Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Australia

Date: 05.05.2017
Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Australia

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review 

Learn everything you need to know before making that leap of faith. Read our full detailed Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Review below.
 

The pScore: Preezie Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Score:

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Score

Please note: this is not a demo phone I got from Samsung but a review on my Galaxy S8 Plus Black that I purchased. I have had my Samsung for about 1 week now and I have had enough time to play which has enabled me to write an informative and independent, review that everyone can understand. Here it goes:

The good:

  • Amazing large display
  • Awesome Camera
  • Beautiful design
  • Innovative and futureproof
  • Powerful
 

The bad:

  • Fingerprint sensor is poorly positioned
  • Expensive if you buy outright
  • Bixby is not up to starch yet
  • Some new features still need work
 

The S8 verdict:

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an incredible phone. It uses almost all of the real estate on the front side for the display. It’s extremely powerful and Samsung are really starting to innovate with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus with curved screens and some cool new features. It's water proof and has a micro SD card slot, which we love. The only faults that I can find is that the fingerprint scanner is poorly positioned, Bixby has a long way to go before its truly useful and some innovations, like the facial recognition, didn’t work as well as I would have liked it to straight away. However, I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5. In my opinion, this is currently the markets best phone and it has more then exceeded my expectations. Apple have their work cut out for them. 

 

Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Australia Prices

Recommend Retail Prices:
Samsung Galaxy S8: $1,199
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: $1,349

 
However, we have seen stores, such as Kogan and others on Preezie, selling them below the retail prices (on 29/04/2017):
Samsung Galaxy S8: $999
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: $1,199



Samsung Galaxy S8 Prices Australia
Link here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-64gb-black


Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus Prices Australia
Link here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-plus-64gb-black

 

The key features:

Samsung Galaxy S8:

- 5.8-inch quad-HD Infinity Display (AMOLED)
- 3000mAh battery with wireless and fast charging
 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus:

- 6.2-inch quad-HD Infinity Display (AMOLED)
- 3500mAh battery with wireless and fast charging
 

Both:

- 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (microSD up to 256GB)
- Rear camera: 12 megapixels, f/1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel sensor
- Front camera: 8 megapixels, f/1.7 and autofocus
- Iris, fingerprint and facial recognition
- Samsung Bixby personal assistant
- Android 7 Nougat with Google Assistant


 

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Review:

Introduction to Galaxy S8 Review

Each year Samsung, Apple, HTC and now Google release their new flagship phones. Most of the times it's not to exciting with only a few new features and a little design change. However, occasionally they release something exciting. The release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and in particular the S8 Plus is one of those times. Our Galaxy S8 review will not be too technical, our reviews are not made for full on tech savvy users, our review will be put in layman’s terms and provide you solid knowledge to make the ultimate decision, is the Samsung Galaxy S8 the right phone for me? Samsung's phones range from cheap phones you would typically buy outright for a few hundred dollars all the way to their most expensive, the Galaxy S8. Hence, this is their top of the range phone, typically called their flagship phone, and this time Samsung seem to be making a strong effort to truly innovate the modern-day phone.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Design

The design of the Galaxy S8 is one of its biggest positives. When I first held my phone it felt nice in the hand, it was comfortable because it has a slightly curved back whioch allows it to sit nicer in the palm of your hand.
 
S8 Curved Back
Galaxy S8 Curved Back
 
Samsung have also done a terrific job of blending the metal with the glass. The new Galaxy S8’s and S8 Plus come default with a curved screen. Some people love this but others think it a little gimmick. I, however, love it. I even got the curved option on my Galaxy S6. It just feels and looks newer, cooler and gives you a better experience. The camera and fingerprint sensor barley protrude out, they are almost flush.
 
The most impressive part of the Galaxy S8 design is the infinity display. I will talk more about this later however Samsung managed to use 83% of the entire front face of the phone on a screen. What this means is the S8 and S8 Plus have extremely small bezels, only a few millimetres thin. This looks incredible and makes the phone feel ahead of its time.
 
