Design & Build6.5
The biggest USP of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the design of the phone. Samsung has ditched the standard 16:9 aspect ratio that existing devices follow and instead switched to the 18:5.9 aspect ratio, very close to the Univisium format (which is 18:6). This has allowed Samsung to fit a 6.2 inch display into a form factor that doesn’t feel like you’re holding a small book. This allows the palm to wrap around the phone better, giving better grip, at least in theory.
While there’s a lot that’s changed with the Galaxy S8+ in comparison to its predecessor, the base design, surprisingly remains the same. If you were to look at the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on their sides, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two phones, unless you look at the front or the back. The tapering frame blending into the curved glass is identical. Flip the phone over on its back and you’d be able to tell the phones apart, mostly thanks to the fingerprint sensor that’s been moved from the front to the back. Unlike the Galaxy S7 edge, the back of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a dotted pattern visible under the glass layer, giving it a unique design.
In order to make a screen that went almost edge to edge, Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone, right next to the camera lens. The means that you’ll have to lift your phone every time you need to unlock it. This also means you’ll end up putting your finger on the lens more often that you’d like, occasionally getting it dirty with the grime on your finger. Using the Iris scanner doesn’t solve this problem either, because you’ll still have to lift the phone to eye level, or crane your neck over the phone to unlock it, looking very silly in the process.
Samsung went all out on making the Galaxy S8+ a gorgeous phone. The display gently curves into the lean metal frame on the sides, as does the glass panel on the back. This gorgeous, curvy piece of glass is so smooth and it looks so good that it’s hard to take your eyes off of it. The design language of the phone can be compared to the tale of Icarus. Icarus, the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, was trapped along with his father in the very labyrinth that he built. In order to escape, Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings using wax and feathers and warned Icarus not to fly too low or too high as it would destroy the wings. Taking flight, Icarus was overcome with euphoria and in that moment, flew too close to the sun. The heat melted the wax, causing Icarus to plummet into the sea. Samsung’s ambitions with the Infinity Display are no different. The sheer amount of glass on this phone makes it near impossible to maintain a proper grip on it. Even when lying in bed and watching videos on YouTube, you’ll find the phone slip. As it would from any surface which isn’t totally flat. It would be poor judgement to use this phone without a case and it is sad that you must put such a beautiful phone into a case.
There is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is one of the best-looking phones that exist in the market today, but unfortunately, the balance between aesthetics and durability has been disturbed. Samsung did make the Galaxy S8+ water and dust resistant, but being an all glass phone (even if its Gorilla Glass 5), the chances of the phone surviving a fall from ear-height is slim. Samsung does not offer any device protection plans for economical screen replacement and the curved screen makes it very difficult for third-party manufacturers to make a good quality tempered glass screen for the smartphone. If you do choose to buy the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in part due to its looks, be prepared to have it safely tucked away in a case lest you find yourself shelling out a third of the cost of the phone in screen repairs.