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First look: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

By Lionell Go Macahilig - 29 Mar 2017

First look: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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The long wait is over

Coinciding with the worldwide launch, Korean giant Samsung has unveiled the latest iterations of its illustrious Galaxy lineup, the Galaxy S8 and its bigger brother, the S8+. Since the inception of the first-generation Galaxy smartphone, the S1, the industry has been witnessing milestones of the Samsung’s flagship lineup. With the S6, Samsung redefined the Galaxy’s design philosophy by featuring the world’s first edge display. This design philosophy redefinition saw its completion with the S7 and the S7 Edge, in which IP68 water and dust resistance were added to the schema.

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Now with the Galaxy S8 and the S8+, consumers are now left with the million dollar question: what’s next with Samsung’s Galaxy lineup? This question was answered at this year’s UNPACKED event held in London and New York.

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Infinity Display

Let’s start off with the most conspicuous component of the Galaxy S8 and the S8+: their Infinity Display. Coming in 5.8-inch for the S8 and 6.2-inch for the S8+, the Infinity Display is an end-to-end screen that spills over the phones sides, resulting in a smooth, continuous surface with no bumps or angles. Samsung has achieved this feat by moving the home button under the glass, become now the Invisible Home Button. Infinity Display offers users an immersive movie watching on their phone, maximized screen when viewing or working with texts and images, and less scrolling. With the Infinity Display, the S8 and the S8+ achieve enhanced screen-to-body-ratio: 83.3% and 83.9% respectively.

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Camera and imaging

For a country that is so obsessed with capturing images, whether they are a selfie or not, the next most important aspect of the Galaxy S8 and the S8+ is definitely a point of interest: the camera. The S8 and the S8+ carry a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel camera with F1.7 lens, promising to deliver brighter night photos. Flawless selfies are ensured, too, with the 8-megapixel front-facing autofocus camera with face detection technology along with built-in stickers and stamps in the phone’s camera software, attracting the attention of millennials. Planning to take the S8 or the S8+ to your wet and wild adventures? No worries. The S8 and the S8+ retain the IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating of the previous generation flagship, being capable to withstand depths of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The S8 and the S8+ can also capture 4K videos.

Below are some sample images taken with the Galaxy S8. (Click the images to view them in full resolution.)

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Photographic capabilities are not the only things that were added to the camera of the S8, but also intelligence. With Samsung’s Bixby Visual personal assistant, users can simply snap a photo and search for a place and information in connection with the photo captured. Images containing texts that were captured by the camera can also be turned into an editable file or translated into any of the 52 languages that are supported. There is also Bixby Voice which you can ask to segregate photos in your album, edit photos, and send text messages to different contacts. Samsung's vision for Bixby is to establish an ecosystem of interconnected devices that can be controlled through voice, paving the way for a smart home.

Below are some sample 4K videos taken with the Galaxy S8.

On the outside, on the inside

Inside its super shiny aluminum unibody, the S8 and the S8+ are packed with the world’s first 10nm processor, allowing users to experience seamless multitasking. While it can do lots of things at the same time (with 10% faster performance than the preceding chip), it does that with less powerful consumption by up to twenty percent. The processor works in harmony with the latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS running on the handsets’ 64GB onboard storage (up to 256GB microSD is supported). Battery-wise, the S8 comes with a 3000mAh module, whereas the S8+ has a 3500mAh module, both of which are fully integrated.

More than meets the eye

As Samsung wanted its users to fully maximize the capabilities of the S8 and the S8+, the company introduces Samsung DeX, a platform consisting of a dock on which you can hook up the phone and show its content on an HDMI-connected monitor or television. Add to the mix a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you get desktop PC capabilities with your handset. With the capabilities that are virtually similar to a full desktop PC, users will most likely store sensitive information to the handset. Worried about unauthorized access? Don’t fret. The S8 and the S8+ retain the Iris scanner for security. Face recognition is also an option to unlock the phone. Plus, there is the Secure Folder which can keep files classified and protected with a layer of extra authentication.

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Availability and pricing

The Samsung Galaxy S8 (PhP 39,990) and the S8+ (PhP 45,990) will be on offer for pre-order from April 17 to 29 in Midnight Black, Maple Gold, and Orchid Gray colors. Buyers who will pre-order will get a free bottle-design wireless speaker worth PhP 5,099. Samsung will offer the S8 and the S8+ through Globe, Smart, Lazada, Abenson, and other Samsung-authorized dealers. Blue and silver variants were shown during the preview, but these will not be available locally at the moment. 

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Full Specifications

Processor: Octa-core, 2.3GHz quad + 1.7GHz quad, 64-bit, 10nm / octa-core, 2.35GHz quad + 1.9GHz quad, 64-bit, 10nm
Display: Samsung Galaxy S8: 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960 x 1440, 570ppi) / Samsung Galaxy S8+: 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960 x 1440, 529ppi) RAM and ROM: 4GB LPDDR4 and 64GB (up to 256GB microSD support)
Operating system: Android 7.0 Nougat
Rear camera: 12-megapixel, 1/2.55-inch sensor, F1.7 aperture, 1.4 micron pixels, 8x digital zoom
Front camera: 8-megapixel, 1/3.6-inch sensor, F1.7 aperture, 1.22 micron pixels, wide selfie
Video recording: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30/60fps, 720p at 30fps
Audio: UHQ 32-bit DSD support (PCM: Up to 32 bits / DSD: DSD64/128)
Water resistance: IP68 rating (can withstand up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up tp 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Wi-Fi
Authentication: Iris Scanner, lock type, pattern, pin, password, face recognition
Sensors: Iris sensor, pressure sensor, accelerometer, barometer, fingerprint Sensor, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor, hall sensor, HR sensor, proximity sensor, RGB light sensor
Battery: Samsung Galaxy S8: 3000mAh / Samsung Galaxy S8+: 3500mAh
Dimensions: Samsung Galaxy S8: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm, 155g / Samsung Galaxy S8+: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm, 173g