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Samsung Galaxy S8 review, 10 months later: The go-to flagship holds up well

It's been 10 months since we published our full review of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. In that time, several other great phones have launched into the world, and we've compared the Galaxy S8 to all of them. As I write this, we're less than two weeks away from the Galaxy S9 being unveiled — and yet, the Galaxy S8 is still in the conversation. Samsung's brand is so strong that average people are looking at buying the Galaxy S8 from carrier stores even today — and Samsung hasn't exactly placed big discounts on this phone to reflect its age.

But for those who read Android Central, we know the Galaxy S8 is relatively old news. So as we get ready to see what's next, it's time to look back on several months of using a Galaxy S8 — to see what's held up in light of new phones and extra time using it, but also what frustrations have stuck around and formed over time using the GS8.

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Samsung Galaxy S8

The good

Samsung Galaxy S8 What I still love

As is so often the case with modern high-end phones, there's far more that I like than have complaints about. The Galaxy S8's fundamentals still hold up phenomenally well as it approaches its first birthday. It starts with the size and hardware, which is refreshing in a world where phones are still, with a few exceptions, very large. The standard Galaxy S8 is easily manageable in one hand even though it has a super-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio display. It's impressively thin and light, and never feels like a chore to hold and manipulate. I haven't even had issues with the curved sides on the screen, which I think is a result of the phone being small enough that I'm rarely reaching to tap anything.

The Galaxy S8 is refreshingly small, light and easy to handle. And the hardware is beautiful.

Concerns about its fragility aside (I'll get to those later), this is still a gorgeous phone design. The smooth curves and perfect integration of the metal and glass are still fantastic, even though it has come to be a bit more pedestrian as you see these out in the wild every single day. Particularly in this black color I've been using, this is just a classy looking device with excellent proportions and no big distractions.

After taking a break from the Galaxy S8 to use various other phones, one thing I appreciated upon my return to Samsung's flagship is that it gets all of the basics right in the hardware. 64GB of internal storage has been plenty, and I've tossed a microSD card in there as a backup storage option when I need it. It was a cheer-worthy moment to have a 3.5mm headphone jack again. Using wireless charging around the house — and especially at night next to the bed — was entirely natural to come back to.

Samsung's displays still haven't been outdone. Even this 'old' panel looks great.

And then there's the display itself. Yes it's been outclassed by Samsung's own Galaxy Note 8 in terms of brightness and colors, but the Galaxy S8 is still damn good nearly a year on. It's bright enough to handle direct sunlight, but also gets dim enough to not be harsh on your eyes late at night when you're trying to relax. Colors are punchy, and there are no issues with off-axis viewing as you shift the phone around. Samsung's displays have been good for so long I think we forget just how far ahead the company is with OLED — but using other phones throughout 2017 showed how even an "old" Samsung phone is still offering one of the best mobile displays out there.

The last part of the positive column is the camera experience. Right off the bat I can say the Pixel 2 has clearly jumped the Galaxy S8 in overall camera quality — from stills to HDR to panoramas to video recording. But that doesn't mean the Galaxy S8 is bad — it's still a great camera capable of some really good shots. I still enjoy the punchy colors it produces, and HDR still gets the job done. Samsung's camera app is easy to use, and I love little tweaks like using the shutter button as a zoom slider and holding the video recording button for a preview before capturing.

The Galaxy S8 just doesn't match the Pixel 2 in every aspect, like when it comes to sharpness on edges and color balance in very difficult scenes. Late-night photos just aren't as good on the Galaxy S8 either. But these differences honestly only reveal themselves when doing side-by-side tests with the Pixel 2. Right out of the camera on their own, I like what the Galaxy S8 can do and am rarely disappointed.

Now, the ball is back in Samsung's court to improve with the Galaxy S9. If the company doesn't up its game like Pixel 2 and other challengers like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro have, it will fall even further behind.

