Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 series is now available in India, starting at Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 for the Galaxy S8+ smartphone. The S8’s highlight is an all new dual-curved edge with no bezels on the side; Samsung calls it the ‘Infinity Display’, which has an 18: 5.9 ratio compared to the regular 16:9 ratio.
Given the pricing, the Galaxy S8 series is the new premium device in the market, and will obviously take on the Apple iPhone 7 series. The other ‘premium’ priced Android smartphone in the market is the Google Pixel. We compare how the latest Galaxy S8 series stands against the other premium phones in the market.
Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+: Samsung’s new Galaxy S8, S8+ come packed with a host of new features, apart from the display. As we’ve noted in our first impression, the experience you get on the Infinity Display is something you won’t find on any other smartphone just yet.
Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ have much bigger displays compared to the previous generation with their respective 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch 2K SAMOLED screens. But the lack of bezels means Samsung is able to fit a bigger display in the same compact body.
If you compare dimensions of the S8 with last year’s S7 edge, the S8 is actually smaller in size. The S8’s dimensions are 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm and the S7 edge (which had a 5.5-inch display) sported these dimensions 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm. So yes, the S8 is a slightly thicker, but overall smaller than the S7 edge.
The camera is the other highlight of S8 and S8+. On paper, it looks like Samsung hasn’t changed anything with 12MP Dual Pixel technology, but as we saw in our initial few tests, the S8 is capable of delivering some stunning results, even in low-light.
The other key point of the S8 series from Samsung’s end is the Bixby voice assistant. Samsung Bixby gets a dedicated button, and is part of the camera as well. Bixby can be accessed by swiping right from the homescreen, and will show all relevant information in the form of cards. It does remind one of Google Now. Bixby, however, can also read images from your camera, and suggest items around them.
Interestingly though Google Assistant is also available on the S8, S8+ series. For users, who are considering the S8, S8+ smartphones the highlight will undoubtedly be the display, for which is there is no equivalent in the market right now.
Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus: Apple’s flagships for 2016 are now a couple of months old, but that doesn’t mean the phones are outdated when it comes to performance or features. However the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus’ design is old, if you compare them to the S8 series.
The iPhone 7 Plus and S8+ are in fact exactly the same in size when you keep them next to each other. iPhone 7 Plus dimensions are 158.2 mm x 77.9 mm x 7.3 mm, while the S8+ with its 6.2-inch screen is only slightly bigger at 159.5mm x 73.4 x 8.1mm. When it comes to the S8 vs the iPhone 7, the issue is never about the specifications, but what both offer as a complete package.
Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus come with iOS 10 and Apple’s ecosystem of apps. With the iPhone 7 Plus the dual rear camera is the other highlight which comes with a telephoto and a wide angle lens. The iPhone 7 Plus support ‘bokeh’ style Portrait mode where the background is blurred, while keeping the object in focus, has 2X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom as well.
In case of the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 camera is the key feature, as both now support OIS for better, less grainy images.
Overall the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus come with the assurance of regular updates, at least for the next two-three years, and a performance that is stable. Plus if you plan to upgrade in the next six months or so, the iPhone’s exchange value is always on the higher side.
Finally there’s also a red colour version now available in the Indian market.
Google Pixel, Pixel XL: Google Pixel and Pixel XL are two smartphones that were launched with much fanfare by the search giant. While the design of the Pixel phones has left many divided (that half glass, half metal does seem confused), the Pixel has won rave reviews for its camera, and overall performance.
Google Pixel, Pixel XL have a 12MP rear camera with no OIS, and none of this sound exceptional on paper. Except that there’s some serious software wizardry going on with these phones, and the Pixel, Pixel XL are widely seen as one of the best Android smartphone cameras.
In our comparison, the Pixel series camera very close to the iPhone 7 in the terms of camera performance; in some low-light cases it can surpass the iPhone as well.
The other bit with Google Pixel is the pure Android experience with regular updates, which are rolled out first to these phones. Pixel also has some features like unlimited cloud storage for photos and videos (at full resolution) to its users, and a handy tool to transfer data from your old iOS or Android device easily.
The only problem with Pixel is that a lot of user reports have complained about issues that keep cropping up after each software update.