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Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge

Galaxy S8 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge is the stunning next version of the Edge family of smartphones. These are Samsung’s top flagships and sport a gorgeous curved screen design that no other phone maker has been able to replicate.

The Galaxy S8 Edge is no different.  Samsung has now announced its most advanced phone ever and is astounding. There’s a catch, though. It probably isn’t called the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge at all.

Don’t worry. Just because Samsung has dropped the Edge name it doesn’t mean that we won’t get a beautifully sloped screen Galaxy S8. In fact every Galaxy S8 will have an “Edge” style screen. So instead of a flat-screened S8 and curved S8 Edge, we’ll be getting a 5.8-inch curved S8 and a larger 6.2-inch S8+. Samsung uses the S8+ sign rather than calling it the Galaxy S8 Plus. That would be a little too similar to Apple. See, it all makes sense.

But how good is the newly-dubbed Galaxy S8 Edge? Read on to find out everything you need to know about Samsung’s new phones, from their release date to camera specs, battery life and the best S8 deals.

Read also: Best Galaxy S8 Cases

Galaxy S8 Edge Release Date: When will it be available to buy?

  • S8 Edge release date: March 29, 2017
  • S8 Edge on-sale date: April 28, 2017
  • Galaxy S8 cost: $750-$1,099
  • Galaxy S8 Edge cost: $850-$1,299

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was unveiled at an event in New York on March 29, 2017.

Even though the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Edge replacement, the S8+ have been shown off, they’re available to buy until 28 April. However you can preorder it.

Samsung’s new phones cost a fair amount, but then the S8 and S8 Edge/+ are the best around. Below are the best S8 preorder deals in the US right now:

Best Galaxy S8 US Deals

Preorder now from AT&T: This offer gets you the S8 for $749.99, however it’s across 30-months and you get the Gear VR bundled. The S8 Edge/+ will set you back $849.99.

Preorder now from Verizon: Verizon is also offering the Gear VR for free, but the phone costs less at $720 across  24-months.

Preorder now from Sprint: Sprint’s deal is a little different. You can lease the phones for $31.25 ($35.42 for the bigger phone) for 18-months which works out to $562.50, but at the end of that you need to give it back. Alternatively you can buy them outright for $750 and $850 respectively, but there’s no Gear VR bundled in the deal.

Preorder now from T-Mobile: T-Mobile offers a 24-month deal for $30 a month or $750 in total. For an extra $99 they’re offering the Gear VR with controller, AKG headphones and a 256GB microSD card which is a pretty good deal if you don’t have headphones or a card already. The S8+ costs $850.

Preorder now from Amazon: If you don’t want to be locked into a single carrier then you can buy the phone outright from Amazon. The S8 costs from $970, depending on color, while the S8 Edge/+ will cost you $1,299.99.

Best Galaxy S8 UK deals

In the UK the S8 and S8+ will cost you between £32 a month and £54. You can check for the best Galaxy S8 UK deals right now at USwitch.

Galaxy S8 Edge Design: How does it look and feel?

  • Edge-to-edge “Infinity” display
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • OLED
  • 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch models

The S8 doesn’t look radically different from the S7 Edge, but that’s a good thing. That is the most handsome phone on the planet right now so we’re happy that Samsung has kept key elements of the design like the sloped back that makes it comfortable to hold.

However there are some very important changes. Firstly there’s the size. 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch screens sound huge, and they are. Is the Galaxy S8 Edge be difficult to use because of its size?

Not in our experience, and that’s because Samsung has kept every dimension as small it can. In fact the 5.8-inch version is similar in size to the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and the 6.2-inch to the S7 Edge. The smaller S8’s dimensions are 148.9 x 68 x 8mm which is a little taller, but also slightly narrower than the current S7: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm.

Here is the Galaxy S8 compared to the S7:

How has Samsung managed this incredible achievement? Well there’s hardly and side bezel so you get almost edge-to-edge screen on of the S8. Samsung has called this the “Infinity Display” and it comes with a screen-to-body ratio of 83.6%. Just to put that in context the iPhone 7 has a ratio of just 65.6%. That means Samsung offers you a lot more screen for your money.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge S8+ Screen
Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge Screen

The top and bottom panels of the S8 Edge are also smaller. Samsung has achieved this by getting rid of the Home button that’s been a part of Galaxy phones for years.

We will miss the Home button, but we like the idea of a huge screen on a phone that’s manageable for one-handed use. Also the Home button is still sort of there. There’s an area of the screen that can be slightly pressed, just like a button. It’s not quite as handy as having the button and fingerprint scanner at the bottom, but it’s not far off.

The screen doesn’t have straight edges. Just like the LG G6, the Galaxy S8 will have curved corners instead of 90-degree ones. It looks good, but may be a bit annoying if you’re watching a fullscreen video that doesn’t have black bars.

However, the screen is awesome in every other way. It’s big, bright and colourful with the deepest blacks possible thanks to the OLED technology of the panel Samsung uses. This allows single pixels to light up or be turned off as opposed to LCD screens that have a backlight always on and mean blacks in movies and photos looks more grey than black.

It’s also HDR. You might have heard of HDR from your phone camera, but it’s very different when it comes to the screen. HDR is one of the biggest new innovations in TV technology over the past few years and provides better contrast, brightness and more accurate colours on screen and now we’re getting it on a phone. This means you will be able to watch premium HDR content from the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix on the Galaxy S8 Edge. If you haven’t experienced HDR yet then trust us, it looks amazing.