Samsung Galaxy S8

The ... bad

Samsung Galaxy S8 What I don't like

If you read my editorials here on Android Central or follow me on Twitter, you could probably see this coming from a mile away: my least favorite part of using the Galaxy S8 is the software and performance.

Why can't the Galaxy S8 just stay quick like the other phones on my desk?

Roughly three months into using my Galaxy S8 it became unbearably slow and only a factory reset would fix it. Curiously (not really), I had the exact same issue three months into my Galaxy Note 8 use. The second time around my GS8 has lasted longer before the performance faded, thankfully, but I still have hiccups and issues that I just don't expect out of a high-end phone. I'm not to the point of wanting to go through a factory reset, but it's still frustrating — why can't the phone just stay quick like the others on my desk?

Along the same lines, coming back to the Galaxy S8 after some time with the Pixel 2 has reminded me how poor battery life is on the GS8 (the GS8+, by most accounts, is good with longevity). Doing nothing particularly intense, with less than 3 hours of "screen on" time, my average day will get me down into 15% battery territory before I'm even thinking about turning in for the night. Throw in any type of music streaming, hotspotting or Android Auto use throughout the day, and I'll most likely need a charger after dinner. A year on, this is the weakest point of the whole "performance" experience for me.

People can get used to anything, but the software still feels needlessly complex in many areas.

Outside of any performance concerns, I still feel like I have to fight the software far too often. People can get used to anything, and over 10 months (and years of using Samsung phones) I know my way around. But there are many tweaks, settings, pop-ups, quirks and hidden features to get acquainted with on this phone. Sure that means that more people will find that one thing they want, but it comes at the cost of every Galaxy S8 owner carrying the baggage of extra features that they don't want.

Add in the duplicate apps that can't be uninstalled, and it's just a small layer of frustration between me and the apps and services that I want to use. Having to update some apps through Google Play and others through Galaxy Apps, or having weird photo quirks when using Google Photos as your gallery app of choice, is just grating.

Also, Bixby. I have turned off Bixby Home and disabled the Bixby button. I don't foresee coming back to using it. Part of that is just not wanting to talk to my phone at all — I rarely use Google Assistant either — but most of it is that every time I tried to use Bixby it wasn't as useful as Assistant. Then there's the issue of constantly pushing the Bixby button on accident and activating it when I didn't want to. It's just bad, okay?

Bixby on the Galaxy S8

Let's wrap it up with a couple hardware things to note. The glass on the back of my Galaxy S8 has been pretty consistently marred by regular use. The entire bottom edge of the glass where it meets the metal is extremely scuffed, and the top edge isn't much better. There are a few deep marks higher up that you can easily feel. I've never dropped this phone or treated it roughly, and a vast majority of these scratches have formed just in the first couple months of use — because after that point, I've gone to a super-thin case (opens in new tab) to protect it. The glass sure is beautiful and it lets Samsung keep this phone light and also include wireless charging, but it sure doesn't age gracefully without a case.

Also, you may have heard I'm not a fan of Samsung's fingerprint sensor placement. It's not good, and it's still tough to consistently reach. Samsung agrees, and seems to have remedied this by moving the sensor below the camera(s) on the Galaxy S9. Woohoo!

Samsung Galaxy S8

Retrospective review

Samsung Galaxy S8 10 months later

With Samsung's position as the "go-to flagship" for anyone who isn't buying an iPhone, the Galaxy S8 had the goal to be more things to more people than any other phone out there. Samsung filled it with high-end specs, tons of features and lots of software to try and appeal to a wide swath of potential customers. And for the most part, those pieces all held together after 10 months of use.

Samsung did well, and the Galaxy S9 has a strong foundation to build on here.

Looking through the lens of an early-2018 phone buyer, the Galaxy S8's hardware is still really good. It's beautiful and easy to handle, the specs are more than capable for modern-day tasks, the screen is still great, all of the hardware features are appealing, and the camera is good even though it has been surpassed since it launched.

