Yes, I know I am almost a year late with my S8 review. The Samsung S9 has already been launched. But this review is meant to be consumer advice towards purchasing a Galaxy S8 smartphone now in 2018. Now seems like a great time to get a New S8, with its current low price point. So, let’s explore this option further in my Samsung S8 2018 review.
Last I checked the Samsung S8 2018 was going for just over $600. This is a premium flagship smartphone that is now aggressively priced around the mid-range market. You can opt for an updated mid-range Nokia 7 Plus smartphone with Android 8 Oreo for slightly less. But the S8 has a powerful processor with stunning looks and features.
Upon the release of the S9, most tech reviewers have confessed that there isn’t a huge need to upgrade from an S8 to the S9. This is partly due to the fact that the S8 is a brilliant smartphone.
Samsung S8 2018 Review
The S8 was one of the best smartphones of 2017. It revolutionised the Android smartphone market in a big way. Particularly in design and features. There have been dozens of manufactures that drew inspiration from the S8 when designing their own smartphones. And a whole lot of manufacturers just blatantly copied the design altogether.
The Samsung S8 is a gorgeous smartphone. It is an evolution of the previous generations of Galaxy smartphones. Its curved edges are similar to the Samsung S7 Edge, but not as sharply curved. That sharp curve may have looked great, but it wasn’t too ergonomic. Hence many people gravitated to the standard S7 due to functionality and feel.
That being said, the S8 is still rather curved, more curved than the current S9 model. The S9 may feel a bit better to hold than the S8 because of this, but this is just nitpicking. That curve gives the S8 a seamless design which looks as if the screen is melting away into the frame.
One of the biggest highlights of the S8 is its “futuristic” design. The great news about this futuristic design of 2017 is that the Samsung S8 2018 model still looks amazing. It has set the standard for smartphone design in 2017 with its narrow 18:9 aspect ratio screen. This screen along with a nearly bezel-less design allows for a larger screen to fit into a smartphone with a smaller footprint. The only bezels you will notice on this device is the forehead and chin. That is the top and bottom bezels.
LG may have beat Samsung to this, but Samsung incorporated its edgeless design to the screen as well. Samsung continued its glass design at the back of the smartphone. Although fragile, a glass back does allow for wireless charging. The rear also houses a single 12MP camera, flash, and fingerprint sensor.
The Fingerprint sensor is of outstanding quality. It unlocks the S8 in a quick and reliable way. By reliable I mean it works even if you have sweaty palms. But the placement is terrible. It is right next to the camera. Because you cant see the sensor when you hold the phone in your hand, you will have to feel for it. And when you feel for it, you usually end up touching the camera. It is also high up which means its a bit of a stretch to get to it. This is probably one of the only big flaws of the S8’s almost perfect design.
In comparison to the S9 – Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor in the S9 to a position below the camera. This is a huge improvement because it is now in the ideal spot for you to reach over and authenticate. The overall design of the latest S9 remains very similar to the S8. There is, however, a minor change in the design which leans more towards the Note 8 design. The edges on the S9 are not as thin as the S8.
You can charge the S8 simply by placing the smartphone on a wireless charging mat. Wireless charging is really catching on at the moment. Even Apple products have wireless charging now. Plenty of car manufacturers are now installing wireless charging mats into their vehicles. There are also fancy desk lamps that have wireless charging incorporated into the design. Samsung has actually had this feature for a while now. Wireless charging is on previous generations of Galaxy devices.
The Samsung S8 had an incredible set of features back in 2017. These features are so strong that they remain very solid even in today’s time.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 / Samsung Exynos 8895 for Global Markets
- 5.8 Quad HD+ AMOLED display
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage
- 12MP rear camera and 8MP front camera
- 3000mAh battery with fast charge and wireless charge – Qi standard
- IP68 water and dust resistance
- Android 7 Nougat
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Headphone Jack
- Authentication via Fingerprint and Iris scanner
In comparison to the S9 – A Samsung S8 2018 model will come shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat and is upgradable to a more recent 7.1 version. But the S9 has the latest Android 8.0 Oreo OS. There has been plenty of news confirming the upgrade of the S8 and Note 8 to the latest Oreo OS. But nothing has happened lately and it seems there may be further delays.
At the bottom of the S8 are a single firing speaker and a headphone jack. 2017 saw a major departure of the headphone jack from leading smartphone models. These smartphones opted for a single USB Type C connector which comes with a USB Type C headphone jack dongle. One of the big reasons for leaving out the headphone jack is to make more room for other components. I am glad that Samsung has opted to keep this old tech which is still largely used until today.
The speaker is decent. It can’t compare to the iPhone X or the Razer Phone. But it will do the job, well in most cases. If you are watching a video on YouTube, it is a major possibility that your palms will cover the speaker. But all of this is forgiven because the Samsung S8 2018 ships with an AKG tuned set of earphones. I am a big fan of AKG and I promise you won’t go wrong with their products. So who cares about the single speaker when you have a sweet set of AKG earbuds!
In comparison to the S9 – The Samsung S9 still houses the headphone jack. This is incredible news because you will be able to plug in the included AKG earphones braided cable into that jack. The more great news is that the S9 now has dual stereo speakers. The bottom speaker remains while the earpiece now also doubles up as a front-facing speaker. This speaker will give you more clarity while the bottom will transfer more low-end signals.
Camera and Display
The S8 has a 12MP rear shooter. One that is very similar to the previous generation S7 smartphone. While most people regard this as a bad thing, the truth is that the S7 takes amazing high-quality pictures. Samsung chose to stick with something that is already great isn’t too bad. I guess what most people expected was to do something innovative with the camera, like the dual aperture mode on the latest S9 model.
The display is the highlight of this device. It is an extremely bright 5.8 inch AMOLED panel. Samsungs AMOLED technology is currently industry leading and has been requested by other manufacturers. Apple installs a similar display on their iPhone X smartphone. Apple orders these displays from Samsung.
The tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio is pretty common today, but at the time of the S8 launch it was revolutionary. Most videos won’t fit this screen perfectly. So you have a choice of wither cropping the video or letting it play with blacked out edges on the sides.
Should You Buy a Samsung S8 2018 Model Smartphone?
There are some great deals at the moment on the S8. This is due to it being an older model. Also, the next generation model is out and retailers will want to get rid of their old S8 stock. The S8 is also such a great device that Samsung only just improved slightly on this device to create their latest Galaxy S9 smartphone.
If you are not too phased about the few small features that are missing on the S8, then go for it. These features are so basic that you won’t even justify the difference in price that you will have to pay for the newer S9. But if you are into a better-placed fingerprint reader, Android 8, and stereo speakers, then you should look at the Samsung S9
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