Galaxy S8 Infinity Edge Screen - Edge is edge display
Galaxy S8 Infinity Edge
 
In terms of buttons, sensors and cameras, there is a front and rear facing camera which these days is a given. There is no physical home button as the screen takes up so much space, so the Galaxy S8 now includes a virtual home button which took me a few days to get use to. It has the typical fingerprint scanner on the back which is awkwardly placed next to the camera so if you use it you will probably put fingerprints on your camera lens. It has the normal power button on the right, volume up and down buttons on the left. A new button Samsung has added is a button on the right dedicated to a feature called Bixby. I will talk more about this later in the review. Samsung have changed the connector / charger to USB type C which, for those who don’t know, is reversible. This is a great change and much better then previous models.
 
Fingerprint scanner is poorly positioned. It’s too far away to reach comfortably.
S8 Fingerprint Scanner
 
I purchased the Galaxy S8 Plus and one point to mention is the size, it's too big. The dimensions are 159.55x73.4x8.1mm weighing in at 173g. Now, I don’t have huge hands however I am 6 foot 2 and even I struggle to reach buttons with one hand. See the review photos below. Most apps and features don’t require two hands but for those who want to use a phone 100% of the time with one hand this will be a struggle for you. For example, if I unlock the phone and want to swipe the top bar down to turn on Bluetooth, I need two hands even if I want to select an app that is in the top line. For me this is not really an issue, it can get a little annoying if I am lying in bed or just being lazy but overall the additional screen size and the 'wow' factor easily makes up for this. I would say that a phone screen much bigger then this would start leaning into phablet zone (phone that is basically as big as a small tablet) and start to turn me off.
 
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus with one hand use.  Left finger at bottom, Right finger at top (as far as i could comfortably reach)
Galaxy S8 Plus One Hand Use
 
The last point on design in our Galaxy S8 Review is colours. I saw some other colours in the shop but I purchased the black one. I did this as I love the way the metal, glass and screen all blend together. For me, really looks good. The Galaxy S8 is available in Black, Grey, Blue, Silver and Gold. This is simply a personal preference.
 
Galaxy S8 Colours

 


Screen and Display

This Galaxy S8 Review will also look at the screen and display. These are always strong points for Samsung and most agree that they are typically ahead of the game when it comes to their screens. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is no exception. It has a screen to body ratio of approximately 83%, which is very high. To put that in context, the iPhone 7 has a ratio of approx. 66% and the Google Pixel has a ratio of approx. 70%.
 
In terms of technical, both the S8 and S8 Plus have a Quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen with a pixel count of 2960x1440 and they both have infinity displays, which is the curved edges, that bring the screen only millimetres from the edge of the phone. The Galaxy S8 has 570 ppi (pixels per inch) and the Galaxy S8 Plus has a 529 ppi. These phones are also HDR premium certified. Which essentially means nothing now but will make a huge difference in viewing quality once other suppliers such as Netflix and Amazon start producing content. It's nice to see Samsung are making their Galaxy S8 phones future proof.
 
The new screen has a new aspect ratio, rather then being 16:9 it's now 18.5:9. This means it's taller which gives you more space in a smaller body.

Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Screens and Size difference  
S8 and S8 Plus Screen Size
 
The Galaxy S8 screen is extremely bright and offers great contrast ratios where you can even keep the screen brightless as low at 20 or 25% which would suit most users perfectly. This is fantastic when outdoors as it's sometimes hard to read mobile phone screens if there is a lot of sunlight. However, if you do use the screen at a high brightness, which I do because I love bright screens, this will reduce your battery faster and therefore your phone wont last as long without a charge. As an FYI, I use the phone at approx 50% brightness and most people think I'm crazy, thats how bright it is. :)
 


Performance Review

Samsung have packed a lot of power into a extremely beautiful phone. The Australia Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus use Samsung’s Exynos 8895 10nm octa-core processor which Samsung state has a 10% more powerful CPU and a 50% more powerful GPU than the Galaxy S7.
 
