10 Takeaways From My Early Use of Samsung’s Galaxy S8

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10 Takeaways From My Early Use of Samsung’s Galaxy S8

As a longtime iPhone owner, I didn’t know what to expect when my new Samsung Galaxy S8+ arrived at my doorstep. I’m a longtime user of Apple products and have come to rely on the company’s hardware and software. Still, I found the Galaxy S8+’s appeal strong and its slate of features attractive. So, I preordered the device and it arrived days before its official April 21 launch date. Since then, I’ve been using the Galaxy S8+ and have been impressed. The handset’s design is outstanding, its screen is top-notch and battery life easily tops my iPhone’s. But there are still some annoyances and flaws I can’t quite get over. Thus, I’m not sure it’s a good value for everyone. Read on to learn about my good and bad experiences with the Samsung’s Galaxy S8.

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It Has a Design Like No Other

The Galaxy S8’s design is outstanding, with gentle curves on the screen and rounded corners. My black version has a beautiful glossy back plate and no apparent seam between the face and rear. Plus, Samsung combined a big screen with smaller width, making it easy to use the device with one hand.

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The Beautiful Screen

The Galaxy S8+ comes with a 6.2-inch screen and 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It is curved on both sides, offering a bit more functionality than the standard flat screen of an iPhone. The display delivers vibrant color, beautiful visuals and impressive detail.

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Bixby Is Neat

The lack of voice command support in Bixby is a disappointment, but not a deal breaker for me. When I aim my camera at a water bottle, Bixby helps me find it and order it on Amazon. And if I want to learn more about a bottle of wine, Bixby schools me. It’s not perfect—there are cases when it didn’t work—but in general, Bixby is an effective virtual personal assistant.

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The Software Is Quite Good

Samsung has been criticized in the past for offering Android skins that aren’t very user-friendly, but that’s not the case this year. Stock Android is not used in the Galaxy S8, but the software is still responsive, well-designed and easy to maneuver.

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What’s With All the Bloatware?

While the operating system works well, I was disappointed by the amount of bloatware bundled with Samsung’s handset. As soon as it booted up, I was overrun with unwanted apps from both Samsung and my carrier AT&T, some of which couldn’t be removed. It’s an annoyance Samsung needs to address.

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Invest in a Case

The Galaxy S8 might have a nice design, but it’s fragile. The device is made of glass and, as several recent YouTube videos show, a drop from 6 feet could break the device. So I’m investing in a case to protect my investment, as the Galaxy S8 isn’t as hardened as it needs to be.

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Battery Life Is Superb

I haven’t figured out how long my Galaxy S8+ will last on a single charge, but it holds out at least an hour longer than my iPhone 7 Plus. I’ve used the handset heavily all day and still have battery life the next morning. That and wireless charging make the Galaxy S8’s battery a nice upgrade.

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The Camera Is Quite Good

Both photos and video recordings taken with the Samsung Galaxy S8 have outstanding resolution and visual appeal. The camera has built-in Snapchat-like augmented-reality features and a seemingly infinite number of settings. All in all, the camera is a fine option for most.

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Performance Is Outstanding

Samsung made a big deal about the Galaxy S8 and S8+ using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Now I understand why: The processor is exceedingly powerful and doesn’t suffer any slowdown when running resource-intensive apps. I compared app performance in the Galaxy S8+ with the iPhone 7 Plus, and Samsung won hands down.

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The Price Is Still Steep

The Galaxy S8+ is one of the better smartphones I’ve ever used. It has an outstanding design and impressive performance, and can handle even the most demanding apps. But at $850, it’s pricey. Most customers likely will get the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and save $100. Let’s hope next year Samsung brings prices down.

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