Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8+ vs S7, S7 edge, LG G6, iPhone 7 Plus, Pixel XL: size comparison
Although the torrent of leaks that has been bashing us with fact after fact about the two devices in the past months has diminished the surprise somewhat, we have finally seen the duo in person and have had the opportunity to do a hands-on with both.
The most striking thing about the Galaxy S8 and S8+, at first glance at least, are their gorgeous Infinity Displays. Ditching the 9:16 screen aspect ratio, Samsung has gone for taller, narrower displays on both devices, and they sure are something to look at. With very little in the way of bezels on the top and bottom, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ manage to retain dimensions that are similar to those of their predecessors, the S7 models, all the while upping the diagonal of their displays a notch.
First up, a quick scuffle between the new Galaxies and their predecessors, the S7 and S7 edge:
The Galaxy S8 (148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm), which has a display with a usable area of 5.7 inches (5.8″ without accounting for the rounded corners), is a bit taller than the 5.1-inch S7 (148.9 mm vs 142.4 mm), but it's almost the same width (68 mm vs 69.6 mm), all the while upping screen size to 5.7 inches. The curvature of the S8 no doubt helps fit more on it, but it's not the real reason for the difference in display real estate. That would be the aspect ratio of the new Infinity Display.
It's a similar scenario between the Galaxy S8+ (159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm) and S7 edge – the new phone is taller than its predecessor (159.5 mm vs 150.9 mm), and just a tad wider (73.4 mm vs 72.6 mm), but the new phone ups the size of its display from 5.5 inches to 6.1 inches.
However, you should keep in mind that a 5.7-inch display with the new aspect ratio is something quite different from a 9:16 display with the same diagonal. For example, the display of the S8 is considerably taller than that of the S7, but it is almost identical in width. This means that, despite the new screen being technically larger, you are getting only a vertical bump in size, so to speak, while nothing changes in terms of width. Here is a diagram illustrating how the display of the Galaxy S8 (blue) compares directly to that of the Galaxy S7 (yellow):
That said, let's now move on to a battle between the S8s and two of last year's top offerings – the iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel XL.
It is redundant at this point to discuss the top and bottom bezels on the iPhones and the Pixels – everything has been said already. The iPhone 7 Plus is 9.2 mm taller than the S8, and it has a 5.5-inch screen. The Pixel XL too has a 5.5-inch display and similar dimensions to the iPhone 7 Plus, so it doesn't fare any better (or worse) than it against the sleek new Samsungs.
Here's where it gets interesting though. It's time to pit the brand new LG G6, which has a slightly shorter 9:18 (or 1:2) display, against the S8 brothers:
The G6 is one sleek smartphone that packs a 5.7-inch display in a body that's the same size as that of the 5.3-inch LG G5. Again, that's thanks to its FullVision 1:2 display.
When placed next to the Galaxy S8, the G6 is the same height (148.9 mm), but a tad wider (at 71.9 mm vs 68.1 mm), due to its screen being flat and its side bezels being a bit bigger as a result. Still, the G6 is in and of itself a glimpse into the future of smartphones – a future where devices are mostly screen on the front and almost no bezels, all the while remaining close to the dimensions of their predecessors.
In the coming year, we'll see more and more phone makers adopt similar screen aspect ratios to those of the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+. While no other manufacturers have made any concrete announcements yet, numerous rumors suggest that Apple may be next in line to adopt a similar approach to designing one of the upcoming iPhone models, and if that happens, it would only be a matter of time before the entire industry gets on board with the idea.