Galaxy S8 already has iPhone 8 beatSave
By Matthew Dunn
With a tonne of bad press around the forced global product recall of its Note 7, Samsung had to release a seriously impressive product to convince customers to purchase its S8 and S8+.
And has the S8 delivered?
Firstly, it hasn't left my house looking like the opening scene from Die Hard with a Vengeance, which is always a good start.
Exploding battery jokes aside, Samsung's latest offering is leaps and bounds ahead of its competition in terms of showing what is possible with the next-generation of smartphones.
Unfortunately, such progress means there are some kinks to iron out before the new technology becomes seamless, but this latest release is a step in the right direction.
Holy duck! These were similar to the first two words that came to mind when I unboxed my S8+ and saw the device in the flesh for the first time.
It is not often I am blown away with the design of a smartphone, given most look like all of their predecessors or other brands, but the S8+ really offered a wow factor.
People were constantly asking for a smartphone with a larger screen that was still easy to hold and Samsung appeared to finally have solved this riddle.
The smartphone's "Infinity Display" maximises the nearly bezel-less screen by using the curved glass to remove the left and right borders, with the top and bottom only including only what is needed for things like the front-facing camera and iris scanner.
In total, the phone has an impressively high screen to body ratio of 84 per cent.
As the tallest flagship phone the company has produced, the S8+ measures a whopping 6.2-inches, while the S8 has a much more humble 5.8-inch display.
Despite the S8+ having such a long display, it measures only 73.4mm wide, making it thinner than the iPhone 7 Plus and easier to operate in one hand - this coming from a man genetically cursed with little sausage fingers.
Sure, you have to slightly bounce the phone to reach all of the corners, but it's lightweight, comfortable and sits nicely in the hand. And if the idea of that sounds too much, you can easily go for the smaller S8.
When watching 16:9 content on the 6.2-inch display you will have black bars on the side of the content, however if watching cinematic content shot in 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 - think Disney's Moana - the entire display will be filled, offering marvellous content.
To help with the bezel-less display, Samsung has replaced the physical home button with virtual buttons and the branding has been moved to the rear of the phone because, honestly, there is nothing sexy about SAMSUNG staring at your face every time you look at the device.
Also located on the back of the phone is the rear camera, which has been made to sit almost flush with the screen - although this could be dangerous for those prone to dropping their device.
The fingerprint scanner also sits on the back of the phone to the left of the camera and while aesthetically pleasing, it's a little awkward for unlocking the device at times and can lead to some nasty smudges on your camera.
It also doesn't allow for the pull down for notifications offered by the Google Pixel and the Huawei Mate 9, which is a big let down in my opinion.
Thankfully there is the option for passcodes, fingerprint scanners, facial recognition and iris scanning, which can all be used to unlock the phone.
I have grown quite fond of the facial scan, only realising I wasn't wearing reading glasses when it registers my face, so I need to take my glasses off every time I want to use the feature.
Obviously, I could put my glasses on and redo it, but then I will be left with the opposite issue. Who said Clark Kent's costume wasn't fooling anyone?
Despite hearing people bitch and moan about the feature, I have found it to be pretty smooth and helpful when I have sweaty fingers on a run.
The device also comes standard with USB-C charging and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Selfie lovers rejoice, the S8 now comes with an autofocusing 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which offers a new level of sharpness for your Instagram pouts.
Sadly, the rear camera has kept the same specifications as the S7 and this seems like an odd move, especially given the huge improvements coming with phones like the forthcoming Sony XZ premium.
Despite having the same 12-megapixel rear camera, with f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilisation and dual-pixel phase-detect autofocus, the picture quality doesn't suffer.
A new chip set also allows for multi-shot image processing, which means the camera captures three frames and combines them together to form the most detailed image possible - but this is only slightly more noticeable in low light.
Although, it's a shame the phone didn't at least include the dual-lens design seen on the iPhone 7 Plus or Huawei Mate 9 to help with depth-of-field.
Let's start with the good: The Galaxy S8 features the IP68-rated water and dust resistance you've come to expect from Galaxy phones.
This means it can be in up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes.
As for the battery life, the S8 Plus has three display settings, allowing you to run the phone at either a WQHD+ (2960 x 1440), FHD+ (2220 x 1080) or HD+ (1480 x 730) resolution, with the lower tiers obviously offering more battery life.
With the default FHD+ setting, the 3,500 mAh battery allows you to expect around eight hours battery life, which is pretty standard and not all bad with wireless adaptive fast charging.
Also included on the phone is Bixby - Samsung's own personal assistant to rival Siri and Google Assistant.
With its own personalised button on the side of the phone you would hope Bixby would be amazing, but it's a little mundane at first because there is no voice recognition until they can work out how to translate our Aussie dialect - although I am happy to wait because my distinct regional Queensland bogan twang needs this to be on point.
At launch, you will be able to use Bixby to control home automation and reminders, which are pretty standard.
However, one of the coolest features is Bixby vision, which essentially allows you to scan a product to find more information - such a where to buy it and more details.
While it still has some ways to go before it's the Shazam of life, it's well on its way.
The phone also comes standard with the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, with Samsung's own skin overlayed, which is nice, clean and easy to use.
Should you buy it
Short answer: Duck yes!
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ go on sale on April 28th, for $1199 and $1349, respectively.
- This review was written by Matthew Dunn of news.com.au.