The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have finally been announced, following months and months of leaks and speculation. They will succeed the current Galaxy S7 and S7 edge and based on our first impressions, they will both be great devices.
We’ve compared the specs of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ to the Galaxy S7 to see how they compare and what the new smartphones bring to fill the huge shoes of the S7.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Design
- S8 only slightly taller than S7
- Slimmer bezels on S8 and S8+, offering refreshed design
- USB Type-C, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and no physical home button on S8 or S8+
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus bring a few cosmetic changes to the Galaxy S7. Very slim bezels, a home button built into the lower section of the displays and a dedicated side-button for launching the Bixby AI system are all present on the new devices, as is a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The S8 and S8+ both stick with the metal and glass combination design, offering the same beautifully sculpted sides, premium finish and waterproofing as the S7, but both have curved edges rather than flat. The two new devices also only increase their overall footprint slightly compared to the S7 despite their larger screen sizes.
The S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm and weighs 152g, while the S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and hits the scales at 155g, meaning it is only very slightly taller despite a 0.7-inch screen increase. The S8+ is a little larger still, measuring 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and weighing 173g but this device adds 1.1-inches to the S7’s screen size.
A physical home button is present on the front of the S7, housing a fingerprint sensor and it offers a 3.5mm headphone jack and charging through Micro-USB. The S8 and S8 Plus on the other hand retain the 3.5mm headphone jack but switch to USB Type-C and as we mentioned, reposition the fingerprint sensor to the rear next to the camera lens.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Display
- Larger displays on S8 and S8+
- Higher resolution on S8 and S8+
- S8 and S8+ have curved displays, 18.5:9 ratios and Mobile HDR Premium
The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch display, while the S8+ has a 6.2-inch display, both of which are quite a bit bigger than the S7 and its 5.1-inch screen. Though as we mentioned, the physical sizes of the devices don’t change too much, especially not in the case of the S8. This is down to the S8 and S8+ offering 18.5:9 aspect ratios rather than the standard 16:9, meaning the displays on the new devices are taller than the S7 but not wider, allowing for the increase diagonally.
The S8 and S8+ also both have curved displays, like the S7 edge and Note 7, rather than a flat screen like the S7. Samsung sticks with the Super AMOLED technology and the new devices also offer Mobile HDR Premium, meaning they are compatible with HDR content.
In terms of resolution, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature a Quad HD+ resolution, which translates to 2960 x 1440 pixels compared to the Galaxy S7’s Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution. This results in a pixel density of 570ppi for the Galaxy S8, 529ppi for the Galaxy S8+ and 578ppi on the Galaxy S7, making last year’s device the sharpest on paper though the human eye is unlikely to be able to tell the difference.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Camera
- 12MP Duo Pixel rear camera on all three devices
- S8 and S8+ both have 8MP front cameras with AF
- S8 and S8+ have Bixby Vision
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature the same 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear camera as the Galaxy S7, offering OIS, phase detection autofocus and an aperture of f/1.7. Samsung has introduced filters, augmented reality and stickers to the new models however, and it is also using multi-frame image processing, which means the camera takes three pictures and combines the detail for one better image.
The front camera resolution has also been increased on the new devices. The S8 and S8+ both have an 8-megapixel front-facing snapper with autofocus, while the Galaxy S7 has a 5-megapixel camera on the front with fixed focus and auto HDR.
The rear camera on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is also compatible with Bixby Vision, which is a feature that allows users to scan an object, picture or thing using their device and get returned results including information or shopping options.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Hardware
- More advanced processors in S8 and S8+
- S8, S8+ an S7 all have 4GB RAM
- S8 and S7 both 3000mAh battery, S8+ has 3500mAh
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will either have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or the Exynos 8895 chip under their hoods, region dependant though Samsung hasn’t specified which countries will get what chip as yet. Both chips will be supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, along with microSD for storage expansion.
The Galaxy S7 comes with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip or the Exynos 8890 processor under the hood, both of which have 4GB of RAM so an increase in performance is likely with the S8 and S8+, even though the RAM stays the same. Storage options come in the form of 32GB and 64GB, both of which have microSD support.
The Galaxy S8 has a 3000mAh capacity, which is the same as the S7, while the S8+ has a larger capacity at 3500mAh. As we mentioned previously, the S7 is charged via Micro-USB while the S8 and S8+ both have USB Type-C. The two new models also offer iris scanning.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Software
- Android Nougat with new features on S8 and S8+
- Personal assistant Bixby on S8 and S8+
- All devices should have similar experience
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ launch on Android Nougat with the company’s TouchWiz software overlay. The interface is similar to Nougat on the Galaxy S7 but with a couple of additional features, including some from the Note 7 and a few others to take advantage of the curved displays.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ also both offer Bixby, Samsung’s AI system that is launched via the dedicated button on the left-hand side of the devices. Bixby rivals Google Assistant but it aims to offer a little bit more, including helping users navigate their device.
Ultimately the software experience between the S7 and the new devices should be relatively similar, though last year’s device will miss out on a few of the new features. Essentially, it will be familiar, not identical.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+ vs Galaxy S7: Conclusion
Samsung has really shaken things up with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ compared to last year’s Galaxy S7. The new devices are very much Galaxy but they offer a redesign that makes them hugely exciting.
There is a faster processor, along with improvements in design, display, camera capabilities on both the new models and in the case of the S8+, battery capacity too.
The S8 and S8+ are more expensive than the S7 costing £689/$1033.5 and £779/$1168.5 respectively, compared to £569/$853.5. That said, based on what we have seen of the new devices so far, the S8 and S8+ are the ones to go for, even though the S7 is still a fantastic phone.