Smartphones
Does it live up to the hype?

There is expectedly a massive buzz in the tech world with the official launch of the Galaxy S8 and the larger S8+ by the South Korean electronics giant Samsung. The company wants to forget its Note 7 debacle, which haunts it even now. More than that Samsung would like its customers to move ahead and embrace the new flagship phones. So how do these two offerings measure up and should one still have any misgivings?

The Highlights and Differentiators

There are a few new features in the S8 and S8+ that make them unique. The first one is the removal of the bezel, primarily aimed at increasing the viewing space and thereby the user experience. Another feature that the new phones are claiming superiority in is the processor.

 According to reports, the new 10 nm processor is first if its kind and there is also a Mobile HDR Premium certification, by the UHD alliance. This gives the phone the premium tag with regard to the clarity of pictures and videos viewed on them.

The other most talked about feature about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, is the digital assistant ‘Bixby’. Again, going by the expert comments on this AI-based feature, Bixby has the potential to give Apple’s SIRI a run for its money. The digital assistant will listen to all types of commands from the phone’s user across apps and functions.

The three-level security - biometric, iris and fingerprint scanning - is another plus point for the new releases. And this time, Samsung has placed the fingerprint sensor on the phone next to the camera lens.

Samsung has also now bid good-bye to its physical home button and has introduced the pressure-sensitive in-built home button

The disappointments

While the technology and the features in the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are being lauded, they are not without their drawbacks either. As a prospective buyer and user of the phone, it is only fair that you know both sides. The first criticism relates to the placement of the fingerprint scanner. According to a review on the Forbes, it can put many users with smaller hands at a disadvantage. Placing it close to the camera lens can also create other unwarranted difficulties as well.

The other major issue is with the battery. The S8 and S8+ will be sporting 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays higher than the 5.1 and 5.7-inch displays that the S7 and S7 edge had. Incidentally, the previous 2 offerings came with 3000mAh and 3600mAh batteries. Now the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are being launched with batteries with a power of 3000 and 3500 mAh respectively. This is where the experts feel that Samsung could have done better. There are a number of phones that come with a battery life that is much higher. Apart from the fact that the sheer size of displays that could draw more power, with the processor being improved, it would also consume excess power. This is something the market will closely observe over the next few weeks.

Besides these, the Forbes review points out that Samsung has not attempted to enhance the RAM and kept it at 4GB whereas other phones are knocking at 6GB. Possibly the cameras could also have received an upgrade. Both the variants sport a 12 MP rear and 8 MP front camera.