Samsung needs no introduction in the world of smartphones. Samsung has always been the market leader when it comes to flagship phones. The famed S series of Samsung is now in its 8th generation and it has evolved into a mature platform for showcasing Samsung’s innovations in design as well as performance. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the result of years of Samsung’s innovations in display technology, ergonomics and user experience. Digest this. The Samsung Galaxy S8 sports a 5.8” display in a body that is the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S7 which had a 5.1” display. Incidentally, the S7 was the last S series device to sport a flat design.
Both the latest Galaxy flagships have a curved display which wraps around the edges on both the sides. The big 3000mAh battery powers the phone through the entire day. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is available at a price of Rs. 57,900/- in India. Let us take a closer look at this smartphone through this review.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 looks nothing like any smartphone that has ever been produced before. Hands down it is the best-looking smartphone available in the market right now. Samsung has really pushed the boundaries here. Let us start with the back. The back of the phone is covered with Gorilla Glass 5. It gives the phone a sleek, premium look but makes it slippery to hold and prone to breaking easily during a fall. Towards the bottom of the back side, there are some FCC declarations and there’s Samsung branding in the middle of the phone.
It gets more interesting towards the top. The 12.0-megapixel camera sits in the centre. It is flanked by a fingerprint reader on the right and by the LED flash and a heart-rate sensor on the left. The power button and the volume rockers are located on the left edge of the phone. The 3.5mm headphone jack and the USB C port are located on the bottom edge of the phone.
For the first time ever, a Samsung smartphone does not have a physical home button. This was done to accommodate the gorgeous 5.8” curved display in the smallest form factor possible. The Android navigation buttons are now a part of the display. The display curves and falls off the edges on both the sides. The earpiece sits on top of the display and is flanked by the 8.0-megapixel selfie camera and the sensors. There is also an infrared camera for the Iris recognition unlocking feature. The phone is narrower than the usual smartphones because it uses a somewhat unusual and tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio in order to make it more usable. The Samsung Galaxy S8 packs in Qi wireless charging and carries the IP68 water and dust resistance rating. The build quality is top-notch. The device feels and looks premium. The Samsung Galaxy S8 stands up really well and aces the design review with flying colours.
The 5.8” display on the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a piece of art. Samsung calls it the ‘Infinity Display’. It is a dual-curved super-AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels with a jaw-dropping pixel density of 570 PPI. It is currently the best display on a smartphone available in the market, with a pixel density even greater than its older sibling, the S8+. The display has an uncommon 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which is the best one for watching movies. The super-AMOLED display has a Diamond Pentile matrix. It has an excellent brightness range from a low 1.8 nits to a maximum of 440 nits in manual mode. It goes even higher to 620 nits in the auto mode.
The S8 sets the new benchmark for sunlight legibility with a score of 4.768 in the ‘Sunlight Contrast Ratio’ benchmark. The colours are accurate with a deltaE of 2 and a maximum of 3.2 using the AMOLED Basic mode. It also features the Adaptive Display setting which tries to detect the content being displayed on the screen and adjusts itself accordingly. This is the best mode to keep on for day-to-day usage. The Galaxy S8’s display also supports the HDR10 standard. The super-AMOLED display supports a wide native colour gamut in addition to a significantly higher colour saturation usually associated with AMOLED displays.
Samsung flagships always carry some of the best cameras available. The Galaxy S8 is no exception. The 12.0-megapixel dual-pixel camera has a bigger 1/2.5” sensor with 1.4 µm pixel size. It has a bright f/1.7 aperture with a wide 26mm focal length. It packs in Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF), Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), geo-tagging and Auto HDR. It is capable of recording videos up to 4K resolution, 2160p@30fps and full HD resolution 1080p@60fps. It allows simultaneous capture of 9.0-megapixel images during 4K video recording. The 12.0-megapixel images manage to capture a good amount of detail. The images are crisp and crystal-clear. The HDR mode helps in resolving details and provide an even lighting in all lighting conditions.
The selfie camera has an 8.0-megapixel resolution which captures stills in a 4:3 ratio and can record videos as high as 1440p. It manages to capture a lot of detail with no softness whatsoever, even in the corners. The Optical Image Stabilization on the primary camera helps in capturing blur-free images even in low light. Auto-focus is lightning fast and it is possible to capture fast action shots with ease. Electronic Image Stabilization is now available in videos right up to the 4K resolution. The 2160p videos are packed with details and EIS does a good job of capturing steady videos. All-in-all, the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S8 are currently the best ones available in Android phones.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. There are two versions of this phones running on different chipsets. One of them runs on the Snapdragon 835 chipset and the other one is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 processor. Since the Exynos version is the one available in India, we’ll be looking at the performance of that version. The Exynos 8995 is an octa-core processor with 4 x 2.3GHz and 4 x 1.7GHz clock-speed. It is supported by the Mali-G71 MP20 GPU. It packs in 64GB of built-in storage and 4GB RAM. The storage can be expanded up to 256GB using the second SIM card slot.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is blazing fast in day-to-day usage. There are no lags or stutters anywhere in the system. All the cores work in unison when performing intensive tasks. In the GeekBench 4 benchmark test, which is a pure CPU benchmark, the Samsung Galaxy S8 puts up an impressive score of 6175 in the multi-core test, which is second only to the S8+, and an equally impressive 1945 in the single-core test. The Basemark OS II 2.0 puts the S8 among the top three performers with a score of 3376. The Galaxy S8 scores an impressive 174435 in the AnTuTu 6 benchmark. In the GFX 3.0 Manhattan benchmark, the Galaxy S8 scores a 50 in the 1080p offscreen test and 36 in the onscreen test. The Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal score of the Galaxy S8 is 1189, which is right there at the top of Android phones.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 can run any game which is available in the Play Store. The powerful CPU and GPU combination really push the phone to deliver stunning gaming performance. There are no dropped frames even while playing at the highest game settings. The games all play smoothly. Extended gaming sessions generate some heat, but nothing up to unbearable levels. This is expected and does nothing to degrade the gaming performance. There was hardly anything to fault in the performance of the Samsung Galaxy S8 during this review. It is a stellar performer and sets the performance bar really high, making it a tough act to follow for other smartphones.
Inside the box:
· Samsung Galaxy S8 Handset
· Earphones tuned by AKG
· Travel Adapter
· USB Type C Cable
· USB C to USB A Connector
· USB C to USB B (micro USB) Connector
· SIM Ejector Tool
· Quick Start Guide and Smart Switch Leaflet
ü 5.8” Super-AMOLED multi-touch display.
ü Big 3000 mAh Li-Po non-removable battery.
ü Adaptive Fast Charging.
ü 64GB built-in storage.
ü Dedicated memory expansion slot up to 256GB.
ü Runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.
û No stereo speakers.
û Fingerprint scanner is placed in a very inconvenient location.
Samsung has earned a tremendous following of hardcore loyalists and it is a well-earned loyalty. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is chock full of useful features and delivers stellar performance in day-to-day usage. The build quality is top-notch and it runs the latest version of Android OS outside of Google’s own flagships.
The camera performance is impeccable and so is the gaming performance. The dual-edge display is stunning, delivering punchy colours and super brightness which boosts the sunlight legibility to previously unheard-of levels. The contrast is spectacular with really deep blacks. All-in-all, the Samsung Galaxy S8 deserves the flagship moniker and carries it quite well.
· Performance: 5 Stars.
· Value for Money: 5 Stars.