Galaxy S8 review roundup: Samsung just schooled the iPhone

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Galaxy S8 Infinity Display
Samsung has a winner in the Galaxy S8.
Photo: Samsung

The first reviews of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have dropped a day ahead of their official launch in many markets, and there’s one thing to take away from them: Samsung just knocked it out of the park with its best smartphones to date.

Despite the problems the company encountered with the Galaxy Note 7 last fall, it has managed to produce two new devices that don’t disappoint. From gorgeous design and impressive cameras to the best display on the market, the Galaxy S8 series has it all.

It might not perfect, but the changes and improvements Samsung has made show Apple what a smartphone should be in 2017, and make it even more difficult for the iPhone to catch up.

Here’s our review roundup.

Stellar design

Samsung used to make some of the ugliest smartphones money could buy. It had a fondness for tacky plastic and faux leather, and alongside a device like the iPhone, a Galaxy S handset looked like a toy. But in recent years, that’s changed.

Since the Galaxy S6, Samsung’s latest flagships have been downright stunning, with curved glass and cool aluminum frames. The Galaxy S8 series steps it up a gear, with dramatically slimmer bezels that make way for its spectacular Infinity Display.

“The most common reaction I heard from people who saw the S8 units I’ve been testing is ‘wow.’ That’s because the S8 is a stunning device to look at and hold,” says The Verge. “It truly doesn’t look like any other phone you might have used before, and it’s refined and polished to a literal shine.”

Galaxy S8
Samsung has mastered smartphone design.
Photo: Samsung

The Telegraph calls the Galaxy S8 “the best looking phone ever made.”

“Samsung has been ambitious with the Galaxy S8. After the nightmare that was the Note 7, it had to be. The result is a brilliantly-designed phone that sets a new standard for what phones should look like in 2017.”

“The Galaxy S8 is hard to resist once you see it in the flesh,” says Wired“Samsung has made an Android phone more desirable than an iPhone. For all its faults, for all the ways Samsung could spend less time and money on gimmicks and more on on-going software support, for all the cheaper options out there, there’s no other phone we’d rather have right now.”

There are a couple of gripes, however. Some reviewers bemoan the shiny glass that picks up fingerprints far too easily, and the placement of the fingerprint scanner, which sits alongside the rear-facing camera and can be difficult to reach when holding the Galaxy S8 in one hand.

Stunning Infinity Display

If design isn’t the Galaxy S8’s biggest selling point, then that title has to go to its jaw-dropping Infinity Display. You won’t find a review with anything negative to say about it; every single one gushes over its beautifully vivid colors, impressive brightness, and the way in which it seamlessly wraps around the phone.

“For the people in search of buying advice, here’s all you need to know about the S8 and S8 Plus’s screens: They’re awesome,” says Engadget“Color reproduction on both is excellent and, as always, there are different screen modes in case your tastes are more specific. The screens get bright enough to combat the warm spring sun and viewing angles are excellent, too.”

Galaxy S8 in hand
The best display on the market.
Photo: Samsung

“The screens are amazing,” adds Android Central. “Great viewing angles are expected these days, but Samsung has once again found a way to make the Super AMOLED panel on both versions of the phone bright and, more importantly, accurate. They are DCI-P3 compliant, which gives them a wider color gamut than a typical RGB palette.

“That, in addition to being HDR certified, makes them technically proficient, which is great, but you’re also getting one of the most pleasurable viewing experiences on a phone today.”

“The Super AMOLED screen gets impressively bright, offers darker blacks, and its mobile HDR Premium certification means it boasts greater color volume, meaning you can watch colorful High-Dynamic Range (HDR) content, which is the new hot thing in video,” says Digital Trends“This has the best screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.”

Even greater cameras

The Galaxy S8 series is packing the same 12-megapixel cameras Samsung used last year for the Galaxy S7. But over the last 12 months, the South Korean company has been tweaking them and improving its software to make them even greater.

It has also made huge improvements to its Camera app, and introduced a new 8-megapixel front-facing camera — one of the first selfie cameras with autofocus. Once again, Samsung offers some of the best cameras available in a smartphone.

“Standard photos on the Galaxy S8’s single 12-megapixel are consistently good,” says CNET“They’re crisp, colorful and eminently sharable. Low light shots are relatively bright and detailed (the darker the scene, the more image noise you’ll see), and selfies on the 8-megapixel front-facing camera are also terrific.”

