I've now had my S8 Plus (SM-G955W) factory unlocked phone for just over 2 months now, and I thought I'd post my impressions so far. I am a long time user of Galaxy phones ever since the S2. Here goes:
1) Overall impressions ------------------------------- The S8 plus is an outstanding phone with the best smartphone screen I've seen so far, snappy performance without any lag and I've not had any app lag or battery heating/drain issues. The phone has a ton of features and conveniences that I find useful and I consider myself a power user.
I actually prefer Samsung's Grace UX over the "vanilla" Android interface and find that Samsung has always been streets ahead in offering additional functionality well before they become standard features of Android (examples include split screen, touch to transfer files using NFC etc). Also Samsung's use of small text under each icon or feature is very nice, compared to just the plain icons of stock Android.
2) Camera ------------ I found the S8 plus camera to be outstanding in most conditions with colours that really pop. However, I have a few gripes. The camera is still not that great for fast moving action...when I try to take pics of my children, I often get slightly blurry photos even when set to "Sport" or "Pro" modes. Nighttime photos are still a bit of a hit and miss...you need to take the time to really hold the phone steady to avoid blurry shots and sometimes you don't have that luxury. Thus I think Samsung still has some work to do to improve the OIS and shutter times in Auto mode to further minimise blurry shots. Low light and nighttime performance still has a lot of room for improvement.
3) Fingerprint & Iris scanners ------------------------------------------ I can't state this enough but the location of the fingerprint sensor is an ergonomic disaster. If you're a right-handed user you always end up smudging the camera lens with oily fingerprints. Also I've noticed that the sensor seems to unlock the phone slightly slower than my previous S6 Edge. I have both iris and fingerprint unlock turned on. I find that the iris scanner is unresponsive in bright sunlight and often have to resort to fingerprint unlock. With a protective case on, the fingerprint sensor often doesn't work on the 1st attempt.
4) Preloaded Apps ------------------------- I still think Samsung preloads too many apps even on the factory unlocked phones. Some of Samsung's own apps are actually very good, even better than stock Android apps, such as Internet, Messaging, My Files, Secure Folder etc. However, apps such as Pen.Up, Facebook, Flipboard, Samsung Connect etc, should NOT come preloaded. Even if they are, users should have the ability to completely uninstall them, not just merely disable them.
5) Edge Panel/Apps ----------------------------- Starting with the Note 7, Samsung has dialled back on the amount of curvature of the edge screen, so much so that the actual usefulness of the edge screen is very much diminished. Back when Samsung introduced the Note Edge, the edge screen was curved so much that it was almost a secondary screen, and provided useful real estate for notification apps, statuses etc. With the S8/S8 Plus, the curvature is only slight and in my opinion, only good in an ergonomic sense in that it's very comfortable to hold the phone and aesthetically pleasing. I don't see any real usefulness of the edge screen tab and placing app shortcuts there.
As I mentioned before, I love the S8 Plus, but I sincerely hope that Samsung will fix the above shortcomings in either the Note 8 (seems unlikely due to the time frame) or the S9.
I think feed back like this is worth it weight in gold... Thanks for your post as it gives us all something to think about when looking at buying a newer phone.. I have the S7 edge and love it won't do a upgrade to S8 but looking forward to the S9
hi Nick, I am finding that my camera on my S8 Plus seems defective. I take identical photos of a flower with my S8 plus and S7 Edge and the S8 Plus is blurry even if I select the point where I want Focus. I would be happy to show some comparison pictures.
thanks for your review. I just got an S8 plus and I am shocked to find that the camera does not seem to be working properly. compared to my S7 Edge which takes very clear photos, the S8 Plus seems to be blurry and the color seems somewhat dull. I'm wondering if there is a defect in My Lens because taking a simple photo of a flower in broad daylight reveals poor Focus on the S8 plus whereas the S7 Edge is brilliant and clear. Anyone else experienced this?