8 Fast Facts about the Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 duo was officially revealed last week to glowing first impressions, and it’s easy to see why. It has a gorgeous infinity display, impressive internals, and a tried-and-true camera.

Samsung is redefining the limitations of a smartphone and this is evident in the Galaxy S8. This year, the focus is on the big display and the large screen real estate of the S8 will blow you away.

Here are 8 facts about the Galaxy S8 you might not know about:

1. The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses two different camera sensors

Samsung has been known to make some of the best smartphone cameras in terms of performance and image quality. One of the reasons why they’ve gained that reputation is the innovation that goes into designing the Galaxy S series.

As it turns out, Samsung is using two different sensors for the rear and front camera in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Units have been spotted using a Sony IMX333 sensor and a S5K2L2 ISOCELL sensor made by Samsung subsidiary, System LSI, on the rear.

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.

Around front, the new 8MP autofocus selfie camera is sporting either a Sony IMX320 unit or an ISOCELL S5K3H1. The different cameras share the same specs all around, so the pictures from either camera should ultimately be the same.

It won’t matter whether you get a Sony or Samsung-made main camera, you will still have a 1/2.55″ 12.2MP sensor with dual pixel autofocus. The optics will remain the same as well – f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. There’s no need to worry about which one you have.

2. The Exynos 8895 model beat the iPhone 7 Plus in 2 out of 3 benchmarks

With the Galaxy S8 launch official, we are starting to see some of the first performance benchmarks roll in, giving us a true glimpse of how the new flagship will stand up against its competition.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Exynos 8895 model beat the iPhone 7 Plus in 2 out of 3 benchmarks
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Exynos 8895) performance benchmarks. Photo: Phablist (Click to enlarge)

The Galaxy S8 with Exynos 8895 narrowly beat the iPhone 7 Plus in the AnTuTu 6 benchmark, which is still one of the best all-round performers. Samsung barely squeezed by with a score of 174155 over Apple’s 173110 (higher is better in this case).

Samsung also beat the iPhone 7 Plus in Geekbench 4 multi-core benchmark, with a score of 6339 over 5664 (higher is better in this case). The Galaxy S8 beat out the Kirin 960 chip found inside the Huawei P10 Plus as well, which scored 5821 (also beating the iPhone 7 Plus).

The Exynos and Kirin are quite similar as both are based on the Mali-G71 GPU, but the Samsung model uses customized A73 cores, whereas the Huawei version is not modified.

Where the Galaxy S8 fell short was Single-core performance, scoring a 1974 in the Geekbench 4 benchmark. Although an improvement over the Galaxy S7 edge (1696), the margin is much smaller and Apple’s cores take the crown here with a score of 3473. Samsung did manage to squeeze out a win over the Huawei P10 Plus, however, which scored 1937 points.

Note that these scores are from an Exynos 8895 unit, there’s also a Snapdragon 835 version not included in these scores. The numbers should be similar across the board, as Samsung claims that both chipsets are basically identical in performance.

3. The Galaxy S8 has facial recognition security – but it’s flawed

Not only does Samsung’s latest flagship have a fingerprint an iris scanner for security, it can also use the front facing camera to recognize your face. Simply pick up the phone, wait a split second, and it unlocks.

Samsung touted the handset’s security features during the Galaxy S8 launch event, but a recent video has surfaced online that shows how easily the facial recognition system can be fooled. All you have to do is place a photo of the owner in front of the S8 and it will unlock.

It may take a couple tries to get it right, but the video suggests that the Galaxy S8 facial recognition system has some serious security flaws. It appears that the camera can’t easily distinguish between an actual person holding the handset and a photo of that person, which makes it easy for a hacker to gain access to your private data.

Thankfully, there’s more than one way to secure a Galaxy S8. So until the facial recognition feature is improved, its best to use the fingerprint sensor or iris scanner to keep things locked up.

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 lets you disable app drawer

In an effort to clean up TouchWiz, Samsung has made many changes in the last couple of years with its Galaxy S lineup. The latest change being the ability to hide the app drawer in the Galaxy S8 – keeping all of your apps on the home screen.

