It’s funny how you can know just about everything there is to know about a new flagship smartphone thanks to rumors and leaks, and yet still be blown away when the phone is finally announced. We’ve seen it time and time again with Apple’s iPhone lineup since all the details always leak months in advance, and now we’re seeing it with Samsung’s hot new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Android fans lost count of all the leaks as they flooded the web in the weeks ahead of Samsung’s big Unpacked press conference on Wednesday, and we’ve seen photos and videos leak time and time again. Once people actually saw the full Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ picture come together on stage yesterday, however, they knew they were watching something special.
We already gave you an extensive hands-on preview of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, and we also ran through a number of the duo’s most exciting new features. In this post, we’re going to focus on the five new Galaxy S8 features people just can’t stop taking about, and we’ll also cover two fantastic new Galaxy S8 features that most people don’t even realize were added to the new phones.
This is obviously the big one, and for good reason. After spending just a couple of hours with Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, we can already state conclusively that these new flagship smartphones are the sleekest, most elegant, best-designed handsets the world has ever known.
Just a few short years ago, Samsung was still releasing flagship phones made out of thin plastic that felt flimsy and cheap. Fast-forward to 2017 and the company’s new Galaxy S8 and S8+ are unmatched. Apple’s iPhones have always been considered the gold standard of design — they are the most copied handsets on the market, after all — but Samsung has bested Apple in nearly every way.
First and foremost, Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have narrow bezels and a screen-to-body ratio of 83%. As a result, Samsung has fit a monstrous 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display into a phone the same size as Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. In fact, at 5.8 inches, even the smaller Galaxy S8 has a bigger screen than the iPhone 7 Plus.
Then you’ve got the rounded edges on the front and back of the phones, which makes them fit perfectly in the hand. It also makes Samsung’s new phones feel incredibly thin despite actually being a tiny bit thicker than Apple’s iPhones.
Photos will never do the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ justice. When you finally get the chance to check these hot new handsets out in stores, you’re going to be blown away.
The second most talked-about Galaxy S8 feature has to be Bixby. This is Samsung’s attempt to combat the rise of digital assistant products like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and the one that started it all, Apple’s Siri. This is one of the hottest spaces in consumer tech right now, so it’s no mystery why Samsung would want in on the action.
It’s obviously far too soon to compare Bixby to any other virtual personal assistant products out there, though a number of gadget blogs out there have inexplicably already tried to do so. Early impressions generally seem positive though, and we’re looking forward to putting Bixby through the paces when we review Samsung’s new phones.
Bixby Vision is an extension of Bixby that brings the physical world around you into the picture. Literally. Using the camera on the Galaxy S8 or S8+, Bixby Vision allows the phones to “look” at their surroundings and offer useful information to users. Bixby Vision can also “see” printed text and instantly translate more than 50 different languages.
Samsung isn’t the first company to bake a desktop experience into a smartphone, but it is the first company to bake a desktop experience into a smartphone that people actually want. Microsoft and its partners like HP have offered a similar feature on Windows phones, but they were, well, Windows phones. What’s more, Samsung’s implementation with DeX is shockingly fast. It looks and feels a bit like Chrome OS, but the idea of having one device with all of your data, logins and more is compelling. Unless you need specialized software that’s only available for Windows or macOS, Samsung’s DeX solution can easily replace the need for a desktop PC for many people.
Here’s a video that shows Samsung DeX in action:
To be honest, it’s a bit odd that there’s so much chatter out there surrounding the processors in Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Specs are important, of course, but they hardly tell the whole story. In the case of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, however, the processors are more important than normal because these are the first new smartphones to sport next-generation 10nm chipsets.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Samsung Exynos 8895 use a process that is more compact than any other mass-market processors. They’re also more energy-efficient and more powerful than any other processors on the market. In terms of multi-core performance, they absolutely crush everything else on the market and people are excited to check them out.
Two features almost no one is talking about
Most people were so enamored with Samsung’s new design that they apparently didn’t bother to really dig into the details. We can’t blame them, to be honest — these new smartphones are just so gorgeous. There are two features involving the Galaxy S8’s wireless connectivity that users should be very excited about, and we’ll quickly cover them here.
First up, the Galaxy S8 will be the first widely available smartphone with Bluetooth 5.0. This next-generation wireless technology is better than current versions of Bluetooth in literally every way. It’s more power efficient, it has four times the range, and it supports two simultaneous independent streams. That means you can play a video and stream to two separate pairs of Bluetooth headphones at the same time.
Last but certainly not least, the Galaxy S8 will be the first phone to support gigabit LTE speeds. That’s right, 1Gbps data transfers on your phone. Good luck holding onto your tiered data plans in the future…
Here’s a video from T-Mobile that shows off some crazy speed tests: