A lot is riding on Samsung's newest smartphones - the Galaxy S8 with a 5.8-inch display and the Galaxy S8+ with a 6.2-inch display. The makers are hopeful that the new launches will refurbish Samsung's image, post the Note 7 battery fiasco, and give fierce competition to the much-anticipated iPhone 8.
While there are some appreciable changes on the face of it, we reviewed the S8+ in detail to bring you the yays and nays.
First off, kudos to Samsung for fitting in a huge display and yet retaining the compactness of the phone. The front and rear are made of glass, and a thin metal frame adorns the curves. Samsung's much-touted infinity display - the screen spills over the sides offering a seemingly endless display - is indeed impressive. Watching multimedia on this phone is a delight. The 1,440x2,960 pixel resolution makes everything look rich and colourful.
Samsung has bid adieu to the physical home button; it is now at the bottom of the display. A shortcut key has been added on the left side panel for Bixby - Samsung equivalent of Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. The fingerprint scanner has been moved next to the camera module, making it slightly difficult to access. The S8+ has an iris and face unlock feature. The phone is IP68 certified water and dust resistant. Although putting a back cover for protection would not do justice to this good-looking phone, it may not be able to withstand accidental drops.
The international version of Samsung S8+ runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, while the Indian version runs on Samsung's in-house Exynos 8895 SoC - both leverage the 10nm fabrication process that promises power efficiency. Paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64-GB onboard storage, the unit manufactured in India is on par with the Snapdragon variant. The S8+ runs on Android 7.0, and a refreshing UI. One can access shortcuts from the home screen; swipe upwards from anywhere on the homescreen for the app launcher tray. Aside from Google services, Samsung has neatly clubbed all its apps in one folder which can be disabled or uninstalled. For workaholics, Samsung S8+ has Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and Skype.
There's no dual camera module on the device, yet the 12-MP lens with f/1.7 and 1/2.5" sensor size does a fantastic job at capturing images in well-lit environment. The auto mode struggles a bit in low light, but the pro mode can be used to adjust settings.
Samsung's new virtual assistant, Bixby, currently only shows schedules, upcoming reminders, cards, carries out image search and such. So, that's a sore point. The Galaxy S8+ works on a 3,500-mAh battery with Type-C charging port. It supports quick charge that can power up the phone from 0 to 100 per cent in just two hours. A single charge lasted me a day without any heating issues.