Sunday, March 04, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review: A Stable Flagship Mobile

I decided to try using Galaxy S8 as my secondary phone after a really bad experience I had using S7 edge. The first thing that strikes out evidently for this phone is the design factor that Samsung has perfected from the Edge series, S8 feels lightweight at 155 grams and more easy to hold compared to S7 edge however it comes with slight awkwardness of a tall looking form factor. The midnight black version looks slick and the glass back feels good in terms of build quality.

The finger print scanner going back near the camera is irritating and I do not use on my phone, 3.5 mm audio jack still surviving on this flagship is encouraging. Few positive things I have noticed about S8 after using it over 2-3 months now is that the phone powers up faster and the TouchWiz interface looks and feels very modern. You get options to disable some of the Samsung loaded apps along with Bixby (Samsung's virtual assistant) which is a welcome relief. Samsung has literally lifted Apple's 3D touch feature on it's UI which does not have a tactile feedback while using and it does not offer any useful functions related to the app.

The Exynos 8895 chip coupled with 4GB RAM is capable of multitasking better with almost zero lag, however the random stutter while using Samsung flagship devices still refuses to go away though. As of writing this review today I have downloaded Android's Oreo update OTA (1.38GB download size), hopefully the phone should not behave differently in performance after the OS upgrade. Talking about the battery back up one can understand that Samsung is trying to play safe after last years Note 7 recall drama and personally I had serious doubts on S7 Edge's ability to handle heating issues, in comparison to that S8 seems to have better capability with regards to thermal stability.

With the infinity display set to FHD level and medium usage through the day you would have to charge your phone by around 7 PM, 3000mAh battery is not cut out to last a full day in my experience putting S8 to daily use with GPS on google maps during my to and fro office commute, email notifications buzzing almost the entire day with limited social media, web browsing and streaming video content. USB-C fast charging helps to get the phone fully charged in just a little over an hour's time.

Mono speaker on Galaxy S8 is also a disappointing carry forward from the previous flag ship, the camera is also not that great if you have used Galaxy S7 edge it does not come with any major upgrades and I prefer using my daily driver iPhone 7 plus over Galaxy S8 for taking pictures. I also got the latest version of Gear VR with controller to use with Galaxy S8 and this is when I noticed that the S8 was not heating up as badly as S7 edge when used with 2015 version of Gear VR, the overall experience with hardware and software feels more smoothened out this time around.

If you are not convinced to go for Galaxy S9, purchasing the S8 now would be a good deal and it would not disappoint you in terms of looks and Samsung may have intended to reaffirm its position as a leading Android mobile manufacturer by focusing on giving a stable flagship phone which is surely going to bring back that confidence amongst consumers which is more important at this stage.