Here are 8 of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+’s best features

Samsung Galaxy S8 best things

Samsung’s S8 and S8+ have finally been revealed following a deluge of what felt like never-ending leaks from various sources. The phone, as expected, is choked-full of new features, some of them more useful and promising than others, with Samsung making a concerted effort to win back customer confidence following the Note 7 battery overheating disaster.

We’ve gone through the S8 and S8+’s features and compiled a list of the new flagship smartphone’s most interesting and compelling capabilities.

DeX wants to turn your smartphone into a desktop


In theory, DeX sounds incredible. Acting like the Nintendo Switch 2-in-1 of the mobile world, Samsung’s new USB-C DeX dock, designed for the S8 and S8+, turns the smartphone into a desktop device.

While the verdict is still out on whether or not DeX will deliver on Samsung’s loft promises, the inherent concept of the technology is compelling. The main issue is that only Samsung’s apps have been optimized for DeX’s full-screen experience, with Microsoft and Adobe pledging to support the platform as well. For DeX to be truly useful, more app developers need to jump on board with the platform.

Facial recognition/iris scanning

Samsung S8 camera

Facial recognition with the S8 has the potentially to be a real game changer in the mobile space, though some have questions how secure the technology will be. While Windows Hello, Microsoft’s Windows 10-based facial recognition platform, started off lacklustre, subsequent updates improved its accuracy and reliability significantly.

Iris scanning from the Note 7 is present in the S8 as well, though if the functionality is similar to what was included in the Note 7, it likely won’t be very useful. The true innovative login potential with the S8 stems from its facial recognition technology, but only if it works as quickly and accurately as Samsung claims.

Infinity Display

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung’s S8 is an undeniably attractive smartphone, featuring a sleek combination of curves from the Note 7 and last year’s S7 Edge, resulting in one of the best looking Android devices ever released.

The true draw, however, is that the Galaxy S8 crams a 5.8-inch display in what feels like a normal-sized phone, thanks to its minimized-bezel. The display is clean, bright and fluid looking as a result of its almost bezel-less design. Apps, however, will need to be optimized for the phone’s new, unique aspect ratio. Even the larger S8+’s 6.2-inch display feels smaller than it actually is.

Believe the hype: “Infinity Display” may be a buzzword, but the S8 and S8+’s screen is still gorgeous.

Force Touch home button

S8 home button

While Samsung isn’t calling its new home button “Force Touch” because that’s Apple’s name for the iPhone 7’s vibrating home button technology, the S8 And S8+ utilizes a similar mechanism.

When you press the new virtual home button, it actually feels like your pressing a physical button thanks to a surprisingly tactile haptic feedback response. While this may take some getting used to for some Android users, after a few presses, it’s difficult to go back to a standard home button.

Band 66 compatible

Samsung press conference S8

Freedom Mobile users rejoice, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ work on AWS-3 Band 66. This support is necessary for mobile subscribers taking advantage of Freedom’s low-cost (in comparison to Rogers, Bell and Telus) LTE plans.

Freedom, formerly Wind, doesn’t offer LTE plans on any other bands as it does not have sufficient spectrum. The carrier was able to launch its LTE network only when it purchased the new, somewhat obscure Band 66 spectrum at auction in 2015. In the U.S., T-Mobile owns a large portion of the same band, providing incentive for manufacturers to start building support into most devices.

So far, the only other devices that support Band 66 are the LG V20, LG G6, ZTE Grand X 4 and Samsung Galaxy A5.

Bluetooth 5

S8 in water

Though the Sony Xperia XZ Premium was the first flagship to announce Bluetooth 5 support, it appears the Samsung S8 and S8+ will beat Sony’s offering to market with the new technology by a significant margin.

Announced in June 2016, the new generation of Bluetooth features twice the speed and four times the range of its predecessors, allowing for a more consistent connection.

Since Bluetooth 5 is more powerful than the previous version, 4.2, it also has the ability to send output to two devices at the same time — meaning you could send the same tunes to two different sets of wireless headphones.

Wireless charging

S8 fast charge pad

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ offers wireless compatibility with WPC (Wireless Power Consortium/Qi) and PMA technologies (Power Matters Alliance) — the two most prevalent inductive wireless charging standards, which differ in transmission frequencies and connection protocols used to communicate with devices and control power management.

All that to say: essentially any wireless charger available out there works with this device, making it an attractive option for convenient on-the-go power-ups.


S8 press render

Samsung’s newest flagship is the first on the market that can — in theory — offer Gigabit speeds, due to the X16 LTE modem baked into its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset (again, it’s being tailed closely on this by Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium). Gigabit speeds are still theoretical because carriers have yet to debut network technology that test that high — in fact, even when they do, real world speeds will lag far behind.

There is movement on the carrier side, however. Bell told MobileSyrup that it’s planning to launch 4 carrier aggregation within the year, which would provide theoretical speeds of around 560Mbps and real world speeds of about 41Mbps to 166Mbps. Telus told MobileSyrup its “in the development stage of technologies such as five carrier aggregation.”

One thing is for certain, though, with the 835 and its X16 LTE modem, the S8 and S8+ are effectively future-proofed.

What do you love about the Samsung Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments.


  • Max

    “one of the best looking Android devices ever released”, Good job. How hard to say “one of the best looking devices ever released” ?

    • downhilldude

      And what are the best looking Android devices NEVER released? That’s what I really want to know!

