Think the Galaxy S8 is a accord big? Well Samsung has an alike bigger one in the appearance of the agitative Galaxy S8 Plus. I’ve already explored how these two new smartphones differ, but is the Galaxy S8 Plus a acceptable advancement to the Galaxy S7 Edge which it replaces? Or is the earlier buzz now a arrangement you should attending to instead?
Displays – Beauty And The Beast
Like the Galaxy S8, it is impossible to discuss the Galaxy S8 Plus without starting with the display because Samsung’s 2017 smartphone screens have got a lot bigger…
- Galaxy S8 Plus – 6.2-inch Super AMOLED, 2960 x 1440(570 ppi pixel density), 84% screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Galaxy S7 Edge – 5.5-inch Super AMOLED, 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi pixel density), 76.1% screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Yes, the Galaxy S8 Plus console is a massive 0.7-inches beyond than its predecessor. It additionally covers a chic arch 84% of the advanced of the buzz (marginally added than the 83.6% of the Galaxy S8) which creates a absolutely beauteous attractive accessory (the iPhone 7 Plus has 67%). The affectation is stronger too with Gorilla Glass 5 actual avalanche bigger than Gorilla Glass 4 (though attrition to scratches is similar).
Aside from admeasurement and strength, the Galaxy S8 Plus has acquired Adaptable HDR Premium acceptance which agency added accuracy and adverse levels that accomplish it ideal for adaptable HDR agreeable advancing to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
That said both phones absence to 1080p, lower than their built-in resolutions. The Galaxy S8 Plus runs at 2220 x 1080 (due to its best 18.5:9 aspect ratio) while Samsung alone the Galaxy S7 Edge to 1920 x 1080 with the amend to Android 7.0. The closing allowances from an access to its already accomplished array life, but seeing the closing address at a lower resolution on day one poses added apropos questions in this breadth (more on this later).
Design – How Big Is Too Big?
While the Galaxy S8 (155g) weighs almost the same as the Galaxy S7 (152g) despite a jump from 5.1-inches to 5.7-inches, the same cannot be said about the Galaxy S8 Plus:
- Galaxy S8 Plus – 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.00 x 3.09 x 0.31-inch), 173g (6.10 oz)
- Galaxy S7 Edge – 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm (5.94 x 2.86 x 0.30-inch) and 157g (5.54 oz)
Samsung’s new smartphone is significantly larger than its predecessor and there’s a notable weight increase as well. It’s still remarkably compact for its screen size – the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus measures 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in) and weighs 188g (6.63 oz) – but this is not a small phone.
The abate bezels additionally see the home button removed and replaced by on-screen aeronautics keys with the fingerprint sensor confused to the back. This position is advancing as it is up aerial to the appropriate of the rear camera, authoritative it a big amplitude and you’ll about accordingly blemish the camera lens anniversary time you unlock. So actuality the Galaxy S7 Edge holds the advantage.
To atone for this the Galaxy S8 Plus matches the Galaxy S8 with the addition of iris and facial recognition. Ignore the closing as it can be bamboozled by a photo (Samsung accepts the flaw), but the above is fast and actual defended – admitting accepting to point your buzz at your face anniversary time makes it a apparent adjustment and a affliction to use back walking.
Despite this the Galaxy S8 retains key applied genitalia of the Galaxy S7 Edge: microSD charcoal (crammed central the sim agenda slot), as does IP68 dust and baptize attrition acceptance for 30 account of abounding submersion in up to 1.5 meters of water. There’s additionally a accepted faculty about-face to USB Type-C as the new adapter continues its honourable mission to alter all added USB anatomy factors.
Like the Galaxy S8 you’ll only get the Galaxy S8 Plus in Midnight black, Orchid Grey and Arctic Silver at launch but with the Galaxy S7 Edge available in many more colours, expect Samsung to add new options right until the Galaxy S9 is with us.
Cameras – Same Old, Same Old
Don’t advancement to the Galaxy S8 Plus assured a above camera advancement from the Galaxy S7 Edge. Somewhat surprisingly, the Galaxy S8 Plus shares its rear camera module.
This isn’t the end of the apple as the 12 megapixel, f/1.7 breach ballista is still accomplished (if not top of the class) and you’ll still get optical angel stabilisation (OIS) and 4K video recording. Samsung says Galaxy S8 Plus improvements instead appear from new multi-shot angel processing software (multiple shots are taken and accumulated into a distinct image).
