Samsung Galaxy S8 Review

For 649 euros it would be the Burner

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is already a real eye-catcher. The 5.8″ AMOLED have actually pressed the Koreans into a glass metal case the size of a Galaxy S7. The three colors black, silver and orchid gray should be something for every taste. And technically it is equipped with an ultra-fast CPU and 64 GB of expandable memory anyway at the height of time. IF it was not the high price of 799 euros! Or is it worth the money?

Samsung Galaxy S8: Display and otherwise nothing?

The frame of the Galaxy S8 has become really thin, but it still consists of aluminum. Samsung uses the Galaxy S8/S8+, of course, an optical trick to make the “Bezel” (the display frame) look smaller. It is simply dyed black, slightly bent around the edge and narrowed towards the center. Samsung calls the “Infinity Display” feature. With a completely black model looks even more impressive. With the gray (Orchid Gray) or silver Galaxy S8, the thin metal frame is somewhat more noticeable. With its dimensions of 159.5 * 73.4 * 8.1 mm and a weight of 173 grams, it is – measured on the large display – an almost elegant smartphone. Clearly less “clunky” than my Xiaomi Mi mix. No wonder, because the S8 is also narrower.

The black color variant is more sensitive to fingerprints. My test sample in Orchid Gray shimmers slightly violet, depending on the light incident. I was disturbed by the somewhat cheap-looking frame in high-gloss silver. That fits my opinion better to the completely silver variant, there you can see also no fingerprints. The fingerprint sensor is located on the back of the water and dustproof housing (IP68) made of glass. Unfortunately, but not centrally under the Kameralinse (as with the Honor 8 Pro), but slightly offset to the right. Thus, the pointer finger must feel the sensor quasi in the blind flight (a finger can not see anything, of course), but ends up almost always on the Kameralinse, which thereby becomes unnecessarily greasy. To the left of the camera is the LED as well as the pulse sensor.

5.8 inches AMOLED: Always on or Always red?

The almost limitless Infinity display of the Galaxy S8 in AMOLED technology uses a WQHD + resolution of 1.440 x 2.960 pixels in the unusual 18.5: 9 format. With so some models you will find unfortunately also a small red stitch in the display. Because one can in the display settings but often completely retouch what is certainly not in the sense of the inventor is. My testsample, however, is complete without this annoying coloring.

Samsung_Galaxy_S8_21AMOLED, however, often suffer from discoloration. Especially the yellow / green or red sting occurs immediately to the human eye. The bluestich, on the other hand, is less frequent and is perceived as “too cold”. In contrast to the LCD displays of the competition LG or Honor / Huawei, an OLED display offers only two instead of three subpixels. A pixel therefore consists either of the colors red, green or blue and green. As a compensation Samsung has therefore added deep subpixels for its AMOLED displays, which sometimes go beyond the target. This is supposed to be fixed in a future update.

The display itself again offers the “Always-on” function known from the Galaxy S7. This means that time and incoming/missed messages or calls are signaled even when the display is almost switched off. The always-on mode can be personalized in the settings under “Display”. Next to the clock (analog or digital) or the calendar sheet, I can also show a picture. The display itself is not interactive, so you can not start any apps or the alarm clock. The information is displayed permanently, so not as with Motorola, where you activated the display with the “Smartphone to the face” -device. In the settings you can disable the “Always on” but also completely.

Of course you can now also display incoming messages from WhatsApp and Co. All the contents of the new AMOLED are both sharp and very bright. The viewing angle stability – at least in my test sample – is exquisitely high and after the last software update, the setting of the maximum brightness as well as the turbo boost. This was previously only possible in automatic mode.

So I can read the display content even with direct sunlight. There are also a lot of help for the visually impaired. I could not test the HDR mode of the display because of missing media (films, pictures). Also at Amazon Prime I have found no suitable Matreial.

The display of the Galaxy S8 I really really liked and the S8 pulls my opinion even with the bigger screen of the Xiaomi MI mix equal. The designers at the bottom of the display have left the home button on the S8 / S8 + – invisible. Haptically he reacts with “pressure” with a vibration, similar to the Taptik Engine of the Apple iPhone 7.

A small warning: ex factory, the Galaxy S8 is NOT delivered in WQHD +, but in FullHD +. You have to change this in the settings! Movies of streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon are displayed with a black border (right and left) at full display resolution. This can be changed by different zoom functions. But it does not get any better.

Galaxy S8: Performance & Battery

The performance is great at the Samsung Galaxy S8. The 10nm process Exynos Samsung_Experience_178895 with its eight cores (two clusters with a maximum of 2.3 GHz or 1.7 GHz) is faster in the benchmarks than the Snapdragon 821 in my optimized Mi mix. The working memory is “only” 4 GB. Only the top model in China brings it to 6 GB of RAM. The new Soc in the Galaxy S8 reaches 173,557 points in the current AnTuTu, in the Geekbench 4 it is enough for 2.109 in the single core and 6.456 points in the multicore. No doubt: all games and also the playful user interface do not irritate this CPU.

We come to the battery whose capacity of the Galaxy S8 is only 3,000 mAh. The proverbial “normal user” does not explode with this power cell, which is also under load, so through the day. However, if you are looking for it and watching videos or playing more challenging games, the Galaxy S8 + will have to refuel after 7 hours. The permanently installed battery is fully charged again after about 80 minutes. This is only possible with an optional charging cradle. Both the cradle and the smartphone heat up. For the absolute emergency Samsung provides in the settings a few (meaningful) energy saving options, the tickles again about 15% additional performance (at the expense of performance, display resolution and usability) from the smartphone.

