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Is The Samsung Galaxy S8+ Still a Good Device in 2021?

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

“I’m sorry, what?” You may have heard yourselves ask the moment you saw the title of this article. “Why is this here?” you may have continued while scratching your head at the idea that such an old device is still being talked about in 2021, despite the existence of phones with 108-megapixel cameras and processors that rival some laptops.

Samsung S8+ image is taken from Samsung Official Website.

Yes, we are indeed talking about an old device, one from 2017, in fact. It’s easy to dismiss a device from that time, but what it has should be more than enough, especially if you're not the kind who guns for the latest.

Well, to start with, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ looks just as good as it did when it was first released. With its slim profile, curved display, and 84 percent screen-to-body ratio, it still can turn heads even if it's in a protective case. Also, the phone is tall to accommodate its 18.5:9 Infinity Display.

In the Philippines, the Galaxy S8+ you'll get is one with the Exynos processor. This chipset is still considered powerful by today's standards, so performance should not be an issue with this phone. With 4GB of RAM to go along with an excellent chipset, you should be good for about 80% of typical smartphone functions and uses. For the photographers out there, 4GB RAM and this chipset are more than enough.



Photo taken by the author using his Samsung Galaxy S8+

Specs

DISPLAY

Type

Super AMOLED

Size

6.2 inches, 98.3 cm2 (~84.0% screen-to-body ratio)

Resolution

1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~529 PPI density)

Protection

Corning Gorilla Glass 5

PLATFORM

OS

Android 7.0 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie), One UI

Chipset

Exynos 8895 (10 nm) - EMEA Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 (10 nm) - USA & China

CPU

Octa-core (4x2.3 GHz Mongoose M2 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) - EMEA Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo) - USA & China

GPU

Mali-G71 MP20 - EMEA Adreno 540 - USA & China


Another night shot by the author using his Samsung Galaxy S8+

Memory

Card slot

Up to 256GB (uses shared SIM slot) - dual SIM model only

Internal

64GB ROM 4GB RAM

MAIN CAMERA

Single

12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS

Features

LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama

Bixby Vision

Additional Features Unlocked Using ZERO Camera Mod (Rooted Users only, MUST-HAVE)

– 60fps @ 4K / QHD

– HDR for 4K / QHD

– Auto-Focus Tracking all modes

– No Recording Time Limits

– Increased Bitrates

– Increased JPG quality for single and burst shots.

– Video Effects for modes 4K / QHD

– Disabled Flash limit at 15% battery

Video

4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@240fps, HDR, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS, OIS

SELFIE CAMERA

Single with separate iris scanner

8 MP, f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/3.6", 1.22µm, AF 2 MP (dedicated iris scanner camera)

Features

Auto-HDR

Bixby Vision

Video

1440p@30fps

A bright daytime shot by the author using his Samsung Galaxy S8+

SOUND

Loudspeaker

Yes

3.5mm jack

Yes

- Can also play music through USB-C

FEATURES

Sensors

Iris scanner, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2

Extras

* Samsung DeX (desktop experience support) ANT+ Bixby natural language commands and dictation

* Samsung Secure Folder

BATTERY

Type

Li-Ion 3500mAh, non-removable (13.48Wh)

Charging

Fast charging 15W Quick Charge 2.0 Qi/PMA wireless charging



Golden hour shot by the author using his Samsung Galaxy S8+

My Personal Experience With The Galaxy S8+

I've been using this smartphone as my primary camera since 2018 because of my weight concerns with the Nikon D3100, and it doesn't disappoint! In fact, I once used it to take photos and videos at school and on school trips.


These days, my Galaxy S8+ is my device of choice for street photography—I consider it my own mirrorless camera. With a dedicated armor case, my Samsung S8+ can go off the beaten path; honestly, I dropped it twice with the armor case on, and in both instances, it got neither scratch nor crack.



An aircraft about to touchdown, shot by the author using his Samsung Galaxy S8+

Other things I noticed with the Galaxy S8+ are as follows:

* The Galaxy S8+ was marketed as waterproof, but when I dropped it into a puddle, water got deep into the phone. I had to get it fixed at the service center.


* The OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) can sometimes make videos look worse, but it is generally useful.


* The older version of the phone's firmware (Android Nougat Version) takes better night photos, while the newer version (Android Pie ONEUI) takes grainier images and videos.


* Its gaming performance is also excellent. I can play Call of Duty Mobile on High Graphics at 60 frames per second (WOW)


* Dex Mode is useful when editing photos in Lightroom and when editing videos in Premiere Rush or Powerdirector.


* Even if Dex Mode is not enabled, mouse and keyboard inputs are supported.


* Because of its pocketable size, it is lighter than mirrorless cameras.


* Enabling Maximum Power Saving Mode while using the camera turns off most annoying apps, thus prolonging battery life.


* You can use Bixby (Samsung's answer to Siri) to control the camera via voice command. This is useful for long exposure shots.


* You can also reprogram the Bixby key to open the camera quickly.


* The palm detection shooting method is effective most of the time.


* The ZERO camera mod improves camera functionality, but you must first unlock the bootloader, which requires technical know-how.


* Because the phone is mostly glass, a dedicated armor case or rugged case is recommended.






The Price: The Galaxy S8 is currently affordable enough to purchase.

Depending on where you buy it, it could cost anywhere from $200 to $600 or more.

Refurbished items are even less expensive.

Should you Buy it?

The phone itself still looks badass and performs admirably, whether you’re gaming, attending online classes, or taking photos or videos. Sure, it’s an old phone model, but would that matter when this phone won’t crash on you?


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