Samsung has made an impressive comeback after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that tarnished its reputation. The company’s latest flagship Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus went on sale less than a month ago. A Samsung insider told the Nikkei Asian Review that the Korean company had shipped more than 10 million units of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus since launch.
Galaxy S8 sells 10 million units in less than a month
The Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued last summer after hundreds of complaints about the phone catching fire. Industry experts were closely monitoring the Galaxy S8 to see whether the Note 7 debacle would affect its sales. But the new Galaxy devices, backed by an impressive design and massive marketing blitzkrieg, are flying off the shelves.
Nikkei said the S8 reached the 10 million mark faster than the Galaxy S7 did last year. Korean analysts expect the S8 and S8 Plus sales to top 50 million units by the end of this year. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge had sold nearly 48 million units last year. The S7 sales spiked after the Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued and consumers began looking for an Android alternative to the ill-fated Note 7.
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Factors driving the S8 demand
The Galaxy S8 demand was largely driven by its beautiful design and impressive performance. The phone sports an edge-to-edge Infinity display with no physical home button. The device instead has onscreen buttons. Traditionally, it’s Apple that sets a new trend in smartphone design, but this year Samsung is setting the trend and Apple is rumored to follow suit.
The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB RAM and 64GB of built-in storage that you can expand up to 256GB using a microSD card slot. It has a 12-megapixel main camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and an 8MP front shooter. For security, Samsung has added an iris scanner, fingerprint sensor, and facial recognition. The only drawback of the S8 is the positioning of the fingerprint scanner, which sits next to the rear camera.
The discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 also helped boost the Galaxy S8 demand. While some Note 7 customers purchased the Galaxy S7 or switched to iPhone, many others chose to wait for the next Galaxy flagship. Samsung has a loyal fan base. In fact, a survey by Reuters after the Note 7 fiasco showed that a whopping 91% Samsung users would buy a new Samsung smartphone.
Some of the credit also goes to Samsung’s marketing team that went to great lengths to convince consumers that the Galaxy S8 would be one of the safest smartphones. The Korean electronics giant had implemented an eight-point battery safety check to ensure that the S8 batteries don’t explode like Note 7. Notably, a teardown by iFixit revealed last month that the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus has the same battery as the Note 7.
Galaxy S8 to get Daydream VR support this summer
On Wednesday, Google’s head of virtual reality Clay Bavor announced at the I/O conference that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus would gain Daydream VR support this summer. The Daydream VR platform was announced last year, but only a handful of devices such as Google Pixel supported it. Daydream requires a device to be powerful enough to serve as a display and the computing power behind the virtual reality experience.
Clay Bavor said support for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus would be rolled out via an over the air software update later this summer. Samsung has decided to support Daydream despite having its own Gear VR platform. The search engine giant had launched Daydream to compete against Samsung’s Gear VR, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR.
Google said there would be at least 11 devices supporting Daydream by the end of this year. LG’s upcoming flagship, likely to be called V30, will also be Daydream compatible. LG V30, due early this fall, is said to sport an AMOLED display. Google has so far certified only OLED devices for Daydream because LCD displays have certain limitations.
Galaxy S8 camera not as good as Google Pixel
Meanwhile, camera experts at DxOMark have given the Galaxy S8 a score of 88/100 for camera performance. That score puts the S8 right behind the Google Pixel and HTC U11, and on par with the last year’s Galaxy S7 Edge. DxOMark praised the S8’s accurate white balance, autofocus, and noise reduction. However, they pointed out that the images taken by S8 lose sharpness between the center and the edges, which affects image quality.
The Galaxy S8 camera performs well in low-light and extreme low-light conditions. You’ll get excellent low-light images, but only if the subject and camera are still. Even a tiny movement could render the image unusable.