If you are in the market for a new Android smartphone, you will undoubtedly consider Samsung. After all, the company makes some of the best smartphones running Google’s mobile operating system. In fact, without Samsung, it can be questioned if Android would even be as popular as it is today.
Earlier today, the manufacturer officially unveiled the Galaxy S8 (and a larger “plus” variant). The world was excited for this announcement, as it is Samsung’s first true flagship since the Note7 fiasco. You may be wondering if you should buy the new Galaxy smartphone, and I have a very simple answer for you. Yes. Buy it. Pre-order it ASAP.
Admittedly, my hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy S8 was limited to the controlled environment of a press event, but it is very clear that much care and love went into the phone. As soon as you pick it up, you can tell that the designs are very inspired. In other words, the first time I held it, I knew it was easily the most well-designed smartphone ever.
Regardless of your feelings about curved displays, it can’t be denied that it looks gorgeous here — especially when paired with the minimal top and bottom bezels. The screen consumes almost the entirety of the face. The vibrance of the colors lend to a very immersive experience too. You feel like you are holding an app, or holding a website — not holding a phone. In other words, the hardware melts away as it should.
From a security perspective, it features biometrics, such as fingerprint-reading, iris-scanning, and facial-recognition. Having the fingerprint reader on the rear is a massive fail, as it means you cannot unlock the device that way when it is laying on a table or desk. Look, sometimes you want to check your phone nonchalantly — having to pick up the phone is very conspicuous in, say, a business meeting.
Luckily, the fingerprint method should largely be secondary or tertiary. After all, why use a finger when you can unlock the device by simply gazing at it? Iris and facial unlocking should be preferred as more convenient.
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The Galaxy S8 (running Android 7.0) was very fast when I used it — there was no lag at all. When launching apps or scrolling through menus, everything felt instant. The Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of memory are to be thanked for the great performance and will keep the phone running well for years.
One of the coolest features is one that many folks won’t even use, but it is still impressive nonetheless — Samsung DeX. Much like Microsoft’s Continuum, it allows the Samsung Galaxy S8 to function as a desktop when placed into a USB-C dock. The dock will connect to a keyboard, mouse, and display.
Unlike Microsoft’s failed offering, DeX can run multiple apps on-screen at once, including in a windowed mode (and window-snapping). Most, if not all, Android apps should be compatible — including Microsoft Office. In other words, the Windows-maker’s convergence vision has finally been realized — by Samsung. Seriously folks, this is the real-deal and a game-changer. It can even run a Windows virtual machine remotely with solutions like Citrix.
Pictures and videos I took with the Galaxy S8 looked wonderful, but again, it was a very limited environment. I was unable to try outdoor or low-lighting conditions, but Samsung has long been a class-leader for cameras on Android devices. There is no reason to believe it won’t prove to be excellent in all conditions. The improved front camera should make selfie-addicts very happy.
Samsung’s Bixby is very similar to Google Now, making you wonder if it is really necessary. Look, why should consumers embrace a solution for Android that is limited to Samsung devices, when Google makes alternative that any manufacturer can embrace? At this point Bixby looks promising, but unproven. It won’t make or break the experience, however. If it takes off, consider it a nice surprise. If it ends up unpopular, so be it — no harm, no foul.
If you are in the market for an Android smartphone, there are plenty of great options, including the recently-released LG G6. It is hard to argue with all of the features and value crammed into the S8 and S8+, however, making it a phone you should absolutely pre-order. If you are an Android fan, there is no reason not to buy this glorious device.
You have plenty of time to make up your mind, however, as it doesn’t launch until April 21. With that said, the early bird gets the worm, so do not hesitate in pre-ordering — you want to be on the top of the list, don’t you?
There should be plenty of quality reviews in the interim, including from your friends at BetaNews, so keep checking back. Be sure to read about all of the features and aspects here in the meantime.