Will I be trading in my venerable Galaxy S7 for a new Galaxy S8? You’d better believe it.
There’s something sort of liberating about no longer reviewing smartphones for a living. That is, I don’t have to change phones every couple of weeks. To say nothing about traipsing the world to see them, right?
But for the Galaxy S8? (And the GS8+?) I’ll gladly come out of retirement.
It’s easy to get a bit hyperbolic about any major release. Never mind the first phone that comes after the explodariffic Galaxy Note 7. Every major release is important for Samsung. But, yes. Especially this one.
But look at the Galaxy S8 in a vacuum, and you’ll quickly release that it is, in fact, one hell of a phone. But it’s coming after another really good phone — the Galaxy S7. So am I going to want to update?
The display — as always — is gorgeous. And curved. With rounded corners. Great.
This is one hell of a phone. But then again — we knew it would be.
The camera is still good. Really good. Better than really good, really. And still probably the best camera app out there.
The software (running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box) is still overbearing and ridiculously full of features. Some you’ll use. Some you won’t. (A good many are off by default and will never be turned on.) The new “Bixby” assistant feature looks promising but is untested. More important, probably, is the growing integration with all the connected devices in your home. (But while Samsung was right in showing off its own products during the launch, how many of us really have the company’s connected refrigerator? Or washer? Or dryer?)
How much better is all this than the Galaxy S7? A good bit. Enough to make you effectively shell out another $1,000 (OK, probably not quite that much after tax, but still) when you’re carrying around a perfectly good GS7? Quite possibly. It’s that good, especially when it comes to how it feels in the hand. (It also seems faster, just to get that cliche out of the way, too.)
Me? I’m going to crack open my wallet for the Galaxy S8. Most certainly.