Today’s the day! The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ are now available in Australia. Pricing for outright purchase: $1199 for the Samsung Galaxy S8; $1349 for the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
Available colours: Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Maple Gold.
A quick reminder of what they offer.
The S8 scores an 5.8 inch screen (147.32mm according to my calculator) and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ offers 6.2 inches (157.48mm). Edge-style curving of the screen on the sides has been applied to both models.
The screens also have rounded corners, so things at the extremes are probably hidden. From what Samsung says, if you were to draw a rectangle within the rounding, it would come to 5.6 inches (142.24mm) with the S8 screen and 6.1 inches (154.94mm) with the S8+.
Also gone, the physical “home” button. Now all three buttons across the bottom are soft, on-screen ones. There’s a lot of screen with relatively little body surrounding it.
Samsung’s calling the display the “Infinity Display”. It uses AMOLED technology and comes with a new resolution for both models: 1440 by 2960 pixels. Samsung’s calling that Quad HD+. In both models the pixel density is so far north of 500 pixels per inch that any difference is quite invisible. The aspect ratio is being called 18.5:9, which is accurate but should properly be expressed as 37:18. I’m guessing that phone manufacturers are trying to keep 9 as the point of reference.
The very narrow side bezels make for relatively slim phones despite the larger screens. In fact, the S8 is a little narrower than the S7 it replaces at 68.1mm vs 69.6mm, and only a quarter inch taller because the bottom and top bezels are also narrower: 148.9mm. The S8+ is wider than the S7 Edge, up by less than a millimetre at 73.4mm and less than a centimetre taller at 159.5mm.
Both phones are slightly fatter: 8.0mm for the S8 and 8.1mm for the S8+.
The point of all this is to keep the phones slim enough, despite the large screens, to use with one hand.
Assuming rectangles for both body and screen (that is, ignoring corners) and accepting the published dimensions, I make the screen to body ratio as 84.2% for the Samsung Galaxy S8, and 83.3% for the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Both are big numbers.
Both also get IP68 water and dust resistance rating. That means they’re totally dust proof and can withstand half an hour of immersion in up to 1.5 metres of water.
As we’ve been guessing for months, the phones move to USB Type-C ports for charging and other connectivity. All the high end good stuff is there, including NFC (of course – it’s needed for Samsung Pay) and the latest Bluetooth, version 5.0 LE with, apparently, support for data flows of up to two megabits per second.