12-megapixel camera in the Galaxy S8

The camera of the Galaxy S8 solves – as with the Samsung Galaxy S8 + – with 12 megapixels. And also brings the dual-pixel sensor. Such sensors are used in the Canon EOS 70D, for example. In a dual pixel sensor, each pixel is split into two photodiodes. Thus, in the case of non-optimal light conditions, a better image quality is desired. In practice this worked quite well.

Samsung Galaxy S8 +

The phase comparison autofocus keeps the sharpness in camera mode as well as in video motion. The aperture is f / 1.7 again for the Galaxy S8. Both the Selfie camera and the main camera. Samsung has also installed an optical image stabilizer.

However, I can not say that the images are so much better than the Galaxy S7. Since the Pro mode does not really help. Here I can at least the automatic lever out and self-rotate on all necessary screws (white balance, focus, etc.). The sensor clearly demonstrates its strengths with suboptimal light conditions. The fast autofokus is very helpful for occasional skips. Without a dual camera, of course, one also renounces a good bokeh effect. The lens can be achieved with a (small) lens alone not really good. This can be an Honor 8 Pro better. Videos records the camera of the Galaxy S8 with a maximum of 4K in very good sound and video quality.

Connectivity & Sound: From AKG? High-quality!

Galaxy_S8 + _11
The Datenturbo LTE is supported on the Galaxy S8 in Cat 16. This allows theoretical download rates of over 600 megabits per second. In the test these (in Münster) but seldom exceed 90 Mbps (Telekom). The reception performance was neat, subjectively better than the Apple iPhone 7. The WLAN module uses 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). The data transmission rate is very high at over 280 Mbps. Data and media are transmitted for the first time via NFC and Bluetooth 5. A connection with my Mac worked via USB-Type C (USB 3.0) and the normal Android file transfer.

The transmission and reception performance was (in the networks of the Telekom, Vodafone) on a good level and also with the call quality there was no reason for the complaint. In contrast to the Mi Mix, Samsung uses a normal auricle on the front with sufficient volume. The noise reduction was impressive.

The internal memory is 64 GB and can be expanded by a further 200 GB via microSD memory cards. Approximately 52 GB are available ex works. The back home button / fingerprint sensor responds with a tiny delay. My (up to 5) fingers were recognized from almost all angles correctly in the first attempt. However ONLY, if I have also met the sensor. What was rarely the case in the test. Alternatively or at the same time, an iris or face detection can also be used. The face is also recognized by spectacle wearers, but read out with a simple photo (not self-tested). The iris scanner has however its problems with spectacle wearers but its problems and works only with sufficient light satisfactorily. The built-in pulse meter performs its service in the usual frame.

The “Samsung Music” Samsung player is nice to look at, but must be manually installed from the Samsung store. Otherwise, Google Play is available. Performers, playlists, genres and albums as well as the cover integrated into the MP3 are displayed correctly on both players. For better sound, seven sound presets are available. If you do not like it, you can create your own creation using the “Custom” option.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 (with the included InEars from AKG) delivers a great sound with powerful bass and clear treble. An FM radio does not offer the Samsung Galaxy S8 and also no stereo sound. There is only one loudspeaker and it is on the bottom. No difference to the Galaxy S7.

Android 7.0 and the Samsung Experience

The smartphone uses as a user interface a redesigned GraceUI named GraceUI_S8_22“Samsung Experience”. In the background but still Android 7.0. All apps and icons are displayed on the numerous Homescreens as well as in the App-Drawer. Of course you can also sort them in folders. If you like, you can also use a similar EMUI experience with the Samsung. Then you do not have an app drawer. This can be activated by a wipe from bottom to top. If you wish, you can also install from the Play Store other Android launcher.

Also Game Launcher and GameTool are again on board. As the name suggests, it is primarily interesting for players. If you start a game via the Game Launcher / GameTool, you get new possibilities via a virtual trigger. This allows you to turn off notifications, turn off softkeys, take a screenshot, or record the game directly via video during the game. If you want to read a message, simply minimize the game and play it seamlessly. Ok, now I’ve also found the justification for the enormous processor power 😀

The display edges do not have the same function as the S7 Edge for the Galaxy S8. However, by using a simple wipe from the right to the left, you can access both important apps and contacts. Even “intelligent” screenshots can be triggered with it.

On the right hand side, you’ll find a special Bixby button, which can be used to start the built-in wizard. It works similar to the Google assistant, only with the difference that he is here (German language) is actually worthless and apart from the weather report hardly meaningful information offers. This also applies to the non-existent additional information for the camera application and the detection of motifs. By a third-party app you can bend the Bixby button (still). This is Samsung but with a firmware update (OTA) prevent, however, the relaunch nevertheless folds high.


Conclusion: Is it the Burner

For 649 euros it would be. But it costs with its almost 800 euros around 360 euros more than a Galaxy S7 (road price). Technically it is not worth the high surcharge. Of course, the new display on the front looks great, of course it is fast-paced. But the new 18: 9,5 format needs some adjustments for the apps and “Bixyb” as an assistant is just a gag. Without a protective cover, with just the black model would be prone to fingerprints and scratches. The “will-will” factor of my belly is great, but the mind advises me to wait. For people who do not care about money, a Galaxy S8 is probably irresistible.



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