Galaxy S8: More screen and elegance, but a hefty price tag


The other big software change on the S8 is Bixby, Samsung's new artificial intelligence assistant-slash-interface.

Several other features of the phone worked without a hitch.

The folks over at iFixit make it their business to take the shiniest new phones and gadgets and do exactly what you hope you won't have to do with them: take them apart and poke around to see just how hard it is to put them back together.

Anticipation is high for the worldwide release of Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, this Friday.

But, believe me, the thought has crossed my mind more than a few times these past five days while I've been reviewing Samsung's Galaxy S8 mobile phone. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S8+ only ships with 64GB, but you can buy a microSD card up to 256GB to massively supplement that space. It's not especially secure, so Samsung won't let you use it for purchasing through Android Pay or Samsung Pay. The Edge Panels - drawers that you access by swiping from the right hand side of the screen - are very useful for quickly finding apps or contacts.

Instead, it's pushing the boundaries — so to speak — on the phone's display.

There are more than a dozen pre-installed Edge Panels to choose from, ranging from weather and live sports scores panels to those that offer instant calendar checks and even access to the phone's compass and torch.

Some apps won't work fully in split screen mode - your games will have looked better - but if you want to enjoy a Facebook-based browse while keeping an eye on your emails, or check a recipe while looking online for ingredients, you can, and with minimal fuss. The right hole is the one with the outline of the tray around it - the other has no outline.

It's just as well the facial recognition system on the S8 is so good, because the fingerprint scanner isn't almost as useful as it was in previous years, or as it is on phones such as the Apple iPhone 7, where it's still on the front.

Samsung made some big promises at its launch event about Bixby, the company's voice assistant, which provides a chance for the company to show it can really play with Apple and Google when it comes to phone voice assistants.

However, according to a ZDNet report, Samsung has said that the tint isn't a quality issue and that it can be fixed in the phone's settings menu.

I was initially anxious that the screen's proportions might annoy me over time - it's a little taller and thinner than you might expect for the phone's width. One is the new facial recognition system for unlocking the phone. But somehow, the S8 (and the slightly larger S8+) still manage to be even better. Although I can't say any of my apps were much more useful with the extra real estate - some apps, such as Netflix and Stan, can't even use the extra 1.8 centimetres length because they have to maintain their video aspect ratio - I can say that having a phone that's nearly all screen on the front is better than having one with big bezels.

For either of these options to work, however, you'll first need to activate the feature.

The phone was snappy and responsive; it was a breeze to switch between apps and to run them at the same time. You can also opt to attach images automatically captured by both the phone's front and rear cameras, or a 5-second audio recording. Anyone for pink keys?