The Samsung Galaxy S8 Review – Leaving Apple In The Dust!

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Page 2 : The Samsung Galaxy S8 Key Features

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S8 (Amazon | Lazada) received a nice boost to its front camera. It now pairs an 8 MP sensor with the f/1.7 lens. It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability.  its low-light capability will come in handy, as the front camera does not have flash support, not even screen flash.

Samsung maintained the same excellent 12 MP sensor from the Galaxy S7 edge, which boasts large 1.4 μm pixels and Dual Pixel autofocus technology. That doesn’t mean the sensor is capable of delivering twice as many pixels of resolution though.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S8 front camera
  • The Samsung Galaxy S8 main camera

Dual Pixel technology is actually an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

The slight camera bump in the Galaxy S7 edge is now eliminated, probably because the entire device is now 0.3 mm thicker. However, the back is not perfectly flat, because of the protective ring around the camera and fingerprint sensor. That is not a bad thing, just something to note.

 

Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

This is the European model (SM-G950F), so it does not have a hybrid SIM tray. If you want dual SIM, dual standby capability, you will need to get the South East Asian model (SM-G950FD). This gives you some flexibility – you can choose to use either a second SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time. The microSD slot supports microSD cards of up to 256 GB in size.

With the removal of the physical Home button, Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the Galaxy S8 (Amazon | Lazada). This is not unique as many smartphones have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor (e.g. Huawei Mate 9, Honor 5C). However, the Galaxy S8 fingerprint sensor is awkwardly placed next to the camera sensor, instead of the more natural position below the camera sensor.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S8 hybrid SIM
  • The Samsung Galaxy S8 fingerprint sensor

The higher position makes it harder for the user to reach (because the Galaxy S8 is a tall device). Being offset makes it harder for left-handed users to use, and makes it easy for all users to smear the main camera lens with their oily fingerprints. Obviously Samsung is aware of this problem, because the Galaxy S8 will alert you to clean the main camera lens!

Sadly, we did not like this fingerprint sensor. It is harder to use, as our video later will show, although its usability improves with practice. But the good news is – the Samsung Galaxy S8 also supports new alternative login methods like iris scanning and face recognition.

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Iris Scanner & Facial Recognition

These are new abilities for a Samsung Galaxy S series smartphone. They were first introduced in the Galaxy Note7, The iris scanner was surprisingly easy to set up and use, and so, it quickly became our favourite way to log into the Galaxy S8.

The iris scanner works best if you are not using glasses or contact lenses though, and it may not work in bright sunlight. Its accuracy may also be affected by dirt and fingerprint smudges on the iris camera and LED sensor. Finally, the iris scanner takes longer to log in than the fingerprint sensor, but the coolness factor is undeniable.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 iris scanner

The facial recognition feature is easier and faster to use because it does not require you to align your eyes with the sensor focus circles. However, it is less secure than the iris scanner or fingerprint scanner.

 

IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy S7 edge, the Samsung Galaxy S8 (Amazon | Lazada) is IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. Best of all, you don’t even have to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water! For more information how how Samsung achieved this feat, take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Galaxy S8 can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes. That means you can take it for jogs in the rain, reading in the shower or soaking in bath. Heck, you can even take it for a swim!

The Samsung Galaxy S8 IP68 rating

There are some caveats though. The IP68 rating applies to a specific set of test conditions : 15-35 °C, 86-106 kPa, 1.5 metre, 30 minutes. Even so, water may enter and damage the Galaxy S7 edge if it is exposed to “water moving with force“, like running water from a tap or waterfall, or ocean waves.

In other words, this is not a waterproof phone like the Oukitel K10000 Pro or the Kenxinda ruggerdised smartphones. It is IP68 water-resistant, so you need to be gentle with it. You can read more about this in our article – Samsung Galaxy S7 IP68 Engineering Explained.

Next Page > The Setup Process, Ergonomics, Available Memory & Storage

 

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