Galaxy S8 camera
Galaxy S8 has a familiar camera, but it’s better this year.
Photo: Samsung

“As with last year’s phones, the S8 is an incredibly capable camera in low light conditions,” adds Android Police. “The f/1.7 lens hoovers up a surprising amount of light even in challenging conditions, and with a steady hand you can get some pretty crisp shots where other phones would just render an unpleasing mess of noise and blur.”

“There is an improved 8-megapixel front camera with a wider field of view for group selfies,” says Engadget. ” It has a f/1.7 aperture too, so it’s decent enough in low light and in general it’s a great performer. Selfies were clean, detailed and nicely colored, especially when viewed on the punchy AMOLED screen.”

There’s room for improvement here, however. Some reviews point out that Samsung still hasn’t quite mastered color accuracy, while others complain that there’s just one rear-facing camera as opposed to two like on the iPhone 7 Plus.

The general consensus is that you’ll get stellar photos and videos out of the Galaxy S8 — especially in good lighting conditions — but you’re missing out on the neat portrait effects offered by Apple.

Samsung’s software is vastly improved

Samsung wasn’t just famous for bad design years ago; it also produced terrible software, too. It made Android a bloated mess, with a cluttered and confusing interface filled with gimmicks and useless features no one ever used. It’s a surprise old Galaxy S phones sold so well.

But Samsung has been making huge improvements to its software in recent years, too — and it’s never as good as it is on the Galaxy S8.

“In a refreshing change of pace, the software on the S8 is, dare I say, good,” reports The Verge. “Built on Android 7.0 Nougat, the S8’s software is remarkably restrained for Samsung. This is reflected by the simple home screen, which features just a handful of app shortcuts and a nice big weather widget front and center.”

Galaxy-S8-multitasking
TouchWiz has been greatly improved for the Galaxy S8.
Photo: Samsung

“Samsung’s new launcher is pretty great, with a gesture-friendly home screen that does a lot with a little,” adds Android Central. “The changes may seem arbitrary to anyone coming from a non-Samsung phone, but current Galaxy users will see the continuity in these design decisions. For what it’s worth, this is the first time I’ve ever used a Samsung phone without wanting to immediately throw away the launcher for something clearly better.”

“Samsung’s Nougat interface is one of the better-looking ones, and the plethora of features means there’s an abundance of customization options,” explains Android Authority. “The Galaxy S8 proves that Samsung has tried to do everything at once, and while there may be some redundancy, the addition of so many features offers more customization than what’s found on most devices.”

“There are a ton of features in this phone — most of which have been in Galaxy devices for a while — and they all feel polished and useful,” concludes Digital Trends.

Bixby needs work

Bixby was supposed to be the Galaxy S8’s headline feature — Samsung’s long-awaited challenger to Siri and the Google Assistant. It’s there, and it has some neat features, but it still needs plenty of work. Some key components — like voice recognition — aren’t even available yet.

“The idea behind Bixby is that it will be a much more capable, integrated assistant than Siri or Google Assistant, capable of carrying out tasks like sending photos within an app as well as integrating reminders and so on,” reports The Telegraph.

The catch is that Bixby’s only half ready. The most interesting part – voice control – isn’t available in the UK or US at launch, so it’s impossible to really assess it. The Bixby camera seems like one of those clever technologies that are probably not going to be used much in the real world, while the Hello Bixby screen is basically a less-useful version of Google’s equivalent.”

Galaxy S8
Galaxy S8 in gold.
Photo: Samsung

“Samsung thinks Bixby is so important to this device that it put a dedicated button on the side of the phone that only launches Bixby,” adds The Verge. “That would be fine if Bixby was anything to get excited about, but in its current state, it doesn’t do much at all.”

“Bixby might get better in the future, but most users are better served by downloading Google Now from the Play Store and using Google Assistant,” says Ars Technica.

Engadget is confident Bixby will get better in time. “I have high hopes for Bixby,” writes Chris Velazco. “After all, it took years for Siri to become really useful. So expecting Samsung’s assistant to be equally functional in less time isn’t really fair.”

