Samsung is hoping to convince consumers to upgrade from the Galaxy S7 to its new Galaxy S8 flagship. But how does the new device in this smartphone range compare to its cousin, and what do you get for the extra investment? Here is a rundown of the specs of the two devices.
Size and weight
Firstly, the new Galaxy S8 is slightly larger than its predecessor, being approximately 6mm longer (148.9mm to 142.4mm). Of course, this is barely conceivable at all to the human eye, and other more obvious physical changes will grab far more attention.
The first of these is the new display included in the Galaxy S8, which features a wraparound design resulting in its severely slimmed down bezels. This means that it is possible for Samsung to increase the size of the screen in the Galaxy S8, while retaining almost the same overall device size.
Thus, the Galaxy S8 benefits from a 5.8-inch display, compared to the 5.1-inch screen included in the Galaxy S7. Furthermore, Samsung has improved the resolution of the Galaxy S8, bumping it up to 1,440 x 2,960 pixels, although the pixel density of the two devices remains almost identical.
Both of these devices feature octa-core processors, but the Galaxy S8 is clocked at a higher speed. The Galaxy S7 features 4 x 2.3 GHz Mongoose and 4 x 1.6 GHz Cortex cores, while the Galaxy S8 architecture is built on a processor featuring 4 x 2.35 GHz Kryo & 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo cores.
Samsung decided against increasing the quantity of memory included in the Galaxy S8, and thus the 4GB from the Galaxy S7 is retained in this next generation device.
The maximum amount of storage available to Galaxy S range consumers remains 64GB. Samsung has also abandoned the 32GB version of the Galaxy S series, which featured in the Galaxy S7 generation. Galaxy S8 consumers only have a singular model featuring 64GB of storage available.
However, this can be boosted with micro SD, providing both flexibility and customization to Galaxy S8 owners. Micro SD was also previously included in the Galaxy S7 range.
Samsung has not made massive improvements to the rear camera included in the S8, and this is immediately obvious from the specifications of the snapper. Both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 feature a 12-megapixel camera, with precisely the same aperture.
But Samsung has included a couple of new innovations that enable consumers to capture superior photographs. Firstly, new image chips have been fitted in the device, which help provide superior photographic capabilities.
Galaxy S7 vs. Galaxy S8 Specs Sheet
Secondly, and more importantly, the Galaxy S8 has a similar functionality to the Google Pixel’s HDR+ mode, enabling the smartphone to take multiple pictures rapidly, combining the best attributes of these images into one final picture. This is particularly useful in low-light shooting conditions, and certainly gives the Galaxy S8 an edge over the Galaxy S7, albeit not a major one.
Finally, the 360-degree option included in the Galaxy S8 camera is particularly useful for virtual reality functionality, and Samsung has strongly pushed this aspect of the smartphone.
The front camera is another area where Samsung has chosen to significantly upgrade the Galaxy S8, with a more powerful 8-megapixel unit included in the new flagship. This compares favorably with the 5-megapixel snapper that was part of the Galaxy S7 release. Selfies are becoming more important with the inexorable rise of social media, and clearly Samsung wants to make the Galaxy S8 as compatible with this part of modern life as possible.
Samsung has retained precisely the same battery used in the Galaxy S7 for the S8, deeming the power-saving functionality in Android satisfactory to deliver adequate lifecycle. Thus, the 3,000 mAh unit is still present in the new generation.
The Galaxy S8 features a superior USB system, with the introduction of USB Type-C. This reversible technology is significantly more flexible than the standard USB included in the Galaxy S7, and is a welcome addition to the Galaxy S range.
One of the major new introductions to the Galaxy S series with the Galaxy S8 is an iris scanner to help improve security. This was not present in the Galaxy S7 generation, and can be deemed a significant selling point of the new device.
The new Samsung desktop experience, or Samsung DeX as the Korean company has dubbed it, enables the smartphone to turn into a desktop computing environment. Samsung DeX enables the Galaxy S8 to be docked and effectively become a desktop PC. This means that it is possible to set the Galaxy S8 up as a workstation, with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and connect it to a monitor via HDMI.
This is a brand new feature in the S8, and was not present in the previous Galaxy S7 generation.
Pricing of mobile devices is always somewhat contentious when the new generation hits the stores, as numerous retailers will slash the price of the previous device in the series. So it is difficult to give a precise price tag for the Galaxy S7, but one can be purchased for around $470 on Amazon.com. This is a significant saving over the new Galaxy S8, even considering the new features included in the smartphone, with the brand spanking new device retailing at $720. However, shopping around for a new Galaxy S8 unit may result in some bargain buys.
The Galaxy S8 will naturally appeal to Samsung completists who crave the snazziest and most up-to-date version of the range in their hands. There are significant innovations included in this next generation mobile which do make its purchase worthwhile. However, with many retailers slashing the price of the Galaxy S7, it must be said that the well-received predecessor does represent outstanding value for money for those who don’t mind sacrificing some of the new innovations.