Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs. Galaxy S7 edge: Should you upgrade?

It's that time of year again. Spring has sprung and so has Samsung unearthed its new flagship smartphones. This year, the Galaxy S8+ was announced as the larger sibling of the Galaxy S8 for those who like to wield bigger smartphones. It's also the follow-up to last year's Galaxy S7 edge.

You might be wondering: Is it worth upgrading to the Galaxy S8+ if the Galaxy S7 edge is already on sale everywhere else? Well, that depends entirely on how big you like your display.

Hardware, specs and features

The Galaxy S8+ will undoubtedly remind of you the fabled Galaxy Note 7. But after you've shed a couple of tears for what could have been, wipe them away with your shirt sleeve and give the Galaxy S8+ a good once over. Notice its smooth edges, stunning chassis color, and recessed camera lens. This is an improved smartphone, and although the S7 edge is a looker in its own right, there's something inherently more polished about the design of the Galaxy S8+.

If you're looking for a pocket dweller, you might feel better suited with a Galaxy S7 edge.

The real question here is how big do you like the screen? The Galaxy S7 edge's Quad HD display is certainly large at 5.5-inches, but the Galaxy S8+'s 6.2-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display offers significantly more screen space for watching movies, editing documents, and taking part in brawls on social media. It also supports HDR, which Netflix and Amazon are supporting.

If you're looking for a pocket dweller, however, you might feel better suited with a Galaxy S7 edge. The Galaxy S8+ is certainly packs plenty of screen space into a thin chassis, but its tall, narrow body requires a bit of space to burrow inside a pair of pants.

GS8 fingerprint sensor

The Galaxy S8+'s fingerprint sensor is on the backside, high above the area where your index finger normally rests.

Now, let's talk about specifications. The Galaxy S8+ doesn't offer anything particularly groundbreaking when pitted against its predecessor. Despite the larger screen, it is not equipped with a larger battery, nor does it offer more RAM — though you do get a faster processor and an extra 32GB of internal storage. And like the Galaxy S7 edge, it offers wireless charging, an SD card slot, and waterproofing, as well as all the other marketable bells and whistles, including Samsung Pay. Regardless of which one you choose, you're not getting too much of a difference in terms of marquee Samsung features.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ specs

Software and experience

This is a Galaxy S8 and a Galaxy S7 edge, but you get the idea.

This is a Galaxy S8 and a Galaxy S7 edge, but you get the idea.

The Galaxy S7 edge is turning into the trusty old steed that's adopting what it can to remain as capable as the fawns who've since been introduced into the barn. It has Android 7.0 Nougat now, which is great if you're considering a smartphone at a discount but are hoping to avoid regressing on software updates.

When it comes to the day-to-day, there's not much difference between the software on the Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S7 edge, and especially not if the latter is updated to Nougat. You'll get access to Samsung's lighter layout if the latter is on Android 7.0, though the Galaxy S8+ will have a couple of additions that have carried over from the Note 7's short-lived heyday.

You won't get iris scanning and facial recognition on the Galaxy S7 edge because it's not equipped with the right hardware.

Also, while the camera hardware may not have advanced much, the camera application did receive a bit of an interface trim and some silly feature additions. There's nothing particularly revolutionary that you're missing out on.

You are missing out on one software feature, however, that's possible only because of the hardware inside the Galaxy S8+. The phone features iris scanning and facial recognition to secure your files and folders. You won't get that on the Galaxy S7 edge because it's not equipped with the right hardware.

Galaxy S8+

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8+ looks great in Orchid Gray.

The Galaxy S8+ comes with Bixby, Samsung's new on-device voice assistant, which promises to help you navigate your new smartphone and keep you privy to your town's weather forecast. The chances are slim that Bixby will make it to the elder Galaxy smartphones, so if you're keen on living in the future with your favorite device maker, you'll want to get the phone with the hardware button dedicated to this feature.

