features - samsung 8
Samsung’s New Galaxy S8 a Nice Phone with a Hefty Price Tag

by Caleb Engle

Samsung recently released their newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8. Although it comes with a hefty price point of about $750,  its stunning display and build makes it easy to see why. [1]

One of the most stand out features of the S8 is its 18.5 x 9 aspect ratio, compared to the usual 16 x 9 aspect ratio of most phones. This means that its display’s resolution will be 2960 x 1440, as opposed to 2560 x 1440 that is now standard in most 16 x 9 phones. [1] This change causes videos to now have some black space between the edges, although Samsung gives users the option to full screen the videos while sacrificing a small portion of the frame on top.

The curved edges, which was before an optional feature with the S6 and S7, are now standard in the S8. This new display features slightly more subtle curves, and is now coined as the ‘infinity display.’ [1]

Senior Robert Byers loves the newest edition of the phone for its beautiful build. “Aesthetically the phone is beautiful,” said Byers.

Although new dimensions, the Galaxy’s display continues to be the best on the market, beating out the iPhone, Google Pixel, and LG G6 based on tests performed by DisplayMate. [2] These tests take into account that the S8 has nearly a 3K resolution and 570 pixels per inch (PPI), the largest range of colors of any smartphone, and its extremely high contrast ratio that it gets from its AMOLED screen. [2]

One of the criticisms on this smartphone is its camera. Although the images still look stunning, the camera’s specifications were not improved from S7. While the Galaxy’s camera last year was one of the best on the market at the time, it’s unlikely that the S8 will be able to retain that title this year.

Senior Quinn Cavanaugh has had an S7 for several months, and enjoys using its camera. “It’s nice to have a camera as good as the S7’s, and it comes in handy whenever I see something nice I want to take a picture of but don’t have my DSLR on me,” said Cavanaugh.

The phone’s fingerprint reader, although fast, is placed unusually high up on the phone, on an already unusually tall phone, which will inhibit most users from using that functionality one-handed. Samsung hopes to remedy this with its new retina scanner, which allows users to unlock their phone simply by looking at it. [1] Although most users find that this new feature works great most of the time, many have issues with it in low light. [1]

Another new feature of this phone is its dedicated Bixby button, which when pressed opens Samsung’s new virtual assistant tool. However most users of the Android community have criticized Samsung’s decision to implement this new feature, as they do not find the feature very useful. “I dislike the dedicated Bixby button,” complained Byers. “They should allow you to map anything else to that button.”

Senior Mikey Schnepfe considered waiting to upgrade his phone to the new Galaxy S8, but was discouraged by its steep price. “It’s a nice phone, but I don’t think it’s worth over $700. There are too many phones that are good enough for a lot cheaper.”

Despite some of its downsides, Samsung has already announced that the phone’s pre-orders have set records for the company, so the Galaxy S8 is likely to be a hot new phone that will be seen in the hands of many. [4]