As we all know, Samsung Galaxy S8+ and its younger twin, S8 (Because they were born on the same date and one is big and the other one is bigger?) is literally trending everywhere because of what it has to offer and when you head over to the nearest Samsung Experience Stores to take a look at the phone, it feels magnificent and gorgeous in your hand. But is this the flagship device that we are looking for? Is the Samsung Galaxy S8+, the smartphone that’s going to change the way we look at smartphone? Let’s find out in this Full Review of the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
Note: This is the full review on the Samsung Galaxy S8+, and not the S8.
Design & Feel

Samsung literally redefined the way smartphones look. On the front, you’ll notice the curved screen. Comparing with it’s predecessor, the S8+ has a much more curved and rounded edges and there’s more screen than bezels. The fingerprint sensor has moved to the back, beside the camera and not below the camera. And personally, I love how they designed the S8+. It is a beautiful piece of art crafted with glass and metal. It also feels fine in the hand. Since the back is glass finished, it’s prone to smudges but you can wipe it off. The button placements on the sides are pretty good and it feels tactile. The feedback from the button itself is on point. So no complains there.
It doesn’t slip out of your hand, at least it didn’t when I was using it but it does feel fragile in some way. Worry not, you can always get their case, like the one I’ve been using with my S8+ which is the Clear View Standing Cover. Which has a rubberized lining on the screen which protects your display and also view content through the transparent panel that covers the screen itself, which is pretty cool.
One thing that really matters to me is the weight of the phone and how balanced it is. And this phone does that really well. I’ve said this before, I personally like phone which has some weight to it and the S8+ feel just nice and has a balanced out weight in the body which is neat.
 
Even with a really beautiful design and with no rubberized or any sort of closing for the port, the S8+ has an IP68 Rating, which makes it waterproof (1 Meter for 30 mins) and dustproof.
 
Design and Feel, 9/10
 
Invisible Home Button


Samsung mentioned that the S8 and the S8+ has an invisible home button on the front where you’ll have to press just like pressing a button. It’s more like a pressure sensitive button and yes, it works. The haptic feedback works well as you press the button. The illumination of the square icon when you turn off that display is simply beautiful and it’s functional at many situations.
Like for instance, while watching content from iFlix, YouTube or even playing games like the Need For Speed Rival, the on screen button stays hidden in order to give an uninterrupted experience and when you want to go back to home (Not your home, the S8+ home), all you have to do is press the bottom centre part and it will bring right to home. Smart move.
Display
Covfefe: Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
One of the main attractions of the Galaxy S8+ is definitely the curved display on the front called, Infinity Display. And it is definitely one of the best displays I’ve encountered on a smartphone and not to forget, it’s immersive too. It rocks a 6.2” Super AMOLED Curved QHD Display with 529 ppi (pixels per inch). It is definitely sharp and using it for gaming and watch content on it was just pleasant to the eyes. Do take note, the S8+ is scaled to 1080p by default. If you want to crank it up to QHD, you’ll have to do it manually through the settings. I tried it under 1080p, and it looked beautiful. Scaling it down to 720p, decreased the quality of the content but it was battery efficient. But when I scaled it up to QHD, I never went back to 1080p.
Especially, I loved playing games like No Limits, because instead of a 16:9 ratio, Samsung went for a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. In short, the screen is longer. And it took use of the entire aspect ratio really well and scaled it to a point where there was no missing part or segment of the app got cut. But since a screen ratio this long is new to the smartphone realm, almost most of the apps appeared in the 16:9 ratio. But that didn’t stop them from giving the best experience. They added a fit to scale toggle to apps that runs in 16:9 to fit their screen ratio. Same thing happens when watching videos, but it crops and fits the screen.
This was the only time I brought only my phone with me when I was writing for my site. Because the split screen and the even ratio made a lot more sense. It gave me plenty of room for me to get my stuff done.
It also reaches up to a thousand nits, which is pretty amazing. It means using the S8+ out under direct sunlight will not give you any problem because the screen is pretty bright. One odd thing is, the S8+ viewing angle is a bit off. When you view, it from a different angle, it tends to fade off a little.
Display, 8.5/10.
Performance
In Malaysia, we get the Samsung Exynos 8895 with 10nm architecture. Which is by far one of the most powerful processors compared with other smartphones till date. Here’s the benchmark score of the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Do take note that the Benchmark scores varies with day-to-day basis usage.

