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Galaxy S8+ First Impressions: It's All About The Screen

Unlocking the phone can get tricky too.

10/05/2017 12:12 PM IST | Updated 10/05/2017 12:12 PM IST
Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

After I switched on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ smartphone, I felt that I was looking at a painting. The phone's screen is a blend of art and industrial design, well ahead of the bezel-less screens in other phones.

Samsung has perfected the art of the AMOLED screen, which is a bit saturated but amazing looking. To behold the screen in its full glory I removed all the icons from the home screen, and the infinity display looked stunning. A bunch of themes and wallpapers can be downloaded from the Samsung gallery, with plenty of options to style the phone.

Also, kudos to the phonemaker for shipping many accessories, including a sweet pair of AKG headphones which produces really good sound, along with the phone.

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As far as size goes, the phone feels tall in hand but not too big. After handling smartphones such as OnePlus 3T and the iPhone 7, this was easier to hold. But it is harder at times to reach certain nooks and corners of the phone. For that, you might have to slip, slide and adjust the device to get the right grip.

After using the phone for 24 hours its midnight-black back had plenty of fingerprint marks, which makes constant cleaning inevitable. The Galaxy S8+ feels a bit slippery too because of its glass back but after a couple of hours, I became used to it.

Setting up the new phone is fairly straightforward, although, strangely, there is no 'English (India)' option in language settings. Samsung does provide the user with the option to omit certain Samsung apps such as the calculator and notes from the installation processes, which is a welcome step to reduce bloatware. The set-up menu also has the option to set up IRIS and Face- scan but I had to register a pattern/PIN and the fingerprint before proceeding. And then, I had to do the IRIS set up later.

As we wrote earlier, the fingerprint sensor feels awkward to use. The placements make it hard to reach sometimes and often there are misses in the fingerprint reads. Hence, I mostly resorted to IRIS scanning or pattern unlocking. IRIS scanning works well, although I couldn't use it much in sunlight and had to fall back to fingerprint or pattern recognition.

A tip — if you have set up the IRIS scan, go to its menu and turn on the 'Scan IRIS when the screen wakes up' option. You'll thank me later. Having said that, the settings menu seems like a maze. It is hard for the average user to find out what is where. And, the default icons for Samsung's apps are just atrocious to look at. However, it is still better than the mess that the previous TouchWiz versions were. Users can easily choose to restore their apps from a previous Samsung or Android phone during the setup.

Late last evening, I stepped out to test the camera's low-light capability and the results were impressive. Samsung does tend to over saturate the colours to compensate for the light, but the final results were very much social-media-shareable-ready files. The 'pro' mode in the camera gets the best out of the sensor and the camera software is easy to use yet filled with options to tinker around.

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During my one day with the phone, I mostly used social media apps, checked emails and watched some videos. The videos look great, making the best use of the colour. I didn't use the edge panels at all and I didn't really miss them.

In the coming week, we will be talking more about the different aspects of the Galaxy S8+. If you have any questions, please send them this way.

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