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Samsung Galaxy S8 Hands-On and First Impression!

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The response of the Samsung Galaxy S8 has been so well that all pre-order units had sold out in just 3 days  As it is first launched in Korea, this smartphone will be coming to Malaysia soon. Has anyone make up their mind to get the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus when it is officially available in Malaysia? Before you get one, let’s have a quick look on our Galaxy S8 in orchid grey!

Here are the specification at a glance:

  • Android 7.0,Grace UX
  • 5.8 inches QHD+ Infinity Display(2960 x 1440 resolution)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 3D Touch on Home button
  • 2.3GHz Exynos 8895 octacore SoC
  • Mali-G71 MP20 GPU
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM( support up to 256GB microSD card)
  • 12MP rear camera,F1.7 aperture,OIS,PDAF,Dual Pixel,SONY IMX 333 sensor
  • 8MP front camera,F1.7 aperture,autofocus,SONY IMX 320 sensor
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Support NFC
  • USB Type-C port with Fast Charging
  • 3000mAh
  • 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm
  • 155g

RRP:RM3299(Galaxy S8+ at RM3699)

 

 Our first impression

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When we first get the Samsung Galaxy S8 on our hand, the display is the main thing that awe us. It is how amazing that Samsung able to fit in a 5.8 inches display into a smartphone without compromising the size. The Infinity display offers quad HD+ resolution with bezel-less display and the top and bottom bezel is even thinner.

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Such large screen and narrow bezel smartphone is relatively rare in local smartphone market and the detailed resolution with 570 ppi makes video playback an enjoyment for all.

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One a side note, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a curvature on each side that gives a good grip and feel on the palm. Even the display is also curved that fits right into the black bezels.

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The module arrangement on the rear panel is somehow minimalist, or simply. Apart from the camera module, it is accompanied by fingerprint sensor, heartbeat sensor and LED flash. The fingerprint sensor location is somehow bizarre and might be unreachable for small hand if operated single-handled.

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Samsung also step out from its conventional mindset of solid home button but instead added software navigation keys with 3D Touch alike functionality on the Home button. The feedback on the home button is also somehow similar with the Taptic Engine from iPhone 7!

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While there are tons of sensors located on the top of the smartphone, the unibody black background makes the sensor non-distinguishable from far. Aesthetically speaking, the overall visual experience is not affected even if you are does not dig too much into details.

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There is also one minor issue we faced during our testing. When viewing the display in a narrow angle, the display with appears reddish and some other Korean user also reported the same issue on their Galaxy S8 too. You can read more about this here.

 

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As the display is the main highlight of the smartphone, the Infinity Display offers an aspect ratio at 18:5.9 which is unique and bizarre. LG also goes with a new aspect ratio on the G6, eventually both company might be shaping new display trend on the future of smartphones.

While not all apps offers native display resolution with such aspect ratio, reading on the Galaxy S8 is a big plus as more words can be displayed on the screen with lesser scrolling.

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The conventional app drawer also had been removed but it can be launched from the home screen just by swiping the screen up and down. It is much more convenient if you get used to this new feature.

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Since not all apps support this aspect ratio, Samsung has an video adjustment tool that fit videos to screen.

Choosing between display resolution

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As Quad HD+ offers the best visual experience in terms of vividness and details, it could drain some of the processing power and battery too! Samsung also provides user with an option to tune down the display to Full HD in case battery conservation is required. You can even tune the display down to HD (720p), eventually providing more usage time before needing the second recharge.

The new assistant

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The new Samsung AI voice assistant Bixby is first available on the Galaxy S8. It is able to recognize command and perform task without touch input from the user. The AI assistant can be quickly launched through a button located beneath the volume rocker. But it is unfortunate that Bixby is not yet available before the new update.

Better picture with the same camera?

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The Galaxy S8 has the identical camera from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with a 12MP Dual Pixel camera and an aperture size at f/1.7 with OIS support. Despite using the same camera, the picture quality on the S8 has improved due to the new Sony IMX 333 sensor that absorbs more light for brighter and clearer images. The post-processing software had also been fine tuned by Samsung thus images appears more warmth.

Here are some sample images from the Galaxy S8

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Pro Mode(ISO100,Shutter 10秒)

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We let the picture do the talking. Still  not convinced? Check out Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S7 Edge!

Galaxy S8

Galaxy S7 edge

 

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Galaxy S7 edge

 

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Galaxy S7 edge

 

 

Battery life is not a thing to be worried about

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The battery fiasco on the Note 7 has impacted Samsung confidence on its battery development and thus the S8 has the same battery from the S7 Edge with 3000mAh battery capacity. However, the S8 sports a 10nm Exynos 8890 premium SoC that reduces power draw and significant increases performance output with lower power input.

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You should be worried with the battery life of this smartphone.

New Android 7, new life?

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Both flagships are preloaded with Android 7.0 with 2 years of continuous support for firmware development and security patches. Here’s our thought on the user experience of the new Android.

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The Always-On display from the Note 7 had been a popular feature which is not lacked in this smartphone.

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The user interface is now more friendly as app drawer can be launched by swiping up and down and Samusng Bixby can be launched just by drawing fingers from left. There is no need for your finger to travel ‘Over the Horizon’ (pun intended) to click on the app drawer button.

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The brightness control also warn user when the display is adjusted to the maximum.

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If you think you are an expert of colour adjustment, say no more as the S8 has adjustable colour settings.

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Another new exciting features added along with Infinity Display is the Edge Lightning that the display corner near top and bottom bezels will blink when notification is received.

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The new camera UI also had a floating shutter and manual zoom that facilitates single handed operation, particular in taking selfies with hand.

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There are also multiple filters and addon to your portraits for front and rear camera.

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The background colour can be customized through the settings with 256 colours up for selection.

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Since not all apps are compatible with the new aspect ratio, the video size still can be fitted to screen with Samsung mechanism and provides a greater field of view during gameplay.

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That fingerprint sensor…

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Many user has expressed critics on the location of the fingerprint sensor because it will be fairly difficult to reach the sensor when you operate single handedly or you are a right hand user. It would be much better if Samsung can incorporate their sensor into the display just like what Xiaomi did with the Mi 6.

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However, there are tons of security authentication method to choose from. One of the new features, iris recognition popularized from the Note 7 is now available on these smartphone and its good if you can try it out!

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TL:DR, the display is the major thing that awe us when we first get our hands on the Galaxy S8. The size and design makes it easy to grip with one hand and the camera is a big plus on this smartphone. However, the fingerprint sensor location is one big major flaw for some users who preferred a front sensor, specifically on the home button.

 

 

 

 

 

作者简介

Alex Wee

Alex Wee

A smartphone addict, IT and InfoSec enthusiast. Contact me at alexwee@zinggadget.com