Samsung Mobile today unveiled the hotly anticipated Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones in India. Both the smartphones were launched initially on April 29 but the global launch was awaited. The Galaxy S8 is priced at Rs 57,900, while the Galaxy S8+ will cost Rs 64,900 in India.
We have already written a lot about the Galaxy S8 till now, but things have changed after I had a short hands on experience with the device. There is no doubt about Galaxy S8 being a gorgeous looking phone with bunch of features, but that’s not the only thing I realized after spending some time at the launch event.
Without further ado, I will quickly sum up my hands on experience with the device.
There is no question about the quality of display that Galaxy S8 and S8+ have. Both the smartphones come with a QHD Super AMOLED display but with different sizes at 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch on S8 and S8+ respectively. Like the predecessor Galaxy S7 Edge, the S8 and S8+ also have the curved display. It is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection from scratches and minor bumps.
The display looks sharp, punchy and great for outdoor viewing. The curve on the sides make it look like a liquid display floating over the frame. Samsung has been pushing a lot on the term ‘Infinity Display’, and the company definitely deserves applause for the perfect implementation of the curved display.
I was actually worried if the S8 and S8+ are prone to accidental touches due to the curve on the sides but I must tell you that none of the smartphones are prone to such issue.
Both the smartphones look beautiful right from the moment you look at it. The in-hand feel is close to the Galaxy S7 Edge but this time its much lighter and handy. I was easily able to reach every corner of the display with one hand, although S8+ users with small hands may face a fight to reach the corners.
Coming to the button placements, Samsung has baked the fingerprint sensor next to the camera lens, which looks a little odd but I personally didn’t find it inconvenient to reach. On the right, it has the lock/power button and the volume rocker is on the left with a dedicated key to launch Bixby under it. It has the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port and the speaker grill at the bottom.
It is made up of glass on both front and back, which makes it a little fragile but Gorilla Glass 5 assures safety from minor damage. But still, both the smartphones are prone to smudges and fingerprints due to the glass body. During my hands on experience, I could hardly click a picture of the phones without the smudges on the body.
For me, the Galaxy S8 is the most beautiful looking smartphone in the market right now. But if you are a little clumsy, I would recommend you to get a case if you love your phone.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ run on Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung’s own UI on top. Frankly speaking, the only reason I avoided Samsung phones was its UI but things have changed with time. Samsung has revamped the look and feel of the UI on S8, which now looks uncluttered, clean and easy to use.
The company has also added several new features in the camera app, and in settings. We will be taking an in-depth look at the features in our full review. During my limited experience, the UI felt smooth but Samsung still has a lot of bloatware apps in the main menu. The overall experience with the software was good and the smartphones actually feel much better than what we have seen in the past.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ boast of a 12MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture on the back having ‘Dual Pixel autofocus’ technology, and an 8MP front camera with ‘Smart autofocus’ a first on any smartphone. Samsung hasn’t changed a lot in the camera department, but we cannot ignore the fact that Galaxy S7 Edge still has a camera that can beat any other smartphone in its segment.
There are minor improvements in the camera department, but the pictures and videos captured on the S8 look great. I was testing the cameras in low light scenario, and the results were much better than any other competitor in Indian market.
The autofocus is super snappy, f/1.7 aperture helps in low light and the image processing is blazing fast too. The front camera this time comes with some upgrades and is capable of clicking some amazing selfies in most lighting conditions. It offers a lot Snapchat like filters play and have fun with.
Other than the aforesaid features, there are many other areas where the S8 and S8+ stood out of the league. I played with the DeX dock, new Gear VR, and Gear 360 camera and I must tell you, Samsung has done a fine job to utilize the power that Snapdragon 835 holds within.
Also Read: What’s new in Samsung Galaxy S8?
Out of the two smartphones, I personally liked the S8 more because of its handy form factor and I find it more reasonable for the price. The good points are the design, display, camera and the power packed performance. But there are some downsides like the lack of Bixby features at the time of launch, not all the apps are optimised for 18:5:9 aspect ratio and the positioning of the fingerprint sensor could be annoying for some.
We will be doing a full review of the smartphone very soon, do wait for the in-depth analysis before you make your mind.