Samsung has started flexing its marketing muscle on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ since its launched. Reviews from international tech blogs have come in and they are mostly positive. Here in the Philippines, we know it is going to sell. But the question that many asked – is it worth the upgrade? Let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy S8+
- Octa Core Exynos 8885 processor
- Octa Core Qualcom Snapdragon 835 processor (US model)
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 256GB
- 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display (1440 x 2960 pixels)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- IP68 certified – water/dust proof for 1 meter and 30 minutes
- 12 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus, OIS and LED flash f/1.7 aperture
- 8 megapixel front facing camera with autofocus and auto HDR f/1.7 aperture
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, NFC, USB Type C
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Gallileo
- 3,500 mAh battery with fast and wireless charging
- Android 7.0 Nougat
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
If the Samsung Galaxy S8+ will join a beauty contest, it will definitely win. Why? The design is simply stunning. The glass and metal chassis blends very well together giving it a very sophisticated look. It looks very much like the Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge but with a better, futuristic design. It will truly stand out when you place it in a table with other phones. It is almost all screen now
Oh, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is still water and dust resistant so no need to worry about accidental drops at the toilet sink or at the pool. Finally, the S8+ is now on USB Type C for faster charging and data transfer. Yes, it has an audio jack. Yey!
No doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S8+ remains the king of displays. It still has the brightest output and dimmest display at the same time among other smartphones out there. That large 6.2-inch Infinity Display is Samsung’s main marketing drive for this device. They wanted to give more screen in smaller phone. Overall, the phone is not as big as you think.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
Samsung has a new UI on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. It is now toned down and almost no bloatware. We also like its very clean and simple look. There is still an app tray but like the Google Pixel, swipe to the screen upwards and there’s your app tray. Swipe down will take you back to the home screen.
Overall performance was superb. No lags at all! But Samsung is known for lags and and slowdown as the their phones ages. Well so far the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge we have has been pretty smooth despite now being 6 months old. We are hoping the same will happen on this device.
This year, Samsung did not put a new sensor on the Galaxy S8+. Instead, it retained the same 12 megapixel sensor found on the Samsung Galaxy S7 with some key software and post processing improvements. For us it is still the best camera on an Android phone. Period.
One design flaw on the Galaxy S8+ is the fingerprint scanner which is located right beside the camera. it is a pain to reach because of its tall body and its awkward location. So instead of the fingerprint scanner, we use the iris scanner. It unlocks the phone faster even with glasses on.
Other connectivity options like 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC are available. So far, internal speeds are within normal range and signal reception has been pretty average. We notice that the Huawei P10 get more stable signal than the Galaxy S8+ when either Globe or Smart signal is scarce in an area.
If you need more power, we suggest you skip the regular S8 and go for the Galaxy S8+. It has a bigger 3,500 mAh battery that supports fast and wireless charging. Even with doing the math, we think the 3,500 mAh battery is still small for its 6.2-inch behemoth of display.
Good thing Samsung has included neat tricks like the ability to adjust the resolution from Quad HD to only Full HD. This gives more power through out the day. We averaged around 9 hours of heavy use with around 4 hours of screen on time. That is not bad but nothing spectacular.
Our verdict is very simple. Samsung remains KING with the Galaxy S8/S8+. Going back to our question – is it worth the upgrade? Well, if you have P45,990 why not? It is a good phone you can use for two years. It will definitely get Android O in the future if you are particular with updates. If you are coming from a Galaxy S6 or S5, please, now is the time to upgrade.
If you don’t have P45,990 there are other phone we are happy to suggest – the LG G6 (P37,990), the Huawei P10 Plus (P36,990), the Huawei Mate 9 (P31,990). If you really want a Samsung, we suggest the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro (P27,990).
- Hardware – 10
- Design – 10
- Display – 10
- Software – 10
- Performance – 10
- Camera – 10
- Connectivity – 10
- Battery – 9