The battery life hasn't held up over time in light of what phones like the Pixel 2 can do with even less capacity. The glass on the back scratches with prolonged use, just as you'd expect. The fingerprint sensor never got any easier to use. The software isn't the best and can slow down over time, which is perhaps the least forgivable downside of the Galaxy S8. But those are relatively small marks on what has been a solid phone for me and tens of millions of other people over the past 10 months. Samsung did well, and the Galaxy S9 has a strong foundation to build on here.

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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

79 Comments
  • I used the GS8 for almost a year and the GS6 before it, and as well as loving the hardware, I was always a fan of the software features in TouchWiz. I never understood the lag people talked about, but last month I jumped on board the Pixel 2 XL train and wow. Just based on software alone, even with my love for Samsung I don't think I can go back to a Galaxy after how fast this thing is. Really is a world of difference.
  • I agree it's funny to see the difference between phones. I had a lg g5 and was really impressed with it. Worked well and felt the phone was under rated but upgraded to the Sony xperia xz premium and wow this phone is fast. For me the ui matches the speeds of the pixel 2. The only thing I don't like about the xperia xz is the glass back as it's scratches like mad but it is what it is the phone for me is one of the best I have used and the best android phone I've had. I only see Google making me move it it's phone when I'm due an upgrade next time but I do think I'll be looking at Sony again esp with the quick updates the phone has also got.
  • I think a lot of people who own and love Samsung phones (I was one of them) just don't realize how much their phone slows down over the course of a few months. I think it happens slowly enough that they just adjust their usage and get on with their lives. I swore off Samsung after my S6 became basically unusable after six months, forcing a factory reset about twice a year. To me that is unacceptable on any level.
  • Like you, I had enough after the S6. Seeing articles like this reaffirms my decision to not buy a Samsung phone until they figure out their horrible degrading software experience.
  • I don't understand why the just won't do another phone like the Galaxy S4 GPE
  • That would be dope. I like Samsung hardware. Always held up well for me.
  • Because that doesn't do anything to further the Samsung brand. In the end it's just confusing to consumers if you have two different versions of the "same" phone that work completely differently in the software.
  • Just do a way with the regular version. Samsung becomes the official vendor of Pixel phones. No confusion.
  • Love it or hate it, Samsung has built up a strong brand awareness with its software. It can't just alienate hundreds of millions of customers by dropping all software customizations and going with a "Google" software version. Never gonna happen.
  • Kinda feels that way. It's month 5 with my Note8 and I haven't felt any serious performance issues. I mean, it didn't perform as well as before (albeit slightly), but I haven't felt it degrade to a point where it is borderline unusable, whereas many Samsungs I have used before did. I've mostly used stock Android phones or phones with close-to-stock UX layers, if it is worth noting. A sign of change? I don't know but I really hope it stays this way because if it slows down to the point where a thermal-throttled Moto Z performs better, then Sammy and I will have more explaining to do...
  • I don't understand when people say that. I've NEVER reset any Samsung device I've had. How much faster than instantaneous do we need?
  • You may not experience it at all but if you haven't compared it to another phone like the Pixel, it may be hard to tell. And in that case, it's not really an issue for you.
  • I guess I don't notice. Love using Samsung pay everywhere I go. With water resistance and great camera it's great on vacations.
  • I stopped buying Samsung phones after having the S4 for a couple months and then purchasing the Nexus 4. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the phone and I couldn't go back to my S4 unless I needed to take pictures. Since then I've only purchased phones that are close to stock Android.
  • This is the exact reason why the S7 Edge ended up being my last Samsung phone.