The only other aspect of design that’s worth talking about is colors. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge/+ comes in five colors. They are Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge Colour options

Galaxy S8 Edge Specs

  •  Dimensions:
    • 148.9 x 68 x 8mm: 5.8-inch screen
    • 152.4 x 78.5 x 7.9mm: 6.2-inch screen
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2960
  • Processor: Exynos 8895 / Snapdragon 835 (US only)
  • RAM: 4GB
  • 64GB Internal Storage, Up to 256GB microSD card

So the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge/S8+ screens are bigger but they’re also getting a bump in resolution for the larger screen.They have 1440 x 2960 resolution which provides a huge 530PPI (pixels per inch). That’s incredibly sharp, especially when compared to the likes of the smaller-screened iPhone 7 Plus and its 401PPI.

When it comes to power the Galaxy S8 will be a beast. Samsung has been buying up all the Snapdragon 835 chips it can get its hands on, so much so that other companies have had to go without. There a reason the LG G6 only packs the Snapdragon 821.

We’ve seen some benchmarks of the Snapdragon 835 and we know it’s faster than any other phone processor, in some tests at least. The results on the Galaxy S8 Edge/S8+ may vary a little however, depending on how Samsung has utilised the chip. Here’s how the Snapdragon 835 compares in the classic AnTuTu and Geekbench 4 (single core and multi-core) tests:

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge AnTuTu benchmark
Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge Geekbench 4 benchmark

The Snapdragon 835 uses ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. This means it has 4 powerful cores that do all the hard tasks and 4 low-powered ones that look after easier ones. This makes the phone more efficient so the battery lasts longer. The benchmarks above are based on the big cores working.

The S8 Edge’s processor is supported by 4GB RAM which is more than ample for an Android phone. Yes there are phones with 6GB RAM like the OnePlus 3, but in reality the extra 2GB are almost entirely wasted as Google’s operating system can’t make good use of it. We’ve seen the S8 running and it is butter smooth in operation.

What is for sure is that the Galaxy S8 Edge will be one of the fastest phones you can buy in 2017.

Galaxy S8 Edge Features: What will it pack?

  • Rear fingerprint scanner
  • Water and dust resistance
  • Iris scanner
  • Bixby AI assistant
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with TouchWiz UI
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and back
  • 64GB storage with microSD card slot
  • USB-C connector

While the home button has gone the fingerprint scanner hasn’t. This is now on the back of the S8 Edge/Plus, which we like the idea of, but not the execution. There are quite a few phones with this setup from LG and Huawei and we find it easier to unlock phones than with a home button on Galaxy or iPhones. That’s because the fingerprint sensor is where your index finger naturally rests when taking your phone out of your pocket or bag. Unfortunately Samsung has opted to place the scanner quite high and next to the camera so we sometimes miss it when reaching. It’s the one minor flaw in an otherwise outstanding design.

Of course the Galaxy S8 Edge and S8 Plus are water-resistant. Just like the previous model they will be IP68 certified which means they can withstand being soaked in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. It’s a great feature and we’re glad Samsung has kept it.

What is hasn’t kept is the micro-USB slot. Samsung has decided to upgrade the S8 Edge with USB Type-C reversible connector. Plenty of phones already have this, and it’s useful to be able to plug the charger in any way you want, but it does mean all your old micro-USB cables are worthless now. Still we’ll take it in the name of progress and hope that in the future it can also provide faster charging and data transfer than its predecessor.

To improve security Samsung will also add an iris scanner to the S8 Edge. That means it can be securely unlocked by recognising your eye. Everyone’s eyes are unique so this is another high level security feature that will be great for corporations thinking of making the S8 Edge their company phone.

Galaxy S8 Edge Cameras

  • Rear camera: 12MP f/1.7 aperture
  • Front camera: 8MP f/1.7 aperture
  • OIS (optical image stabilisation)
  • Dual-pixel technology
  • Multi-frame image processor

The Galaxy S8 Edge hasn’t make a big splash in the camera department – the rear camera is almost identical to what we had on the Galaxy S7 Edge. That means 12MP and a f/1.7 aperture with OIS meaning better shots in low light.

There’s no dual camera tech here like you get on the iPhone 7 Plus, LG G6 or Huawei P10. Instead Samsung has added a new multi-frame image processor that takes 3 shots every time you take a picture. It combines this to reduce the blur of a photo and to improve its sharpness. It’s a nice addition, but the cameras are probably the one area that we would have liked to see more from the S8.

Still Samsung has gone to a lot of effort to show that the Galaxy S8 Edge/+ has a great camera. It commissioned 20 photos from picturesque locations in the UK. Here’s one picture for you to judge for yourself. Click here to see the rest.

Galaxy S8 Edge camera photo

The front selfie camera has had as bump to 8MP and comes with autofocus which results in crisper images and better video calling quality.

Galaxy S8 Edge Battery Life

  • Battery life S8: 3,000mAh battery
  • Battery life: S8 Edge/S8+: 3,500mAh
  • Fast charging
  • Wireless charging

The one thing we haven’t had a chance to test fully yet is the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge’s battery life.

The 3,000mAh doesn’t sound like much to our ears, especially when it needs to power a 5.8-inch screen, however the new processor should be more efficient. Hopefully this will be enough to keep it going through the day.

The 3,500mAh on the S8+ should give it a little more staying power than the smaller phone, just like the Edge phones in the past have outlasted their flat counterparts. If battery life is a concern then this is the version to go for.

 

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