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Samsung Galaxy S8 First Impressions: More than just the best-looking Android smartphones
Samsung is back in the game and that too with a big bang. The South Korean giant today announced its 2017 flagship handsets- the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ in the Indian market.
The Galaxy S8 is priced at Rs. 57,900 and the bigger S8 Plus will sell at Rs. 64,900 in India. A lot depends on the success of the new Galaxy devices after what Samsung has been through in the last year due to the Note 7 fiasco. And it seems Samsung is going in the right direction with the new Galaxy handsets.
Both the smartphones will be available in India starting May 5, 2017 across select retail stores, on Samsung Shop and Flipkart. Besides, consumers can pre-book the new galaxy handsets from today onwards to avail the special pre-book offer of a free convertible wireless charger.
Moreover, the buyers will also get a double data offer on the Jio network, i.e. on a monthly recharge of Rs. 309; users will get 448GB of 4G data for over 8 months.
So without wasting any time, here are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
Design: The dreamy Galaxy S8 is like nothing the world have seen before
Keeping aside the flagship moniker and top-notch hardware aside for a moment, a look at the new Galaxy devices is more than enough to left you mesmerized. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the S8+ are thoughtfully designed mobile devices with excellent build quality that offers a sneak peek of what mobile devices can transform into.
The front fascia is mostly screen and technically covers 83 % of the front. In fact, the Samsung engineers have managed to fit more screen on a smaller footprint as compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.
Both the handsets have rounded edges and an amazing screen-to-body ratio that makes them feel smaller and sleeker than any other flagship device of the same size. That said, the tall and narrow body fits well in palm; however unlocking the handset with the rear mounted fingerprint scanner is a bit tricky because of its unusual placement.
Instead of placing it in the centre, Samsung has positioned the biometric sensor on the right side of the center-mounted camera module, which is not the best place in terms of ergonomics. It kind of works with the smaller Galaxy S8, but feels a bit tricky on the bigger Galaxy S8+. We will evaluate their real-life functionality in the coming month during our review of the new Galaxy devices.
Another important design aspect is the integration of Iris scanner. Both the handsets are capable to scan your eyes with the help of an infrared module to authenticate access to the handset. We are yet to test their performance in real-life.
Overall, Samsung has clearly hit the sweet spot with the design of new Galaxy handsets and they are simply the best looking Android handsets you can buy in the market.
Display: The Infinity display will keep you hooked to your Galaxy S8/S8+ throughout the day
As mentioned, the 83 % front of the handsets are just display and Samsung has made sure you get the best -in-class screen viewing experience with the new Galaxy devices. The Edges this time are not very prominent; however the fact that the bezels on either side of the handsets are almost disappeared, giving them a certain distinctive look.
The displays are narrower, making it easy for your thumb to navigate throughout the screen, especially in case of Galaxy S8. But that doesn't mean the S8+ is hefty or too big to operate. It also fits well in one hand.
Talking about the display quality, the Samsung's AMOLED panels are vibrant, crisp and a sheer delight to look at. The Galaxy S8 flaunts a 5.8-inch QHD+ screen giving a pixel density of 570ppi, and the bigger S8+ sports a 6.2-inch QHD+ screen with a pixel density of 529ppi. These are bound to give an unmatchable multimedia viewing experience.
Camera: 12MP Dual-pixel rear-camera and 8MP front camera
On the camera front, both the handsets come with a 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera that integrates OIS and works on a f/1.7 aperture. You can capture slow motion, time-lapse, and 4K videos with the rear cameras.
The front has an 8MP camera, again with an aperture size of f/1.7 to brighten up the selfies you capture. The 8MP front camera also has autofocus built in and also comes with facial recognition technology.
The initial results were quite satisfactory; however we will test the cameras in different light conditions during our comprehensive review of the new Galaxy smartphones.
Hardware: Samsung's Exnynos 8895 Octa-core chipset runs the show
As expected, Samsung is shipping the new Galaxy devices with the octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 SoC in India. It is a chipset built on 10nm process and seems quite snappy in our initial tests. However we will stress test the SoC to find its true potential in our complete review.
The SoC is coupled with 4GB of RAM to take care of multitasking. There is 64GB internal memory that can be expanded by up to 256GB via microSD card.
Software: Hello Bixby..
The new Galaxy smartphones run Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the box and brings in action the Samsung's virtual assistant-Bixby. You will find the Bixby assistant to the left, where Samsung's news feed used to appear on previous Galaxy devices.
Besides, you can also activate it with the help of dedicated physical button. Just double tap it and Bixby will be ready to serve you. Bixby comes with a pleasing user interface, which displays information in cards based on their priority.
Besides the Bixby, you will see a new TouchWiz UI, which is now less cluttered and requires a swipe from bottom of the screen to allow access to the app drawer. During our short stint with the new Galaxy handsets, the user interface worked without any performance issues. The complete performance will be evaluated during our comprehensive review of the new galaxy handsets.
Battery and Connectivity
Battery is another department that differentiates both the handsets. The Galaxy S8 is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery unit, while the bigger S8+ is backed by a 3,500 mAh battery unit. Both the devices support fast charging on wired and wireless chargers.
As far s connectivity goes, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ supports 4G, VoLTE, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 Type C, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth 5.0. Samsung has provided a hybrid SIM card tray with both the handsets.
To sum up, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are by far the best looking Android handsets in the market. The gorgeous bezel-less design, the eye-popping QHD+ displays, capable cameras and snappy hardware makes the handsets sheer delight for Android fans out there.
Samsung's hard work is clearly visible in terms of design and user experience. We will find out how the new devices take on their competitors and even their previous counterparts in our full review. Stay tuned on GIZBOT for our review of Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.