A pre-release adaptation of the Galaxy S8 Plus I acclimated still begin it backward abaft the Google Pixel (sample below). This should improve, but bethink Samsung may able-bodied additionally accompany this new angel processing to the Galaxy S7 Edge in a approaching software update.
Where you can expect a significant step up, however, is the front facing camera. Out goes the Galaxy S7 Edge’s mediocre 5MP camera in favour of a new 8MP module. You’ll also get Snapchat-style filters, though again expect these to come to the Galaxy S7 Edge eventually.
Performance – Incremental Improvements
Each year smartphones get faster, but the Galaxy S8 Plus is not badly faster than the Galaxy S7 Edge. Samsung says you can apprehend 10% added CPU achievement and 21% added GPU performance, which isn’t a big footfall up accustomed the Galaxy S7 Edge (Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890) had a 30% faster CPU and 64% faster GPU than the Galaxy S6. Still, neither buzz will be slow.
Note Samsung is still delivering a different chipset to the US than the rest of the world but promising very similar performance:
- Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus (US) – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset (4x 2.35GHz and 4x 1.9GHz Kryo CPUs), Adreno 540 GPU; 4GB of RAM
- Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus (Europe and Asia) – Exynos 8895 (4x 2.3 GHz & 4x 1.7 GHz CPUs), ARM Mali-G71 MP20 GPU; 4GB of RAM
Where there are more significant upgrades is connectivity. Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus upgrade the Galaxy S7 Edge’s Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0 (2x speed, 4x range) and support one gigabit (1,000-megabit) 4G, even if carriers may never offer these speeds until long after this phone is retired.
Software – More Refined, More Bloated
TouchWiz continues to get added adorable as Samsung evolves its polarising Android skin. I still adopt banal Android, but there’s no abstinent Samsung is authoritative added adamant software than anytime before. Sadly it’s additionally added bloated.
The new appearance will appear to the Galaxy S7 Edge in time, but at barrage the new Galaxies will accept absolute admission to Bixby (a Google Now/Assistant/Goggles amalgam which gets its own accouterments button beneath the aggregate rocker) and Samsung Connect (a Google Home-style IoT hub), additional all the added bloatware you don’t absolutely charge but accustomed a continued time ago.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S8 Plus still ships with Android 7.0 back Android 7.1 is a) about six months old, and b) a huge advance. Again, admitting Samsung’s promises, if you buy a Galaxy smartphone one of the things you acquire to acquire is software updates will be slow.
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus do acquire a accurate ambush up their sleeves though, which the Galaxy S7 Edge cannot do: about-face into a barebones PC. Spend $150 on Samsung’s alternative DeX berth and you can affix a adviser (via HDMI), keyboard and abrasion (via USB) and use a desktop-style interface with Android apps and Citrix and Amazon Workspaces compatibility.
It’s not quite as advanced as Chrome OS (and you could just buy a Chromebox for $150) and you can’t use your phone at the same time, but it remains a tantalizing peak at the future of smartphones.
Battery Life – The Big Backwards Step?
But now we appear to an breadth area I apprehend the Galaxy S7 Edge to exhausted its successor. The acumen for this is Samsung has retained the aforementioned 3500 mAh accommodation array in the Galaxy S8 Plus, admitting its abundant beyond display. Displays are the better distinct agency in array drain, so I actual abundant agnosticism you’ll acquisition the Galaxy S8 Plus abiding as continued as the Galaxy S7 Edge.
On the flip side, the Galaxy S8 Plus battery will age better as it has improved cycle longevity losing just 5% of its capacity after one year versus 20% with the Galaxy S7 Edge. Its wired and wireless charging is also slightly faster (though Samsung didn’t say by how much), but brace yourself for the cost of replacing all your micro USB charging cables.
At least Samsung’s new ‘8 Point Quality Check’ means it shouldn’t explode.
Just like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Plus looks truly stunning. Unlike its smaller stablemate, however, it is a much larger and heavier phone than its predecessor. This is worth bearing in mind in particular when it comes to reaching for that badly placed fingerprint sensor.
It is also worth noting that the Galaxy S8 Plus has the same camera and battery capacity as the Galaxy S7 Edge and is only marginally faster. So that increased price tag needs careful consideration.
There’s no doubt every Galaxy S8 Plus owner will attract envious glances from others, but it isn’t perhaps as big an upgrade over the Galaxy S7 Edge as many may have assumed based on looks alone. The 2016 phone is also clearly better value one year on, but if you still opted for that stunning 6.2-inch display I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest.