Is this the best smartphone your money can buy? We answer this question after 30 days with the S8.

It’s easy to get swayed with first impressions, especially when a smartphone looks this good. Which is why we waited for 30 days to deliver our verdict on Samsung’s 2017 flagship. Here are 5 reasons why we think the S8 totally deserves your attention:

It’s probably the best smartphone camera: we took the S8 to different corners of Europe. From London to Edinburgh to Budapest and Berlin and tested it in lowlight, indoor and sunlight. The results (especially in low light) reinforced the S8’s supremacy in the Camera department. Agreed, the 12MP primary cam is not a big step up from last year’s S7 and yet it seriously kicks butt. The Selfie cam gets a slight bump up going from 5MP (on the S7) to 8MP.

Parliament building Budapest. Shot in lowlight

It’s all screen: with an 83.6% screen to body ratio, S8 takes the smartphone display to new territory. The S8 features a vibrant 5.8-inch (Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2960 pixels) display that packs 570 Pixels per inch (PPI) and stretches way beyond your imagination. The physical home button makes way for a pressure-sensitive key at the bottom of the screen. This edge to edge display is clearly the device’s calling card. However it’s tough to find a tempered glass ‘screen guard’. We know it’s early days but we do hope third party accessory manufacturers can fix this soon.

It’s a beast under the hood: the India edition is powered by an Exynos (octa-core processor) and 4GB of RAM. We like the inclusion of the the Micro SD slot – the same hybrid SIM slot we saw with the S7. Most smartphone makers have ditched the Micro SD slot for their ‘Need for Speed’ but the S8’s slot doesn’t seem to affect multi-tasking or app loading times.

Indoor food shot at the Etohad First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi

Samsung embraces the Type C charger: it was a matter of time and the S8 is the first Samsung premium flagship with the type C charging. The device charges in really quick time while the 3000 mAh (3500 mAh on the S8+) delivers good (not exceptional) results.

Outdoor shot – Budapest (St Stephen’s Basilica)

Heaps of cool features: it’s one way to keep users engaged. The S8 has loads of clever touches and features that ensure you don’t tire of your phone (isn’t that the case with most of us these days) in a hurry. There’s Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant who has quite a few tricks in the bag. Bixby can scan labels (it does a great job with wine labels) and throw up information on almost any product or label you zoom in on. It can also scan printed text (reasonably accurately) from documents and convert into editable text. It’s the first smartphone with Bluetooth 5.0 – you can stream the same song to two Bluetooth speakers simultaneously.

Outdoor shot (Edinburgh) on a gloomy day

It has its share of flaws – the fingerprint sensor is awkwardly placed, and yet the S8 has been the smartphone launch of the year, thus far. 2017 is not over yet, there’s the OnePlus 5 that debuts this week and the 10th Anniversary iPhone slated for a Q3 release. It is going to take something special to give the S8 a run for its money.

Interiors shot – Corinthia Hotel, Budapest

The S8 costs 57,900 while the S8+ costs Rs 64,900 in India. 

 

 

 

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