Performance is impressive

In the U.S., the Galaxy S8 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 chip. It’s faster and more power efficient than its predecessor, thanks to a new 10-nanometer manufacturing process that places all of its tiny transistors closer together.

Coupled with 4GB of RAM and ample storage, it makes the Galaxy S8 a great performer.

“The S8 and S8 Plus are effortlessly fast machines, and hardly anything I threw at them over a week of testing got them to stutter,” says Engadget. “Workday multitasking, games like Hearthstone and Dead Trigger 2, even playing emulated GameCube games — it all ran fabulously.”

“As you might expect, there are no performance concerns with the processing stack that powers the Galaxy S8 and we’ve noticed no issues with performance in applications or while gaming,” adds Android Authority.

Battery life could be better, but there are no explosions

As is always the case with modern smartphones, battery life on the Galaxy S8 could be better. It’s not bad — most reviewers say they got at least a day of use in between charges — but a little extra would be nice.

The good news is that the Galaxy S8 charges insanely quickly, and its battery doesn’t have a tendency to explode like the Galaxy Note 7’s. At least there have been no reports of that yet.

“My take so far is that battery life is at least as good as the Snapdragon Galaxy S7 edge from last year, a phone that offered above-average performance in this area,” reports Android Police. “In single-day heavy use, the phone could reliably get 5 hours of screen time, sometimes creeping closer to 6 hours.”

“Over the past two weeks, the Galaxy S8 battery life has proven to be on par with most flagships, but not spectacular,” adds Android Authority. “TouchWiz gives you lots of different power saving features and combined with the Super AMOLED display, you can stretch out the battery life even further.”

“Both phones include fast wired and wireless charging, which makes it convenient to charge them when necessary, but neither really pushes the boundaries of smartphone battery life as we know it,” explains The Verge.

Galaxy S8 facial recognition
Galaxy S8 boasts iris and facial recognition.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung schools the iPhone

Reading through all these reviews, it’s clear that the gap between flagship Android devices and the iPhone is now wider than ever. Apple was already lagging behind the competition, and the improvements Samsung has made this year means catching up will be even more difficult.

It won’t be hard for Apple to match or even beat the Galaxy S8’s performance, but I don’t expect the iPhone to offer anything as good as the Infinity Display for some time. Apple’s Retina display have been lackluster for years — especially when it comes to pixel count — and that’s likely to remain the case with this year’s iPhone 8 refresh, unless you opt for the rumored premium model with an OLED screen.

The Galaxy S8 has other advantages, too, like iris scanning that’s surprisingly fast, a headphone jack, and expandable storage. Bixby offers features you don’t get with Siri, and combined with the Google Assistant, it’s a more capable and more flexible experience.

Of course, the iPhone has its selling points — chief of which is the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual-lens camera, which Samsung is yet to replicate. Rumor has it that will change with the Galaxy Note 8 later this year, but for now, you won’t be getting any of those fancy portrait effects on a Galaxy smartphone.

It seems Apple can’t afford to deliver another disappointing iPhone upgrade this year. The iPhone 8 (or whatever it will be named) needs to be just as incredible as the rumors are promising, with a fancy new design, better displays, even greater cameras, and new features.

As things stand, you’d be mad to choose an iPhone over the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+.

“They are the best Android phones you can buy right now, with stunning displays, beautiful design, and great performance,” concludes The Verge.

“For the all-around big-screen experience, Samsung has knocked it out of the park and while the likes of LG and Huawei definitely come close, the design of the Galaxy S8 means it stands tall above the competition,” adds Android Authority.

  • Chad Johnston

    So there reviews come out that the iphone completely destroys the new samsung in real world testing somehow with an infinity display on top of a crap sluggish operating system its the phone to beat? Keeping in mind we’re comparing to an older iphone? Nah, Im good ill stick with apple and watch the fragmentation in android widen even further.

    • Nefarious420

      Shush, you were not compensated for that comment, much like this Article most likely was.

    • grammar_panda

      *So their
      *world testing. Somehow an infinity
      *crappy, sluggish
      *is the phone
      *Keep in mind we’re comparing this to an older iPhone.
      *I’m good, I’ll stick with

      • Chad Johnston

        Meanwhile, all of your corrections are not even correct, you also failed to make a valid point. So while quickly typing on a phone keyboard one neglects to check or even worry about grammar you, make sure to point out what you perceive to be grammatical errors while contributing absolutely nothing to the thread.

