Nearly everything you have read from leaks about the Samsung Galaxy S8 is true. And that is a good thing. The two models, S8 and the larger S8+ that Samsung launched on Wednesday 29 March, have as predicted, edge-to-edge display, lack a physical home button, launches the company’s new voice assistant Bixby and a button dedicated to it on the side, and it has the dock (DeX) that enables the phone to morph into a PC.
Taken together the two models are a nice pair of hardware with the defining characteristic being the super AMOLED display on both units. The 5.8-inch S8 and 6.2-inch S8+ both have a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels to provide a pixel density of 570ppi and 529ppi respectively. The screen monopolizes around 80 percent of the phone’s front; this means, among other things, that Samsung has managed to make a really large-screen phone that does not feel big or bulky.
Interestingly, while the company dropped the big physical home button up front, it has added a whole new button on the left side, just below the volume rocker, pointing to just how important of a feature it believes its new smart assistant Bixby will be both for the S8 and Samsung’s whole ecosystem of connected devices moving forward. Like Amazon before it, the company is hoping its new proprietary home assistant will be the start of something much larger.
One of the few places the company has not pushed things is in battery capacity with 3,000 mAh in the S8 and3,500 on the 8+. The company is tossing in a new Gear VR headset/controller bundle, as well as AKG-branded ear buds for those who pre-order the phone.
One important feature that many leak reports prior to the launch missed out is that Samsung’s new flagships are the first to the market with the new version 5.0 of Bluetooth. The new wireless protocol should offer some great benefits over the latest standard, Bluetooth 4.2, which was released in December 2014. The most immediate gains will be in audio, speed, and range. Bluetooth 5.0 offers twice the speed and four times the range as Bluetooth 4.2, meaning you will be able to maintain connection up to about 240 meters away from the phone with compatible devices depending on the environment.