Review | Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus smartphone

Not too long ago, Nokia placed itself in a position where any non-Nokia-named handset could not beat them. Few years later, Apple took over and changed the game with the iPhone.

This year, Samsung has taken over the race with the Galaxy S8, a revolutionary handset that might force its challengers to go back to the drawing board and form a new playbook.

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Design

The S8 Plus stands at 6.2 inches while retaining its slim figure. To those who are used to 5.5-inch smartphones, the S8 Plus requires just a little adjustment in terms of handling since its width measures almost the same as Samsung Galaxy S7. However, it may take a peek at times when tucked in a shallow pocket due to its extended height.

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Samsung sprinkled the S8 with the word “infinity” when they gave birth to it. If given a chance, this phone would have removed the bezels completely as if they wouldn’t need it at all. The navigation bar found a new home on the actual screen, steering away from the traditional keys at the foot of the screen.

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Speaking of the new on-screen navigation bar, Samsung lets you change the order of the keys and the color of its panel in the S8 Plus. Also, there’s a hard press function to wake up the phone, which was inconsistent at times.

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From the top surface are the dual SIM slots and the microSD space. There are two variations of this, by the way: the single-SIM version has a dedicated slot for the microSD, while the dual-SIM model uses the SIM 2 slot for the expansion card. Hello Bixby (more on that later) button appears to the left side, right across the power/lock button.

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The S8’s edge seems to be perfectly carved and it absolutely fits in our sweaty hands very well, even with the glass surface wrapped around the handset. However, the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 attracts too much smudge and fingerprint marks, and may require your full patience in wiping it off from time to time. Although you can cover it with a fancy phone case to prevent this from happening, it just loses the point. Nevertheless, the Samsung S8 Plus is arguably one of the best-looking smartphone in the entire universe.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus attracts fingerprint smudges all over its body.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus attracts fingerprint smudges all over its body.

Performance and Features

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is run by Exynos 8895 Octa (four 2.3GHz and four 1.7GHz) on Android 7.0 Nougat. Again, there are two models of the S8 Plus: the one with 64GB internal memory holds 3GB of RAM, while the 128GB edition owns 6GB RAM. Let’s cut to the chase and let us show you how this handset (the 3GB RAM version) performed in our benchmarks:

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The first two images compare the S8 Plus to other smartphones in terms of cores, while the Compute Comparison takes on the graphics aspect. As you can see, the S8 Plus gets the better of its predecessors.

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Today, a 3500 mAh battery may be enough to last for the whole day. But due to the S8 Plus’ speed and responsiveness, you might need more. There was a time when we had the handset at 100% by 9am and 25% by 11pm with the 4G connection switched on in between those hours. A quick-charging feature makes the S8 Plus refill its battery to 100% in just an hour and a half via USB Type-C connection and a fast-charging power plug.

The app drawer can now be turned off and switch the whole home screen to a deck of apps. Swiping the home screen to the left will bring you to Bixby, Samsung’s version of Siri and Cortana.

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Bixby helps you to operate the smartphone using your voice, speech, or camera. Once you open the camera, it will capture the objects that it sees and Bixby will tell you where you can buy it. Take note that you have to log in to your Samsung account before you can use Bixby.

Camera

The 12-megapixel camera of S8 Plus is armed with 1/2.5-inch sensor, just slightly smaller than the three-year old Galaxy S5. Meaning, the only thing that brings in the awe is the 1.7 aperture the S8 Plus has. Since the S8 Plus has a Super Amoled 1440 x 2960 resolution (which you can also toggle to HD, Full HD, and WQHD), images and videos being viewed in it may also appear brighter and crispier and not because it has a great camera.

The S8 Plus allows you to change your phone's resolution.

The S8 Plus allows you to change your phone’s resolution.

Security

Unlocking the phone can be made through the fingerprint sensor positioned right beside the rear camera. For us, this is the biggest design flaw that Samsung has made for the S8 Plus. Knowing its height, the fingerprint sensor can be too far for the point finger to reach even for people with bigger hands. There were times when we were tapping the rear camera instead of the fingerprint sensor, too.

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Apart from the fingerprint capability, the S8 Plus can also scan your iris to unlock.

Conclusion

We’re pretty confident that we’ve covered the right aspects to talk about the S8 Plus and there’s more about this smartphone to discover. Priced at P45,990, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus assures that you will get what you paid for.

The Good:

  • A whole new era of Samsung flagship phones
  • Provides everything you need in a smartphone
  • Arguably the best-looking smartphone today

The Bad:

  • Smudge magnet
  • Fingerprint scanner is placed too far from the finger’s reach