The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ finally got launched yesterday, they were arguably the most awaited phones this year. Despite all the leaks that we saw over the days leading to the launch, the phones still managed to have some surprises.
The Galaxy S8 comes with a 5.8 inch screen as expected while the bigger brother, Galaxy S8+, came with a 6.2 inch screen. Both have a resolution of 1440*2960 resulting to an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9. They are also Super AMOLED and support HDR10, the new technology in modern displays. Samsung was so proud of the screen that they gave it a name, Infinity Display, the very minimal almost non-existent bezels are a manufacturing milestone. They have made the Galaxy S8 have bigger screens yet still maintain the same width as their predecessor and marginally bigger heights. To achieve such dimensions, the physical home button had to go. They now have on screen buttons that are pressure sensitive.
Speaking of buttons, the phone comes with a new one on the right side, it’s the dedicated Bixby button, Samsung’s next gen digital assistant. Here we found our first surprise; Bixby understands what the camera sees. If you focus the camera on a shoe, Bixby will give you a link to Amazon for the shoe complete with the name, features and the price. Bixby also knows landmarks, places of interest restaurants around the place you are photographing and much more.
The camera that we just mentioned comes in 12MP with Dual Pixel auto focus similar to the previous Galaxy S7. This new camera improves over the previous one with better image processing thanks to Multiframe Processing technology. This feature takes multiple pictures every time you press the shutter button, it then stiches the best parts of all those pictures together to give a great final photo. This is similar to what Google Pixel phones are doing with their HDR+ feature, this technology seems to really bring a difference now that those Pixel phones were crowned the best camera-phones of 2016, yes, they even bested the Samsung Galaxy S7s and the iPhones. Over to the selfie camera, it has been upgraded to 8MP with Multiframe Processing technology too. It also has smart auto focus, most selfie cameras never come with autofocus of any kind so this will really make them standout.
Next to the camera on the back is a finger print sensor and a heart rate monitor useful in Samsung Health which now comes with a handy “ask the expert” feature for connecting users to doctors via the app. Samsung went past simple fingerprint security, they brought back the Iris scanner that was in the cancelled Galaxy Note 7 and even went further to bring face recognition security.
All this tech is enclosed in an all glass body sandwiched in metal frame. Running the system is Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 8895. This chipsets are the world’s first 10nm processors, which means that they will be really efficient on battery usage, they also allow a processor to be much more powerful through higher clock speeds. They will be aided by 4GB RAM and a whopping 64GB base storage, but those in Korea, Samsung home country, and in China will have a chance to get 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage versions. In case those capacities are not enough, you can expand them with UFS/ Micro SD cards. UFS is the future of Micro SD, they are much faster in data processing and have slightly different shaped cards, the Galaxy S8 is the world’s first phone to support them.
The phones will run Grace UI which will have a refreshed UI, under this skin will be Android 7.0 whose native multitasking will come in handy in the desktop experience that the new Samsung Dex station will offer.
A 3000mAh battery will keep the lights on in the Galaxy S8, and a 3500mAh battery for the Galaxy S8+, both have support for Samsung Adaptive fast charge and wireless charging. The Samsung Galaxy S8 will cost $750 (KES 75, 000) while the Sansung Galaxy S8+ will cost $850 (KES 85,000) and they both come in orchid grey, midnight black, coral blue, artic sliver,and maple gold. They will come bundled with AKG premium earphones (yes, the 3.5mm jack is thankfully still presented) and the customers who will pre-order the devices will get the new Gear VR with Bluetooth motion controllers. They will be available globally from April 21st but will arrive in Kenya on May.