        “There” misused is also one of my pet peeves but as stated, quickly typing on an auto correct keyboard while stuck at a traffic light will limit the time one spends editing.

        *Real world testing is common vernacular amongst tech reviews Also, I’m pretty sure it’s not even incorrect as it describes what kind of world i.e. fantasy world

        *Keeping in mind we’re comparing to an older iphone? This was stated as a question as it implies the absurdity

        *its as in “it is the phone to beat?” in the context you would realize the question is “is it really” not the way you framed it. This one should have been easy for a Grammar Panda. LOL!

        Finally, all this being said, my grammatical errors are correctable while your being a douchebag is permanent, I’m afraid. You are pretty stupid for an individual trying to demonstrate their intellectual high ground.

        In summary, fuck you and enjoy your shitty life hunting grammar errors in your trolling endeavors.

        LOL!

      • Eric

        “quickly typing on an auto correct keyboard while stuck at a traffic light will limit the time one spends editing”

        You are also a permanent douchebag. Try to kill only yourself while using your phone in traffic.

      • Chad Johnston

        STUCK implies not moving you illiterate dumbass. Wow! Not only are you a douchebag your stupid as well. lol

      • Eric

        No, a stupid douchebag like you rear ended me in February, sitting at a stop light. She was reading on her phone and crept forward without realizing it. Using your phone while driving is stupid. You are stupid. Put the phone down and pay attention to the 3000 pounds of metal you are in control of before the 500 pounds of you kills someone.

      • Chad Johnston

        Well then she is a stupid as you, you fucking retard. Its called a BRAKE pedal. I never text while driving. You must need to be reminded to breath you’re so fucking dumb. LOL Beside if she “crept” forward how much damage could it really do? LOL fucking idiot. Exchange insurance and move on for your fender bender and leave the adults alone.

      • grammar_panda

        *are not even correct. You also
        *valid point. While
        *typing on a phone keyboard, one neglects to check
        *or even worry about grammar, however you make sure

      • Marco Marchant

        Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Haha. Stop fighting children. Over a device? Wow. There’s better tings to fight about in this world. What is this world coming to. Imagine a full blown war over silicon.

      • NooYawker

        Grammar panda isn’t fighting. He’s just being a grammar panda. I appreciate grammar panda even if he corrects my grammar.

    • Christopher Wortman

      considering its the same specs as the galaxy s7 lmao

      • Chad Johnston

        Same old specs and still beat the the pants off the S8 or didn’t you see the demo cult posted. Specs on top of a crappy OS just makes the crappy OS a little more bearable but that much more embarrassing when it gets destroyed. LOL!

      • Christopher Wortman

        Hey I agree with you. Samsung needs to rethink their strategy because they are pissing on customers AGAIN… I just can’t buy the S8 in good conscience. It is literally the most lack luster release I have seen in years.

    • I own a Note 4 (granted it’s a couple years old technology) and an iPad Pro.

      I no longer use my phone for web browsing except in a pinch because the difference in pages loading is like the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Porsche 911 Turbo. Seriously that much.

      Even if the S8 was twice as fast, it still wouldn’t be close to the iPad. And I’ll assume that with the same chip, the iPhone will be similarly fast.

      Meaning that you’ll still be waiting quite a while for your drop dead gorgeous Infinity Display to actually show you what you’re waiting to see.

      • Chad Johnston

        Just so you’re clear I am on your side. I too believe the samsung products suck. I am making fun of the S8…

    • Reyter

      The only thing for certain is that the iPhone is extremely overpriced. I use an Xperia XZ for example and the hardware absolutely wipes the floor with the iPhone but the iPhone is (or was for the equivalent model) almost double the price. Samsung phones are also overpriced. Even “if” they are better than the latest Xperia, they are most certainly not that much better to justify double the price. Bottom line is, Samsung phones are excellent but overpriced. iPhones are good but ridiculously overpriced.
      The most common theme in all these reviews which rave about how good Samsung or iPhones are is the way they neglect to mention the price.

