In the next couple of days our lucky Mobile Insider will be receiving their new handsets and the review will begin.
Watch this space for imminent un-boxing and excitement.
Please post below if you'd like the reviewer to keep anything particular in mind when they're writing about their first impressions of the phones - you're go-to person for questions on this handset is @Smiley3
You can find out more and purchase the Samsung GalaxyS8 here.
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I'd like to thank Telstra for giving me a Samsung Galaxy S8 to review.
Once I get some photo's onto my laptop, I'll be starting my review.
It's been fun so far learning the in's and out's of a new device.
Coming from a Samsung Galaxy S6, it"s been pretty easy to navigate.
If you have anything in particular you'd like me to review, just post the question and I'll do my best to answer.
DISCLAIMER: I have been given a Samsung Galaxy S8 by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.
I'll start off with some specifications
OS 7 Nougat
5.8" Quad HD + Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 570ppi 18.5:9 Ratio
Octa-core chip 10nm processor
64GB memory and 4GB RAM
Micro sim and Micro sd up to 256GB
Rear camera 12mp f1.7 auto focus Dual Pixel
Front camera 8mp f1.7 auto focus
Battery 3,000 mAh
LTE Category 16
Gorilla Glass 5 front and back
Dust resistant and Water resistant
The smartphone I was using before starting this review was the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Some of the features I liked most about the S6 were:
UN-BOXING OF THE S8
I'm impressed with the packaging.
The S8 came in a box with shrink wrap plastic over it.
After removing the plastic, there's a cardboard sleeve over the actual mobile box.
Then don't try to push the box through another sleeve like I tried to do and wonder why the box wont push through, LOL It's idiot froof (for me).
At the right hand corner there's a sticker "Do not accept if seal is broken".
Once opening the flap you'll find instructions on the front of the S8 "Getting Started has never been easier"
CONTENTS OF THE BOX
The sim and micro sd (up to 256GB) tray is positioned at the top on the left. An ejection pin comes in the box.
I found it very fiddly to get the micro sim and micro sd card to stay in the tray.
When I powered on for the first time the battery had 52% charge straight out of the box.
You'll find the usual Samsung set-up steps
I transfered 8.26GB using the USB cable. It said that it would take 21 minutes but I think it was quicker than that.
It didn't transfer "Memo" from my S6 but doing a search in the S8 for notes Samsung Notes came up.
When I opened the Samsung Notes App it asked me if I wanted to transfer from another device.
I plugged in the USB cable and it transfered in a few seconds.
There was a 253.63 Software update after setting the mobile up.
First phone call
I was dissapointed with the first phone call.
I was itching to use the S8 for a phone call to test it out, so I rang my sister.
I could hear her but She couldn't hear me. I tried 3 times and the same thing kept happening.
I noticed in the Status Bar that a WiFi signal and a hand piece with a WiFi signal was coming out of it.
I disabled WiFi, Activated Flight Mode, Turned WiFi back on and made sure WiFi Calling was on in the Phone Settings.
This fixed the problem and this is the way I have activated WiFi Calling from then on.
I have noticed a Faint static noise, but other than that the call sounds clear when connected to my Telstra Advanced 111 mobile broadband device.
VoLTE has a faint static noise also, which is more noticable when using the earphone's. Most people wouldn't hear it, but because I'm reviewing the device I'm looking out for everything.
The S8 feels a little lighter than the S6.
It's narrower and longer than the S6.
The natural position my fingers want to be are: Left thumb on the Bixby button and volume down button and my pointer finger on the power button.
I've put a Tech21 wallet cover on the mobile and this moves my fingers into a different position.
No Hard Home Button
The first thing I noticed is that there is no hard home button anymore, it's been replaced with a virtual button on the Navigation Bar.
It took a bit of getting used to (as all the mobile phones I've used had a hard home button) until I found a setting to make the Home Button less sensitive (Settings- Display- Navigation Bar- Home Button Sensitivity)
The one thing I miss about not having a hard home button is not being able to do a screenshot by holding the power button and home button at the same time.
