Samsung has announced its new flagship Galaxy S smartphones at its latest Unpacked event. The two devices, called the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, have been the subject of plenty of leaks over the last couple of months but now their official details have been revealed, confirming many of the expectations.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Design
- Slimmer bezels on S8 and S8 Plus
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on S8 Plus
- Similar footprint despite screen increase
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both slim down the bezels surrounding their displays considerably for almost "all-screen" fronts and futuristic, lovely designs. The physical home button has been ditched on both, the fingerprint sensor has been repositioned to the rear on the right of the camera lens and both also have a dedicated side button for launching the Bixby AI system.
In terms of physical dimensions, the S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8 Plus measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and hits the scales at 173g. This means that despite the screen size increases, the S8 is smaller than the S7 edge, while the S8 Plus is quite a bit taller but almost the same width as last year's device. The S7 edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm and hits the scales at 157g.
There is IP68 waterproofing on all three devices and all offer beautiful solid, premium designs featuring a combination of metal and glass. The S7 edge has a front-mounted fingerprint sensor within the physical home button that sits below the dual-edge display, while the S8 and S8+ have pressure sensitive controls built into the bottom of their curved displays.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7 edge: Display
- S8 and S8+ have bigger displays
- All have dual-edged screens
- S8 and S8+ have higher resolution
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch AMOLED Infinity Display, while the S8 Plus has a slightly larger 6.2-inch AMOLED Infinity display. This basically means they both have a dual-edged screen like the smaller 5.5-inch S7 edge, but the corners of the display are rounded on the new devices while the S7 edge has square corners.
As we mentioned, the S8 and S8+ aren't too different in footprint to the S7 edge however. This is thanks to their 18.5:9 aspect ratios that results in a taller over wider display and therefore increase in diagonal size, compared to a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is what is featured on the S7 edge and most other smartphones.
Resolution has also increased slightly in the S8 and S8+ with the two new devices featuring Quad HD+, which translates to 2960 x 1440 pixels and a pixel density of 570ppi on the smaller model and 529ppi on the Plus model. The Galaxy S7 edge has a Quad HD resolution that delivers a 534ppi, meaning the S8 is theoretically sharper, while the S8 Plus is ever so slightly softer, though this won't be noticeable to the human eye.
Additionally, the S8 and S8+ feature Mobile HDR Premium, which has been certified by the Ultra HD Alliance. It means that the S8 and S8+ are compatible with HDR content, which is available on Netflix and Amazon Video and will likely grow in the coming months.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Camera
- All three have 12MP rear camera, f/1.7, OIS, PDAF
- S8 and S8+ have higher resolution front camera
- S8 and S8+ have multi-frame image processing and Bixby Vision
The Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and S7 edge all have a 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear camera with an aperture of f/1.7, phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilisation. The new devices have multi-frame image processing however, which is where the camera takes three photos and combines the detail to produce one better end image.
Stickers, filters and augmented reality features have also been added to the S8 and S8+, and the new models also support Bixby Vision, which is a feature that allows you to scan things, like a landmark, picture or company logo and receive information and/or shopping options.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ also see a resolution increase to 8-megapixels, again with an f/1.7 aperture, along with autofocus over fixed focus. The S7 edge's front camera has a 5-megapixel resolution, also with a f/1.7 aperture, auto HDR and fixed focus.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7 edge: Hardware
- S8 and S8+ have improved processor, all three have 4GB RAM
- S7 edge has a larger battery capacity, S8 and S8+ have USB Type-C
- All three have headphone jack and microSD
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will come in two variants, depending on region, as is the case with the S7 edge. One model will have the Exynos 8895 chip, while the other will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, both of which have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and microSD support.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have 3000mAh and 3500mAh battery capacities, respectively, both charged via USB Type-C and both supporting both fast charge and wireless charging. Samsung has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack and the two new devices also offer iris scanning in addition to the rear fingerprint sensor we mentioned earlier.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge comes in two region-dependant models, as we said above, one of which has the Exynos 8890 chip, while the other has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Both models have 4GB of RAM and both come in storage options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, all of which have microSD support.
There is a 3600mAh battery powering the S7 edge, which is charged via Micro-USB with support for fast charging and wireless charging. A 3.5mm headphone jack on board too and it has a fingerprint sensor on the front as we said, but there is no iris scanning.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs Galaxy S7 edge: Software
- Android Nougat with TouchWiz
- S8 and S8+ have couple of extra features, including Bixby
- Familiar experience across all three
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will launch on Android Nougat out-of-the-box, with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. The interface is similar to that of Nougat on the S7 but there are a few extra features, including some from the Note 7 and others including the Bixby AI system.
The new devices also offer support for connecting the device to a monitor for a desktop view of Android with a new docking station called Samsung DeX.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge launched on Android Marshmallow with the TouchWiz software, but it has now been updated to Nougat, meaning a familiar experience to the new devices, though not identical.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7 edge: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature an improved design over the S7 edge, along with a larger displays, better hardware and a few camera and software enhancements.
The Galaxy S8 costs £689, while the S8+ costs £779 however, making them more expensive than the £639 S7 edge, which is still a fantastic phone. It also has a larger battery capacity and a physical home button, which some may prefer.
The new devices are better looking and faster, but they might not necessarily be the right choice for everyone, especially those on a budget.