Galaxy S8 and S8+: What you need to know before you buy (FAQ)

The Samsung Galaxy S8 duo is without a doubt one of the best and most attractive looking pair of Smartphones you can buy to date. Both phones feature innovative technology in terms of its hardware specifications – the main difference being screen size – and feature a design language that is arguably the best on the market today.

Samsung’s latest flagship will be its first flagship since the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 and a lot rides on the success of the handset for the company. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ pack many new features and have changed a bit from Samsung’s previous flagships in a few ways.

If you are planning to buy a new Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ but have some questions first, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding Samsung’s eighth rendition of the Galaxy S family.

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Check out our FAQ below for just about everything you need to know about the S8 and be sure to leave us a comment if you have unanswered questions that can be added to the list!

  1. What are the primary differences between the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  2. Why do both phones look so tall?
  3. Will apps designed for 16:9 aspect ratio work with the Galaxy S8’s 18.5:9 display?
  4. How will the new aspect ratio affect entertainment such as movies, TV, and games?
  5. How much resolution does the Galaxy S8 display have?
  6. How do you change the Galaxy S8 screen resolution?
  7. Can you change the DPI settings on the Galaxy S8 without rooting?
  8. Is it true that the Galaxy S8 display has a red tint?
  9. Is there a risk of the Galaxy S8 battery exploding suddenly like that of the Galaxy Note 7?
  10. Does the Galaxy S8 still have a physical home button?
  11. How do you take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 without a home button?
  12. With no home button, where is the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8?
  13. Does the Galaxy S8 support fingerprint gestures?
  14. What about the headphone jack? Is it still there?
  15. Is Samsung bundling AKG earbuds with the Galaxy S8 in all markets of the world?
  16. Is the Galaxy S8 camera better than the Galaxy S7?
  17. Can you record slow-motion videos on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  18. What is Bixby?
  19. Are the Galaxy S8 and S8+ dust or water-resistant?
  20. What kind of build materials will you find on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  21. How many color options are available for the Galaxy S8 duo?
  22. Does the Galaxy S8 have a removable battery?
  23. What kind of SIM card slot does the phone have? Can one use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time?
  24. Which version of Android do the handsets run on?
  25. Is fast charging supported on the Galaxy S8?
  26. How much free storage space does the Galaxy S8 have?
  27. Do the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have expandable storage?
  28. Does the Galaxy S8 offered by mobile carriers feature any operator logo or apps?
  29. Can you uninstall or disable pre-installed apps on the handset?
  30. How fast can you launch the camera app on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  31. What accessories come with the Galaxy S8 packaging?
  32. Does the Galaxy S8 and S8+ support USB OTG?
  33. Does the Galaxy S8 have an IR blaster?
  34. Does the Galaxy S8 have a Wi-Fi hotspot?

What are the primary differences between the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

The two phones differ from each other only in terms of their dimensions, screen size, and battery capacity. The Galaxy S8 is the smaller of the duo and features a 5.8-inch QHD+ display with a 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8+ features a larger 6.2-inch QHD+ display.

The larger dimensions of the Galaxy S8+ handset allow Samsung to pack a bigger 3500mAh battery to maintain battery life along with a larger screen. Also, due to the fact that each phone has identical resolution with different size screens, the Galaxy S8 has a higher pixel density of 570 ppi over 529 ppi on the Galaxy S8+.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ screen size comparison
The two Galaxy S8 phones differ from each other only in terms of their dimensions, screen size, and battery capacity.

Why do both phones look so tall?

The big reason the S8 looks so different from any other phone is its new screen, which Samsung has dubbed the “Infinity Display.” It features a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that’s similar to the 18:9 screen on the LG G6, but taller and skinnier than the traditional 16:9 screens the vast majority of other smartphones have.

Will apps designed for 16:9 aspect ratio work with the Galaxy S8’s 18.5:9 display?

Sometimes some apps may fail to stretch across the giant display on the Samsung Galaxy S8, leaving slim black bars around the corners of the screen while running some apps. This issue can be fixed easily by going to Settings > Display > Full Screen Apps.

From here, just select the apps that aren’t displaying properly to force them into have them be stretched to full screen in the future. We can probably expect speedy updates from app makers to fix these issues as different aspect ratios becomes more popular, making this a somewhat temporary fix.

How will the new aspect ratio affect entertainment such as movies, TV, and games?

