Galaxy S8: More screen and elegance, but a hefty price tag

It's a tad wider than the Galaxy S7's screen, but the curved areas become avoidance zones for information. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is filled with biometric security measures.

It's not just its curvaceous design that makes it easy to grip, as the S8 is incredibly compact for a 5.8in smartphone - more so, in fact than the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus, which, frankly, makes us look like an idiot when attempting to handle. The wedge shape is less comfortable to press against your hand and harder to pick up from a surface.

Hollis JohnsonApart from its design, the Galaxy S8's screen is another factor that makes the phone stand out, especially when compared to the iPhone 7. (The casing nearly feels oily.) Due to the slipperiness, it's also harder to pick up. The always-on screen, which shows the time, battery life and notifications even when the phone is locked, divides opinion but I find it very elegant.

So far we have only seen this happen with the popular Pokémon Go app and a couple of other games, where two more virtual buttons appeared at the bottom of the screen.

Don't worry, the earphone jack is still present on the Samsung S8+. iPhone 6/6-Plus launch, which satiated huge pent-up demand for iPhones with displays larger than 4 inches, is a good case in point. Going back to an iPhone or a Google Pixel will be hard.

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 is displayed, Monday, April 17, 2017, in NY.

This is aided by the handset's 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which not only makes the device better suited for aimlessly scrolling through Twitter but makes it ideal for watching films, eliminating the letterboxing that you get on most phones.

The Galaxy S8 is the first smartphone to use "Deep Red" AMOLED technology to strengthen the red, which could be the root cause of the problem. What if the phone was smart enough to unlock automatically when it detected it was safe to do so though? For those whose thumbs can't quite reach those upper corners, Samsung has put in a "one-handed" mode that will shrink the display down to a more manageable size temporarily. It's also a bit slow to recognize your face (and can't deal with things like people wearing glasses), similar to its predecessor in the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. I found myself gravitating toward simply inputting my pin into the S8 on multiple occasions. We're just curious now why Samsung removed the newly "discovered" feature. But with Samsung also leaving the other main feature shown to drive upgrade cycles - the rear camera - mostly unchanged, Apple and other rivals still have a big opening to differentiate themselves this fall. Rumor has it Bixby couldn't understand English. Also worth mentioning: the voice assistant Bixby is still half-baked and complaints are percolating up over red-tinted screens on some phones already out in South Korea. But if you are a fan of voice assistants, you still have Google Assistant on the Galaxy S8-it is an Android phone, after all.

Samsung's internet browser is also a bust: Use Google's Chrome instead, so your Galaxy S8 browser syncs with your other devices' Chrome browsers. At the moment, Bixby feels more basic than those other tools, but all indications from Samsung are that the service will evolve heavily, offering something far more to users down the road. I occasionally got a stutter in video when running two apps at the same time - YouTube, for example, while also browsing Chrome - but it wasn't that frequent or severe.

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