Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review
If you’ve read our Galaxy S8 review, you’d already know that the S8 Plus is not that different compared to the S8. The only difference between the two, aside from the dimensions and weight, is the display size and the battery capacity.
Before reading our review below, we recommend going over the Galaxy S8 review first since more than half of that is exactly the same as the Galaxy S8+.
Design and Construction
If you liked the size and form factor of the Galaxy Note7 or the Galaxy S7 Edge, then the Galaxy 8+ should be perfect for you.
Samsung has made the dual-curved design the new standard for its flagship devices so we’re looking at this signature moving forward. The Galaxy S8+ features a curved display, similar to the execution of the S7 Edge and the late Note7.
As expected, because of the all glass exterior, the S8+ is very slippery on the hands and a smudge magnet all around. It still has a slim profile and can be comfortably held with one hand, although you’ll tend to use both hands on certain occasions (a case is definitely needed here).
Samsung managed to dramatically increase the screen size by putting everything else at the back. No more physical home button, just capacitive keys. No more space for the Samsung logo. They trimmed down the bezels on all sides, only leaving a little space for the front camera, sensors and an Iris scanner.
The Galaxy S8+ has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance of up to 1.5 meters and 30 minutes.
The power button is placed on the right side while the volume controls are on the left with the dedicated Bixby button just below it. The hybrid SIM card slot is up top along with the noise-canceling microphone.
At the bottom end is the USB Type-C charging port, 3.5mm audio port, primary mic and the speaker grills. At the back is the main 12MP camera with the dual-tone, dual-LED flash on the left and the fingerprint sensor on the right side.
For a device that’s only the size of the Galaxy S7 Edge or the Note7, the Galaxy S8+ managed to squeeze in a lot more space for the display.
The biggest feature of the Galaxy S8+ is it’s massive display — measuring 6.2 inches across, the expansive curved display looks really awesome. This also puts the screen-to-body ratio a little over 83%.
The S8 features a large screen resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (WQHD+) giving it a pixel density of 568 ppi. The resolution can be natively adjusted, though, with options of full HD+ (2,220 x 1080 pixels) and HD+ (1,480 x 720 pixels), depending on user preference.
The “Always On Display” has been enhanced to support more notifications, including the capacitive home key.
The Galaxy S8/S8+ has also been certified with Mobile HDR Premium by the UHD Alliance which means it can reproduce better and more vibrant colors as well as support for streaming services like Amazon and Netflix for their 4K HDR titles.
The screen is very bright and crisp, comfortably viewable even in the outdoors or direct sunlight although it can be very reflective at certain angles.
Camera and Multimedia
While the rear camera of the Galaxy S8+ still has the same 12-megapixel sensor with a large f/1.7 aperture, the module used is a new one. Our review unit uses a Samsung ISOCELL sensor (SLSI_S5K2L2_FIMC_IS) which might have come with some incremental upgrades from the previous ISOCELL sensor in the Galaxy S7 (SLSI_S5K2L1_FIMC_IS).
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S7 unit we have with us uses a Sony IMX260 so we can really compare the two ISOCELL sensors in terms of picture quality.
Here are some sample photos we took and while we now know it’s a new sensor, we could not really see anything that improved over the previous one.
Video recording is up to 4K @ 30fps or 1080p @ 60fps. Slow motion video defaults at 720p @ 240fps.
The S8+ came with an AKG earphones out of the box. This premium earphones added to the quality of the audio. From the speaker grill, sound is loud, clean and crisp with just a little bit of noticeable distortion at maximum volume. There’s not much bass or oomph but it’s got a pretty wide range.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Galaxy S8+ uses a 2nd-generation custom Exynos chip which is a slight upgrade to the previous one they used in the S7. The Exynos 8895 is composed of a power-efficient Cortex A53 quad-core processor running at max speed of 1.7GHz paired with a high-performance Exynos M1 quad-core processor running a top clock speed of 2.3GHz.
Based on synthetic benchmarks, the Exynos M1 processor did not disappoint, scoring a high of 175k in our Antutu Benchmark.
Antutu Benchmark: 175,622
Quadrant Standard: 47,323
PCMark: 5,171 (Work 2.0), 6,040 (Work 1.0)
PCMark Storage: 4,421
Vellamo: 7,125 (Browser), 3,266 (Metal), 3,581 (Multi-core)
Geekbench 4.0: 2,014 (Single core), 6,589 (Multi-core)
The score of the Galaxy S8+ puts it at the top of the rankings among Android smartphones. It was only beaten by the iPhone 7 due to the HD-only screen of the iOS device.
Suffice it to say, the Galaxy S8+ is a beast in the performance department. It’s fast, responsive and snappy — gobbling up anything we threw at it and breezed thru multiple tasks in the background.
The Galaxy S8+ packs a 3,500mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery. That’s the same capacity as the Note7 but slightly smaller than the 3,600mAh of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Nevertheless, Samsung claims it still has the same battery life despite the much larger display, mostly due to the optimizations brought about by the Exynos 8895 chip.
Using our standard battery benchmark, the Galaxy S8+ got 10 hours and 23 minutes with PCMark Battery Test. That’s the same results we got on the Galaxy Note7 and slightly better than the 9 hours and 50 minutes of the S7 Edge.
Using our video loop test, the S8+ lasted a little over 18 hours on a full charge playing a full HD movie at 50% brightness, 0% volume and in airplane mode. That’s a full 4 hours better than what the galaxy S7 Edge got on the same test.
The S8+ support fast wired and wireless charging and can recharge to full capacity in around 80 minutes.
With a suggested retail price of Php45,990, the Galaxy S8+ is pushing the limits of their customer’s pockets. But then again, it’s a beautiful and powerful device.
After two generations, Samsung has made a major design change to the flagship Galaxy S series and the Galaxy S8+ has already made it to the very edge of an immersive smartphone experience. It’s got everything you’d want in a flagship smartphone and a little bit more.
Samsung Galaxy S8 (SM-G955F) specs:
6.2-inch Super AMOLED Quad-HD+ Infinity display @ 2960×1440 pixels, 531ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Samsung Exynos 8895 64-bit 10nm octa-core CPU
4 x ARM Cortex A53 1.7GHz + 4 x Exynos M1 2.3GHz
Mali G71MP20 GPU
4GB LPDDR4 RAM
64GB internal storage
Expandable up to 256GB via microSD (uses SIM 2 slot)
12MP Dual Pixel rear camera dual-tone, dual-LED flash, f/1.7 aperture
8-megapixel front-facing auto-focus camera with f/1.7 aperture
Dual SIM (hybrid), dual LTE
GPS with aGPS support, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou
Fast Wireless Charging
IP68 Rating, Dust, and Waterproof
Android 7.0 Nougat with TouchWiz
Samsung Bixby, Bixby Vision
3,500mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery
Colors: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ will retail for Php45,990 and will be released in the Philippines in the first week of May.
What we liked about it:
* Beautiful design
* Gorgeous Infinity Display
* Impressive Performance
* Great camera
* Great battery life
* Large storage capacity
* Iris scanner
What we did not like:
* Most expensive flagship smartphone in the market