To take a screenshot you have to swipe the edge of your hand across the screen while keeping in contact with it. This works most of the time after having some practice at it. It's a lot harder with a cover on the mobile.
Make sure Palm Swipe to Capture is turned on. This is in Settings- Advanced Features- Palm Swipe to Capture- turn On.
I have come across another way to take a screenshot.
Hold the Power Button and Volume Down Button at the same time until it makes a click sound.
This is also a bit hard to do with a cover on the mobile.
In the Navigation Bar Setting (Settings- Display- Navigation Bar) you'll find how to show or hide the Navigation Bar.
If you hide it, it's just a swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access it.
in the Settings you can change the background colour and the button layout, Recents-Home-Back or Back-Home-Recents.
After a few day's of using the S8 I'm getting used to the layout of where different things are. Coming from an S6 it's not too much different.
In Part 2 I'll write about Lock Screen and Security, Devices I've connected to, Earphones, Battery Life, camera and any thing else I can think of.
Part 2 of my review.
Lock Screen and Security
To use Fingerprint, Face Recognition or your Irises to unlock your mobile you need to set a pattern, PIN or password.
You'll need it to unlock your mobile after it restarts or when it hasn't been used for more than 24 hours.
I can't try the Iris Scanner. I've put a Tech21 scratch resistant screen protector on the S8.
When I started to set it up, a warning came on the screen with situations when not to use it. One of them said, Having a screen protector could keep the LED from going out, therefore I don't want to risk it.
I first set this up in daylight. When I used it by lamp light it couldn't recognise my face. Luckily the password I set got me into the mobile.
I re did the face recognition by lamp light and it worked after that.
Fingerprint and Fingerprint Scanner
The Fingerprint Scanner is located on the back of the S8, right next to the camera lens. Being in this position the camera lens gets fingerprints on it. I found that I was also pressing on the wrong side, where the flash and heart rate monitor is.
When first testing the Fingerprint I set a password. The fingerprint opened the mobile straight away with the correct finger. If the wrong finger was used the password got me in.
A few days later, after using the face recognition and password, I changed it back to fingerprint and password to see if it still worked. The finger print worked BUT it wouldn't accept my password.
I rang Samsung Support (24/7 support luckily, being 10pm at night) and spent 1 hour trying to fix the problem.
First the consultant said that I'd have to take it to a Samsung center or get the mobile replaced, which I replied that I can't do that as I'm doing a review for Telstra and need the mobile now.
The consultant then asked me to reboot the mobile by pressing the power button and volume down button at the same time (This is how I learnt that by doing this it takes a screenshot).
After 3 attempts of rebooting (you have to hold the buttons until it's taken a screenshot, shows power off then it will shut down by itself), it accepted my password once to get into the mobile, BUT wouldn't accept it in the Lock Screen and Security Settings.
I ended up giving the Samsung consultant permission to get into the mobile.
He looked at some settings and then told me he was going to use findmymobile.samsung .com to unlock the device.
These are the steps if anyone needs to unlock their device
The Samsung consultant suggested using a PIN instead of a password. Needless to say I only have Swipe to unlock set at the moment.
If something is going to go wrong, it normal happens to me.
Accessing th Apps
The Apps icon has been removed from the home screen.
To access you Apps it's just a swipe up or down on the home screen.
On the right hand side of the screen there's a 2.5cm long bar, called the Handle. This is where you access the Edge Panels.
I have the Apps Edge and People Edge activated in mine so I can quickly access my 10 most used Apps and 10 most used Contacts. There's 15 Panels that you can have access to if you choose to.
My Apps Edge
My People Edge, with my Mum's contact open to either call or message.
In the Edge Screen settings, press the 3 dots on the right up the to of the screen and press on "Handle Setting"
In the Handle settings you can
Devices I've connected to
I'm able to connect all the devices that I use
Earphones and Loudspeaker
The AKG tuned earphones come with medium sized earbuds on it. There's large and small in the box. I had to put small one's on and it took a bit of time as it was a fiddly process.
