Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs S7 Edge
Interface and Functionality
New user interface with (a bit too) clean looks. Quite a few apps are not yet optimized for the new, taller S8+ screen.
The Galaxy S7 Edge has just recently been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat and with it has received a visual overhaul with more organized menus and less clutter. The Galaxy S8+, on the other hand, features an even newer interface with new icons and a few tweaks and gestures that make a lot of sense.
The thing you notice first are the redesigned icons that look simplistic, even a bit too simple. You can now launch the app drawer with a simple swipe up or down on any place in the front panel. The front button is gone too, so popular features like the Quick Launch shortcut for the camera on the S8+ is replaced by a double click on the power/lock key on the side. The taller display means that it’s hard to reach the very top to swipe down and get the notification drawer, but luckily Samsung now supports swiping on the fingerprint reader on the back (a single swipe allows you to drop down the shade).
The new Bixby assistant on the Galaxy S8+ is a thing that holds more promise for the future, meaning that currently we could not test its full capabilities. In the near future, it is expected to allow you to just press the dedicated Bixby key on the side and speak with the assistant right away, without even waking your phone first. In the future, Bixby is also expected to know the context of an app and be able to do stuff related to the app, a thing that will definitely make it more useful than current-gen voice assistants.
The keyboard typing experience is similarly great on both phones: with clearly separated button keys, typing is fast and accurate. The big advantage of having the tall screen on the S8+ is that when you type, you can still see a ton of context, despite the keyboard taking up some space.
Processor, Performance and Memory
A new 10nm chip runs well in daily tasks, but we still see a very slight stutter here and there, just like on the S7 Edge.
The Galaxy S8+ has got a brand new chip under the hood. Or we should say chips: in the United States, the phone is coming with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 by Qualcomm, while in other parts of the world it has the comparably powerful Exynos 8895 on board (we have the Exynos model for this comparison). Both are made on the new 10nm manufacturing process, which is more power-efficient than the 14nm one used on the Snapdragon 820 in the Galaxy S7 Edge.
In reality, the Galaxy S8+ feels a bit faster and less jerky than the S7 Edge, the newer phone runs a bit more fluidly. At the same time, we do notice that split-second slow-down so typical of Samsung phones even on the S8+. It’s very minimal, but not unnoticeable, especially if you come from a phone like the Google Pixel or Apple iPhone.
In performance benchmarks, you can see that the Galaxy S8+ is consistently faster than last year’s S7 Edge. We would not say that it’s a big difference, but it’s there nonetheless.
Both the S8+ and the S7 Edge support the Vulkan API for more advanced games and better performance, which is nice.
We are very happy that the Galaxy S8+ ships with 64 GB of on-board storage. Both the S7 Edge and the S8+ support microSD cards for expandable memory, but having more native storage definitely gives you more freedom. This is not something that you feel on day one, but after a few months of usage when videos, games and photos pile up, you notice those differences.
Internet and Connectivity
Full 4G LTE support and great browsing experience with the taller screen.
Both being flagship phones, we are not surprised to see them choke full of 4G LTE bands. In the United States, you can expect to see specific models that will cater to the major carriers and you will get full LTE compatibility on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
The browsing experience, however, is better on the S8+: the extra screen space comes in handy with large chunks of text.
You have NFC on board on both phones, and both also support Samsung Pay for wireless payments. Dual-band Wi-Fi is also on board on both, a useful feature in congested urban areas where a single-channel Wi-Fi receiver would often result in reduced download and upload speeds. Both also share the following connectivity options: USB Type-C 3.1 and GPS.