You get 4GB of RAM with the Galaxy S8 which is more than enough for a top line phone. I can'y see why you would require more. Modern day laptops, as a comparison, have 8GB of RAM. In context, the Galaxy S8 has half which is a lot for a device that has a lot less functions and doesn’t need to run heavy computing applications.
 
In terms of memory, all phones come standard with 64GB of space, which isn’t that impressive however, Samsung have included the micro SD card slot which is a huge bonus for me. This allows you to increase the memory storage with a maximum size SD card of 256GB.
 
So far everything I have thrown at it works just fine, it doesn’t really seem to lag or struggle regardless of what I do. One new feature that I like is Bluetooth 5.0. Samsung have included Bluetooth 5.0 in their Galaxy S8 phones, which is an awesome way to future proof them for upcoming technology. Nothing really uses Bluetooth 5.0 so for now it’s just a cool side-note.
 
One aspect of the new Galaxy S8 that didn’t impress was the speakers. The speakers are located at the bottom on the phone which at times is annoying as you will often block the sound with your hand. It’s obvious Samsung haven’t really put too much effort into their speakers, which is a shame as the sound isn’t great. For me, it’s not a big deal as I am not too fussy with the sound output, but for those who like to watch movies without headphones this could be a deal breaker.
 
Overall, our Samsung Galaxy S8 Review indicated this phone is firstly a extremely fast and powerful device, ready to take anything you throw at it and secondly, it's futureproof. Samsung have clearly made a conscious effort to add in features like HDR Premium and Bluetooth 5.0 into their new flagship phone knowing all well that these technologies have virtually no use today. I really must take my hat off to Samsung for that.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review: Software

Samsung always get a bad wrap for software. For those who don’t know and are not tech nerds, the Galaxy S8 runs off Googles Android 7.0 Nougat software. But what Samsung do is place their own layer of software on top of that to make to look, feel and operate a little differently.
 
The Galaxy S8 software is nice, it feels natural, all the icons and buttons seem to flow and have a very similar theme to them. Samsung have made some nice updates to its software to make it feel a little more natural and humanised. They have also included faster and easier ways to access apps to customise your phone. With my Galaxy S6, it took almost two hours to get my phone right after using Smart Switch. To be honest, after around 20 minutes with the Galaxy S8 I was done. I moved all my apps where they needed to be, logged into all my services and put in all my preference settings in - it was an overall pleasant experience.
 
The biggest update in software Samsung have done in their new Galaxy is Bixby. Bixby is basically Samsung’s version of Apple's Siri or Google Assistant. Bixby is their virtual assistant that will help you manage tasks. Some people have given Bixby a hard time stating it’s just as stupid as Google Assistant however, I disagree. From what I have read and seen so far Bixby will indeed act like a virtual assistant, but Bixby will also be able to perform any function on your phone that you can do with your hand which is cool. For example, I asked Google assistant to turn my screen to 50% brightness and as excepted, it can’t. All it does is a google search. However, when Bixby is 100% up and running Samsung are stating that you will be able to do things like that with Bixby. Why is this great? Well, let’s say you cannot read or you're dyslexic being able to do things like talking straight to your phone is a huge deal.
 
Please note: I did play with Bixby however none of the cool stuff I just mentioned above is available yet, so currently Bixby is a little bit of a dud. When I went on it, it just showed me some stuff from my gallery, LinkedIn and calendar. So, for the time being this is one of the major letdowns of the Galaxy S8 Review. Currently, the only cool part of Bixby is that you can take a photo of an item and Bixby will provide details about it, for example where you can buy it and so-forth.
 
Bixby S8 Screenshot
 
Some other software aspects that I liked is the new facial recognition unlocking feature. The Galaxy S8 will allow you to register your face and then unlock the phone by just looking at it instead of physically typing in a PIN or drawing a pattern. Most people are loving this feature in other reviews, however what I will say is that the feature is awesome, but it's not 100% yet. I registered my face and used it for around one week. Now when it works and picks up my face it’s extremely fast and from what I can see very accurate. No one elses face unlocks it, not even my brother who looks very similar to me. But my issue with this is that you need to position it very similar to the position you did when you registered your face. When I registered my face, I was sitting straight up. But when I unlock my phone I am sometimes in bed, lying on the couch, upside down, bending over and everything in-between. So essentially, the phone only picks up my face around 30% of the time with my first facial recognition attempt and around 70% of the time with my 3rd facial recognition attempt, which I still think is great for a first go. It’s a fabulous Galaxy S8 feature however, it’s not humanised yet for the normal everyday person who just wants to unlock their phone!!