      • iHead

        When you buy iPhone, you are buying the whole excellent ecosystem, services and iOS regular updates – besides the excellent hardware quality. When you buy Samsung, you are buying the whole mess, insecurities, demo features, stupid design (putting the touch ID next to camera lens at the back? Really?), junkie software and crappy services – besides the questionably excellent hardware quality.

        So pick your poison.

        And both are definitely way better than Xperia XZ in terms of hardware quality. No argument in there unless you are blind. Or stupid.

      • Reyter

        Really? Well would you be so kind as to state precisely which hardware is better in the iPhone (not the latest but the one before that. But then again, even compare it to the latest is ok) compared to the Xperia XZ? Memory? CPU? Camera? Screen? Battery? What else is there? In all those categories, the Xperia, not comprehensively but hopelessly outclasses the iPhone. Samsung is a very close match. Either way, for a little over half the price of the Samsung, I’m happy with the Xperia.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      You mean last year’s iPhone completely destroys…….

  • BJohnson

    Really appreciate the unbiased article – thank you!

    • Paul Lloyd Johnson

      Unbiased? It was written by Killian!

      • KillianBell

        He’s right!

        The same Killian who time and time again defends Apple (and the iPhone) in a weekly feature called Friday Night Fights. http://www.cultofmac.com/tag/friday-night-fights

      • Nefarious420

        Don’t worry, you will surely get a similar article about the iPhone 8, 7, and 7S as being the phones to beat as well.

  • ZillowHater

    Wow, Android is ahead???? Not from what i have seen. I still don’t understand why even post this crap on Cult of Mac, it has nothing to do with Apple.

    • KillianBell

      Samsung is Apple’s biggest competitor in the mobile industry. Not every iPhone user buys one blindly every year without checking out the competition.

      • literat

        no apple has no competition. only apple have iOS.

      • Nerdy

        So by your logic Windows, Linux , MacOS all dont have competition?..thats dumb dont you think?

      • RSage

        Ahem, what logic do you use? By literate’s logic, macOS and iOS don’t have competition because only Apple has them, whereas Android, Windows and Linux have competition because they will run on most any POS hardware. To wit: Android runs on the S8.
        It’s okay if you weren’t really thinking before posting.

      • grammar_panda

        *No, Apple has no competition. Only Apple has iOS.

      • literat

        english is my third language.

      • Chad Johnston

        No worries literat. Douchebag is grammar_panda’s only language. Plus, we all know what you meant.

      • RSage

        that explains it!

      • Those of us invested in iOS are not so impressed. What good to me is that wonderful screen if I have to ditch too many great apps to get it?

        I’ve also seen what happens to Samsungs in the wild, they get loaded down with bloat-ware. It’s back to the bad old days of WinPC boxes that loaded down the experience with crap-ware. Not only does Samsung get into the act, the providers does too. Get a iPhone on Verizon then get this new Samsung and do a real comparison. T-mobile, AT&T, Sprint, same story. Android is chock-a-block full of bloatware.

        I’ll wait for the the real world version be released to see what’s what.

      • Thomas Lenzmeier

        Yes, checking the competition is always a good idea. However, don’t you think some of it depends upon how deep you are in Apple’s ecosystem? I have money invested in apps and what not else, so chasing after something else simply adds more cost to the equation.

  • ciderrules

    The S8 is like that hot blonde you pick up at the bar. Fantastic body, smoking hot. So you take her home and for a week things are great. Then you realize she’s dumb as hell, has a lousy personality and you can’t stand to be with her. Impressive at first sight, but once the shine wears off all the little faults start showing up.

    • KillianBell

      I’m not saying I agree with it, but great analogy.

    • Brad_Australia

      This would be a great analogy if you had indeed experienced either living with a hot blonde or an S8 for a week.

      • ciderrules

        I have an S8 on order (need at work for development/testing purposes). Your other comment is a poor attempt at implying I don’t get girls, which probably reflects more on you than me.

      • George W Bush

        Um, no, I take it to mean you’ve never had a smoking hot blonde in your life. Brad from Australia nails it– not a poor attempt, but quite a good one. I’m also guessing that pretty much all Brads from Australia get smoking hot blondes. ciderrules, not so much.

  • b9bot

    Hah hah!!! Yea that’s why the iPhone 7 is still faster then anything out there. So I think when Apple releases there latest the only thing schooled will be Samsung AGAIN! Samsung does one thing for you. They keep you warm when they catch fire!

