Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S generation, and as was widely anticipated there are two devices in this range. The standard Galaxy S8 will be accompanied by a Galaxy S8 Plus phablet, although the smaller sized device could now be legitimately described as a phablet as well. Both will undoubtedly be superb phones, and both are slimmer than any previous Galaxy S release. But how do the two devices compare, and which Galaxy S8 release should you purchase?
The first thing to say about the Galaxy S8 generation is that the smartphones released by Samsung this time round feature smaller differences than previous generations. While Samsung ensured that there was a clear demarcation between the two smartphones released in this series in 2016, this does not necessarily seem to be the case this time round.
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The most obvious manifestation of this is the fact that there is no flatscreen Galaxy S8 model. It is perhaps somewhat surprising how popular the curved display has become in mobile technology, although Samsung has experienced significant success with this design feature in its television manufacturing.
The Galaxy S generation essentially consists of two large AMOLED panels covered by curved glass and surrounded by metal. There is no significant design distinction between the two devices, although naturally the Galaxy S8 Plus features the larger display. Whether the extra 0.4 inches really counts is debatable, but certainly audiophiles will probably wish to purchase the larger device.
The battery included in the Galaxy S8 Plus is effectively one-sixth larger than the smaller Galaxy S8, meaning that the lifecycle of the phablet should be longer. Of course, one must take into consideration the larger display in the device, which will have some impact on battery life. But the difference between the two screen sizes is rather minimal, meaning that the Galaxy S8 Plus will definitely last longer on a single charge than the Galaxy S8.
The Galaxy S8 Plus is 10.6mm taller and 5.3mm wider than the Galaxy S8, although the two devices possess exactly the same depth. So the S8 Plus is naturally the larger of the two devices, and this could impact on purchasing decisions. Some consumers undoubtedly prefer a more compact design, while others will want the largest device available. What should be stated is that the differences in size here are relatively minimal, and shouldn’t make a massive difference to buyers.
Similarly, as one would naturally expect, the larger Galaxy S8 Plus is somewhat heavier than the Galaxy S8. It weight 18g more at 178g, effectively being around 10 per cent heftier. It will certainly be very difficult to feel any real difference between the two devices, though, and it is hard to believe that sales of the bulkier Galaxy S8 Plus will be seriously affected.
Before going any further, it is important to note that the Galaxy S8 is partly defined by its unusual aspect ratio. Both of the models released this year feature an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, meaning that they are taller than other similar handsets. It has been noted as well that the weight distribution of the phones is peculiar. This change has been made in order to ensure that the displays included in the Galaxy S8 can feature a larger surface area without needing to be widened.
Why buy the Galaxy S8 Plus?
Before purchasing the Galaxy S8 Plus, it should be borne in mind that the smartphone is somewhat unwieldy in its tall design, making the fingerprint sensor occasionally uncomfortable to access. In exchange for this minor niggle, purchasers of the Galaxy S8 Plus receive a smartphone with an outstanding screen that is still relatively compact compared to other devices with similar sized displays.
It will be a slight disappointment to buyers of this device that any 16:9 media will require bars on the sides of content in order to play back, or at the very least be cropped to fit the aspect ratio. But there are few smartphones on the market currently that offer the level of screen-to-body efficiency delivered by the Galaxy S8 Plus. This phone almost delivers the screen size of a small tablet in what is a moderately-sized phablet. All in all, this is a pretty strong recommendation, and will definitely attract those who wish to watch a lot of media.
The Galaxy S8 Plus also features a larger battery, with the 3,500mAh cell obviously resulting in a longer lifecycle on a single charge. It could be argued that this makes the phablet a better productivity device, while it is certainly more convenient in terms of charging.
However, a black mark against the Galaxy S8 Plus is obviously the $100 higher price tag. It could be argued that in the previous generation the larger device justified the higher price, but considering the relatively minimal differences between the two handsets this time round, perhaps Samsung is being a little fanciful in requesting an extra $100 for the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Those looking for value for money may go for the Galaxy S8, while those seeking the optimum Galaxy S8 experience will choose the Galaxy S8 Plus.
Why buy the Galaxy S8?
In 2017, there is no doubt that the smartphone in the Galaxy S range delivers the better value. While some will be attracted to the premium model just because they have to purchase the optimum device, there are several advantages of the Galaxy S8 aside from the price tag.
The smartphone is a more compact device than the S8 Plus that is easier to operate with one hand. Additionally, the fingerprint sensor is easier to access in the Galaxy S8 Plus, and the device still delivers a 5.8-inch display, despite being easy to handle. While both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are excellent devices, the majority of users would be advised to opt for the Galaxy S8 this time round.