Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
Gimmicks aside this is the best android smartphone you can buy
- Very pretty
- Very fast
- Superb camera
- Bixby virtual assistant is a joke
- Average battery life
Samsung shovels in the features (as usual) but at least the important ones are good... Very good. It's not cheap but it excels where it matters and that camera is outstanding. It's the best phone you can buy.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
The S8 has a 3,000mAh battery. That’s about average for a phone this size and we’d like to have seen a bit more. Under heavy usage – browsing, navigating and taking pictures – it consistently got to the late evening before making low-power noises. That’s not great but it's better than its big Android rival, the Google Pixel XL which struggles to make it past late afternoon under similar workloads. We also noticed that taking many pictures tended to hit battery life significantly - not surprising considering all the processing that goes into them.
However, Samsung offers some seriously good power-saving modes which can almost eke days out of a battery that otherwise looks like it’s about to die. So altogether not bad, but the (lower-powered) LG G6 was still a bit better in this area.
The S8 is IP68 certified meaning that it’s dust proof and waterproof to 1.5m for 30 minutes. As usual there are caveats about being in fresh water or salt water and whether or not that water is moving. Samsung’s fine-print on this matter appears in this document.
One of the big features is DeX which is a ($199) docking cradle that allows you to use your phone with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The device essentially lets the phone be used like a Chromebook. While some Microsoft and Adobe applications have been optimised for the screen, keyboard and mouse, others will just appear in non-resizeable windows on screen. We’ll be interested to see if this takes off, but we haven’t seen a killer application yet.
Elsewhere Samsung is also launching a new Gear VR headset. The new one comes with a Google Daydream-like controller. At $199 it's quite pricey but it should have some exclusive Samsung (and their partners, Oculus) content to go with it.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 costs $1,199 and the slightly-larger S8+ will cost $1,349. People ordering before April 27 (from a Samsung Electronics store) will get one of the new Samsung Gear VR headsets (and a $50 Oculus voucher) for free.
The S8 is the last flagship phone that we’ve tested in this product cycle. We’ve been hugely impressed by other flagships but all of them had a flaw. The Huawei Mate 9 was brilliant but its ‘wonder camera’ is poor in low light. The Oppo R9s Plus is a great-value all-rounder but not the most powerful phone. The Google Pixel XL is a brilliant phone but has poor battery life and is very expensive. The HTC U Ultra is arguably the prettiest phone ever, but it’s under-featured and oversized. The iPhones are iPhones but they don't have headphone jacks and their cameras aren't as good.
That leaves the LG G6 as the best all-round phone we’d seen up until now. It isn’t particularly pretty but it does everything well and is a similar size and shape to the S8 and costs almost $200 less.
But we’re sticking with the S8. The phone’s failings are negligible at the end of the day. The screen and handling are generally excellent. Battery life is adequate. It’s super-fast and its camera is one of the very best on show. In short, it’s got it where it counts and at $1,199 it’s expensive but reasonable value in the current market.
The S7 only became our 2016 Phone of the Year after a big price drop but we don’t expect the S8 to drop in price as quickly as the S7 did due to its ‘premium’ design. However, we do expect the LG G6 to drop in price quickly (as its predecessors regularly have). If it does then then the G6 will beat beat this for value. For now though, if you’re going to buy a new phone, this is the best on the market.
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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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