Shortly after the conclusion of Samsung's Unpacked event yesterday, I had a little bit of time with the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. I did not get a chance to go through every little thing on the new devices, but I definitely got a good feel for them both. The first thing that popped into my head when I first saw the phones in person was, "wow." I truly believe these are the best designed smartphones. Ever.
Obviously, the first thing that you notice is the new infinity display. It is a thing of beauty. It's so crisp, clear and vibrant. By default, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ comes out of the box with a FHD+ resolution. I adjusted the resolution settings and turned it up a notch to WQHD+ (Wide Quad High Definition +). You can clearly see the difference in the font and see how much clearer the display is when viewing content. I previewed some 4K videos on YouTube to test the clarity. Just after a few seconds, I thought the display was better than my Smart TV at home. Amazingly crystal clear.
Sure, the display is great, but how is navigating the phone? As you can expect from a premium phone, both handsets were fast. One welcomed change was a Pixel-like app drawer slide out. Simply swipe from the bottom to the top to drag out the app drawer. Unlike the Pixel, once you slide up the app drawer, you can not continue to scroll through the app drawer by sliding up. You have to swipe to the left to scroll to the next page of apps. Personally, this is not intuitive, but it's not a deal breaker. As a current Pixel XL user, this will take some time getting use to.
I did like navigating through the camera app and seeing the smooth animation. Swipe up and down to switch between the rear and front-facing camera. Swiping from the left will bring you the various camera modes and swiping from the right will bring out filters and other options. There may be no physical home button on both of the new Samsung smartphones, however, the Quick Launch feature is still around. This can be done by double pressing the power button, which is how you can do it on the Pixel phones.
These new phones have got to be too big for your hand, right? Wrong. Despite their large screens, the device is light and feels small. This is in part to the infinity display. It actually feels quite good in the hand with the curved edges. Additionally, the Galaxy S8+ is not so much bigger than its smaller sibling.
I even compared the size of the Galaxy S8+ to the iPhone 7 Plus. The result: the Galaxy S8+ and its massive 6.2-inch display are a smidge longer than the iPhone 7 plus with its 5.5-inch screen. The iPhone 7 Plus is indeed wider of the two.
I wanted to try out Bixby, but I did not get any further than reading through the menu for it. I only had a limited amount of time with both devices, so I did not get to check out everything I wanted, but was impressed from the time I did have with them. Fantastic design, unbelievable display, cleaner software, and a great camera. However, I would still recommend going into a store to check it out for yourselves and form your own opinion on it.
Check out all the photos in the gallery below.