I had the opportunity for an exclusive look at the Samsung Galaxy S8 in a private briefing and boy, were we impressed! Samsung has completely redesigned their flagship phone to distract people from the Galaxy Note 8 fiasco and guess what, they managed to distract me, just as they intended.
After handling the phone for a little less than a day, our first impressions are that Samsung has done an excellent job with the new sleek-looking and beautiful pair of devices. We got to play around with the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus and the first thing we notice is that vividly gorgeous screen.
The screen makes up for most of the front panel of the device and Samsung has managed to do this by completely removing the home button. They have concealed the home button underneath the screen and it has virtual buttons instead. Long pressing the home button initiates haptic feedback, much like the new iPhone 7.
By removing the home button, Samsung managed to make room for more real estate when it comes to the aspect ratio. We have seen the edge-to-edge display on the Galaxy S7 Edge and but the Galaxy S8 has managed to expand it even further. The phone has a very large screen on a very small body. In fact, when placed next to the iPhone 7, it looks like it is the same size, but the screen is so large and eye-catching that we tend to forget that fact.
The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch screen while the S8 Plus has a 6.2-inch screen. Having handled both phones, I could conveniently use them both with one hand; although it was a little difficult to reach the fingerprint sensor on the S8 Plus (I can grip an entire basketball with one hand, so there’s that).
The virtual buttons work like a charm, especially the home button. The home screen is always accessible, even while watching videos or playing a game.
Samsung DeX & Gear VR
We also got the unique opportunity to spend some time with the Samsung DeX, a desktop mode that works via plugging the Galaxy S8 into a dock that is connected to a monitor. We could edit documents and even make PowerPoint presentations in desktop mode.
It looks like DeX has full support for Microsoft Office. DeX is designed in mind to free a user from carrying a laptop or a tablet to work on basic tasks such as emails, online shopping and instant communication. You can pair any Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to the DeX dock and it has the same functions you would expect from a laptop.
The Gear VR feels like it is in its nascent stages and is capable of delivering an immersive experience in video and gaming. We got to play around a little bit with the device but we can’t really give y’all a conclusive opinion as we did not get enough time to test all of its features. Rest assured, we will give you a detailed analysis on the performance in our official review.
The Galaxy S8 also comes with a hybrid SIM tray so that you can use two SIMs at once or use the second slot to expand the memory up to 256 GB. It is waterproof, much like the previous iterations. It has an improved front-facing camera, which has been upgraded from 5MP to a much needed 8MP.
Overall, the phone is 100% worth upgrading if you are using an older Samsung/Android device because it is truly fresh and exciting. We haven’t spent a lot of time with the device, so you will have to wait for an extensive review when actually get our hands on it. We can’t say much about Bixby (Samsung’s new virtual assistant) as of now, because we have not tested the feature completely, but as far as first impressions go, it looks very promising.
It’s too early to say that the Galaxy S8 is a phone that might sway people over to buy a premium smartphone, but it truly is a technological marvel. The Galaxy S8 will retail at INR 57,900, while the S8 Plus will be priced at INR 64,900 and will be available to purchase at Flipkart and official Samsung stores from the 5th of May 2017. Prebookings are open right now. If you go with a Jio connection too, you’ll get double data.