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Samsung Galaxy S8 review: Meet the envy of every iPhone user

Wednesday - 19/04/2017 07:00
I have to be perfectly honest with you… I never thought this day would come.

When Samsung released its first Galaxy phone back in 2009, it was clear that the company would become a contender in the revitalized smartphone market. When it released the first Galaxy Note smartphone two years later in 2011, it was clear that Samsung wasn’t afraid to take chances. And when Samsung released the Galaxy S4 in 2013, it was clear that the company’s displays would be the best in the industry for years to come.

But something else was clear during all that time. Despite Samsung’s willingness to take countless pages out of Apple’s playbook, the company’s hardware designs were still sorely lacking. The look of Samsung’s phones was boring. The thin plastic backs felt cheap and flimsy. Long story short, Samsung smartphones looked and felt like cheap iPhone knockoffs.

Now, in 2017, the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ mark a changing of the guard. The torch has been passed. The student has become the teacher. Call it whatever you want, but the bottom line is this: Samsung has out-designed Apple with its new flagship smartphones. They look and feel like the future, and Apple’s three-year-old iPhone design is stuck in the past.

Samsung’s transition began in 2015 when the company released the Galaxy S6. It was the first flagship phone from the South Korean electronics giant that looked and felt like a flagship phone. The smooth glass front and back were joined by a sturdy aluminum mid-frame, and there were only a few small pieces of plastic on the phone’s exterior — the small strips that separated each section of the aluminum frame, and the home button.

It was official: Samsung was a premium smartphone maker.

The company’s flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note handsets have always featured cutting-edge specs. They have always offered terrific performance that was on par with the best Android phones in the business. And they have always had stunning displays with vivid colors and great contrast. Now, starting with the Galaxy S6, they also featured designs to match. But still, few people would argue that the company’s phones looked as sleek or felt as premium as Apple’s iPhones.

Until now, that is.

In terms of hardware design, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are the complete package. They’re industry leaders in terms of specs, as Samsung’s flagship phones always have been. They also feature Super AMOLED screens that are unrivaled. Again, this has been the norm for Samsung for years. But the biggest story in terms of Samsung’s growth as a smartphone maker is the design.

Samsung has always been a follower, ever since it released its first smartphone nearly a decade ago. But now, Samsung is a leader.

In fact, diehard Apple fans have been unable to find anything to complain about, so some of them have resorted to insignificant nonsense like the alignment of the USB-C port and speaker openings on the bottom of the phone. While it’s true that Apple’s alignment on the bottom of the iPhone 6/6s/7 is perfect, I’m not sure there’s a sane end user on the planet who would actually care about something like this.

But it’s indicative of the difference between Samsung and Apple when it comes to attention to detail! Perhaps. Or perhaps Samsung decided it was more important to squeeze in the phone’s internal components as tightly as possible so that it could create a design with a remarkable screen-to-body ratio of 83%. Trust me, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users are going to appreciate the narrow bezels around the Infinity Display far more than any iPhone user appreciates his or her perfectly aligned ports. Also of note, Samsung managed to make its new flagship phones IP68 water-resistant without removing the 3.5mm headphone jack, misaligned though it may be.

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