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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are finally available, bringing 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch smartphones to the flagship party

The two devices have plenty of great specs and features on offer but how do they compare? Here is the difference between the Galaxy S8 and the S8+, to help you choose which to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Design

  • Same design and colour options
  • S8+ is the larger, heavier device
  • Slim bezels, no home button and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature an identical design, though as you'd expect from the names, the Plus is the larger version. The S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8+ measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and hits the scales at 173g.

Both devices continue with the metal and glass sandwich design and both have a dual-edge "Infinity" display, rather than one being flat and one being curved as was the case with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

There are very slim bezels at the top and bottom of the displays on both devices, no physical home button on the front of either and both have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor to the right of the camera lens. They are also both IP68 waterproof and they both offer USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The only real decision here is how big you want your phone to be.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Display

  • S8 has 5.8-inch display, S8+ has 6.2-inch, both Quad HD+ resolutions
  • Both 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Both AMOLED Infinity Displays with Mobile HDR Premium

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch display, while the S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen, meaning a 0.4-inch difference between the two devices. This physical size variation is almost the only difference. 

Both devices have an AMOLED Infinity Display meaning they are both curved and both have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 compared to the standard 16:9, meaning they appear taller than a conventional phone. The only difference in the real world is that the increased size of the S8+ gives you a more engrossing experience when watching video or movies.

Resolution is the same for both at 2960 x 1440 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 570ppi for the Galaxy S8 and 529ppi for the Galaxy S8+. It means both will offer super sharp detail but the Galaxy S8 has the slight edge in terms of numbers thanks to it being a little smaller allowing for a few more pixels to be packed in per inch.

Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have Mobile HDR Premium and they are both certified by the Ultra HD Alliance for the technology. Essentially, it means both these devices are ready for HDR compatible content, which can be found on Netflix and Amazon Video.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Camera

  • 12MP Duo Pixel rear camera on both S8 and S8+
  • 8MP front-facing camera with autofocus on both
  • Bixby Vision on both

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ both have the same 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear snapper as their predecessors, featuring an f/1.7 aperture and OIS, while the front-facing camera resolution has been bumped up on both devices to 8-megapixels and autofocus has also been added.

Augmented reality, filters and stickers have all been added to the new devices too and both models integrate Bixby Vision, which is a visual search feature that uses the camera to scan and return information.

Samsung is also using multi-frame image processing on the two new devices, whereby the camera takes three pictures in order to create one better and more detailed image. Ultimately, the S8 and S8 Plus have the same camera capabilities as each other, unlike the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it's a fantastic camera too.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Hardware

  • Both have Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm SD835 chipsets
  • 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD on both
  • S8+ has larger battery capacity

Like their cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have the same hardware capabilities, except in terms of the battery capacity. The devices will likely feature either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or the Exynos Series 8895 chip, depending on the region, and both will offer 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal store and microSD support.

Aside from the display size, battery capacity is the other differentiating factor between the S8 and S8+, with the smaller model coming with a 3000mAh capacity, and the larger with a 3500mAh cell. That means the bigger phone last longer, which isn't surprising. If you're a power user, the larger device will cope better.

As we mentioned previously however, both have USB Type-C and they both offer support for both fast charging and wireless charging.

There is iris scanning capabilities on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and both have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device. It's also possible to use the pressure sensitive home button built into the bottom of both displays.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Software

  • Android Nougat with TouchWiz on both S8 and S8+
  • Bixby voice assistant on both
  • Both compatible with Samsung DeX

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ both launch on Android Nougat with TouchWiz on top so the software experience is be identical. It's similar to the Nougat experience on the Galaxy S7 but it adds a few extra features, including some from the Note 7.

One of the new features is Bixby, Samsung's AI system that will be available on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+, naturally, but it won't launch in all countries straight away. There is a dedicated button on the left side of both devices that will launch Bixby however and rather than just a rival to Google Assistant, Bixby hopes to take things that little bit further.

Both devices will also be compatible with Samsung DeX, which allows the handsets to connect to a monitor for a desktop view of the devices using a special docking station.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are almost identical. They offer the same beautiful design, aside from the physical size, and they have the same camera capabilities and software experience. 

The Galaxy S8 is the smaller and more manageable of the two for those with slightly smaller hands, but both can be operated one-handed. The Galaxy S8 has the slightly sharper display, though you aren't likely to notice with the human eye, while the S8+ has the larger battery capacity and will last longer.

The S8+ is the more expensive of the two by £90 at £779 compared to £689, but you do get that slightly larger display and a bigger battery. The decision will ultimately come down to budget and whether you are after a slightly bigger device.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.