  • Interesting, I went the opposite way. I went from a Nexus 6p, tried tolding out for a Pixel 2xl, but unfortunately ended up needing a phone last June. I went with the Galaxy S8+ with full intentions of selling it in the fall to get the Pixel 2xl. I kinda fell in love with the S8+. Yes, the phone has slightly slowed down over the 8 or 9 months that I have owned it. That said, the overall experience is very solid and I find the performance easier to deal with than the erratic battery life that I got with each Nexus update. Since owning the S8+ my battery life has been solid. I stream music and podcasts throughout the day. i constantly email for work. I'm on call 24/7 and literally have never had to take a charger out of the house (unless it's an extended trip). Bixby is useless and the fingerprint sensor is terrible. Samsung Pay is AMAZING! Samsung won me over with the little stuff. For me, personally, I'll take the bad with the massive amounts of good.
  • Well just slap a custom ROM and it get the day done for you. I'm still rocking a Note Edge with AOKP ROM and it's in immaculate! Samsung hardware is the best but the software? Mehh
  • me three. LOL
    Love my Pixel 2 XL but I'm getting the screen flash
  • I thought I'd mention this. Seems that more of the duplicate stuff on the unbranded unlocked international models can actually be uninstalled. I uninstalled Samsung Connect and the like. I only kept Samsung Pay and another one. Funnily enough, Samsung Pay got updated through Google Play for me
  • The S8 has lasted me since day one. If the battery were holding up better, I wouldn't even be considering replacing it. Maybe Oreo and a fresh power pack will do the trick, but we'll see about that. Samsung's claim of 95% charge after two years isn't holding true so far. Back then I could easily do 5-6h SOT through a full day, now it's down to 3-3.5h, and I need to charge by about 2pm (I'm a very heavy user). My mom's S8 is holding up better though, mostly because she uses it far less (she can do 6h over 2 days, because all she uses is Insta and Pinterest).
  • Well said, all the"bad" points mentioned are really the frustrations that got to me. 3 top issues for me are
    1. Super-slow or no OS updates
    2. Bloated crapware
    3. Performance took a hit after 1-2 months
    4. Something somewhere would not work properly, and self reboot All these and it's not as if I have installed hundreds of apps. Apps I installed are the most "common" and "trusted" ones. The culprit is definitely skinned Android, not the apps.
  • It sounds like you were never a Samsung person. The features the phone has alone will keep me on the platform
  • Hmmm. We all know updates are slow, with that said, samsung adds features that compensate any updates that pixel may get on latest update. The slow down that people talk about with Samsung phones... The only phone I noticed they on was my s7 edge. My s8 is still snappy, like a pixel, well of course not. Bloatware... Depends on your carrier. Tmobile has only 3 things installed and everything but t-mobile app is removable. Samsung made most other things uninstallable. Main thing that keeps me going with s8, fast lte speeds because of carrier aggregation with t-mobile, samsung pay and amazing camera.
    Sounds to me like you had a rogue app... Maybe Facebook
  • My Boost mobile variant has been running flawlessly for the most part. The one given to me for work, however, has been a little slow but that might be because of Verizon Bloatware.
  • Did this S8 sit around for 10 months with no use? I'm not sure how it holds up well. I always buy samsung phones but my S8+ is so laggy now and the burn in is bad.
  • Sounds like a user error issue
  • I wonder if the lag is related to the launcher Samsung uses. I'm going since last August with no resets on my S8+ and she is still as smooth as butter (I do a restart everyday, but I've done this with every smartphone I've owned even my Windows smartphones). I use Nova Prime launcher and I've turned Bixby off.
  • It's probably the reboot. Don't know. I've had a Note8 since September and I rarely reboot it unless it is needed (I just did so because it wouldn't connect to LTE until a reboot). I haven't experienced much performance degradation so far but we'll have to wait and see. Some Samsung phones degrade to an extreme where the phone doesn't perform well at all.
  • I've been using it with Google Now Launcher. Doesn't fix the overall UI sluggishness.
  • I've done the same on my S8 and it's sooooo sluggish that I'm probably gonna put it on eBay and go back to my Pixel 2. The Pixel has ruined me for other Android phones.....
