The reviews are out and the praise is near universal for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The top-of-the-line Samsungs — at least until the Note gets here — will be available in shops today with prices starting at $720. For those already committed to buying, it’s going to be a tough choice this time around because the phones don’t suffer from the usual big / small usability tradeoffs.
See, the Galaxy S8 has 36 percent more viewing area than the Galaxy S7, and the screen now covers 83 percent of the front face. That’s allowed Samsung to pack more screen into a slimmer but sightly longer handset that’s now easier to hold. Whereas plus-sized phones from other companies have been unwieldy, even the S8 Plus now feels manageable.
Here’s how Dan Seifert described the size of the new S8 in his review:
“A narrower phone is easier to use in one hand and both the S8 and S8 Plus are much easier to handle than other phones with similar-sized displays.”
I’ll let Walt Mossberg elaborate on the limitations:
“It changed the aspect ratio of the screen and the dimensions of the body to make them taller and narrower. This makes the phone much easier to handle.”
“In one-handed use, the screen is now so tall that it can be impossible in one-handed mode to easily reach the notification shade or the top rows of icons. So, Samsung has a feature you can engage that shrinks the whole screen image to a shrunken vestige of itself. This makes reaching easy, but it also makes everything look tiny and ugly. I prefer Apple’s technique of just moving down the top of the screen image, at full size, if you find something hard to reach.”
Vlad Savov marveled at the ease of which he could navigate the bigger S8 Plus, perhaps assisted by “the distinct averageness” of his hands:
“Yes, reaching the top of the S8 Plus to pull down the notification shade requires a readjustment of my grip, but the phone’s sides are so nicely contoured that I do that switch unconsciously and with little effort.”
“The choice between S8 models should come down to how much you value having a larger screen and a longer-lasting battery. If it’s more than the price premium Samsung or your local carrier charges, go ahead and supersize your next phone. The traditional downgrade of ergonomics as you move up in size class just isn’t apparent with the Galaxy S8 Plus.”
The best advice is, of course, to try out the pair at a shop before buying. But I know that many of you, like us, already preordered your handsets sight unseen. So, I have to ask, dear reader, which model do you prefer for that $100 price difference?
Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus
239 votes total