What ails Samsungs new flagship smartphone? Not much, as it turns out. Consummately attractive by design, the relatively new handheld is loaded with power, thanks to an updated processor. That means 2.35 GHz of raw processing power is under the hood, plus there's an accompanying GPU that's working in tandem with the CPU to throw millions of tiny pixels around the newly designed AMOLED screen. Shaped into 5.8-inches of sleek glass, the Quad HD display then renders all of that dazzling light and colour on the edge-to-edge infinity display, a screen that's wrapped in a near dust and waterproof glass body.
The specifications for the Samsung S8 go on like this for several pages. Likewise, the specs for the slightly larger Samsung S8+ tell a tale of classy elegance. Obviously, the plus variant has the greater heft. That's because its 6.2-inch display tops out at 173-grams, not the lighter 155-gram mass locked inside Samsung's slighter S8 housing. Other than that, positive reviews are echoing across the Internet. Given those facts, the audio and video quality, the classy body and good battery life, all past issues must have been ironed out, yes? Well, not so much. Old problems are gone, which is just as well after the Note 7 fiasco, but new ones have taken their place. For example, there's an innovative new security feature now, a fingerprint reader that adds a layer of security to your bezel-less smartphone. Unfortunately, the sensor that enables this feature is creating user headaches.
The first gremlin that needs swatting is the fingerprint sensor. Sometimes, very annoyingly, it just doesn't recognise your fingerprint, even when you've followed every initialization step and properly logged your fingers' every groove and furrow. If you're patient, you can smile and call this a quirk. If you're not the patient type, then expect a red flush to rise through your cheeks. Worse yet, all of the finger movement you're using at this exasperating moment is likely to affect the camera, a lens that's puzzlingly located next to the sensor window. If the security measure glitches, you're left out in the cold, and that technically advanced camera, all 12MP and 4K capable as it is, will end up shooting blurry images, possibly of your thumb. A system reboot does fix the issue, although it seems only a software update can permanently resolve the problem. Meanwhile, consider purchasing a thin case, as the shaped sensor opening on a case acts as a convenient finger guide so that you don't fog the camera lens.
There are other solutions to the above security-centric problem, like switching to a PIN or the iris scanning feature, but that fingerprint scanner update can't come soon enough, not when it can stop time-consuming device reboots. Anyway, next on your mini troubleshooting agenda, the red screen tint problems that are making some Samsung S8 models blush. Again, a software update is expected to address the hue shift, but, in the meantime, you can manually correct the issue by adjusting the colour balance, which is found under Display Settings. Beyond software updates, third-party Apps are still causing problems, so there's nothing new there. Reported glitches include auto-rotate hiccups and connectivity delays and dropouts. Uninstall the rogue App if you observe the error after a recent install, boot the device into Safe Mode if that action doesn't yield positive results, or, and this last tip applies to the connectivity problem, try turning the power saving setting off.
The Samsung S8 and the larger Samsung S8+ are both beautiful smartphones, but there's a flaw somewhere within that beautiful design. Bixby, Samsung's own voice-activated assistant, somehow feels incomplete, like a poorly concluded novel. They're also tall devices, which is an attractive feature when you're talking about holding these slender devices, but that skinny build does create a vaguely unconventional aspect ratio, one that some users will love but others will avoid. Granted, these last items are subjective, so take a Samsung S8 for a spin before making a contract commitment. That way, you'll know if this device is your made-in-heaven smartphone match.