I had no troubles using the S8+ because it was just blazing fast. Gaming was just too good, that I spent playing games more on the S8+ than any other device I’ve used so far. And application like Photoshop Express and other CPU & GPU intensive application ran well. One thing that made me surprised is that the phone barely got hot. It got warm and that was it. The temperature of the phone is maintained very well. I really liked that. The phone did face some hiccup when there was so many apps running on the background but clearing it made it better. (obviously.)
Multitasking is a breeze and switching back to an app which I was using like an hour ago, brought me back where exactly I left. This is just great. The device bootup time and the reboot time was pretty fast and I was able to use my S8+ quickly right after I rebooted it.

I know 4GB RAM doesn’t sound like a huge number in 2017, but its more than enough to handle your graphics intense application.
Performance, 8.5/10.
 
Camera
On the back, we have a 12MP Dual Pixel with an aperture of f/1.7. And in terms of software, they did tweak a lot. Pictures were a lot brighter and colors were vibrant and sharp. Ever picture taken had a cooler tone instead of a warm tone. And the pictures shot during every situation is pretty impressive. Details were sharp and the f/1.7 aperture helps a lot by capturing a lot of light. It may have just one rear facing camera in 2017, but Samsung proves that with just one camera you’ll still be able to take tons of amazing pictures.
Sometimes, the camera tends to overexpose certain objects and kinda ruins it. But taking over the exposure control manually, helps me get the picture the way I want it to look like. Video recording is purely amazing because the OIS and EIS works really well making it one of the best camera I’ve used so far.
On the front, we get an upgraded 8MP camera with Auto Focus. And now taking groupfies with many people is just easy and everyone will be in focus. And the pictures looks pretty good to me. I loved the way it captures. I personally am not a fan of all these beautify modes, so I disabled it and embraced my real beauty.
 
You can check out some of the sample shots below.
Camera, 9/10.
 
Charging & Battery Life
 
Unlike the S8, the S8+ packs a bigger battery which has 3,200 mAh under the hood. It may seem like it’s not a lot but with a full charge, I can get the phone last the whole day with heavy usage and even longer under light usage.
 
First time I used it and the device went up to 14 hours, with a 7+ hours of screen on time. And it was a day with mixed usage. With gaming, taking pictures, and many more. And I did plug into the charger for a bit of a time. The second time when I brought the phone out with full charge and didn’t bother bringing my battery pack with me, gave me around 12 hours of usage and a SoT of 4 hours and 28 minutes. For the third time, it gave me 12 hours of usage (exact number is 11h 59m) and got a SoT of 4 hours and 35 minutes.
And it lasted around 4 and a half hour SoT with no battery saving mode enabled, screen resolution was scaled to QHD when I used it for the second and third time and it was pretty impressive. The one with the 7+ hours of SoT was scaled to 1080p. And yes, the resolution does play a vital role in the battery performance. You could get a longer life with 720p.
S8+ supports Fast Charging, which means you can get that phone charged from 0-100 in an hour or so, which is pretty good.
One thing I have to address over here is that, Samsung took their battery issue and issued a 8-step battery test in order to make sure that there’s no issue. It barely got hot in my hand and that’s definitely a good sign for sure.
Battery Life & Charging, A.
 
Call Quality & Connectivity
Call Quality will vary according to the Mobile Telco Network you use. I was using Celcom and TuneTalk, and the Call Quality was crystal clear. And it was better because even picking up the call in a crowded area, I was still able to hear the person from the other side and also the microphone on the S8+ picked up my voice really well and the person on the other side was able to hear me loud and clear with no problem.
The WiFi Connectivity was great and I was able to maintain High Speed data download through out the whole time. And the 4G+ on Mobile Telco Reception was pretty fast. Overall, the data connection and call quality is on point. I didn’t face any call drops or dead reception during the time of using the S8+.
The S8+ is one of the few smartphones in the market to feature the latest Bluetooth v5.0 and I was able to pair two bluetooth devices, one being my Sports In Ear Headphones and the Megaboom Speaker with no problem.
Call Quality & Connectivity, 9/10
UX & UI

Samsung decided to revamp their UI and give the S8+ with a new look and it’s totally different. Samsung Experience, previously known as TouchWiz is now a whole lot better in so many ways. One of the problems with their previous generation of TouchWiz, it was way too heavy and the performance was deteriorating in less than a year.
But the Samsung Experience on the other hand is different and has a redefined look and feel that gives the feel of using a device that’s from the future. Swiping either up or down on the home screen will open up the app drawer and you swipe on the fingerprint sensor to slide down the notification toggle, which is neat. And other applications in the phone, like the recorder, calendar and so on has a very striking yet beautiful look. There was no impact in performance. And things like the Edge toggles, always-on Display worked well.
 
