even smaller than the standard S8's display. Samsung managed to achieve this with an almost bezel-less display, meaning that there is almost nothing on the sides of the screen. The S8 Plus is even narrower than the iPhone 7 Plus which makes it more comfortable to hold in one hand.

Most of the videos we take are 16:9 in resolution. The Samsung S8 supports a resolution of 18:9. Browsing within Youtube is awesome with the extra screen real estate. But when you select an actual video to watch, you will notice that the video will be blanked out on either side because it is of a lower resolution to the S8's actual screen. You can, however, zoom in to fix this, but the top and bottom will be cropped out.

Samsung hasn't actually increased the density of the batteries since the last upgrade. This is probably due to last years major problems Samsung had with exploding batteries. Seeing that the display is much larger with a higher resolution, battery life on the S8 will take a serious knock. Samsung has however included an option in the settings to decrease the display resolution in order to aid its battery life.

Bluetooth 5.0

The S8 will be the first phone to support Bluetooth 5.0. This means that you will get two times more speed with four times the range while being connected to two devices. This means that you can connect wirelessly to two different sets of Bluetooth audio headphones and listen to two totally different songs!

Bixby

A new app from Samsung that is similar to Siri (found on iPhones) and Google Now (Google Assistant). Bixby is a virtual assistant that responds to voice commands. You can ask Bixby to do almost anything from changing the display settings of the S8 to taking selfies. The interface is super clean and looks amazing on the S8's new high-resolution Infinity Display. Bixby also generates cards with information related to the apps that you use. You can simply access this information by swiping right on the home screen. The info that you will receive is dependent on time. You will find news and traffic in the morning and step count at the end of the day. It is totally dependant on your personal usage.

Bixby is a great addition to the S8. Especially from a visual point of view. But it is very similar to Google Now which has been out for some time now. Samsung does have a habit of creating apps that are so similar to free apps already available on the native Android operating system.

Should you get one?

Every year, smartphone manufacturers produce a device that is almost identical to the one that they produced the previous year. And when they do manage to make drastic improvements on a range of products, it usually feels like they just copied the specs and design of another rival companies product. This is not the case with the S8. The Samsung S8 is an absolutely fresh addition to the smartphone world. The features are so strong that owners of the phone will be ahead of the game for quite some time.