Samsung could not afford to fail with the Galaxy S8. The S8 is the company’s first launch following the spectacular disaster that was the Galaxy Note 7. Not to mention a certain corruption scandal that’s left a black mark on the brand. If the Korean tech giant was going to do anything to salvage its image, the time had to be now — and the product had to be the Galaxy S8.
Luckily, positive reviews for the S8 are pouring in from sources such as Techradar and Trusted Reviews. Many critics feel the S8 might be Samsung’s best smartphone to date. There are five key features that stand out. They signal not only where Samsung is, but where the company might be headed in the future.
A display screen unlike any other
Perhaps Samsung Galaxy S8’s most toted feature is its Infinity Display. The 5.8-inch screen (the S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen) boasts a 2,960 by 1,400 resolution. The phone also supports more colors than any other phone on the market. New Atlas reports the S8 the only smartphone to receive a certified Mobile HDR Premium. Most importantly, DisplayMate gave the Galaxy S8’s screen it’s highest A+ grade ever.
The S8 is poised to offer a better viewing experience than any other smartphone available.
Bixby, Samsung’s entrance into the AI assistant market
Bixby marks Samsung’s attempt to join the race to create the best AI assistant on a smartphone. Bixby doesn’t just respond to voice commands; it also uses touch and the camera to better meet your needs.
It’s true that Bixby isn’t at the same level as Google Assistant, which is also available on S8. However, Bixby represents a promising step in the right direction. The feature also offers Samsung a chance to learn from the mistake of its competitors and perhaps truly impress with future versions.
Touchwiz is dead, long live Touchwiz
Tech reviewers agree that Samsung’s Touchwiz was truly divisive. So much so it seems that we have “Samsung Experience” emphasized in its place.
In actuality, the skin formerly known as Touchwiz melds nicely with Android 7.0 Nougat. The improved user interface is reportedly lightning fast, while keeping with the “look” unique to Samsung — hence the “Samsung Experience.”
DeX, the next step in making PCs irrelevant
DeX is a new feature, one that allows the S8 to effectively act as a mini PC. According to Trusted Reviews, “DeX requires a sold-separately dock that connects to an HDMI-equipped monitor.” When paired with the monitor and a keyboard, S8 owners can seamlessly operate several apps at the same time.
In recent years, smartphones have started to compete against the desktop market outright. This addition to the S8 could suggest that we’ll see Samsung push features for its phones that may one day make traditional laptops and desktops completely obsolete.
S8 left the headphone jack alone, while adding Bluetooth perks
One surprisingly important feature that deserves a bit of fanfare is the headphone jack. It’s amazing to think how much effort Samsung put into improving on the S8 while utterly ignoring any desire to remove the headphone jack. Or perhaps Samsung took one look at the backlash Apple experienced and decided it didn’t need any more trouble.
Instead, customers are offered AKG headphones in a bundle. Additionally, the S8 will be able to stream music between two Bluetooth headphones at once.
What it all means for Samsung’s rivalry with Apple
The desperate need for Samsung to restore consumer faith pushed the brand to release its best phone to date. It took its eyes off chasing Apple, instead reminding its customers why they love their product so much. The tech giant seems to have cleared a major hurdle with its S8 and S8+ releases. What’s uncertain is whether rival Apple will be able to answer the challenge.
Apple’s iPhone 7 release exposed the band to heavy criticism, specifically its failure to justify the product’s existence. The release had Apple leaning harder on name recognition than innovation — and the public wasn’t impressed. As CNBC reports, 2016 brought the company’s worst annual revenue decline since 2001.
With Apple under heavy pressure to ahead of its iPhone 8 release, Samsung is in the clear to focus on combining industry-leading innovation with customer satisfaction — two factors that could decide once and for all what company will rule the smartphone market.