Galaxy S8 Facial Recognition Testing Video


 
Another biometric unlocking feature that Samsung have is the fingerprint. Now, to be honest, I tried it out for a little however, it's so poorly placed I just got frustrated. I'ts placed on the back of the phone next to the camera. Which makes things worse for me as I purchased a case and with the case made it even harder for me to use my fingerprint. The phone is already huge so the fingerprint scanner is one, too far away to make it comfortable and two, next to the camera which means half the time you touch the camera and leave smudges on the lens of the camera. Overall, a let down that I wouldn't even bother using it anymore.
 
Another feature which I think is AWESOME about the Galaxy S8 is DeX. DeX is a separately sold adapter which turns your Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus into a computer. I haven’t got DeX so I can’t really talk about it and how it works or performs but I thought I would give it a mention as I think it’s really cool. Maybe in the future we won’t have real computers, just phones? A crazy thought brought to you by Samsung.
 
Samsung Galaxy Dex

 


Camera

The Galaxy S8 Camera has been improved on from the previous version, the S7. The camera consists of a 12-megapixel sensor behind a wide f/1.7 lens. On paper there hasn’t been a big upgrade however, in terms of software the camera is performing better. One great addition is the multi-frame processor which takes 3 photos every time you take a snap which reduces blur leaving you with a sharp photo even when you’re taking photos fast.
 
Overall, the photos I have taken on the Galaxy S8 are great so far and not too many came out blurry. The first thing that impressed me most about the S8 camera was the speed. The speed allowed me to take photos virtually on the run.
 
From the photos I took (see below) the images tend to have nice depth, great colour and exposure even when taking photos during sunny days. The new camera has a feature called HDR mode which levels exposure and contrast when bright ambient colours are present and from what I can see, it works very well.
 
Galaxy S8 Camera Review Photo
S8 Photo 1

S8 Camera Phone
Photo 2 on S8 Camera

S8 Camera Review
Images are clear and vibrant even when taken extremely fast

Galaxy S8 Camera takes amazing photos
Even when we tried to focus very close photos taken from the S8 were still amazing
 
The Galaxy S8 camera also performed well under low light levels as seen below. I found this quite nice as the low light levels didn’t seem to affect the auto focus too much. I was still able to take sharp photos fast, even under low light.
 
Even though it doesn’t seem like it, this photo was taken indoors with all blinds closed and only a small glass door was allowing light in. This was a surprise.
Low level light photo on Galaxy S8
 
In terms of software and functionality, the camera is easy to use and has various mode options when you swipe right such as different face masks like snapchat and different filters which everyone seems to love. The new camera even has Bixby integrated in so you can take a photo of something you have around you and get more information and details about it.
 
The front camera is also nice as it has a reasonable 8 megapixels with a f/1.7 lens. The photos taken from it look nice because it has an auto-focus which not all front facing selfie cameras have. The front camera even includes a feature that allows you to put your palm up when you’re ready to take your selfie which is just brilliant as it's often hard to press the button and get ready for your photo in time.
 
S8 Front Camera: The Selfie Test :)
S8 Front Camera Selfie
 
So the overall verdict on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus camera is good, not great, not bad but good.

