By Jeremy Say

As someone whose main phone used to be a Note 4, I never really took a second look into continuing with Samsung mobile devices. I’m the type of person who jumps from one brand to the next and it surprises me to consider another Samsung as an option. Revitalizing my faith in their mobile brand of phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 had my office envious of my job. Check out the rest of the review after the jump!

While trying to review the phone and in the process of filming, I had to beat them away with a stick – all while answering a plethora of questions and pleas to “borrow” the phone. One such question that I heard throughout the review period was, “do you get to keep it?” and of course the answer was a solid no. If I wanted one, just like anyone else, I’d have to fork out the hefty sum of RM3,299 or RM3,699 if I wanted the S8+ at the MSRP. The only difference is a longer phone to incorporate a 6.2 inch screen and a larger battery (3,500mAh).

Now don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the price point. It could be considered a good price for a flagship phone these days, it’s just that I really don’t make enough to own one at the moment.

Likes

  • Great for recording video (4K main camera/2 front facing camera)
  • Large super AMOLED screen (2960×1440/570 PPI pixel density)
  • AKG earphones
  • Great Hardware (Exynos 8895 Octacore 4×2.3 GHz & 4×1.7 GHz/ Mali-G71 MP20)
  • Expandable memory
  • Water Resistances (IP68/3 minutes at a depth of 1.5m)
  • Beautiful sleek design

Dislikes

  • Front and back Corning Gorilla glass design
  • Biometric security (iris and fingerprint sensor)
  • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Mono speaker

Specifications and Performance

If you want bragging rights, owning one these phones will not disappoint you. With the current king of octa-core chips (Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 8895), this device packs a punch. With 4GB of RAM, a nice graphics chip and 64GB of storage, there are no worries about this thing underperforming. Any game or app on the market should be smooth and multitasking is very much feasible on your mobile device. With an AnTuTu score of 173318, you need not worry about your hardware falling behind anytime soon.

Design and Usability

With a sleek look, this almost all glass phone is pretty to look at, but slippery. All I can say is that the floor is its worse nemesis and you must get a good cover for your investment. I used a fuzzy Alcantara Cover Case to ease my mind as this is truly a phone you don’t want to see slip out of your fingers.

Otherwise, the S8 feels like a new futuristic phone that is built well, with most of the premium bells and whistles out there. It is comfortable to use and with the included AKG earphones and adapters, I had no issues using the device out of the box.

At first glance the screen was a bit off for a 2960×1440 Super AMOLED screen. While pretty, I found out that they don’t default the phone to that resolution when I received the unit for review. It was set to 2220×1080 or Full HD+ with options to go higher to UHD+ or lower to HD+. This is a welcome option to try to conserve battery life and general FHD+ is fine for providing a good display with a balanced battery life.

Now, not everything comes up roses here. Some oddities with the design are the choice of a mono speaker and what I would call poor biometrics features. The fingerprint sensor did not always register for me, and for me personally was in an annoying position. Right next to the camera and heartbeat sensor, I find myself wiping the camera lens on many occasions and felt frustrated at times. I’m sure though that it will be something most users will get use to if given enough time with the phone.

As for the facial recognition or iris scanner, they have been improved. However, I’m still not a fan of the nuisances you have to learn to utilize these features. The iris scanner in particular worked 80% of the time, even for someone who wears glasses like me. To use this scanner you need to open your eyes fully (#AsianEyes), with proper lighting and at a fixed distance with your hands held out. So imagine being in a crowded elevator trying to use this function, good luck not hitting someone. These are probably my biggest gripes about the phone overall and found myself using the pattern unlock more often than not.

Battery Life

Surprisingly, with a 3000mAh battery the S8 was more than enough for daily usage for me. As a moderate user who takes photos, records videos, listens to music and plays the odd mobile game, I rarely had to stop mid day to recharge the phone.

Now if you’re a heavy user, it’s not really an issue with the fast charging on the phone. Charging from 0-100 takes around an hour and a half with the included power adapter. With Quick Charge 2.0 and wireless charging options, this phones is above the curve in terms of battery performance.

Camera

For me the best part of this phone was the ease of using the camera and its native app. With what I thought were unimpressive specs for a flagship phone’s camera, I clearly need to learn more as the results were impressive.. With the new multi-frame image processor, the camera takes three shots in quick succession to make your photos look clearer and sharp. I found myself taking phenomenally detailed photos with truly little effort and found little need to retake or delete my shots.

Even the 4k recording option or 2k for the front camera impressed me. With impressive colour balancing, focusing and optical image stabilization, shooting random videos even impressed my videographers without a gimbal or external stabilizer.

Rating

  • Overall: 9/10
    • Price: 8/10
    • Specifications and Performance: 10/10
    • Design and Usability: 8/10
    • Battery Life: 9/10
    • Camera: 10/10

So overall I would say that the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a featured packed phone that deserves a solid 9. With hardware to back up its claim to fame, there were really only minor complaints about the phone during my review period. While this is obviously not the perfect phone, it’s damn close. I really have no problem calling the S8 one of the best phone so far this year.

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Jeremy Say
Your typical tall lanky Canadian-Chinese writer with a penchant for all things odd and weird. I have more hobbies than I can count on my fingers and toes. Some will say that it’s better to be the master of one, however as a great TV personality and builder once said: “Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one.” -Adam Savage I always have a passion to learn new skills and have a special fondness for all things related to the geek and gaming culture. Now if only I could sell my comics from the 80’s and 90’s …