    • The Pixel 2.

    • It’s hard because I’m a big fan of the matte black iPhone 7 Plus.

    • Max

      It’s not a surprise, it’s very obvious in the review. I wish if MS used somebody neutral(in writing) to write the review.

  • Jason van de Laar

    Hopefully DeX delivers. I remember Motorola crashing and burning with their insane $500 lap dock for the Atrix way back, wow.

  • h2oflyer

    “Most compelling features” give me a break….This is hype for stuff that’s there already.

    Infinity Display for an existing great Amoled display
    Wireless charging that was available on S7
    Facial recognition that’s rumoured not secure.

    The very few new innovative features are offset by the tall skinny thumb stretching size along with the fingerprint sensor placement that requires index finger stretching if you hold the phone in your left hand.

    Granted the S8 is a nice new phone but it’s not anywhere near the wonder that MobileSyrup is making it out to be. I’ve lost count, after dozen or more articles hyping this ordinary next in line Samsung phone.

    • AppleBerrySandwich

      The hype is certainly overblown but it is a top of the line phone – I don’t think there is anything that can top it. Hey, Apple does the same thing. Tout things that already existed.

    • skrug

      XZ Premium

    • Dimitri

      Yeah but no carrier has released it and same with Sony Canada. So what else IN MARKET or RELEASED can top this.

    • skrug

      What do you mean? S8 is not released yet either.

    • Dimitri

      Yes but it will be in 2.5 weeks ( for pre orders on April 17th). No carrier as of far has announce they will carry the Sony ZX though if I am correct. So that’s the main difference.

    • skrug

      We will get more info for the XZ Premium come closer to release (First week of June)

    • Dimitri

      That’s in June (2 month’s after the release of the S8 and S8 Plus.)

      I loved Sony Xperia device’s but carriers don’t seem to want to support them anymore and only one or two got the Z5 right

    • skrug

      1.5 months. But does it matter if no carrier support? We talking about phone topping other phones.

    • Dimitri

      Yes but the S8 and S8 Plus will be out in a couple of weeks so until this ZX comes out in June, there is no other device OUT at the moment that can top this. That’s what I am saying.

    • Garrett Cooper

      I had a Z5, still do actually. Great phone but died of water damage. It was a great phone, and it was probably my fault for introducing it to a bit of salt water, but I’m still pretty bitter about it lol.

  • Mister E…

    I don’t understand the hype behind facial recognition – Android has had it since 4.0 (late 2011) and has improved it since.

    As is, Samsung’s version can be easily bypassed with a photo (so much for security).

    Finally, passwords/etc. are supposed to be private (hence secure), meanwhile your face is quite public and visible to all…

    • thereasoner

      You should be able to add a facial gesture like a wink/winks so that a static picture wouldn’t work. Still, iris scanning is probably the most secure as facial has been fooled before and a sleeping person could have their phone unlocked with finger print.

    • downhilldude

      Funny, Samsung suggested that generations ago. Don’t know what happened to it.

  • downhilldude

    People are going on about the “facial recognition” when it’s the iris scanning tech that provides the best security. Supposedly not easy to fake your way around that one. Reportedly as secure as anything available.

    • Some people prefer convenience over security. In that respect, facial recognition has a clear advantage.

    • downhilldude

      How is facial recognition more convenient than iris scanning?

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    I would buy this phone but it looks like it will be ~$500 on a contract which is too steep for me.

    Will wait for the price to come down around Christmas (I hope).

    • h2oflyer

      Rogers has the S8 for $249 on plan.

    • Dimitri

      That’s with the new plans. If you have the older plans, u have to choices. Pay the $550 to get it or change plans and pay more for the plan but less for the device. That’s what he is saying I guess.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Everywhere I’ve seen is $250 on a 2yr.

    • Dimitri

      Really my reply below to see what he might have meant.

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  • Jeff Thibert

    Dumb question: Does the paring blue tooth devices have to be 5.0 as well to take advantage of the range and speed?

  • Brad Fortin

    “In theory, DeX sounds incredible. Acting like the Nintendo Switch 2-in-1 of the mobile world, Samsung’s new USB-C DeX dock, designed for the S8 and S8+, turns the smartphone into a desktop device.”

    No love for Continuum? It’s been out for a while now, even if most people have never used it.

    • Continuum never lived up to Microsoft’s loft claims. I found it glitchy and not very versatile.

  • outburst

    Choked-full of new features?

  • Darryl Barnes

    The best part may be that the screen is so big that there is no room for a logo, giving it a much cleaner look.

    • Dimitri

      Agreed. It’s more cleaner and I like it that way. There was rumors and images which showed the logo on the bottom but that’s no longer the case. Actually Spigen on Amazon Canada still show that image to sell their cases with the logo on the bottom.

  • cantbanthisguy

    The Samsung Note 2 released back in 2012 had facial recognition so please, let’s not tout this as the latest and greatest thing ever in the mobile space. And it sucked!!!

  • Mike Simpson

    I like the look of the S8+ but I did the math and it would be senseless to sign up for a $90/month plan to get one. I currently pay around $45/month on a BYOD plan with one of the ‘small’ providers. Locking in for 2 years would mean doubling that for the next 24 months, which amounts to a total of $1080 + $320 upfront cost (assuming no trade-in discounts). Grand total = $1400. No way!

  • TheCuddlyKoala

    Meh, I’m a high-end blackberry kind of Koala.

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