By Christopher Lung
On March 29, Samsung introduced the S8 and S8+ to its Galaxy lineup at an announcement event in New York City. The phones became available for pre-order since March 30 and started shipping on April 21.
A new feature for the phones is the edge-to-edge organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, which the company calls “Infinity Display.” The S8 has a 5.8-inch screen while the S8+ comes with a 6.2-inch screen. They both come with a 2960×1440 resolution.
“It’s the most immersive screen on a Galaxy smartphone this size,” stated Samsung on its website.
The only other difference between the two phones besides the screen size is the battery. The larger device has a 3500 milliampere hour (mAh) battery and its smaller counterpart has a 3000 mAh battery, but they both support wireless and fast charging.
Unlike the Galaxy S7, the S8 phone no longer has a physical home button, but rather a software on screen navigation bar. This shift in hardware design allows the fingerprint reader to now be moved to the back of the device next to the camera.
“The fingerprint sensor is a little out of reach,” stated Youtube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, “so many people will need to unlock the phone with both hands.”
Samsung has even added a physical button on the left side of the phone dedicated to its new intelligent assistant, Bixby.
Similar to the Google Assistant found on newer Android devices, Samsung’s software assistant hopes to learn more about the user in order to provide relevant information.
The front-facing camera has now been upgraded to 8 megapixels (MP) with autofocus, which allows for higher quality selfies with a wider angle. The 12MP back camera is carried over from last year with better image processing.
Other features include a headphone jack, IP-68 certification for water and dust resistance, facial and iris authentication, expandable storage, and the ability for the device to function as a computer.
These smartphones include a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 gigabytes (GB) of Random Access Memory (RAM), and 64GB of internal storage.
With all these features and improvements, the carrier-unlocked S8 and S8+ will cost $750 and $850, respectively.
“The S8 has the best specs [one] can get on an Android phone,” stated The Verge, a tech website.