The Galaxy S8+ positions itself as a better productivity machine by way of the fact that it's equipped with Samsung DeX capabilities. DeX is the Galaxy S8's hidden desktop interface, and you can unlock it by plopping the phone into the sold-separately dock. The DeX dock is a USB-C peripheral, so it's not inherently meant to work with the Galaxy S7 edge. Even if you inserted a Micro-USB to USB Type-C adapter, it's unlikely Samsung would spend much time optimizing DeX to make it compatible with older hardware.

Bottom line

New things are really nice to have, and shiny things can help attract new friends. But if it's the latest technology you're looking for, the Galaxy S8+ isn't too much of a leap forward to consider trading in a perfectly capable Galaxy S7 edge. The Galaxy S8+'s performance will be slightly better in the longer run by virtue of the fact that it's running a newer Snapdragon 835 chip, but its battery life will remain relatively the same, and the photos you take with it won't look too much different.

If you simply don't care for a larger display consider saving your money.

You aren't skimping out on any essential software features, either. Samsung DeX and Bixby are certainly interesting new offerings, but they're still in their first generation, and it'll take some time to see how each evolves.

Ultimately, whether you're looking to switch from a Galaxy S7 edge or are deciding whether to upgrade to the Galaxy S8+, consider your stance on wielding a taller phone. Smaller hands might find difficulty wielding the device one-handed, particularly if they plan to use the oddly located fingerprint sensor. The tradeoff is the Galaxy S8+'s bigger screen, which will net you more multitasking abilities in the long term.

See at Samsung (opens in new tab)

But if you simply don't care for a larger display, consider saving your money and adopting the Galaxy S7 edge.