Because some videos display at 16:9, the S8 and S8 Plus is going to smack some vertical black bars on the left and right of files you watch in that format. Android automatically resizes apps to work with various screen sizes, so you won’t have to worry about mobile games and other apps doing the same.

How much resolution does the Galaxy S8 display have?

The Galaxy S8 has a Quad-HD display that offers a maximum resolution of 2960×1440 pixels; however, the screen resolution is set to 2220×1080 pixels out of the box.

How do you change the Galaxy S8 screen resolution?

If you want to change the display resolution to full Quad-HD resolution at 2960×1440 pixels, then go to the Settings > Phone Settings > Display. From here, you can then choose the “Screen Resolution” option. Going with a lower screen resolution is a great way to improve battery life on your Galaxy S8.

Save battery life on the Galaxy S8 by setting a lower screen resolution.
Lower resolution translates to lower power consumption and vice versa. Photo: Phablist

Recommended: Improve your Galaxy S8/S8+ battery life with these simple battery saving tips.

Can you change the DPI settings on the Galaxy S8 without rooting?

Yes, you can change the DPI Settings on your Galaxy S8 without the need of rooting but first you have to enable developer options. Do this by going to Settings > About Phone. Look for the “Build Number” option and tap it 7 times in succession. This will enable the “Developer Options” on your Samsung Galaxy S8.

Next, go to “Settings” and then tap on the “Developer Settings” option. Under Developer Settings, tap on the “Minimum Width” option. From here, you can change the DPI value of your Samsung Galaxy S8 by setting your desired value on the space provided.

How to change the DPI setting on the Galaxy S8/S8+ without rooting
You can change the DPI Settings on your Galaxy S8 without the need of rooting. Photo: Phablist

Is it true that the Galaxy S8 display has a red tint?

Shortly after the Galaxy S8 series was launched, some users found their Super AMOLED screens were more red than they should be, which Samsung said was not hardware related but a calibration misalignment that could be solved using software.

An official update that fixes the issue has since been released, but if you are still having problems, the color balance of the display can be adjusted by going to Settings > Display > Screen Mode > Color Balance and then moving the color sliders of the S8 display to suit your liking.

Is there a risk of the Galaxy S8 battery exploding suddenly like that of the Galaxy Note 7?

Not Likely. Since the Note 7 exploding battery incident, Samsung has taken multiple steps and introduced an eight-point safety check to ensure that such a recall fiasco will never happen again. In addition, the company says that the Galaxy S8’s battery has a better lifespan as it will be able to retain 95% of its efficiency two years down the line.

Does the Galaxy S8 still have a physical home button?

No, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the first smartphones from Samsung to ditch iconic physical home button. Instead, the devices feature an on-screen navigation bar, with the home button area having a 3D Touch-like response. This allows users to quickly bring up the home button by hard pressing on that area on the screen, even while using full screen apps.

How do you take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 without a home button?

The process of taking a screenshot is slightly different on the Galaxy S8 since it lacks a physical home button. The key combination has now changed to Volume Down + Power, which is similar to many other Android devices out there.

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
The key combination to take a screenshot has changed on the Galaxy S8.

With no home button, where is the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8?

Unlike previous Samsung devices with a home button, the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is now located on the backside, right next to the camera sensor. You might find the new position slightly awkward, especially on the larger Galaxy S8+.

Does the Galaxy S8 support fingerprint gestures?

Yes, the Galaxy S8 does supports fingerprint gestures like swiping down on the scanner to open the notification shade.

What about the headphone jack? Is it still there?

Yes, Samsung doesn’t plan on getting rid of the traditional headphone jack anytime soon. The good news is that you can still listen to your favorite tracks through wired headphones.

Not only that, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ come bundled with a pair of wired headphones from Harman’s AKG, which is well known for churning out high-end audio products. The wired Harmon AKG headphones feature killer audio and are worth $99, alone.

Is Samsung bundling AKG earbuds with the Galaxy S8 in all markets of the world?

Yes, not matter which part of the world you are in, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is bundled with premium AKG wired headphones.

Is the Galaxy S8 camera better than the Galaxy S7?

Not really. While Samsung has traditionally made significant improvements in the Galaxy S camera with each new release, the Galaxy S8 features the same 12-megapixel rear-mounted camera found on the Galaxy S7.

That’s the same megapixel count as last year, alongside an f/1.7 aperture and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Nothing much has changed this time around, unfortunately. On the front, both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with an 8-megapixel shooter with an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses two different camera sensors
It won’t matter whether you get a Sony or Samsung-made main camera. Photo: Phablist.