 

Galaxy S8 Battery Review

First thing to note is that the two different phones have different batteries:
 
Samsung Galaxy S8: 3000mAh
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: 3500mAh
 
I reviewed the Galaxy S8 Plus which has the slightly bigger battery. As you would expect after the Note 7 tremendous battery issues it’s not really a huge surprise that Samsung didn’t go all out on their battery. They are reasonable however, not impressive. I use my phone a lot, around 5 hours of screen time per day, and my battery lasted all day with generally only a few percent left before I went to bed. Having said that, most of my settings are at default except for brightness which I increased to around 50%. To be honest, I am not super impressed but I’m not disappointed either. Having to charge a phone nightly is no issue for me therefore I was perfectly satisfied with the battery life. My friend, who also has the Galaxy S8 Plus, is a trade worker so his phone doesn’t see as much screen time as mine and he stated that typically after work he has around 60-70% battery life remaining, which is fantastic.
 
One thing to note is that more than ever battery life is at the mercy of settings and usage trends. There are heaps of settings you can change to either increase or decrease your battery time. Performance, screen brightness and screen resolution will all effect battery life. Usage is also a big factor. If you use your phone all day talking and messaging it will clearly last longer than it would if you stream movies.

 

Verdict

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an incredible phone. It uses almost all real estate on the display, it’s extremely powerful and Samsung are really starting to innovate with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus with curved screens and some cool new features. It's water proof and has a micro SD card slot, which we love. The only faults that I can find were that the finger scanner is poorly positioned, Bixby has a long way to go before it's truly useful and some innovations, like the facial recognition, don't work as well as I would have liked them too. However, I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5. In my opinion, this is currently the markets best phone and it has more that exceeded my expectations. Apple have their work cut out for them.
 

The pScore: Preezie Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Score:

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review Score

 


The specifications:

 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Specs
  Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8 Plus
Colours Black
  Grey
  Blue
  Silver
  Gold
     
Dimensions    
Height 148.9 mm 159.5 mm
Width 68.1 mm 73.4 mm
Depth 8.0 mm 8.1 mm
Weight 155 g 173 g
     
Display 5.8" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED 6.2" Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
  2960x1440 2960x1440
  570 ppi 529 ppi
  Infinity Display Infinity Display
     
Camera    
Front 8MP AF
  F1.7 Aperture
  Pixel size: 1.22µm
  Sensor size: 1/3.6"
  FOV: 80
  Wide selfie
     
Rear Dual Pixel 12MP AF
  OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
  F1.7 Aperture
  Pixel size: 1.4µm
  Sensor size: 1/2.55"
  FOV: 77
  Max Zoom: 8x (digital)
     
Video 4K video recording at 30 fps
  1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilization)
  Digital Zoom 8x
  Slow Motion video support for 720p at 240 fps
  Face Detection
  Video Location tags
     
Performance Octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10nm processor
  Octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10nm processor
   
Memory 64 GB
  4GB RAM (LPDDR4)
   
Network 4G LTE
  Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz),VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
  Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
   
SD Card Slot Single SIM model: one Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 256GB)
   
Software Android 7.0 (Nougat)
   
Audio UHQ 32-bit &DSD support
  PCM: Up to 32 bits
  DSD: DSD64/128
   
Video Playback MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
   
Water and dust proof IP68: *Water resistant up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.
   
Battery 3000mAh 3500mAh
  Talk time: up to 20 hrs Talk time: up to 24 hrs
  Video playback: up to 16 hrs Video playback: up to 18 hrs
  Internet use (4G): up to 12 hrs Internet use (4G): up to 15 hrs
   
Security  Lock Type: Pattern, Pin, Password
  Biometrics Lock Type: Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, Face Recognition
   
In the Box Device
  USB Cable
  Earphone
  Ejection Pin
  USB Power Adapter
  Quick Start Guide
  USB Connector (USB-C)
  Micro USB Connector
 



Where to buy on Preezie:

Virtually all Telcos and retailers will be stocking the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus but check them out and compare the prices here:


Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Black
Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Black Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-64gb-black


Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Grey
Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Grey Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-64gb-grey 


Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Gold
Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Gold Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-64gb-gold


Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Black
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Black Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-plus-64gb-black


Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Grey
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Grey Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-plus-64gb-grey


Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Gold
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB Gold Price
Shop here: https://www.preezie.com.au/products/mobile-phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s8-plus-64gb-gold

 


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