After attending the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch event, I put together my best 10 smartphones post for the first part of 2017. The Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus was selected for the top spot.
Next week the S8 and S8 Plus arrive into the hands of buyers. Reports from Samsung indicate it has already pre-sold more than 728,000 units with a target of 1 million prior to the 21 April launch date.
I previously posted eight reasons the Galaxy S8 is good for business. As a supplement to that list, here are 10 reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus instead of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which was selected in the second spot of my 10 best smartphones.
- Display: The Galaxy S8 Plus has a 6.2 inch display with no side bezels and small top and bottom bezels. It is also narrower than the Apple iPhone 7 Plus that has a 5.5 inch display. Independent testing also shows the Galaxy S8 has the highest rated display of all smartphones.
- Fast charging and wireless charging: Actual battery life testing remains to be conducted for the Galaxy S8. However, if you do need to top off, it only takes a few minutes via USB Type-C or a wireless dock. It’s a bit frustrating to charge up an iPhone 7 Plus, which explains why there is such a large market for slap on battery packs.
- microSD expansion: The iPhone 7 Plus has three memory configurations available with the largest capacity 256GB being more than enough for most people. The Galaxy S8 Plus offers 64GB internal with a microSD storage card slot so you can pop inexpensive storage cards in and out as you please.
- Gorilla Glass 5: Apple has glass on the front and metal on the back while the Galaxy S8 has glass on the front and back. However, this glass is Gorilla Glass 5 that is designed for increased drop protection over previous glass panels, surviving 1.6 meter, shoulder height drops.
- Multiple security options: With the Galaxy S8, you can set it up to unlock via facial recognition, iris scanning, fingerprint, pattern, PIN, or a password. The iPhone 8 Plus has a fast fingerprint scanner with options for a password or PIN, but Samsung’s iris scanner may be a more convenient and secure option.
- Samsung DeX: People use their smartphones for everything today and with Samsung DeX, users now have the option to leave the laptop behind. I’ll be testing this exact capability on two upcoming business trips. Apple has no ability to extend the iPhone to an external display.
- Virtual reality: Samsung continues to improve its virtual reality experience with a handheld controller now included with the Gear VR. While VR can be used for games or media viewing, there are also enterprise reasons for VR. These include presenting virtual walk-throughs of engineering designs, medical procedure reviews, and interactive presentations.
- Bixby: There is a ton of potential in Samsung Bixby as it looks to improve the efficiency and productivity of the user. Unfortunately, Bixby’s voice assistant won’t be ready at launch so we will only get a glimpse of the Bixby service with a home screen panel similar to Google Now. With a dedicated button on the Galaxy S8, Samsung is committed to making Bixby all it promises to be and I look forward to making regular tasks more convenient and intuitive.
- Bluetooth 5.0: You may not have seen or heard that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be the first phones to launch with Bluetooth 5.0 support. Bluetooth 5.0 improves the connectivity performance, extends the range of Bluetooth, and allows you to connect two Bluetooth headphones to one Galaxy S8 at the same time.
- Samsung Pay: Apple Pay is popular, but nother beats Samsung Pay when it comes to the number of retail locations that are supported and the technology that allows you to replace your credit or debit card. I made a couple of purchases with my Gear S3 smartwatch using Samsung Pay at a location that stated it did not accept wireless payments. More banks are added regularly and Samsung also offers a ton of promotions to encourage Samsung Pay use.
- Headphone jack: While Apple thinks it was courageous to take away the headphone jack, most people still use headphones with a standard 3.5mm connector. Samsung’s purchase of Harman last year, buyers receive a nice pair of wired headphones in the box. While I appreciate and use Bluetooth headphones quite often, a 3.5mm headphone jack is convenient and economical while not having to worry about charging up another device.
It’s clear that Samsung continues to push smartphone technology forward and Apple is looking a bit dated with the iPhone 7. However, Apple continues to offer a compelling experience as well and not all of Samsung’s ideas and technologies are vital to the daily usage needs of all users.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and accessories.
Related ZDNet Samsung Galaxy S8 coverage