Can you record slow-motion videos on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

Yes, the Galaxy S8 can record in slow motion. However, unlike the rumors would have you believe, the S8 duo is NOT capable of recording slow motion videos at 1,000fps.

What is Bixby?

The most significant change you will find on the Galaxy S8 is the arrival of Bixby, Samsung’s built-in virtual personal assistant. Bixby is useful for tasks similar to that already done by the Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

However, unlike Siri or Google Assistant, Samsung claims Bixby is more “intelligent” and designed for “completeness” allowing you to use your voice for everything you would otherwise do by tapping the screen.

Bixby also has an image recognition feature that works with the camera that can identify an object and provide additional info or suggest where you could purchase it – similar to the Firefly feature that was first debuted on the Amazon Fire Phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a dedicated Bixby button to its left side, whose only function is to launch the Bixby virtual assistant application. It can’t be remapped for the camera, for example, without rooting.

Are the Galaxy S8 and S8+ dust or water-resistant?

Yes, just like their predecessor, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature an IP68 certification that makes them dust and water-resistant. So, in essence, if you drop it down the toilet or into the bathtub while tweeting, you’ll probably be OK.

What kind of build materials will you find on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

The entire body of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are made of Gorilla Glass, however not all surfaces are created equal. The front of the handsets makes use of Gorilla Glass 5, while the rear glass panel makes use of Gorilla Glass 4.

How many color options are available for the Galaxy S8 duo?

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options, including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver, and Maple Gold. We think that Coral Blue and Orchid Gray are colors that standout better than all the others.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options.

Does the Galaxy S8 have a removable battery?

No, the battery on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is not removable. The last Galaxy S phone to feature a removable battery was the Galaxy S5.

What kind of SIM card slot does the phone have? Can one use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time?

Galaxy S8 smartphones sold in the US and Europe features a nanoSIM card and microSD card slot. The Asian variants of the handsets feature dual-SIM functionality; though it will be a hybrid slot meaning you can use either two SIM cards or one SIM card and microSD card at any given time.

Which version of Android do the handsets run on?

Both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ comes shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat. There is little reason to believe that an update for Android 8 won’t be available when the new OS rolls out.

Is fast charging supported on the Galaxy S8?

Yes, the handset supports fast charging as well as fast wireless charging. Unfortunately, Samsung has not made any significant improvements to their fast charging technology so expect charging speeds equivalent to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0.

How much free storage space does the Galaxy S8 have?

The Galaxy S8 comes with 64GB of internal storage. After subtracting space used for the operating system and bloatware, you get about 52GB of usable space out of the box.

Do the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have expandable storage?

Yes, both variants of the Galaxy S8 feature a microSD card slot that supports memory cards of up to 2TB.

Does the Galaxy S8 offered by mobile carriers feature any operator logo or apps?

No and Yes. Although the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will not feature any carrier logos, – at least in the US – the device will still come preloaded with carrier specific apps and bloatware.

Can you uninstall or disable pre-installed apps on the handset?

Yes, you can uninstall or disable some of the pre-installed apps and bloatware on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ but you won’t notice much increase in storage space unless the apps that you choose to disable have updates installed.

How fast can you launch the camera app on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

Since the Galaxy S8 has no physical home button, the double press camera app shortcut has changed on the device. Instead of the home button, you now have to double press the power button to open the camera app from anywhere in the OS.

What accessories come with the Galaxy S8 packaging?

Inside the box, you get the handset, a 9v 2A fast charger, a USB-C cable, SIM ejector tool, AKG earphones, and documentation.

Does the Galaxy S8 and S8+ support USB OTG?

Yes, USB On-The-Go is supported on the Galaxy S8 duo. This allows you to directly connect pen drives, external hard disks and other peripherals using an adapter to the device. Since the Galaxy S8 now comes with a USB-C port, you will need to use a new OTG adapter with it.

Does the Galaxy S8 have an IR blaster?

No, since the Galaxy S8/S8+ doesn’t feature an IR blaster, you won’t be able to operate your infrared controlled devices with the handset.

Does the Galaxy S8 have a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Yes, the both S8 phones have hotspot capabilities but the availability and usage depends on your mobile carrier data plan. To share your mobile connection over a WIFI Hotspot with your Samsung Galaxy S8 navigate to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Personal Hotspot. Some carriers will throttle your speeds after a certain amount of hotspot data has been used for the billing cycle.



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