  • Samsung s8 active is the best phone I've ever used. No issues with lag, no issues with camera. Battery life is awesome. Not as sexy as other phones and I don't care. I need rugged durability and not sexy asthetics. I use bixby and some of the other Samsung apps, as well as the other Google apps. No issues.
  • I totally agree mehofmann! The s8 active has been incredible since I upgraded from my five plus year old galaxy s4 (which I got a $200 trade-in for!) I use Bixby every day and Google apps as well. The users who haven't learned Bixby don't have a clue about what they are missing! Can't wait for Oreo to come to the s8 active, it will make it even better! This is a world class stealth phone that flew under most peoples radar... I wouldn't trade it for any phone currently out there!
  • Clearly I must be using a different device. Albeit it is the S8+, and I'm almost inclined not to write anything for fear of it disappearing in a cloud of smoke, but I only have praise for it. Spending that much money and not having a nice case from Day 1 makes no sense to me. I want my mobile to look like it did when I bough it, and that's how it looks. I use all sorts of apps, from ADS-B to WiFi diagnostics and c-geo to Android Wear; watch NASA TV and video reviews plus all the 'usual' stuff. Even with a severe 'hammering', I can't ever remember the battery level going under 40% over a 15hr day. I run the default Maintenance app, and an additional one, and the app start times and general performance are virtually the same as when new. The only change I made was to buy a ... replacement case in the last 15 months!!
  • I use the s8+ it's just as fast as the day I bought it 11 months ago. No lagging whatsoever. I will look into purchasing the s9+. The 845 processer, duel camera's and 6gb's. Plus the best thing the display is simply amazing. The best I've ever viewed. For myself, their phones are the best & always include all the toys!
  • Honestly, the slow down is the fault of apps and Android OS and not the phone. My S8+ was slowing down after a couple months, and I found out that apps weren't sleeping even though I told them to, and some apps would auto restart background processes. I installed Greenify and after running it my S8+ was back to normal speed. It's easy to blame Samsung because it's the device in your hand, but it's the software on the device that's screwing up and not the phone.
  • It's easier to blame Samsung when I have all of the same apps installed on other phones and those phones don't have slowdowns over time.
  • I'm inclined to agree Andrew. Even my cheap Moto G5+ has been reliable with consistent performance and no slowdown. No excuse for a Flagship that cost well over $700.
  • It's more to do with how Samsung manages background processes and the amount of background "junk" that collects over time. There is kind of a reason why a factory reset resolves the issue with them albeit temporarily. The management background processes and app "junk" likely hasn't been snuffed yet
  • Not really surprised with the overall assessment and I don't even own the GS8. I had the Galaxy S7 for a year as my daily driver and the software and performance wasn't bad, just not what I was used to after my Nexus 6. Grace UI actually made the experience worthwhile with much leaner software. Likewise, the duplicative apps that you can't install were troublesome and the battery life was indeed poor after a couple months. Point is, after being the GS7's successor the GS8 is still plagued with similar issues which are disappointing.
  • I'm slapping myself , I know better than to read so called "reviews" by this fool. He hates everything Samsung and pushes Pixels every chance he gets.
    There's nothing in this article worth noting, it's just another hack job, another 'I hate Samsung" article.
  • I'm slapping myself reading your post. Yeah...a real rip on Samsung:
    Samsung Galaxy S8 review, 10 months later: The go-to flagship holds up well
    Yeah...real rip huh? Face it, Samsungs are buggy, my S7 got pokey and needed a reset...you should never need to reset a phone in this day & age. It's still slower than it was new and I have NO social media apps.
  • I myself read the entire "I hate Samsung" article, not just one line.
    And NO, you face it, just because you feel having to wait .002 seconds for something to open does not a bug make, nor does it mean all Samsungs slow down. All it means is yours did, if you even have one. After all, we're talking about the S8 here, not your "pokey" S7.
  • If I waited .002 seconds for something to open I'd have a Pixel, and you know this as well that Samsungs slowing down is a common cry. You don't care and that's fine, to be honest I'm not moving on from my S7 because it can be annoying, I just don't think there's enough differentiation between the newer offerings and the last iteration.
