It’s been a month since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in Nepal and the phone is available for purchase in all the official Samsung outlets as well as through the retailers. While the phone doesn’t come in cheap at Rs.88,900, it is the best smartphone you can buy today.
I have used the Samsung Galaxy S8 for a week as my daily driver and here’s my review of the phone. There are a lot of things that I love about the phone but also a few things that I don’t. This review will be a little bit different where I will be talking about the positives and the negatives of the phone.
Let’s start with what I love about the phone. You guessed it, it’s the display. The 5.8″ QHD+ Super Amoled display is the best I have seen so far and it’s also one of the few displays that put the iPhone 7 Plus Display to shame.
The other thing to love about the phone has to be its raw processing power. The phone I am testing is the international variant which comes with Exynos 8895 SoC which is downright powerful. The 4GB of RAM on the phone handles multi-tasking quite well too although not as good as that as we see on the modern iPhones. The phone scores excellent at benchmark (if that matters to you) and only once or twice did I experience hiccup during my 1 week of testing.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus may share the same camera hardware as the Galaxy S7 but don’t let it fool you into believing that both the cameras perform the same. In fact, the camera in the Galaxy S8 is so much better. It does processing way better and doesn’t over sharpen the phones like we used to see on the Samsung Galaxy S7.
The video recording feature on the Samsung Galaxy S8 is also excellent. If you are shooting a video outdoors where there is sufficient light, the phone camera produces photos and videos as good as that of the Panasonic Lumix G7(Micro-Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera) which is quite an achievement. Sure it doesn’t perform as well in low-lit environment but neither do any other phone.
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is also surprisingly good. I didn’t expect good battery endurance out of this phone especially since it’s predecessor packed 500mAh more juice into the phone. The phone easily gets through a day no problem even after extensive use. The phone uses USB-C standard for charging which is a good thing too. Every electronics are taking the USB-C route and it’s great to see Samsung join in the bandwagon. The phone also charges quickly thanks to Samsung Fast Charging technology. The phone also has Wireless fast charging which I honestly don’t care much about.
The design of the phone is also second to none. There are a countless number of Android phone models that all look and feel the same. In this pool of generic looking phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 excellently stands out. The dual curved edge and the long body all add up to the gorgeous design of the phone.
Now, let’s get on with the negatives of the phone. One of the negatives of the phone has to be the display of the phone. It’s more to do with the Aspect Ratio rather than the display itself. I am pretty sure that by now you know that Samsung Galaxy S8 has an unusual 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Sure, the phone is really good to hold on the hands but the aspect ratio has it flaws. For instance, when you watch a video on Youtube, you will be greeted with a black bar most of the times since the videos are natively shot in 16:9 aspect ratio. Yes, you can force full-screen the video but it will crop-in the video and you don’t always want that to happen.
Also, what I don’t like is that many of the apps don’t go full screen as you’d expect. For instance, Mini Militia ( a game that I play all the time) acts strangely when I force the game to forcefully enter full-screen. The problem may be non-existant in the future but as of now, it’s an issue.
The other issue you will have with the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the placement of the fingerprint scanner. It’s not in the ideal position. It sits beside the camera lens and chances are you will smudge the camera lens when you try to unlock the phone. Also, you have to stretch your hands every time you try using the fingerprint scanner. You will get used to it eventually but I haven’t yet to fully adjust even after a week of use. Also, the fingerprint scanner isn’t particularly fast and isn’t very accurate. To say the least, it isn’t as good as the one you will find in something like the Xiaomi Mi5.
Fortunately though, there’s an unlocking feature many reviewers didn’t talk much about the Samsung Galaxy S8. It has to be the Face Unlock feature. No, I am not talking about the Iris Scanner unlock feature. There’s a Face Unlock feature where the camera recognizes your face and will unlock the phone for you. And it works surprisingly well! Many times, the “Face Recognition” feature works faster than the Fingerprint scanner unlock! It not only amazed me but also all the friends around me! For, day-to-day usage, I highly recommend turning on Face Recognition feature.
The speaker on the Samsung Galaxy S8 has to be it’s worst feature. With such a well-performing media consumption device, I expected the Samsung Galaxy S8 to churn out good quality audio. I was well aware of the fact that the phone liked stereo speaker but I expected the audio output to be good. Sadly, it isn’t. And coming from the iPhone 7 Plus, I was nothing but disappointed. Samsung should have at least tried making the earpiece act as a secondary speaker. Also, the speaker is positioned in a place when you naturally rest your hands while playing games. More often than not, I blocked the audio coming out of the phone. If you are someone who uses a case on your Samsung Galaxy S8, this issue may not be an issue at all but for the rest of the people, you will have to deal with it.
Samsung Galaxy S8 undoubtedly is the best smartphone money can buy right now. Having used the most recent iPhone, I can confidently say that the Samsung can beat it in most aspects. Phones from the Gionee, Xiaomi, Oppo, Zoppo, ZTE, Huawei, Sony don’t even come close to the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the fact that it is an excellent overall package. Unlike many of the manufacturers today who only focus on one aspect of the phone, Samsung had done its best to implement the best software and hardware found on any phone. And it has worked quite well too. Apart from weak speaker performance and poor fingerprint scanner placement, there’s very little to complain about this Samsung flagship.
Again, the price of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in Nepal is Rs.88,990. It is available in 2 colors to choose from. I personally feel that this phone looks the best in Black color.