• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is no longer Samsung’s newest phablet, that honour falls to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but it’s still a recent phone, having launched this year, and still one of the biggest and highest spec handsets around.

But just how good is it really? We’ve put the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus through a full review to answer that question, as well as detailing all the key features of the phone.

With the impressive iPhone X about to land in stores this could be one of its main competitors, so is it worth the money?

Screen

S8 Plus review screen

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has a 6.2-inch 1440 x 2960 Super AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 529 pixels per inch.

There’s a lot to unpack there. First off, that size makes it absolutely enormous, coming in just 0.1-inches smaller than the Galaxy Note 8. The resolution and pixel density meanwhile mean it’s up there with the sharpest screens this side of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. And Super AMOLED? That leads to great contrast, truly black blacks and vivid colours.

In short this is one of the best and highest end smartphone screens around, helped further by the fact that it’s curved. That both makes it look futuristic – in a way that the iPhone X can’t even match – and makes it more manageable in the hand, as well as eliminating the side bezel.

It also supports HDR content, and its 18.5:9 aspect ratio makes it super widescreen, so you can comfortably run two apps side by side when using the phone in landscape orientation.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is big at 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm, but not as big as you might expect, because like certain other 2017 handsets Samsung has removed most of the bezel around the screen, keeping the phone as compact as possible. To achieve this the fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back.

It’s a premium design too, with a glass back and a metal shell ensuring the S8 Plus fits neatly into Samsung’s high-end range.

S8 Plus Review

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is also IP68 certified dust and water resistant, meaning it can be submerged up to 1.5 metres deep for up to 30 minutes. Many high-end phones now have some amount of water resistance, but the S8 Plus has more than most.

Overall the phone has a very familiar design at this point – Samsung would be wise to change things up for the Galaxy S9, but it’s still one of the best-looking phones around.

Power

You want power? You got power. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is one of the speediest phones around, thanks to 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Exynos 8895 chipset clocked at up to 2.3GHz. That chipset is top-end, arguably beaten by Apple’s A11 Bionic processor, but not by anything you’ll find in an Android phone.

The RAM amount meanwhile isn’t quite top-end any more. Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 8 has 6GB as do a few other phones, but the majority are still on 4GB or less and this amount doesn’t seem to slow the Galaxy S8 Plus down.

The S8 Plus runs Android Nougat, which was the latest version of Android when it launched. Since then Android Oreo has landed, but we’d expect Samsung will update the phone to that before too long and you can generally expect Samsung to support the handset for a while yet.

Camera

s8 plus review camera

Samsung switched to a dual-lens camera for the Galaxy Note 8, but there’s just a single-lens one on the Galaxy S8 Plus. That’s okay though, because it’s still very, very good.

The S8 Plus has a 12MP camera with optical image stabilisation (so your image stays stable and focused). It also sports an f/1.7 aperture, which means the lens opening is bigger than on many phones. That means more light can get in, which in turn improves low-light performance.

It’s also fast to focus and features a wealth of camera modes such as HDR, smile detection and panorama. Although the dual-lens Note 8 has it beat, few other phones do.

And there’s a quality 8MP camera on the front too, with the same aperture, so you can take surprisingly decent low-light selfies.

Features

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has a few features above and beyond what you’d expect from a high-end phone.

There’s Bixby for one. This is Samsung’s alternative to Google Assistant and Siri, so it’s an AI assistant in other words, and there’s a dedicated button to launch it on the phone. It’s better than it was when the S8 Plus first came out too, as it now sports full voice control, but you can still use Google Assistant if you’d prefer.

Other extras include an iris scanner and a face scanner. The latter isn’t as secure as Apple’s version (it can be tricked by images of your face) but the former is quite secure, and not found on many phones. As optional alternatives to the fingerprint scanner they’re nice to have, but if you’re anything like us you’ll probably mostly still use your digits.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

There’s a 3,500mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, which is a good size, bigger even than the Note 8’s or the iPhone X’s, so if battery life is important to you this could be the phone to go for.

In practice you’re likely to get about a day and a half from a single charge with moderate use. That means you’ll still be charging it nightly – unless you’re happy to plug it in halfway through the day – but it will comfortably survive a late night. It also supports both fast and wireless charging.

There’s 64GB of storage built in, which should be plenty for most users, but if not there’s also a microSD card slot.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 – which is far longer range than earlier Bluetooth versions.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is a good few months old now but it’s still one of the best phones you can buy, especially if you’re in the market for a phablet.

It lacks the Note 8’s S Pen and its face scanner is less impressive than the one on the iPhone X, but otherwise this ticks all the high-end boxes, including a great screen, a premium design, lots of power and loads of extras.

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Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1

Weight (g): 173

Battery capacity (mAh): 3500

Colours: Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold, Rose Pink

Screen size (inches): 6.2

Resolution: 1440 x 2960

Pixels per inch (PPI): 529

Processor: Octa-core 2.3GHz

Processor make: Exynos 8895

RAM: 4GB

Internal storage: 64GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 256

Camera: 12MP (8MP front-facing)

Operating System: Android 7.0

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