  • So, you not only ,do not have an S8, you also do not have a Pixel. Yet, you know how they both work. This is BS. This is something that you have no right to speak about as you have only read about these issues and have no actual factual info to bring to the table. Just stuff you have read. I have used both and know of what I speak from MY experience . YOU, do not know what I care about and what I don't care about. It's always better to experience something before spouting off about it.
  • I'm having to hard-reboot at least 3 times a week moving onto 4 times as this thing freezes up very often.
  • I have had my Note 8 now going into month 2 and haven't noticed any slowdowns. I had the S7 Edge which I did like but it did have a crap ton of hiccups and other stutters where I did have to factory reset twice. I find myself liking the Samsung Experience much more on the Note 8 than I did on the S7 Edge. Thought about looking at the V30 but I use a lot of Samsung's services that I did not want to give up. I think the extra 2 gigs of RAM are needed for the Galaxy phones are needed to offset the skin over Android but that is just an opinion of mine. I had the Note 5 before the S7 so I decided on the Note 8 because I regularly use the S-pen on a daily basis.
  • Did they ever release Oreo or did they give up on that?
  • Bring back the IR blaster, as I really used mine a lot on the S6.
  • Did you see the video Unbox Therapy did at CES with all the tech YouTubers? Everybody that didn't have an iPhone as their personal daily carry had a Pixel 2 XL. Also, Kellen at Droid-Life said that the P2XL gives him that "iPhone effect" where he's just not excited about any other phone. I think that Samsung is only the flagship of flagships because of advertising, not because they're the best.
  • I have to laugh at some of the points made in the article. If you don't use the duplicate Samsung apps, why do you worry about updating them through the Galaxy App Store? And the Samsung apps i use all get updated through the Play Store anyway. You can't uninstall duplicate apps? No, you can't, but you can easily disable them, which prevent them from running and showing up in the launcher, so it's not really that big a deal. And Pixel phones come with their own bloatware, multiple apps that I'll never use and can't be uninstalled, so I consider that a tie. And some of those "duplicate" apps are really superior to Google's apps. Gallery and the Calendar come to mind. And I have to wonder what you folks load on your phones that makes them slow down so much. I just replaced a lost S7 Edge with a slightly used S7, factory reset, and notice no real difference in speed or performance (other than battery life, of course). I do have to agree about fragility, but that's not just Samsung's problem. And sites like Android Central share the blame for this. My old Samsung and LG plastic phones were all but indestructible. Nearly scratch proof, they didn't dent, they didn't crack, and they weren't slippery so you didn't need to install a case before you even activated them. But Android Central, along with others in the blogosphere, spent years whining about "cheap, plastic" phones. So now we have "classy" glass and aluminum phones which crack, scratch and dent, and which everyone covers with a "cheap, plastic" case. But Android Central has largely turned into Google Central. Google can do no wrong, and no one else makes anything nearly as good. AC used to be the go to spot for Android phone information. Nows it's got more ads, and ads masquerading as content, than anything else.
  • Exactly. "Wherever it's not a Pixel, it sucks." Slows down over time? Accidentally hit the Bixby button? That's almost as funny as when Andrew Martonik said his tiny hands can't reach the fingerprint sensor on a Note 8.
  • When I read these negative experience people have with the S8, I am wondering if we all have been using the same phone? While in fact, probably we didn't. As there is the US Snapdragon versions, and if I believe your podcast, heavily bloated, modified and limited by US carriers. I have been using an unlocked European model with the Samsung own Exynos processor, and I have zero problems. The performance is great and buttery smooth, even after months. I have the best battery life I ever had with a phone. Security updates coming in every month. Received the Oreo updated last week (een if on hold now). Apps that I don't use, I can delete or disable. Maybe Andrew needs to try an unbloated European model? I really don't quite understand