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Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • Yes I need it! Upgrade!
  • S7 was great S7Edge was as well. But they were then old ways old technology. The S8 and S8Plus are now new technology and design in every aspect better. I'm not even a Samsung owner never had one my ZTE MAX PRO is fine for now. But one day I'll get that top of the line Samsung S line or Note line product.
  • something is really wrong with you Richard
  • Haha! Like we don't know your Richard Yarell only with a new profile. "I'm not even a Samsung, never had one." Please, go somewhere else to troll.
  • My S7 Edge has picked up noticeably more lag as I've approached the year mark. More than that though, with the Best Buy prices I'll be paying about $3 less a month for the S8 Plus than my S7 Edge (Verizon lets you upgrade the Edge at 50% paid off with trade in).
  • Try wiping your cache partition. If you don't know how youtube it. Keeps your phone running smooth. My S7 is lightning fast still. I do it once a month.
  • It's called megabyte dust, PCs get it too. Easy to fix though. This isn't a joke.
  • It's a hard choice for me. I went to Best Buy to play with the 8+ and part me loves the slimmer and better grip of the body and bigger screen, but there's not much incentive for me to trade out to get it. I'm a huge face of the capacitive front fp scanner button but like the thought of Iris scanner and DeX. Maybe the Note 8 will be the better decisiveness. There's just not a strong enough arguement for me wanting to upgrade from the s7e. It's a solid phone and hold up extremely nice.
  • I kind of feel like bkes216. I have noticed more and more lag and performance drops on the S7Edge. It really I think the comparison articles aren't completely doing the CPU upgrade justice. The SD820 in the S7Edge is a 2x2 big little setup and the new SD835 is a 4x4 Big Little configuration. Each Processor is similar in performance but the SD835 has twice as many for both performance and power efficient CPU's. That isn't a slight bump in performance. The key is the system won't be much faster for single app performance, but for users that multitask allot or have a ton of apps loaded it could be a huge improvement.
  • Personally, I see no need for 8 cores. The Intel vs AMD shows that's you can have stronger cores and performance for less core counts in Intel processors.
  • Huh? AMD is spanking Intel's bootie on performance. Or did I mis-read your post?
  • If you're seeing lag in your S7 I highly doubt it's got anything to do with the 820. It's a hell of a lot more likely to be bad software, a memory leak, storage going bad or... Prime your torches and pitchforks... Designed obsolescence. It's a nice story we tell ourselves to justify the upgrade "I NEED the 835, the 820 is just SO OLD and isn't up to the task anymore!" But the fact is that's nonsense. I know it, Samsung knows it and Qualcomm sure as hell know it. And as for the Orwellian "2 cores bad, 4 cores good", that's even more nonsense. Multi core processors are only really useful if the software running through them is multi threaded... I'm all for the march forward of technology, but I think it's important that people understand that we'll probably be looking at the S12 or S13 before 8 cores is actually useful on a phone... If ever.
  • This. My s7e is still as efficient as day one. Especially after I killed off FB and other apps.
  • Man you are so right. Orwellian is right on point, the cores in most phones released within the last 3 years will hold up fine for a few more years especially the s7, either processor. I use the note 4 for work and the s7 for personal and the note 4 is just as fast at everyday task, I don't do many games so maybe the s7 is faster in that aspect. I had the s7e but couldn't stand the edge because of the Palm rejection so I'm now happy with the s7 and note 4 combo, on a side note I have the ZTE Z max pro and it also is fine for day to day use, so no, you don't need 8 cores, and 1 more thing, as for the new radios in the s8 being able to reach 1gb speeds on tmo, I have the new update on the s7 which was supposed to give you 300mbs, and I'm in LA where some places have great service like Westwood, and I have never come close , not even close to 300, at best 25 to 30mbs. Keep your s7 and wait for a price drop or the BOGO, it will come. If you are experiencing slow down maybe its time for a good old factory rest, once every 6 months is a good idea or after a major update like 7.0.......
  • Yep, you know what's up. I don't play those jedi mind tricks on myself. The mighty note 4 does everything I need it to and then some. I may jump on the V30. If you have a flagship made in the last couple years, you are good as well. The returns aren't that major. "More screen estate for your social media pleasure", gtfoh
  • The real question is whether ex-Note7 owners should wait for Note8. Would there be a 6.4 screen, dual speakers, dual camera, and front finger sensor?
  • I'm an Ex Note 7 owner and I'm getting the S8 Plus from the S7 Edge. When the Note 8 comes out, I will get it. I have TMobile jump on demand. I did not like the down payment though, $140 for the S8 Plus, the Note 7 down payment was $70
  • Why do you guys get asking us the same damn questions. Do I need the s8 plus over my s7 edge in a word nooooo. Do I want the s8 a resounding hell yes mine is on the way . Will a 300 phone do all the things I need on a phone sure . But that's not how I roll I have the means , so I buy nice things .
