Price:
PhP45,990

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On June 18, 2017
Last modified:June 18, 2017

Summary:

Samsung has always been at the forefront of smartphone race. From design to innovation, the company has invested so much in research and development to deliver best results for the benefit of the consumers.

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While the company took a heavy blow on the recent Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, it created a silver lining for the company to further improve their ways albeit in a very costly manner.

Enter the Galaxy S8+, an amalgation of the positive spectrum of all the flagship devices of Samsung in recent years. It is Samsung’s best offer, and I took it for a long spin and see if it’s worth the title for being this year’s flagship of the year.

Hardware and Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is a smartphone like no other. The brand new Infinity Display is the best in its class. As I earlier noted, it is the penultimate screen technology of Samsung, perfect from their previous flagships, the S6 Edge and S7 Edge. Oh, it is just too beautiful to look at.

It’s 6.2″” screen, which horizontally extends from edge to edge, makes it a little too futuristic to look at, and beautiful to behold. It is a huge step up from the S7 Edge, which put it at the top of the competition. Texts look crispy and sharp, and the colors pop out easily! The contents I viewed on the phone don’t look overly saturated, and the contrast is almost perfect. I seldom experienced unintentional press while holding the phone vertically, which is a plus factor for bezel-less smartphone such as the S8+.

One of the biggest changes on this iteration of Galaxy S8+ is the lack of home button at the bottom of the screen. This leaves me to use the sleep/wake button on the right side of the phone whenever I wish to turn the screen on or off.

This big change, moreover, prompted Samsung’s design team to relocate the fingerprint sensor at the back, which I personally dislike. This often leads me to unintentionally touch the rear camera lens, leaving it with finger smudges. It may be a petty issue, but wiping off the smudges on the lenses can be too cumbersome to do for some.
Volume rockers are located at the left side, and below it is a new dedicated button for Bixby. I often mistook this button as the sleep/wake button, so I often got prompted with the Bixby page, which I actually rarely used during the duration of my review. Let me talk about Bixby later.

The phone isn’t actually comfortable to hold. There is this ever-anxiety to drop it because it does not have any non-slip hardware features. Fortunately, Samsung prepared a plethora of case options, which are compatible with its Infinity display.

This smartphone is not just for gaming though, as it has enough firepower to accommodate multiple running applications at once.

Performance

Now, let’s talk about performance.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Display Size: 6.2 inches
  • Chipset: Exynos 8895 Octa
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×1.7 GHz)
  • Memory: 4gb
  • Storage: 64gb, expandable microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slots)
  • Primary Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, dual video call, Auto HDR
  • Sound: Yes, stereo, – 24-bit/192kHz audio

You deserve quantifiable data, and this is the reason why I’m presenting benchmark results. For the non-geeks, the Galaxy S8+ is one of the most powerful smartphones I have ever tested. I didn’t experience any lags during the whole course of my review. I was able to play the following games at highest settings in topnotch performance:

  • Mobile Legends
  • Fallout Shelter
  • Minecraft PE
  • Dungeon Hunter 5

For the geeks, you need the following data presented below for further reference. Enjoy.

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8+ BENCHMARK RESULTS

  • Antutu Benchmark: 170,905
    • 3D: 71,752
    • UX: 52,450
    • CPU: 37,297
    • RAM: 9,406
  • Quadrant: 44,453
  • Geekbench 4
    • Singe-Core Result: 2023
    • Multi-Core Score: 6460
  • GFXBench GL Benchmark
    I want to emphasize that while most of our readers are familiar with Antutu and Quadrant, I want to put special emphasis on GFXBench GL Benchmark as it shows results that may very well quantify the capabilities of this smartphone. Quite obviously, based on its specifications, Galaxy S8+ is a powerful device and perfect for many functions: productivity, content and media creation, and gaming. As expected from Samsung, they made sure that you’re going to have lots of fun using this device to play your favorite games, which requires demanding resources.