the unconditonal appreciation that AC gives to the Google Pixel's, and then the what still feels like bashing of the Samsung phones. Please also see the price difference. The general Pixel 2 is not even available in my country, the Netherlands. In Germany, the price is EUR 799. Like with Apple, there won't be any price cuts. The S8, 3 month after relase until now can be bought for EUR 550 off contract. When the S8 offers the undebatable better, modern appearance, much better and bigger screen, wireless charging, iris scanner, and while I agree there is also lots of nonsense extra software stuff in a Samsung, some things are really useful. I love the Always On Display, that I can put apps to sleep, the secret folder is state of the art for who needs something like this, and no third party app can provide the same functionality.
  • Why would he use an unbloated European model when he lives in the US?
  • Different region. It's probably known that Exynos models age more gracefully (get it?) than Snapdragon models and why they're probably more desirable with geeks. Idk if more folks with Exynos models have experienced performance issues. I have an Exynos Note8 and aside from a couple of hiccups (sorta expected because it's a Samsung but still a bit disconcerting), it's been running alright.
  • Pixel for the geeks, Samsung for the masses. Samsung phones are good enough. And honestly, even if they had Pixel like performance, people wouldn't notice like they don't notice the lag!
  • Nothing divides opinions more than Samsung software.
    Had the S6 and S7 and in my opinion the software is way behind the Pixel and Oneplus 5t I now own.
    It baffles me that they can make such good hardware but cripple it with buggy bloated software.
    Every new phone they bring out temps me back but my experience is the same as the reviews and once you try good fast software it's hard to go back.
  • "holds up well."
    - You must not care about OS updates at all. Considering HTC and Moto already have fully functional Oreo updates out, Samsung is way behind the pack. As for performance, my S5 lasted 6 months before Samsungitis slowdown hit. Curiously, my Z2 Force barely got through a month before the same thing happened, but the Oreo update drastically improved performance. Besides duplicate apps, the other thing I don't like about Samsungs is the stock ROM /system partition takes up WAY too much space on the device. The S8+ is a delicious beauty of a phone undercut by everything else about it.
  • Samsung has never been quick with OS upgrades. I keep saying it year after year. Unless Samsung actually makes a big effort in improving in this regard, you shouldn't buy a Samsung phone if fast updates are a primary concern.
  • Great article, you can tell by all the denial, excuse making, and crying present in the responses. Whew, so many hurt feelings, Lmao. 😂
  • Eh, it's the same thing every time. No one can be fully satisfied these days
  • While my technophone wife has issues with hers, i still like my big s8. Bixby is a pain, but I did turn the side panels off. fingerprint reader is inconsistent but better then some. decent photos. for me good battery life and easy charging. I no longer miss my moto droids.
  • Got my s8plus in Nov. Hate the fingerprint location. Hate Bixby. Hate bloatware. Hate the micro scratches. BUT! Battery life is amazing. Screen awesome. Camera is good enough and So is iris sensor. Sd card and 3.5 jack is ALWAYS a massive advantage. So far no 'lag' but I don't have another 1000 to pick up a pixel 2 and compare. My phone is still fast enough and I love 18.5:9 since Im always scrolling feeds or websites. But would I recommend s8plus? No unless you use cases or screen protectors or you can ignore little blemishes all over ALL OVER your phone. Gorilla 5? Suck. Too many little scratches for a 1000 CAD phone. Give me metal with plastic feeling paint anyday.
  • Since i got the Mate 9, i never took another look at the GS8 or any samsung phone.
    Mate 9 is a real champion of a phone, the performance along with the battery life, are just amazing af. The S9 will probably suffer from same samsung issues, after the hype will cool down.
  • Why do people complain about hitting the Bixby button? I've never done it once. I love my S8 so far after a few months in and having used an iphone since the iphone 5. Samsung Pay is awesome. The Samsung apps are great too. I cant really understand what apps would need removing in the first place. Battery life is still good and no lag or crashes. No complaints at all.