  • I'd say you're doing technology correctly. The reason they title the article like this, I believe, is so when someone types "galaxy s7 Vs s8 should I upgrade" into Google, this is where they land.
  • This was a good article, helping me to make a decision. I'm actually replacing my Note 4 (broken and $279 to fix). As much as I WANT the S8+, I'm going to get the S7 Edge through my T-Mobile existing service for $0 down vs. $130 down and $20/month vs. $30/month. I'll take a CLOSE look at the Note 8 in the fall.
  • I like my S7 Edge. But the lag in just unbearable! This is the third S7 Edge I've had in the last 8-10 months and the things is laggy/slow as hell.
  • If it was me, I wouldn't be considering another Samsung at all... If it was me.
  • Sometimes I read comments like this and I wonder what sort of apps you guys use/installed on your phone? Because I've had my S7 Edge since launch day and I never had any form of unbearable lag or slow downs Granted I always kill all my apps at the end of the day and I use nova launcher with fast animation + transitions set to 0.5x in dev settings
  • I don't have anything extraordinary installed on my phone. I use Nova as my launcher, no social media apps on my phone except for Messenger, Whatsapp and Snapchat. Facebook is disabled as well as other redundant apps that i don't use. I have the usual Spotify and Play Music apps as well as a few games. Nothing that pushes out notifications or anything like that.
    I don't kill apps since Samsungs background limiter is pretty aggressive. I have about 10gb of free storage.
    The phone is pretty smooth for the most part but you get these random spikes of utter sluggishness. They seem to happen when you're trying to actually get stuff done. You'll see apps freeze for anywhere from 1 second to 5+ seconds. It's very very annoying.
  • Your doing something all wrong with your s7. Mines been a beast since day one, ever heard of reboot. Try it and clean out your memory Posted via note 5 are gs7 edge the beast
  • Like I said, I'm on my third S7 Edge and they've all been more or less the same.
    Rebooting does not solve the issue.
  • You don't have to be a d0uche
  • Oh I'm glad I decided to hold onto my Note 5 after hearing all these issues with lag on the S7. She's holding up strong!
  • I have both the n5 and s7 edge and there both beast. That guys issue doesn't reflect most s7 edge in the world. And no way will I believe that he's gone through 3 s7 all with the same issue sorry not buying it Posted via note 5 are gs7 edge the beast
  • I had the note 7 and now have the S7E, and have had zero issues with lag. My wife has the iphone 6s so I do have frames of reference too.
  • Just been trying one out on the UK. The form
    factor just feels strange at the moment, maybe it's something you could get used to over time? Both phones are too large for me as I am looking to go back to a smaller screen for my next phone. The buttons are way too thin for my liking too.
  • Anyone who buys a new phone every yr, well you know what they say about a fool and his money
  • And anyone that worries about what another person does with there own money, to them I say stop being a jealous fool and main your F ing business Posted via note 5 are gs7 edge the beast
  • Not everyone pays full price for a phone every year
  • The fingerprint scanner placement is a show stopper for me.
  • Holding out for the Note 8 unless my battery takes a crap. S8 is nice, I am at 50% device paid for on Verizon also so I could get it at any time also Apple and pixel 2 release in September
  • I sold mine for Mate 9, the S8 will be slow compared to mate 9, any galaxy will. Other than that, there is no reason to "upgrade" from the Mate 9 or S7E to S8 in my opinion, it's just the beginning of 2k17, probably the best phones will be launched H2 2K17.
  • The Galaxy is waaaay more functional and that's why people ut it. That and the hardware
  • I had Samsung galaxy S4 and after that I'm thinking to Buy this Gorgeous S8. ❤️ I'm Loving with this Design.
  • Wouldn't have the s7 edge unless my note 3 screen didn't break. Upgrade was well over due as I love the s7. I am a very basic user as most are. A few years ago I would have wanted the latest and greatest. But after being caught in the upgrade whirlpool for awhile I noticed not much has changed on how I use my phone given the software. I would be more impressed with a better camera. Not that anything is wrong with it. Tired of nothing being perfected before the next latest and greater pop up.
  • Unless you are getting the phone for free, I don't see the need. But if you have the money to burn or as i said getting it for free then more power to you.
  • 6.2 screen. It's really tempting. After all phones now are like mini computers. Easier to do multi tasking and editing documents. Not to mention it be great watching 4K movies with HDR on such a large screen. Just been awarded by Displaymate as having the best screen ever on any phone. Also it is the future of phones. It's only been one year and still lovin' my S7 Edge to death and still working fluidly as the first day I got it. But it's really, really tempting. I might call my telco and give it a try anyway.
  • Don't know about editing documents, I have never typed a document on a 2:1 sheet of paper. I personally hope these long thin phones don't take off. Reduce the bezel, yes, but keep the screen ratio the same. Remember this when Apple made the screen taller fit the iPhone 5?
  • Does this phone supports adoptable storage?
  • Yes why not?
