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Samsung Galaxy S8 Launches April 21st for $720+ [Hands-on]

The leaks were pretty spot on, and the phone does not disappoint.

The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S8 has landed, and it’s everything the leaks made us hope it would be. To that effect, Samsung has thrown out the Edge moniker, but they’ve brought over the Edge’s beautiful curved display to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. To that effect, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is sporting a beautiful infinity display with curved edges that takes full advantage of your phone’s display real estate. So much so that the phone has the biggest display for a phone of its size. Specifically, the S8 packs in a 5.8” display and the S8+ packs in a whopping 6.2” display, yet the S8+ itself is similar in size to the iPhone 7 Plus that has a 5.5” display!

The Galaxy S8+ side by side with the iPhone 7 Plus

To make the infinity display possible, Samsung has developed a neat “invisible” home button that’s hidden beneath the infinity display yet offers a similar kind of tactile pressure to what you’d get from a physical button. And when it comes to vibrancy, the infinity display is no slouch either. So much so that the phone is the first mobile device to earn a mobile HDR certification from the HD alliance. That means it’s ready to stream HDR content in all its brilliance.

Given the S7’s superior camera performance, we have high hopes for the camera on the S8. This time around, Samsung is emphasizing that even the front facing camera is going to be really good thanks to its 8MP F1.7 sensor with smart auto focus. The rear facing camera on the other hand is a 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel camera that promises great low-light, zoom, and photos that won’t blur.

The S8 and S8+

The Galaxy S8 is also IP68 certified, which means it’s ready to go swimming with you. Under the hood the phone is powered by a brand new more powerful and energy efficient 10nm processor, specifically it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and it promises better performance and better battery life than the S7. Battery life should be respectable thanks to the S8’s 3,000 mAh’s and S8+’s 3,500 mAh batteries.

Think opening a lock screen with your fingerprint is cool? Well you can now instantly open the S8 using your eyes courtesy of the phone’s iris scanner! In addition to the iris scanner, the phone can unlock itself using facial recognition.

It’s still a fingerprint magnet

But perhaps the new feature that surprised us the most was that they have brought Samsung Knox to the S8. Samsung Knox allows you to connect your S8 to a full size monitor and keyboard, essentially transforming the phone into a mini PC with a real desktop experience that’s optimized for a desktop set up. We’ve experienced Samsung Knox on some of Samsung’s tablets, and we’ve also seen Microsoft offer a similar feature with their most recent phones running Windows, but it might be Samsung Knox on the S8 that really takes off and becomes popular to use. So folks might really be able to ditch their laptops, at least for doing light work.

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is quite frankly stunning. Holding it in your hand, you can really grasp what a premium phone it is. It’s still a fingerprint magnet, so you’ll need keep a screen wipe handy, but it’s a beautiful fingerprint magnet of a phone. And as usual, Samsung’s display quality wipes the floor with the competition when it comes to color vibrancy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get to know Bixby, but Bixby’s ability to contextually jump between touch and voice interaction on your phone, makes it seem like a very promising competitor to the likes Siri.

The Samsung galaxy S8 and S8+ is going to be available in 5 colors. The colors include: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 goes on sale on April 21st. Pricing for the S8 begins at $720 (Verizon)- $750 (T-Mobile, AT&T), the S8+ begins at $840 (Verizon) $850 (T-Mobile, AT&T) and pre-orders begin March 30th. Installment pricing begins at $30 a month for 24 months. Those who preorder with AT&T or T-Mobile will get a free Gear VR with Controller and Oculus content pack.

Next page… the official accessories of the Samsung Galaxy S8

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