Looking back at 2016, the S7 Edge was hands down one of the best smartphones, with one of the best designs, which it still is to this date. Things have greatly changed with the launch of the S8 and S8 Plus now. With the introduction of the two new devices, Samsung officially came back swinging after their Note 7 demise, with what might be the best design for 2017. So is this new phone good enough to have users upgrade from 2016’s S7 or S7Edge? Here, I will list some features that give the “edge” to the new devices, as well as other features and specifications that might keep away from ever considering upgrading to the new flagship.
What can be instantly noticed is the extremely thin bezels on the S8 Plus, showing off its gorgeous display and 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The difference if display sizes and resolutions can be seen below:
|S8 and S8 Plus||S7 and S7 Edge|
5.8 and 6.2 inches
5.1 and 5.5 inches
|Resolution||1440 x 2960 (570 and 529 PPI)||
1440 x 2560 (577 and 534 PPI)
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the first phones to date to be released with Bluetooth 5.0. This would allow the device to connect to two different headphones or speakers, and to control the volumes separately.
DeX (Desktop Experience)
A feature that is really cool, but it isn’t new to the market. Microsoft first introduced Continuum, which was available on a number of devices such as HP Elite x3, Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. DeX is a “productivity” tool that allows the user to power a desktop experience from their Galaxy S8 smartphone. This is done by plugging the phone into a dock which is connected to an external monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. As I said, a real cool feature showing how powerful the new phones really are, but is there any real use for it?
Front Facing Camera
The front facing camera of the S8 and S8 Plus has been upgraded to 8 MP with autofocus. This would definitely result in better selfies and videos, than the 5 MP front facing camera on the S7 and S7 Edge.
The rear camera hasn’t seen any improvement on that of the S7 Edge. This might be because Samsung didn’t see the need for a better camera, or maybe they’re saving the improved, perhaps dual camera setup for the Note 8. Therefore, in theory, the camera doesn’t provide any reason to upgrade. But according to Sammobile, who were able to test the camera at an Ed Shereen concert, the S8 definitely takes better photos than its predecessors the S7 and S7 Edge.
The IRIS scanner was first introduced with the Note 7, the feature got a lot of good feedback right before that fiery ending. An added security feature that isn’t available on the S7 and S7 Edge. On the other hand, the facial recognition security feature is useless. People were able to unlock the device with an image of themselves, rather than using their actual face (Link to watch the video).
For me, the S7 is the clear winner when it comes to the fingerprint scanner. The placement of the fingerprint scanner at the rear isn’t something new or bad, but placing it right beside the camera is. This could make it more difficult for users to reach the scanner, or even get them to just tap on the camera by mistake.
There is no difference in the battery capacity between the S8 and the S7, but the battery of the S8 Plus is slightly smaller than that of the S7 Edge. The S8 Plus packs a 3500 mAh, in comparison to the 3600 mAh battery of the S7 Edge. With a bigger display and additional features, the new smaller battery is a good reason to worry.
So is the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus worth the upgrade? I don’t think so. The new phones are very capable, but I don’t think they would be reason enough to dump the S7 or S7 Edge and purchase a new device. On the other hand, when comparing the new devices to the S6 and S6 Edge, it could be the right time to upgrade.