Samsung Galaxy S8 lets you disable app drawer
The ability to hide the app drawer was first available in the Galaxy S7 as an experimental setting. Photo: YT.

Users now have the choice to show or hide the apps button through the settings menu. This feature was also available in the Galaxy S7 but it was buried deep underneath the Samsung Labs app as an experimental setting.

5. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ won’t face any supply issues

Samsung’s latest flagship is one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2017. It is the first major release from the Korean company since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, and Samsung has high expectations for its performance in the market.

Samsung is very confident that the Galaxy S8 will shatter the sales record of the Galaxy S7 for the first year, which is why the company has announced they will produce around 20,000,000 units for the initial production run.

Samsung’s head of mobile, DJ Koh, promised that the Galaxy S8 series would not see any supply issues whatsoever. The company is ready to sell double what it did when the S7s were launched last year. “Since we are preparing the supply without difficulty, there will be no issue of supply delay”, Koh said in a statement to The Korea Herald.

6. You use the power key and the volume down to take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8

One of the biggest changes with the Samsung Galaxy S8 lineup was removal of the Samsung signature physical home button. What once served as a multi-function trigger with real feeling is now replaced with an on-screen icon with haptic feedback via a smart vibration engine.

With the physical home button gone, many Galaxy S8 owners may discovering that taking a screenshot the usual way – holding the home and power button together – doesn’t work anymore. The key combination to take a screenshot has changed on the Galaxy S8 duo.

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.

You now take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy by simultaneously pressing the power key and the volume down button. Hold them together for a second and you will see the screen flash and a preview of the screen grab appears. From here, you have some additional options:

  • Scrolling Screenshot: Tap to scroll and automatically stitch the tow images into one tall screen grab. This is very useful for saving a webpage and other content that normally doesn’t fit on a single screen.
  • Crop Screenshot: Tap and you will see a preview with the on-screen buttons and taskbar automatically cropped. This feature is best for removing any unnecessary information from your screenshot.
  • Draw on Screenshot: Tap to draw on top of a screenshot and annotate it. Use this feature when you need to circle or underline something, or even write your own notes.

7. The Galaxy S8 can stream music to two Bluetooth devices at the same time

Perhaps one of the most under-reported features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the existence of Bluetooth dual audio. This Sonos style software enables users to stream Bluetooth audio to two different speakers or headsets simultaneously, allowing you to control the volume of both audio sources separately.

The new feature comes to the S8 family alongside Bluetooth 5.0, which is said to have four times the distance and twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. It’s also supposed to be more energy efficient, and have a wider throughput capacity – this should help with decreasing those annoying audio cutouts.

8. The Galaxy S8 is surprisingly strong, but you will still want a case

You’ll want to save up another $20 for a Galaxy S8 case after watching YouTuber TechRax, who recently posted one of the internet’s first Galaxy S8 drop test videos.

The latest Samsung flagship was dropped twice onto a concrete floor from a height of approximately five feet. On the first drop, the Galaxy S8 bounced off one of its corners and onto its back. Despite some scratches and dings, the unit held up well.

Drop two is what did the new infinity display in, as the Galaxy s8 was dropped directly on its screen. It managed to turn in midair, landing mostly on its side, but the screen shattered on impact. Surprisingly though, the phone was still operational.

In another TechRax video, the Galaxy S8 is put through a torture test with a harsh assault from both a large knife and a hammer. The rear glass panel gave way to the knife after some very firm stabs and the front display managed to survive many firm hammer strikes before finally caving in. Despite the abuse, the display and touchscreen functioned perfectly fine despite a huge hammer hole right in the center.

There is very little chance that your phone is going to be going up this kind of abuse in a real world situation, unless you encounter a knife attack. As we’ve seen in the past, a Samsung Galaxy phablet can double as body armor in the right situation. Despite the resilience of the galaxy S8, however, odds are you will still want to buy a case.

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