    • High-Level Tests: For this tier test, the benchmark app subjects it to on-screen and offscreen graphics tests. The renderer is presented with various surface width and weigh, and pushes it to its limit. Graphics presented often resemble game-like renders. FPS is presented per each grade of test. The higher the score, the better.
      • Score: 1,256 Frames (vs 1,627 frames of NVIDIA Shield Android TV)
    • Low-Level Tests: This tier test, the app subjects the phone to on-screen and offscreen graphics tests. Tesselation and texturing are the focuses of the test, and the result is presented in terms of frames.
      • Score: 1,457 Frames
  • Vellamo Mobile Benchmark
    • Metal Score:3,445
    • Multi-score: 4,773
  • NenaMark 2
    • Score: 60.1
  • PCMark for Android Benchmark
    PCMark offers a detailed result of the phone’s overall capacity to cope up with the demands of the user. It provides the best and complete benchmark result among other apps, albeit lacking detailed results for graphics capability.

    • Work 2.0 Performance: 5,321
  • 3DMark for Android: 2886

Galaxy S8+ is a very beefy device with highly impressive performance. If you’re looking for a mobile phone that you’d like to use to play your favorite mobile games, this should be in your list.

This smartphone isn’t just for gaming though, as it has enough firepower to accommodate multiple running applications at once. Adobe Photoshop Express, Microsoft Office Apps for Mobile, Magisto Video Editor and Power Director. Also, despite the fact that the latest TouchWiz put up a lot of micro pre-installed applications, the smartphone’s UI and overall performance felt very smooth and excellent.

The All New TouchWiz and Bixby

Oh, and speaking of the new TouchWiz, I must say that it’s definitely way better than the previous ones Samsung launched. Other than being highly optimized with the latest Android software (Nougat 7.0), the new applications look clean and well polished.

Let me address the elephant in the room – Bixby. I believe that Samsung poured out a lot of sweat and brain cells for this latest intelligent feature. However, for something that doesn’t fully work at launch, I don’t think that it’s good enough as something to be flaunted as a unique selling proposition. Also, if Google’s own ain’t broken, why make another one?

Fortunately, there is one more thing that makes the Galaxy S8+ standout: camera.

Camera

The 12mp with f/1.7 rear camera of the Galaxy S8+ is no slouch. It is able to capture color-accurate photos, with deep black and even saturation. Modes are available, and may come very useful in certain situations. There’s a mode where you can super impose stickers and animations for photo and video captures.

The smartphone can also prove useful even at low light scenarios, making it a formidable competitor to ASUS’ PixelMaster technology. In fact, during my tests, the output of the ASUS Zenfone 3 is much noisier than the Galaxy S8+

Yup! Ouch!

Samsung’s own version of portrait mode needs of improvement though as some of the photos I took suffered inaccurate bokeh on deselected regions.

Its front facing camera passed our standards too! It can shoot HDR photos, and the level of detail and color accuracy are topnotch. Its wide enough to take groufies, and also has autofocus. Mix this with bells and wishes like beautification, sticker and animation modes, and I bet you’re off to selfie lala-land.

Sound, Communication and Battery Life

The Galaxy S8+ has loud speakers. It is so loud, I can feel the back panel of the phone thumping whenever I play a sound.

I jacked up my Bose Quickcomfort 35 on its 3.5mm headphone jack. Music sound very good with beautiful emphasis on mids with clean pass of base.

As for connectivity and communication, the smartphone has everything I need to connect my accessories: NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Cellular and internet connectivity are flawless too. As usual, if you’re getting a Galaxy S8+ in the Philippines, you’ll be getting a Duos version, which means you can use 2 SIMs simultaneously.

The Galaxy S8+ can get through the whole day at low to medium usage. It doesn’t have much mAh capacity bump compared to S8 (3500mAh vs 3000mAh), so in terms of usage hours, its performance is a bit of a letdown.

Verdict

The Galaxy S8+ is, by far, one of the best smartphones we’ve reviewed this year. Despite issues like battery life and Bixby, it proved itself to be one of the most sought after flagship smartphones this year. This smartphone has a wealth of features to offer, and those who can afford it – as it’s priced PhP45,990 – are definitely in for a treat.

Giancarlo Viterbo
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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