It's finally been announced, the most anticipated phone of 2017. Available at Carphone Warehouse in the UK, here are eight cool features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 to help you decide whether or not you should buy the new flagship phone.
1. Spectacular display
Samsung says it's aiming for the perfect screen to body ratio and this time there's so much screen there's not even room for the Samsung name on the front! The result is that the Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch screen but fits the hand easily and the S8+ squeezes in a whopping 6.2in display without stretching your mitts. Part of the reason that's possible is the screen ratio is longer than usual, 18.5:9 instead of the more usual 16:9. That means that you have more screen real estate on a narrower phone.
2. Iris and finger recognition
With so much screen, there was no room for a fingerprint sensor on the front of the phone so that’s now on the back, next to the camera sensor. But the S8 has a new, improved version of the iris recognition scanner found on the Note7 handset. And it’s fast.
So you can unlock your phone just by looking at it. The fingerprint sensor is still useful, of course, and if you have the phone in your hand, your index finger finds it easily enough by touch, you don’t have to turn the phone round to locate it.
3. Rear Camera
Samsung's cameras have really come on in recent years and this one is exceptional. The rear camera is a 12MP model with a wide-open f/1.7 aperture to suck in as much light as quickly as possible, making for better shots even in low light. More than that, this camera shoots three images in very quick succession in a feature called multi-frame image processing. But where other multi-shot processes are only about improving detail levels in shadows and bright skies simultaneously (called High Dynamic Range), Samsung is also using the process to add extra sharpness to the resulting image. Blurry faces are history.
4. Front camera
The front camera - or the selfie camera as they might as well rename it - is also pretty potent on this phone. The sensor has a resolution of 8MP, more than many rivals, and an impressive f/1.7 aperture for grabbing maximum light. And unlike previous Samsung front-facers, this one has not fixed-focus but autofocus so image quality is improved.
5. Cool home button
If the display covers almost everything, and the fingerprint sensor is on the back, there’s no front home button, right? Wrong.
Where other phones that are normally sold at Carphone Warehouse have their home button (and the other Android control buttons) either below the screen or appearing on the display when you touch the screen, this has a better solution.
A special sensor sits buried inside the screen so that when you touch it, you feel a vibrating response which is so subtle it's like you're pressing a regular button. It feels good, works perfectly and is in just the right place.
6. The curves
Samsung's had curved-edged displays on its flagship phones for three years now, but this is the best yet. It's the gentle curves on the edge of the screen, matched with similar ones on the back of the phone, which help make it such a snug fit in the hand. It makes it superbly comfortable. And it doesn't hurt the look, either – the curved display really makes the Galaxy S8 and S8+ stand out from the crowd.
This is Samsung's own intelligent search system. It is what the company calls a multi-modal search, so that when you press the dedicated Bixby button you can speak your request, you don’t need a key word to start your question. You can also search by text and it uses the camera too for something called Bixby Vision which analyses what's in front of it to help you search. It’ll make calls for you when you say "Call Mother", for instance, and works natively with around 10 Samsung apps. It’ll launch first in Korea, but expect it to reach the UK quickly.
8. Mobile HDR display
This is the first mobile phone to have the Mobile HDR Premium logo approved. All you really need to know is that it’s an HDR-ready screen which makes colours truthful and vibrant. Playing video, on this lush, long screen, looks fantastic. Not least because there's so little phone furniture to distract you from the screen. It's all screen, is how it feels. You can even pin the video you're playing to just a part of the screen, so you can text while you watch, if you like.
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