  • Rick Gold

    “As things stand, you’d be mad to choose an iPhone over the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+.”… these are not the words of Killian.. if they are.. we demand he step down defending Apple on Friday Night Fights!

    • KillianBell

      These are the words of Killian.

      How can you defend the iPhone, though? Other than iOS, which is a terrific operating system (I use it every day), what does the iPhone have over the Galaxy S8 and other high-end Androids? Its display is outdated, its design is old, you have to buy a dongle to plug in headphones…

      Other commenters are banging on about performance, and it’s certainly remarkable that Apple is able to squeeze so much power out of its A series chips. But the latest Android are just as speedy. It’s not like the iPhone is vastly superior in this area.

      With the Galaxy S8 you get better design, a significantly better screen, expandable storage, wireless charging, a headphone jack, iris scanning… the list goes on.

      I’m not an iPhone hater at all. I’ve actually been using the iPhone 7 every day since it was released, and I often defend the iPhone in Friday Night Fights. But I’ve pre-ordered a Galaxy S8, and I don’t see myself switching back to iPhone unless the iPhone 8 catches up.

      • Slimey

        Well I’m no Apple fan, but after years and years on Android, I got an iPhone last summer. Having now got the hang of iOS, I would say that some things are still frustratingly difficult compared to Android, but some things really surprised me by how well thought out and useful they were. On balance, Apple just about shades it for me – but I could easily live with either. The real reasons I switched were:
        1) Increasing unease by how much data Google are hoovering up via Android. I feel like I’m paying a fortune for a Pixel phone up front, and paying by handing over personal data for ever more.
        2) I want a secure device that receives regular security patches – after all this is my primary computing device. I feel only Apple and Google Pixel devices offer this – Samsung etc seem pretty woeful in this respect
        3) Personal one – all my immediate family and most close friends are on iPhone – so being able to iMessage, Facetime, Find Friends etc is a big plus

        So for me, I could not use a Samsung or any other Android device right now – despite their technical and design prowess. But I’m very happy Samsung are really pushing hard – this can only provoke a response from Apple as they attempt to leapfrog.

      • ciderrules

        S8 can’t run any of my software. Which makes it useless for me. Just like any piece of hardware that lacks software to utilize it.

      • Poindexster

        There is something else to consider, The average apple owner knows just as little than the average android owner. Where the difference grows is in the strength and flex power for power users. Android Dominates, Hands down. I’ve sat next to my iPhone counterparts waiting for them to catchup, whether it be loading a game, a site, a VPN service, connecting via alternate devices. Even encrypted, my Sam6 edge+ rules. . . only reason I’m not going for an S8+ is I don’t like the pricing model they’ve chosen to follow, and my s6+ looks good as new. . .

      • RSage

        “Even encrypted.” Coming from a “power user”, that’s a “Wow!”

        Benchmarks indicate the iPhone 7 Plus is twice as fast on average than the S8 at launching and resuming apps. Hard to see how your Edge+ would even keep pace with an iPhone 5S.

      • Chad Johnston

        LOL this guy! Please sit next to me with your phone and beat me at ANYTHING with your samsung or any Android for that matter. You saying the exact opposite of all the test data. LOL!

      • Poindexster

        Firstly, there are Dozens of core features / functions you can mod or customize on Android devices, that are simply locked down by apple on the iOS devices. My android IS unlocked, Rooted, Jailbroken, whatever term you wish to use.
        So, as a result,
        Bloatware has been more than just uninstalled (stock uninstall leaves residue)
        All non-essential programs and services have been removed
        I’ve customized the Boot
        Overclocked Kernel

        Don’t get me wrong, for the average user that only wants to press a few buttons to get to contacts and place a call, or to access and start a playlist, iOS is simple and awesome. . . . but there is more to Android than the iPhone costume wearing remote control is allowed to do

      • RSage

        Other than iOS? Well, iOS is EXCELLENT, you nincompoop. And so is the Apple App Store.
        Then there’s the A10 processor. Together with iOS10, the iPhone is twice as fast as the S8 in ways that actually matter.
        Bixby is crap.
        The S8 fingerprint sensor is crap, mostly due to its location.
        How big a deal is the S8 design, when it’s mostly just a display with a fingerprint magnet backside?

