Maybe there’s something slightly ‘off’ about the comparison, considering that it’s between a phone released last year and one released this year. The better comparison will probably between phones released within the same year, specifically, the Samsung Galaxy 8 versus the upcoming iPhone 8. But since that isn’t the case, let’s delve in anyway and find out what is behind the latest smartphone ratings.
According to Consumer Reports, the top 5 smartphones right now are: (1) Samsung Galaxy S8; (2) Samsung Galaxy S8; (3) Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge; (4) LG G6; (5) iPhone 7 Plus. And that immediately makes it apparent that Samsung is holding the edge. For now.
In a nutshell, the top honors went to Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ for having ‘a stunning camera, long battery life, and gorgeous display in a water-resistant package’.
Consumer Reports was all praises for the look of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: minimalist, modern and elegant — and the design allows for a bigger screen in the same-size device. The S8 screen measures 5.8 inches while the S8+ screen measures 6.2 inches, both huge based on typical phone standards. And in spite of such large screens, both phones are relatively ‘comfortable to hold’, though many phone operations might still require both of your hands, unless you have extraordinarily long fingers.
In terms of battery life — we’re pretty sure this may be a deal-breaking feature for many — talk-time test showed that Galaxy S8+ could stay on up to 26 hours; the S8 hit 23 hours. While sending and receiving data over an LTE network, S8+ lasted up to 17.5 hours; S8 lasted up to 14.5 hours. While browsing over WiFi, S8+ reached 14.5 hours; S8 hit 13 hours.
As for its camera, Consumer Reports says Samsung deserves praise for ‘reducing the over-sharpening produced by its phone cameras’ as over-sharpening can sometimes diminish a photo’s quality rather than improve it. And even though the S8+ and S8 do not have a dual-camera set-up (like what a lot of current high-end phones do), the performance of its camera is enough to make up for it.
Finally, there’s the water resistance aspect. Similar with the Samsung Galaxy S7, both S8 and S8+ are water-resistant for up to 30 minutes in water as deep as 5 feet. That isn’t a mere claim; it’s been tested and proven to be true.
On the downside, Consumer Reports notes that the fingerprint scanner used for unlocking the phone is ‘awkwardly placed’. The scanner is located on the back of the phone next to the rear camera. Apparently, this could cause a slight issue as there is a tendency to smudge the camera lens while trying to locate it. The scanner does work well, though, once you are able to locate it.
With its premium features, it’s to be expected that owning a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ comes at a hefty price tag — around $720 for the S8 and $840 for the S8+. Is the cost worth it? Consumer Reports says yes – it’s a price you have to pay to get a top-ranked phone.