Using the earphones on a call made the static louder.
Listening to music on the other hand is excellent. The vocals and instruments are crystal clear even with the volume at a high level. They are great at blocking ambient noise.
The loudspeaker sounds clearer than the S6 at the highest volume when listening to music.
Silencing the ringing mobile
Settings- Advance features- Easy mute- On
I found turning the mobile face down or pressing the volume up button silenced the mobile. Swiping my hand over the front of the mobile didn't work for me.
On my S6 at home, the signal was playing up, fluctuating from 4-2 bars of signal on 4G and 3G and while doing so, wouldn't load anything on the internet.
I checked the Telstra Service Status page and there seemed to be no problem in my area. I got the sim replaced but this didn't fix the problem.
With the S8, it has full signal of 4G and 3G, and so far I haven't had the same problem as the S6.
The non removable battery is 3000mAh and in the box you get a Fast charger. You can also purchase a wireless charger.
The battery loss overnight is only 3%
Here are a few recharging times
12% battery left- 1 hour 28minutes
15% battery left- 1 hour 23minutes
18% battery left- 1 hour 14minutes
In a 24 hour period I've had 33% battery left. This is after I've made phone calls, sent text messages, surfed the internet, checked emails and watched a 10 minute video on Facebook.
The front camera is 8MP f1.7 auto focus
The rear camera is 12MP f1.7 auto focus Dual Pixel
I don't know much about camera jargon. I do know that the photo quality and video quality of the S8 is better than the S6.
S6 shot 1/200sec f/1.9 4.3mm, ISO 40, Dimensions 2947x3929 (I shrunk to fit this review), Auto flash (didn't flash)
S8 shot 1/320sec f/1.7 4.2mm, ISO 40, Dimensions 3009x4011 (I shrunk to fit this review), Auto Flash (didn't flash)
When opening the camera app a popup always came on the screen to turn on Bixby Vision ( I haven't activated Bixby because I wouldn't use it). If you click on the x it will go of the screen, but it always returns when you want to use the camera. I gave in after a few days, clicked on the popup, opened something to do with Bixby and then hit the return button. Yay, it's gone now.
I did have fun using the animated add ons in selfies and had a laugh putting them on my elderly parents.
Display - 5 out of 5
The display is crystal clear and having the Infinity Screen is a bonus. I can also read the screen when direct sunlight is on it.
Performance- 5 out of 5
The performance is excellent. It's very quick to load websites and I haven't had a problem with it so far.
Emails- 5 out of 5
I use Gmail for my Gmail email address and this is my primary emailing address. I do have a Bigpond email address which I access through Email. I did test that they both worked by sending and receiving between each other and I had no problem doing so.
Messaging- 5 out of 5
I haven't had a problem sending or receiving sms or mms. (I don't use Enhanced Messaging which the S8 doesn't have).
Watching Videos- 5 out of 5
The infinity display screen is excellent to watch videos on. The picture and sound quality is excellent.
The only thing that I would change with the S8 would be to move the Fingerprint Sensor about 2cm down under the camera lens.
I would highly reccomend the S8 to family and friends.
Once again, I would like to thank Telstra for giving me the opportunity to review the Samsung Galaxy S8
With the S6 I would have about 15% battery left after using it in the 24 hour period whereas the S8 has 33% left.
I think the S8 would suit a range of users.
Less tech savy and Elderly people wouldn't get confused using it, especially if someone showed them how to do something.
As for a Power user, they probably wouldn't get a day out of it.
I wouldn't like to answer for a Photography Buff because I don't know much about Photography.
If a user had a question or problem they can contact Samsung Support on 1300 362 603 24/7. I rang to ask about sending a video via mms (the quality wasn't good). I didn't realise because of the resolution of the video it's best to send via an email or through a Third Party App like whatsapp, viber or google hangout. The Samsung consultant explained all this to me. He was very helpful and didn't think I was stupid for asking the question.
Thank you, @Smiley3 for your detailed review of the Samsung Galaxy S8 i learnt a few things today.
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