      • Vector Sigma

        Dongle is included w/iPhone 7 as well as headphones. 32gb/128gb/356gb variants. Wireless charging is a joke. Iris scanning can be beat with a picture and not to mention android as a OS only gets updates for about 2 yrs and it might brick your phone. Nothing baked in comparable to facetime/facetime, imessage. Support for Samsung is also laughable. Ill admit the S8 looks good but Ive seen numerous s6/s7 where the battery overheats cracks the back screen and Samsung says its not covered under warranty.

      • Chad Johnston

        Killian you almost sound like a user thats knows nothing. You downplay performance like it almost equaled its not. You even try to gloss over performance like its not even a main feature! WTF? Performance is not even close in many test. And design is purely subjective not fact. I still like the iphone 7+ looks better. Smaller bezel would be nice but those are most assuredly coming. Expandable storage because the built option are so limited. who needs extra storage to get where the iphone already IS. If you want external storage iCloud is seamless not top mention is stores your computer desktop and documents too! …the dongle is free and with the new W1 wireless chip most of us are realizing its a far superior user and listening experience except on the rare occasions where exact audiophile sound quality is needed. Wireless charging? LOL not really a selling point for anyone is it? If it is they make super thin cases that will do that and since your going to be buying a case anyway…duh. So basically your only valid point is the amoled and with the standing order thats will be gone most likely. And then you will just have a slow s8 with a comparable screen and a virus control problem with an app store with minimal quality control and a vendor with horrible customer service. I could go on but you would hear me.

  • Paul Kissel

    Buy one and see if you are still getting OS vulnerability patches and major OS updates after 2 years. I have no doubt the Galaxy S8’s hardware is great. But it’s Apple’s after-sale support (software and service) that will keep me coming back to Apple for a new phone. Everyone has their priorities but after being on the Android bandwagon for years I just got tired of shelling out money and not getting any love afterwards. Blame it on Google, blame in on the manufacturers, blame it on the Telcos but it doesn’t really matter. The end result is the same.

  • literat

    “Stellar design”
    No, this phone is awful.

  • Brad_Australia

    The last Samsung anything I bought was before smart phones. I found they were a terrible company to have to communicate with. In my case they were supposed to provide a Prince of Persia game by redemption which they never did send to me despite letters to them and unintelligible replies from them in broken english and gobbledegook. I think they make a pretty good iPhone knockoff (or is it the other way around now) and have been thinking about switching back to them when I decide to get a new phone, despite from my past bad experience but I keep putting off the decision as I’m still completely happy with my iPhone 5s.

  • nik cumberbatch

    Apple don’t need to improve or catch up, they haven’t bothered for years as they know the vast majority of their customers will buy iPhones regardless of the fact they are way behind the competition. They want that logo they don’t care what the phone does or whether there are much better phones out there. Anyone who follows technology knows they are not great phones, but for older people or people not into technology they serve a purpose although for what is essentially a mid range phone they should be half the price

  • Bespin

    My 950 schools the iPhone too

  • RSage

    In the lead-up to iPhone 8 assembly, Apple is already Samsung’s biggest AMOLED customer, with potential sales in the hundreds of millions. And you can bet Apple has been slow to migrate from LCD to AMOLED all these years because Samsung holds the AMOLED production keys and insisted on too high of a price. Once Apple has AMOLED on the iPhone, though–in just a few short months–the iPhone will be better than the S8 in *every* way, not just in its currently more-refined iOS, twice-as-fast CPU, great design (Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus anyone?), and countless other features. Even with the S8, Samsung demonstrates its lack of caring about the whole product, as this reviewer has noted in many areas.

  • Jake Smith

    They show Apple how to make a display completely susceptible to breakage and an inferior camera. Samsung is a camera company! Its not hard to make a great camera, but Samsung can only manage to make a good one.

  • Bill Steele

    But will it light my joint?

  • It’s funny reading this review. I’m a longtime Samsung user; my last (and in fact only) iPhone was the 4.

    And yet ever since I bought an iPad Pro, I now understand why Apple users are so damn loyal, and why they tend to laugh at reviews like this.

