Samsung Galaxy S8 Review: Android Excellence In Performance And Design

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Samsung Galaxy S8 And Galaxy S8+: Performance And Polish From Any Angle

Buzz for Samsung's highly anticipated "next Galaxy" devices, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, has reached a fevered pitch, and for good reason. When it comes to smartphone market share percentages, there's Samsung and Apple, and then there's everyone else. Huawei and Oppo might be sneaking up on the leaders, but are still in the single digits, while Samsung and Apple are currently jockeying for the 1 and 2 slots. Though Q4 2016 may have been a virtual draw (Apple with a sliver of a lead) between the two handset titans, something tells us Q1 into Q2 2017 is going to swing back Samsung's way.

Pre-order demand has been very strong for Samsung's 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 models, surpassing even the Galaxy S7 back in its day. Maybe that's because early hands-on looks of the devices at Samsung's big Unpacked 2017 unveil were so well-received, or perhaps it's because Samsung is offering up some pretty nice kicker prizes for pre-order customers. Either way, people seem to really want to get their hands on the Galaxy S8 series.
Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus Front bottom3
We've been fortunate enough to have spent a little over a week with both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, specifically T-Mobile variants, which do in fact seem to be more readily available. Frankly, that's not nearly enough time to properly evaluate such a complex, full-featured pair of cutting-edge devices, but alas this is the peril of high tech launches and the relentless pace of innovation. So, we decided we're going to do what we do best here at HotHardware, and that's to give you our assessment of performance (from a number of metrics) and the experiential view of these new products. We'll skip the flowery product lifestyle showcasing and slick video pans and fades, and dive right into the meat of how these two jet-black beauties we have in house measure up in the current smartphone landscape. 

First, here's a quick hands-on video from our Managing Editor at Samsung's Unpacked 2017 event, then buckle-up for a view of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from every angle we could muster in time for launch... 

Samsung Galaxy S8 And S8+
Specifications & Features
Galaxy S8 S8 Plus Specs
Pricing - Carrier dependent: ~ $720 - Galaxy S8,  $849 - Galaxy S8+ off contract

Samsung Galaxy S8 And Plus Kits
Regardless of whether you're lucky enough to tap into Samsung's pre-order gimmes, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ do come with a healthy assortment of bundled accessories, as well as optional add-ons. Pictured here are the new Samsung Gear VR with its controller and Samsung's Wireless Charging Convertible, which retail for an additional $199 and $89.99, respectively. There's also the optional Samsung DeX Station that adapts these smartphones to a desktop experience on a large display for $149. However, in the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ boxes you get the handset, a set of earbuds tuned by AKG with extra ear tips, a USB Type-C cable, a travel AC adapter, a USB Type-C to USB converter, a Type-C to microUSB converter, a SIM ejection pin key and a Quick Start Guide.
Galaxy S8 Color Options
Available in Maple Gold, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver, Orchid Gray And Midnight Black
Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus Front bottom
We are working with Midnight Black T-Mobile versions of both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. As you can see, the look is totally blacked out and very glossy. In fact it's kind of hard to see where the display ends and the body beings on these two flagships. That's much more the effect of this color version. The other color options you see above tend to have a bit more contrast in styling.

In terms of specs, the Samsung Galaxy S8 line marks the first full production, in-market shipments of Qualcomm's potent new Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform. In general, the new Snapdragon 835 is promised to deliver 10 - 15% better CPU performance and up to 25% better graphics/GPU performance. This comes along with better power efficiency, where the majority of mainstream user workloads will largely be serviced on the chip's efficiency quad-core complex, though another quad-core high performance block is available for heavy lifting.

Other than a veritable laundry list of the latest creature comforts and connectivity technologies, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+'s big feature stand-outs are their 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch curved QHD+ Super AMOLED displays with Gorilla Glass 5. Samsung already had the best smartphone displays in the business with its standard Super AMOLED display technology, but these 18.5:9, 2960x1440 displays take that up a notch with super-tight 570 and 529 ppi pixel density. 

Speaking of which, let's get a closer look at the goods...

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