Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs S7 Edge
The Galaxy S7 Edge was one of the most successful Samsung phones. Its striking curved screen that gave the impression of the screen just flowing along the phone’s sides and its beautiful glass and metal construction were really something special.
It’s 2017, though, and Samsung is ready to take things one step further towards that unachievable perfection with the Galaxy S8 series, and today we compare the larger Galaxy S8+ against its last year equivalent, the Galaxy S7 Edge.
It does not take much to understand what makes the Galaxy S8+ special. The moment you see that nearly bezel-less screen, your most likely reaction will be a simple ‘wow!’. I have seen a lot of smartphones throughout the past years, but it’s been a long while since a single feature has made such a huge impact on me.
The Galaxy S8+ also brings the usual upgrades: a faster processor, a slightly better camera, a different user interface, a new Bixby assistant, and - finally - a USB-C port for syncing and charging. It’s also a much more expensive phone than the Galaxy S7 Edge. So let’s see if it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
Surprisingly comfortable in the hand, despite the large screen.
Samsung kicked off a new design era way back in early 2015 when it launched the glass and metal Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The Edge model turned out surprisingly popular. The Galaxy S7 Edge in 2016 refined that design and today, in 2017, Samsung has fully embraced curved ‘edge’ screens on all its Galaxy S8 models. The edge is the new standard, so much so that it’s no longer in the name of the phone. It’s understood.
What the Galaxy S8+ is compared to the S7 Edge is refined: the seam between front and back was a bit sharp on the S7 Edge, and it’s much smoother on the S8+. The in-hand feel is more comfortable. The phone is taller - noticeably - but it is almost as narrow, and I - usually in pain when dealing with large phones - found it surprisingly easy to handle such a phone.
And yes, the fingerprint scanner is on the back, and sure, it’s right next to the camera in what is not the most convenient place ever. However, you get used to it after a while. The slight ridge on the back helps you find the finger scanner without looking and while it’s never exactly convenient, it’s also not a deal breaker per se.
The USB-C port on the S8+ finally replaces the microUSB used on the S7 Edge. It’s just more convenient to have a cable that fits both ways and that most modern electronics use. In a typical Samsung move, the speaker on the bottom and the USB-C port are misaligned. We can live with that, of course, but we just find it strange that Samsung cannot get such tiny design details right.
A cool feature that both the S8+ and S7 Edge share is water resistance: both can be submerged in water up to 5 feet deep for as long as 30 minutes without suffering any damage. Cool!
17% more screen space on the S8+, but it feels like more. And a Super AMOLED with colors looking even better than before.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the new display. The Galaxy S8+ sports a 6.2-inch screen with a Quad HD+ resolution (1440 x 2960 pixels), while the S7 Edge has got a 5.5-inch display with a Quad HD res (1440 x 2560 px). With Nougat, you can choose the resolution on Samsung’s flagship phones, and interestingly, the S8+ defaults to Full HD+ resolution (you can change this from Settings > Display > Screen resoluton).
Let’s make one thing clear: the display on the S8+ is taller and has a totally different aspect ratio than the S7 Edge. It’s 18.5:9 (S8+) vs 16:9 (S7 Edge). This makes a direct comparison of screen diagonal sizes (6.2” vs 5.5”) irrelevant and misguiding. The more accurate way to calculate how much bigger the screen on the S8+ is is to actually look at the real area that it provides compared against the area of the S7 Edge. Here are the numbers: the S8+ display has an area of 97.2mm2, while the S7 Edge screen area stands at 83.4mm2, which means that the S8+ has a screen that is nearly 17% larger than the S7 Edge.
Let’s also keep in mind one more thing: the screen is curved towards the edges, which makes it susceptible to shattering if dropped. And repairs will cost you a fortune, so keep that in mind and be careful with your phone. On a positive note, the S8+ has Gorilla Glass 5 protection glass while the S7 Edge had GG4. The newer GG5 survives 80% of drops from a little over 5 feet height (1.6 meters), while GG4 survives 80% of drops from a little over 3 feet.
Enough with the warnings, let’s look at the actual colors on these screens. Here is a spoiler: both have great looking colors, but the S8+ is a little brighter and a little better balanced. Samsung supports various color modes (go to Settings > Display > Screen Modes to switch). The default on both is Adaptive mode with punchy and oversaturated colors.