    Even as I type this, I will very likely be deciding between a Note 8 and an S8+ as my next phone, depending on whether the Note 8 offers a compelling value prop. But I understand a couple of things about even the current iPhone 7/7+ as compared to the S8/+ …

    #1) The iPhone is faster. Virtually all real world, scientific testing bears this out. I don’t know whether the Snapdragon is technically more powerful or sophisticated, but I gather A HUGE part of the equation is app optimization, and since app developers coding iOS apps don’t have to account for a wide variety of hardware configurations the way they do for Android, I assume there are major dividends in optimization.

    #2) Related to #1, app design overall seems to be simply superior on iOS, both in cases where the (ostensibly) same app exists for Android, and in cases where iOS-only apps are being compared to their closest Android-based equivalents. Now there may be any number of reasons for this to be the case, but the bottom line is that the overall app experience in my opinion is simply better, except in two instances: Google’s own apps, and default app integration (the ability in Android to select any mail client as the default mail app, as an example).

    And those two things are HUGE in the overall scheme of the user experience on the device. Yet this review addresses neither of them.

    Yes, the S8/S8+ are very impressive phones, no doubt. Possibly the best Samsung has ever made, and in some areas probably better than the iPhone. But I’m 1000% certain Apple’s market share doesn’t go to zero tomorrow, and for good reason.

  • Igor Os

    “No explosions?” Don’t count your chickens… The rest of this “review” might as well have been written by an impressionable child. The problem of the curved display with its thin bezel – the device’s main selling point, I gather – will be promptly cured by a chunky case you will definitely buy to protect your new expensive toy. The headphone jack… yeah, that I can see. That particular design choice will cost Apple dearly. On the other hand, while Apple is removing holes and buttons with perfectly valid functionality, Samsung seems to be adding protuberances designed to engage yet-to-be-developed features. Seems odd.

  • YuCMi

    I checked out the S8 not long ago and was not impressed. I hate the S8’s design. The curved display is an annoying and pointless feature to me, and the phone is too long. What I mean by annoying is that it pops out in my vision; the curves add an unnecessary dimension. I also do not like how the navigation bar icons look. When compared to the simpler vanilla icons, Samsung’s look messy. Then there is the awkwardly placed fingerprint scanner, the fact that you cannot remap the Bixby button, and the Samsung bloatware (Bixby included).

  • Stacey Brindleigh

    Apple’s last few years have been hugely disappointing. No computers to speak of and the iphone is now so behind it’s getting pathetic. The 1920×1080 screen on 7 plus is seriously low-res compared to phones costing many times less but the most lagging thing is the iOS itself. Literally every action on iPhone requires two or three taps more than it does on Android. Once you use both platforms, you notice the difference in seconds. The iOS needs an urgent rethink. As does Apple’s sky-high pricing of old tech.

  • Costa K

    There is so much dumb in this article.

    “Apple was already lagging behind the competition…”

    …yet it is the best selling phone.

    “It won’t be hard for Apple to match or even beat the Galaxy’s performance…”

    …it’s already happened.

    “It seems Apple can’t afford another disappointing upgrade this year…”

    Yep, like last year. Which still truckloads.

    Who the hell wrote this article?

  • Guest

    Hey Killian how much were you paid to write this bullshit?

  • PeterBlood

    Even the Fandroid crowd is yawning at the new SamSplode phone. “Meh” seems to be the usual sentiment. 30% of iPhone users are “very excited” for the new iPhone model whereas only 18% of Scamsham owners are for their latest explosive release. Unfortunately it takes more than a display to truly compete. Add to that the CPU dust in their face as Apple pursues their own chip designs. It’s only going to get worse.

  • OUsooner08

    You get paid to write trash like this?! The premise is that a brand new phone “schools” a phone that came out last year. Measured by subjective things such as design and software experience both unscientific measurements. Mention Bixby is half baked, and batter life could be better, but hey at least it’s not blowing up!

    Great assessment! This is they kind of trashing BS writing that turns tech enthusiasts like me off.

  • Marco Marchant

    Each to their own. Let the user decide. From my experience, iPhone switchers only did it because of hype, – “The system is more flexible and can be tweaked”, “It’s not a closed system”, “Apple is overpriced”. the people I know switched and they only take photos, send messages and make calls. “Tweaking”? Yeah, right. The S8 might be a step ahead in technology but is the user ever going to use all this?