After what seems like months of rampant speculation, leaks, and even a few pre-release videos, Samsung on Wednesday morning officially took the wraps off of its highly-anticipated Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones, ushering in the South Korean tech-giant’s first major flagship release since its doomed Galaxy Note 7 went up in flames last summer.
As we’ve been seeing and hearing from the rumor mill, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ boast a litany of high-end specifications and the differences between them, although they’re somewhat region specific, have more to do with their battery packs and screen size, respectively. Also, fret not about the fiery batteries, as Samsung has reportedly implemented a thorough 8-step battery inspection and certification protocol to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.
While the standard Galaxy S8 features an edge-to-edge, 5.8-inch curved AMOLED panel boasting a whopping 2,960 x 1,440 resolution (571 pixels per inch), the Galaxy S8+ ups the ante just a bit to a massive 6.2-inch AMOLED display (529 ppi) boasting the same resolution and curvature. In an unorthodox move for Samsung, however, both devices feature a somewhat quirky, extra-long aspect ratio of 18.5:9 — similar to LG’s new G6. The S8 duo also differs in their battery capacities, with the S8 boasting a 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery pack, and the S8+ boasting a proportionately larger 3,500 mAh pack.
The S8 duo also boasts a unique new design with truly limited bezels on the top and bottom of the handset — with no bezels, whatsoever, on either side. Accordingly, the traditional fingerprint sensor-enabled home button of Galaxy devices past has been repositioned to the rear of the device, next to the camera module, while Samsung has incorporated a dedicated side button which will exclusively summon Bixby — the company’s powerful new voice-assistant, who boasts a laundry list of advanced features and capabilities. Otherwise, the impressive specification set is identical across both devices.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Key Features
- In various markets, including the U.S., the S8 duo will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 octa-core ‘Kyro’ CPU.
- Each device includes 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage (up to 256 GB UFS cards) via microSD.
- The international variants, on the other hand, will ship with Samsungs’s home-brewed Exynos 8895 octa-core ‘Mongoose’ CPU, up the ante to 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage.
- Both devices will feature the same 12 MP (f/1.7 aperture) rear ‘dual-pixel’ cameras as the Galaxy S7 family, as well as upgraded 8 MP selfie cameras around front.
- While the rear camera modules might not be different from the company’s S7 devices, Samsung has incorporated a bevy of software enhancements that bring their functionality and capabilities to a whole new level. For instance, the company has baked in what it’s referring to as ‘Multiframe Processing’, which appears will work somewhat akin to Google’s HDR+ feature, though details are scant at this point.
- They’ll also ship with a slate of advanced, next-gen connectivity options, including LTE-A compatibility, USB Type-C (v3.1) connectivity, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Galileo, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.0 technologies.
The S8 and S8+ will both feature a ‘glass sandwich’ design, similar to the Galaxy Note 7, featuring front and back Gorilla Glass 5 panels sandwiched around a polished aluminum alloy frame; and they’ll be offered in either Arctic Silver, Orchid Grey, Black Sky, Maple Gold, or Coral Blue color schemes. The duo will also feature IP68 dust- and water-proof resistance, Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging technology, WPC and PMA-based wireless charging, and a front-mounted Iris scanner for advanced security.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering: yes, the Galaxy S8 duo will also ship with a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack — and will even come with a gratis pair of uber-premium AKG headphones for your pleasure.
The S8 and S8+ will go on sale in the U.S. beginning on April 21st, in European markets beginning on April 28th, and will cost $750 or $850 for the S8 or S8+, respectively.