If 100 days is enough to measure the success of a president’s first term (which is a genuine measure that’s been used in the US since the 30’s), then considering the life cycle of a smartphone, it can easily be used to assess the behavior of both a device’s hardware and software. I decided to do just that and here is my impression of the Galaxy S8’s performance after 100 days of using it.
First of all, I should mention that after two years of not actually owning my own smartphone, this year I decided to invest in an S8 and I honestly hope it’ll last me at least 18 months because it wasn’t cheap. Despite the faults of Samsung’s flagship model, it’s perfect for what I need…for now.
The Galaxy S8 is tough
Yes, for me a smartphone’s design can sway my decision over whether I buy a phone or not, but it’s not necessarily one of the main things I look for. To be honest, I used a Sony Xperia Z2 for about two years, and design was not one of its strengths.
The Galaxy S8 is one of the best-looking phones I’ve ever had. I know, beauty is subjective, but I’m sure a lot of you probably agree with me on that. Since it is such a pretty phone, I refused to hide it under a cover, and for me, that could be very risky.
In these 100 days, I’ve dropped it countless times, and I was always surprised that the glass never cracked. Once, as I was leaving a supermarket, it underwent full fledged drop test: 1.5 meters to the floor, bouncing three times and sliding to a stop, face down, a meter away. I honestly couldn’t believe it was still in one piece.
I’m not saying that if this happened to you, you’d be as lucky as I was, but it really was surprising. If you’ve ever seen a Galaxy S8, you’ll have noticed the curved and delicate sides. It looks like it would just take a single drop for it to crumble to pieces, but Gorilla Glass 5 should not be underestimated.
The last time I dropped my S8 was about four days ago when I forgot – like always – that it was in my back pocket, and after a few minutes of sitting on a bench, I heard a thud. Once again, my S8 was saying hello the pavement. But when I picked it up there wasn’t even a scratch!
The 18:9.5 ratio is impressive, but it’s still not fully operational
The 5.8-inch AMOLED display on the Galaxy S8, with WQHD+ resolution and 568ppi is a great reason to get this phone. The brightness, clearness, and color reproduction are spot on. However, the 18:9.5 ratio still doesn’t completely show what the S8 is capable of. The reason for that is that there’s still a lack of support for it in the smartphone community.
It’s not all the S8’s fault either. There aren’t many apps out there that support the ratio yet. So, like on the LG G6 and new mid-range LG Q6 series phone, to adapt their apps, most end up slicing off some of the content. Unfortunately, in many games, it’s their menu that gets sacrificed. As I said in my review of the S8, the problem is even more prominent on Samsung’s smartphone because of its curved edges.
However, this is the price you pay for technology that’s still in the works. The majority of Samsung apps, like Netflix, for which Stranger Things and House of Cards are shot in a 2:1, already offer support for this ratio. Using both Twitter and Reddit on this screen is great as well since you’re able to see a lot more content.
Plus, Google is in the process of creating apps that support this format. In April, they asked their developers to make the necessary changes to support the new format:
In order to take full advantage of the larger display formats on Android smartphones, you should consider increasing your app’s maximum supported aspect ratio for apps in the Play Store. We recommended app developers to support 2:1 (18:9) display ratio or bigger.
It’s likely that the new Pixel phones will also have this display format (2:1). I suppose this is a problem for a later date, but it’s still annoying losing content when you know there could be more.
Samsung is working on solutions to improve user experience on its display as well. Through a system update, the company has offered a quick option to choose to hide the navigation bar to be able to take full advantage of the screen.
UI Experience has needed a few updates
In these 100 days, Samsung has released quite a few updates. The majority were to correct some sort of error, especially for Bluetooth 5.0. Some problems were easily fixed, while others still pop up. Samsung still hasn’t quite figured out how to stabilize the dual audio sync when using two Bluetooth-connected speakers at the same time.
On our website, I’ve covered at least two of these major updates, one that was 613.44MB and the other 664.12MB. Obviously, when you buy a new device, you don’t expect to have to update it so often. However, some of them, like the latest security patch, were more than a little necessary.
As for hardware, nothing much has changed. The device is still fast and able to hand the different settings options – like the three different display resolutions (HD+, FHD+, and WQHD+) – which are much easier to use now. Samsung could have removed a ton of bloatware from its UI Experience, however there are still countless native options, and it takes time to find out what you actually need for daily life.
Tela Edge is a good example of this. A display that doesn’t come as standard, but should, and you need to pay for the best options, like notification shortcuts. As the screen on the S8 is longer, accessing the notifications bar on the side is easier than trying to reach the status bar by knocking on the screen.