  • Buy the phone (GS8) if it fills your need. Had my GS4 for 3 years, and it was starting to show signs of age. It did not play well with my car's Bluetooth system, phone storage space for music, apps, app updates, videos, stills (half of the 16 GB is taken up by the operating system) was rapidly depleting. It was time. I did not want to wait for the GS8, so I bought the 32GB (plus additional 64 GB SD card for my music) GS7 and upgraded it to the OTA Nougat 7.0. It works great. No issues so far.
  • I love my Nexus 6, so no. We had 3 Galaxy S4 s that all died with the infamous "Can't find card" error. Yeah, yeah, I fixed the crappy quality of the card reader connector to the motherboard, but it didn't last long. No Samsungs for us. They seem to recalled faster than South Korean presidents.
  • i found 17 people who purchased galaxy s 7 already switch to iPhone 7 this is in small apartment circle think what might be going on globally . i have been using Galaxy s series since it begins missed galaxy s 5 and i do have s7 with no simcard samsung phone last for yrs where as other minimum 5 yrs and apple 7 yrs after all phone is used for making call .
  • What you found were 17 people who love to jump on any technology bandwagon... Like the old saying... "We are spending money we don't have for things we don't need to impress people we don't even like..." Also, just so you know, Android just surpassed Windows in number of OS Installs Worldwide, and I can assure you the Steve iJobs iMyWay or the iHighway iOS is in a distant 3rd. Apple lost to Microsoft with their all in one controlling proprietary hardware and software stance, and they never learned; so Google took a page from Microsoft’s play book and did the very same thing to Apple in the phone arena. Pity Steve Jobs is gone, as he WAS the Imagination and Innovation at Apple, because competition creates better products.
  • I own a S7 edge which is really a great phone and fulfills all my needs, however I miss the S6, the bigger they get the harder to handle. My hands aren't that big so on the S7 I had to shift all icons to the right otherwise won't mange to use with one hand. Its a pity that Samsung don't offer the S6 with better hardware. In fact I'm looking for a smaller phone size of S6 with latest hardware, any suggestions?
  • I am considering going to a smaller phone. Might give the iPhone SE a go when my contract is up. The 128gb model should have plenty of room for everything i keep on my phone and it will probably keep getting updates way past the 2 years that Google have set for their phones. I haven't had an iPhone since the iPhone 4, time to have a look at what is happening in iOS I think.
  • You know there is a one hand setting on your phone right?
  • One handed mode doesn't help it fit in your pocket though.
  • My question is, Samsung promised to give the NOTE 7 people a deal on the 8 when it came out. What is that going to be?
  • I don't remember that. When did they say that?
  • Uhm Florence, you do realize that the S8+ is actually shorter than the S7 edge don't you? You did your research first before writing. Collect ad revenue right?
  • Edit: before writing to collect data revenue
  • Samsung never promised you anything. There was a rumor of folks in Korea getting a deal. But that was all a rumor ^^ Posted via note 5 are gs7 edge the beast
  • Actually the S8+ is not shorter! The regular S8 is though. Probably should go look at one before saying that...
  • I guess there are just too many reviews cover the same thing over and over. I read the s8+ is 159.5 tall and the s7 edge 159.9 bit I guess that was a typo as it's 150.9... still only 8mm taller on an already big phone and less then 1mm taller than iPhone plus. But the regular s8 is also taller then the s7. So I guess you should go look that before talking too... haha
  • I don't know how the S8+ can be shorter than the S7 edge when it's the same size as my iPhone 7 Plus. I actually looked at one at Best Buy and at the Verizon store.
  • The S7E was my first Samsung phone. Best felling and looking phone I have owned. Could not and cannot stand the physical home button. Have ordered the S8+ now that is gone. Expect to love it.
  • There's news that Samsung now has a "Special Edition" Galaxy S8 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. I wonder why they couldn't just make that the base model?
  • Not everyone would pay $1100 for a phone is my guess
  • I'm getting the S8 only because my first S7 Edge had bad buttons so Verizon sent me a replacement that was refurbished garbage. I stuck with it with all it's issues and might as well get the S8 since it is out. Otherwise if my original S7 Edge didn't have the bad buttons I would keep it. Great phone.
  • I'll wait for the S9
  • The S7E is better looking for sure.
  • Had a play with one in my local Samsung store and they are by far the most beautifully crafted phone out there (sorry Sir Jony). My hands aren't especially big and I had no issue in reaching for the fingerprint sensor on the back. However I doubt I'll get on as the only compelling reasons for me to upgrade from an S7 Edge is the usb c port and the extra internal storage. I think I'll wait to see what the (hopefully) inevitable Note 8 is like.
  • Honestly, the S8+ is too big for me. I'm moving from the S7E to the S8 instead. Having had a Note 7, I vastly preferred that phone's edges to the S7E's, so I'm glad the S8 is closer to the note than the S7E in that regard.
  • I was going to upgrade to the S8 but after waiting for months for Samsung to release Nougat for my S7Edge I decided against upgrading and will wait for the Pixel 2's eventual release.