Samsung Event

Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in March 2016 and the two devices received huge amounts of praise for their design, powerful specs and great cameras. No smartphone is perfect, though. There will always be a few specs in the rumours that never see the light of day, leaving some disappointed and wanting more.

Don’t worry, though, more is finally here. Definitely, completely, undoubtedly here. This is everything you need to know about the new Samsung Galaxy S8. For everything about the slightly larger Galaxy S8+, unveiled alongside it, read our separate round up.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Design

  • No physical home button and reduced bezels
  • Rear fingerprint scanner
  • 148.5 x 68.2 x 8mm, 155g
  • IP68 waterproofing

Samsung released two curved devices this time around rather than one flat, one edged, meaning the Galaxy S8 offers a dual-edge display like the S7 edge or Infinity Display as Samsung is now calling it. The glass and metal sandwich design remain, continuing on from the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 for a beautiful, premium and waterproof design but there have been several changes to make the S8 stand out from its predecessors.

The front of the Galaxy S8 is where the biggest change can be seen with the removal of the physical home button, along with the reduction of bezels for an almost all-screen front. It means you get a device that’s actually smaller than the S7 edge at 148.5 x 68.2 x 8mm but with a display that is 0.3-inches larger.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Display

  • 5.8-inch, 2960 x 1440 pixels, 570ppi
  • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • AMOLED Infinity Display
  • HDR certified

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch display, which is 0.3-inches larger than the Galaxy S7 edge and 0.7-inches larger than the standard Galaxy S7. Despite the screen increase, however, the footprint of the Galaxy S8 is ever so slightly smaller than the S7 edge.

The new device offers an edge-to-edge AMOLED Infinity Display meaning punchy and vibrant colours, while it also moves to an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 compared to the standard 16:9 found on the majority of other smartphones. The change in aspect ratio means the display is taller, allowing for better multi-tasking capabilities as well as one-handed use, but you don’t get as much screen area as you would on a 16:9 device.

The resolution has also improved for the Galaxy S8, with Samsung opting for Quad HD+ at 2960 x 1440 pixels, delivering a pixel density of 570ppi. There were reports of a 4K display for the Galaxy S8 but alas, not this time. There is Mobile HDR Premium on board however and Samsung has said the S8 and S8+ will be the first devices to be certified by the Ultra HD Alliance for the technology.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera

  • 8MP front camera, 12MP rear sensor, both f/1.7
  • Multi-frame image processing
  • AR, stickers and Bixby integration
  • Iris scanning

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features the same Duo Pixel camera as the S7 and S7 edge offering a 12-megapixel resolution, coupled with a f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilisation and phase detection autofocus. That’s not to say Samsung hasn’t introduced improvements, however, adding stickers, augmented reality and filters to the party, as well as multi-frame image processing.

Multi-frame image processing isn’t a new technology, though it is a welcomed addition. The technology means the camera will take three images and combine the information from all three in order to create one better and more detailed final image. It should mean we get even better results on the S8 than we did on the brilliant S7 and S7 edge.

The rear camera of the Galaxy S8 also offers Bixby integration through a new feature called Bixby Vision. This feature allows the user to scan things using their device and receive information on said things, or shopping options, depending on what you’ve scanned. For example, you could scan a box of chocolates you want to buy, or scan a picture of a landmark for information on it.

In terms of the front facing camera, a resolution has increased for the Galaxy S8 to 8-megapixels compared to the 5-megapixel resolution of last year’s devices. Samsung has also added autofocus to the front over fixed focus, which is something the Sony Xperia M5 and the HTC Desire Eye both offer.

There is iris scanning on board the Galaxy S8 too, as we mentioned, which Samsung has said is more advanced than the system we saw on the Note 7, hopefully allowing for quick and speedy unlocking, especially if you can’t get used to the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Hardware

  • Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm SD835 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage with microSD
  • USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Wireless charging

A faster, more powerful processor is on board the Galaxy S8, as many would have expected. Rumours said the device will come with either the 3.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset or the Exynos 8895 chipset, depending on the region but Samsung has yet to specify which countries would get what. Both models will offer 4GB of RAM support, 64GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for further storage expansion.

The Exynos 8895 is the world’s first processor to use 10nm FinFET technology. The company says it has 27 per cent performance boost and uses 40 per cent less power than the previous chip with 14nm technology. Samsung also said the S8 would offer a 20 per cent boost in graphics performance compared to the S7 edge.

A bigger battery capacity is always welcomed, though not if it results in exploding devices. The Galaxy S8 does not increase battery capacity, however, with a 3000mAh cell under the hood, charged via USB Type-C and offering support for both fast charging and wireless charging.

Despite rumours suggesting Samsung would do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack like Apple, this turned out not to be the case. Instead, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the Galaxy S8 and the device will also come with AKG headphones in the box.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Software

  • Bixby confirmed for US and Korea at launch
  • Android Nougat with TouchWiz
  • Samsung DeX dock
  • Samsung Connect smarthome integration

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launches on Android Nougat with the TouchWiz interface over the top. The core experience is similar to Nougat on the Galaxy S7, offering the same visual arrangement of menus and features but Samsung has added a few extra features to the new device.

The main new features are seen in Bixby, Samsung Connect and the desktop experience through DeX. Bixby is Samsung’s AI service that is launched via its own button on the side of the device. Its aim is to offer everything from searching and identifying to helping you control and navigate your device.

From launch, Bixby will be compatible with 10 Samsung apps, though there are plans to launch an SDK for developers which should mean third party apps will then be supported in time. Korea and the US will get the full Bixby service first, with Europe following later in the year. For now, those in the UK and the rest of Europe will be taken to the Bixby Home area when they push the Bixby button, offering cards like Google Now does.

In terms of Samsung Connect, this is all about using your phone as part of your connected home, while the Samsung DeX offers the advantage of multiple windows for running apps, notifications and calls when used with the new Samsung DeX docking station. There is also a Citrix login option for accessing your desktop properly, which is more likely one for businesses.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Release date and price

  • Launch: 29 March
  • Pre-orders UK: 29 March-19 April
  • Pre-order delivery UK: 20 April
  • General availability UK: 28 April
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 price: £689

Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event took place on 29 March 2017, where the S8 and S8 Plus were unveiled. The Galaxy S8 will cost £689, while the S8 Plus will cost £779. Both are available for pre-order from 29 March to 19 April. General availability will begin on 28 April.

Both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available in Midnight Black and Orchid Gray from launch in the UK. Arctic Silver will follow eventually. There is also a gold finish and a new Coral Blue within the portfolio.