There was one thing that got me disappointed with the S8+, the Always On Display. If only tapping those icons revealed what notification it is, it would have been cool. Hope they could do something about it in the upcoming update. Rest of the UI felt good.
They also have their own Samsung Store and Theme Store to customize your S8+ just the way you want it to be. One thing I’ve noticed in my S8+ is that I was able to uninstall native Samsung Apps from my phone and if that’s really something new, that’s a nice touch.
And under the Samsung Experience UI, the Galaxy S8+ runs the Latest Android N, giving you the best experience under the hood.
OS & UI, 8.5/10
 
Security Features
This time Samsung takes their Security seriously by including an Iris Scanner, which appeared in the Note7, Facial Recognition and the usual Fingerprint Scanner.
 
Starting off with the Fingerprint Scanner, which most of them find it the most awkwardly placed location. I found it fine because Left is my dominant hand and it was easier to reach. I did try unlocking with my right hand. The first few times when I tried unlocking with my right hand, I ended up touching the camera. But after few times, I actually touched the fingerprint sensor and got used to the location. Honestly, it’s not a big of a deal. And the Fingerprint sensor is fast and snappy. Unlocks the device within seconds.
Next is the Facial Recognition. This feature was introduced in Android 4.2 back in the day and what it does is that it allows you to unlock with your face. One downside with this is that, any body could unlock the phone with a picture of you, which makes it less secure. And this is where, Iris Scanner comes into rescue.
 
We saw the Iris Scanner back in the Note7 and now, we have it in the S8+. And this is by far one of the interesting biometric scanner of all. It uses Infrared to scan your eye and unlocks the device. And I had a great time unlocking with my eyes. Do take note, once you set up your Iris Scanner for the first time, it will take time for it to unlock because it learns your iris in different surrounding with different lighting. And after a few times, it will unlock lightning quick. And worry not, it also works at night. It took 3-5 seconds to unlock at my home for the first time, but few days later it unlocked within a second.
Apart from the Hardware part, we also have Samsung Knox that gives you military / enterprise grade security, making it the hardest to hack. Pretty sure this feature will be useful among people who work in enterprise and wants to keep their data secure.
Security Features, 9/10
Bixby
 
I have to talk about this because it bothered me so much when I was using the S8+. Bixby is Samsung’s Personal Assistant that’s replacing the S Voice we saw previously. When it was announced at New York during the Unpacked, it sounded like a pretty promising feature. Right after the S8 and S8+ went on sale and when I tried it for the first time, I felt the Bixby is incomplete. There are so many features that’s still missing, like the Hello Bixby voice command and so on.
And I did use the Bixby, and under the settings it only supports very little application. But despite it’s support for very little apps, I actually use few of them. Like for instance, Uber. It gave me cards with my current location and where I want to go, which is nice. But, I want to see support for more application. And right now, I have mixed feelings with Bixby.
Until the complete version of Bixby gets released, I’m just going to leave it here and I’ll do a standalone review on it once it’s out.
 
Speaker
The S8+ features a downward facing speaker and it is loud for a smartphone with IP68 rating. And you won’t miss any calls or even notifications.
Hands down, great speaker on a waterproof device. But if only it was a stereo speakers. That’d have been really great.
Speakers, 7/10
Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is definitely one of the devices I’ll recommend to anyone who wants to get a flagship grade device. Despite the hefty price tag, RM3699 (S8+), it offers value for money. And I have to say, I had the best time with the Galaxy S8+. For those who’d want to get a smaller device, you can get the S8 for RM3299.
I like how smartphones have come so far. And personally, I love a company that makes devices that defines that it’s them and after using the Samsung Galaxy S8+, I can tell that this is their best creation yet and starting off with the S8+ it’s gonna change the way we look at smartphones. I can’t wait for them to make more innovative and beautiful devices in their upcoming run.
And we at The Adventures of Vesper decided to give the S8+ our first Vesper Choice Award. (Because Editors Choice is too mainstream. That’s why Vesper’s Choice.)

Pros:
– Beautifully designed
– Sharp Display
– Performance on point
– Improved Front facing camera

Cons:
– Fragile due to the glass and metal build
– Bixby – Incomplete
– Fingerprint Sensor Location
 
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ in this review was shot using the Sony a6300.

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