Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus officially announced

After tons of leaks and speculation, the Galaxy S8 is finally here. Samsung took the wraps off its newest flagship at the swanky Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Over the past few years Samsung has put a much larger focus on smartphone design and software. Thinking back of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both of Samsung’s 2015 flagships offered a premium design and impressive feature.

In 2016, things changed a lot. Samsung made improvements in the design and software.  But towards the end of the year, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 to much fanfare, though the celebration was incredibly short lived. The company was forced to recall all of its Note 7 devices due to overheating batteries resulting in what’s widely considered to be the most botched smartphone launch of all time.

The Galaxy S8 is a stunner phone and stands out from the rest. It’s a beautiful combination of glass, metal and an absolutely massive screen in a body that’s much smaller than you might expect.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus design

Ever since the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, Samsung has made it a point to offer consumers two different variants of its flagship smartphones, one with a curved display and one without. Last year’s S7 and S7 Edge were no different but this year both variants have curved displays.

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Both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature curved edges on the left and right sides of the displays. These curves are much more subdued compared to the curvature found on the S7 Edge, and are also complemented by curves on the back of the handset. Samsung says both handsets provide a “natural fit in one hand”, and we’d have to agree.

Due to the curved displays there is barely any amount of bezel on the left and right sides of the device. The top and bottom bezels have also been shrunk down quite a bit this time.

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On the bottom of the display there is an on-screen return and recent apps keys which flank the home button that sits underneath the display. When the screen is on these on-screen navigation buttons will work just like they do on any other Android phone. They disappear when you’re watching videos or playing games. When the screen is off the home button will reappear giving users an easy way to wake the phone’s screen. If you don’t see a home button, you can long press on the spot to go back to your home screen.

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The S8 and S8 Plus feature a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port and a microphone. The right side of the phone has a power button while the left side has a volume rocker and a physical Bixby key.

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It features a single camera sensor at the top of the device with the heart rate sensor sitting to the left. There is a fingerprint sensor at the right; an odd location but one will get used to it in no time.

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In terms of color options, the S8 and S8 Plus will come in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray and Arctic Silver. Samsung also confirmed a Coral Blue color for the handsets.

Samsung has included fast charging, Qi and PMA wireless charging support with these phones. While not an incredibly popular feature anymore, Samsung continues to include wireless charging in its devices.

The S8 and S8 Plus sport an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. This means both phones will be able to withstand being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

The S8 and S8 Plus have a pretty decent upgrade in the camera department. They feature 12 MP Dual Pixel main sensors with an f/1.7 aperture while the front-facing sensors are seeing an upgrade to 8 MP.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus specifications

Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S8+
Display 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
2960 x 1440 resolution
570 ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
2960 x 1440 resolution
529 ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
Processor 64-bit octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 10 nm process (depending on region)

64-bit octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process (depending on region)

RAM 4 GB
LPDDR4
4 GB
LPDDR4
Storage 64 GB
USF 2.1
64 GB
USF 2.1
MicroSD Yes, up to 256 GB Yes, up to 256 GB
Cameras Rear: 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS

Front: 8 MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture

Rear: 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS

Front: 8 MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture

Battery 3,000 mAh
Fast charging
3,500 mAh
Fast charging
Wireless charging Yes, Qi and PMA Yes, Qi and PMA
Water resistance IP68 dust and water resistance IP68 dust and water resistance
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
ANT+
USB Type-C
3.5 mm headphone jack
NFC
Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
ANT+
USB Type-C
3.5 mm headphone jack
NFC
Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
SIM Nano SIM Nano SIM
Software Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Dimensions and weight 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm
155 g
159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
173 g

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are slated for a global release on Friday, April 21. Samsung is taking pre-orders for both devices starting Thursday, March 30 in the U.S., with most carriers offering the Galaxy S8 for $750 and the Galaxy S8 Plus for $850.

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