Samsung Galaxy S8 Review: This Could be the Best Phone of 2017

Samsung is the first brand in the market to launch its flagship product in 2017 (no offence, LG). The Galaxy S8 didn’t make its way to the MWC 2017, but the company showcased not one but two Galaxy S devices this year (moving away from the Note series, maybe?)

But now that the phone is in India and will be available later this week, it’s time to delve into and tell you what Samsung has done to make the Galaxy S8 better than its last year’s masterpiece, the S7.

Pros:

  • Infinity display — a game changer
  • Compact size
  • Top-notch cameras
  • Flagship performance
  • Dual SIM
  • Slick user interface
  • Expandable storage

Cons:

  • Not so durable
  • Awkward placement of fingerprint scanner
  • Battery life could have been better

What’s Good?

The Galaxy S8 is the first high-end phone with a near bezel-less display, which Samsung’s calling Infinity display. This design change ensures that phones sized 5.8 and 6.2-inch don’t look abnormally large, and definitely not complex to use. If brands plan to bulk up the size of their devices, Samsung has shown them how they should be doing it.

Although measuring 5.8 inch, the Galaxy S8 is compact. (Photo: The Quint)

The Edge display on both the sides does add a bit of glam to the phone, especially when you receive a message. They’ve also ditched the physical home button for a 3D-touch soft button, which can’t be used for anything else except for heading back to the home screen.

The physical home button has been ditched. (Photo: The Quint)

Performance-wise, you get the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S8 in India, with 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. This hardware package ensures a smooth, lag-free experience on the phone, giving you quick access to anything you need.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are also the first set of phones to pack in Iris and fingerprint scanners. To use the former, register your Iris ID and then scan your iris with the sensor every time you want to unlock the phone. The Iris scanner is quick to respond and works even in dark conditions, but make sure that you’re eyes are at a distance from the phone.

The Iris scanner works to good effect. (Photo: The Quint)

When we first heard about the camera, there wasn’t much to talk about, especially with the Galaxy S8 getting the same unit as last year’s Galaxy S7. If you look at the optics, there is no difference. But nevertheless, Galaxy S8 still packs a camera that’ll be the one to beat for Apple and Google this year.

The 12-megapixel rear camera on the Galaxy S8. (Photo: The Quint)

Take a look at some of the images clicked with the Galaxy S8, and decide for yourself.

Macro shots deliver excellent details. (Photo: The Quint)
The amount of light the sensor captures is impressive. (Photo: The Quint)
This one was shot with no supporting light. (Photo: The Quint)

We even shot a video using the S8, check it out.

TouchWiz is finally becoming what it needs to be — easy to use. (Photo: The Quint)

What’s also worth mentioning is that the latest version of the TouchWiz interface is easy to use and not heavily loaded with bloatware. This makes a big difference to the overall performance of the phone. Finally, Samsung has heard our prayers.

The Galaxy S8 is also the only high-end device (priced upwards of 55K) to offer dual-SIM support, with the option to expand storage.

What’s Bad?

The fact that Galaxy S8 doesn’t have bezels mean you need to be super careful with the phone. If you end up breaking the screen (which can be easier than you think), the cost of fixing it could be as high as buying a mid-range phone.

In addition to this, Samsung does not feel that a screen replacement offer is warranted for the phone (nobody knows why), which makes it even more critical that you handle the phone with care.

The display comes with its own set of concerns. (Photo: The Quint)

Also Read: Careful With the Samsung Galaxy S8’s Display, Or Be Ready to Pay

The fingerprint scanner on the back can be a pain to use, more so if you’re left-handed. It’s placed right next to the camera sensor, where nobody’s hand reaches with ease.

And finally, the 3000mAh battery unit leaves a lot to be desired. It seems in order to make the phone appealing, Samsung decided to cut down on the size of the battery. And even though you get fast charging via USB Type C, the average usage figures of anywhere between 10 to 14 hours a day are not flagship level.

Why Buy It?

Samsung has pulled off the flagship trick yet again with the Galaxy S8. The bezel-less display heralds a new design breakthrough for the brand, and the industry. The decision to drop the physical home button goes a long way in adding more screen space.

There’s more screen space than ever. (Photo: The Quint)

So, the display, the flagship-level hardware and an excellent set of cameras (even though they are the same as those on the Galaxy S7) make the Galaxy S8 the ideal flagship phone. And with prices upwards of Rs 57,900, you get your money’s worth.

It’s up to Apple and Google now to match up to the Galaxy S8, or else we could already be looking at the phone of the year.