  • Good article Andrew. After reading through the comments it is assumed that "most" people have a mind set of what they want/like. S8+ here and still love the phone. It has indeed had some "slowdown" over time but is nothing that a weekly reboot doesn't solve. Samsung hardware is IMO still the best looking on the market even though I do keep it covered for 2 reasons....to keep it safe and to easily find the damn fingerprint sensor which btw was the most irritating location Samsung could have used (the only real issue I have with the phone). Though I will not be upgrading to the S9+, I also will not be leaving Samsung anytime soon.
  • The phone slow down to unbearable speed after just 3 months, battery (SOT) sucks, software sucks, the exterior doesn't hold up at all and the price point is higher than most competitors. Still, Samsung did well?! Ok.
  • Having owned a couple of Samsung smartphones I currently own the Pixel 2 and understand even better the difference between a smartphone that needed a factory reset to be smooth again and one that dosent.
  • I had the S4, S6 and now the S8 and they are truly impressive phones. The best I've ever had, but Samsung's attitude towards updating the phone and releasing updates has killed it for me. Now that Nokia is back and running pure android... I'll be switching to Nokia (or maybe Pixel if they're available in South Africa) next time round...
  • « the specs are more than capable for modern-day tasks » but it slows down after 3 months, sometimes needing a factory reset... those two things clash together. It can’t be be good for day to day tasks if it becomes so slow that you need to do a factory reser. That should make you NOT recommend this device as it doesn’t age well software wise
  • Well I had an odd experience today. Was engineering a youth event and one of the acts had their music on an S8. The thing was so sluggish that I tapped the play button and thought it didn't register, then tapped it again just as the music started playing which made it pause. Don't know if there was a problem with the phone or just because I'm conditioned to the perfect responsiveness of the U11, but I don't remember my own S7 being that slow.
  • The only place I see noticeable slowdown in SW is the app switcher, apart from that the phone is as quick as when I first got it. But I agree nowhere near as nice as a Pixel
  • Sounds like Samsung has plenty of areas to improve on the S8. Will they get it done with the S9? My guess is no, except for the fingerprint sensor placement. Will will see.
  • Have had my S8+ since launch and just did a full backup, format and restore - phone feels brand new. I have been wiping and restoring my phones prob every 6mos on avg. Don't know why they bog down...guess no diff than what happens to Win PCs (and I reformat those too on basically the same schedule).
  • Was he using the unlocked version? I didn't have the slow down issue with my Verizon version.
  • I don't know if these people are exaggerating or really maxing out the storage of their phones or what else they could be doing to get such poor performance from a flagship phone. I've never had to factory reset my S7 or S8. My performance has always been smooth on both phones. I actually have 2 S8s. One for business and another for personal use. Both have been problem free since I got them.
  • Having two phones could be the answer!
    I think it's having too many apps trying to do the same things causing conflicts within the UI.
    Samsung should just put a light skin on their phones and leave the rest to apps that can be downloaded.
  • On an unrelated topic, my Galaxy S5 holds up very well and I use it for DJI Go app for the Mavic Air! No lag what so ever while using the app. I use Note8 as my phone.
  • "holding the video recording button for a preview before capturing"...
    Wow... just when I assumed I knew every nook & cranny of TouchWiz, I hear of another new trick. This is incredibly useful and I wish I knew sooner! Always annoyed me that I'd zoom in just the way I wanted for a video I was about to take, but then it would zoom & crop more after I hit record. Now I can preview first! Thanks!!
  • "The software isn't the best and can slow down over time, which is perhaps the least forgivable downside of the Galaxy S8. But those are relatively small marks on what has been a solid phone for me..." Small mark? This is THE most frustrating thing about my S7 Edge. All I hear is how smooth and fast the Pixel and iPhones are. Heck even my girlfriend's Moto G5 seems faster. The software lag and slowdown on such an expensive phone is RIDICULOUS and COMPLETELY unacceptable. Literally, the ONLY reason I am sticking with Samsung right now is because Samsung Pay has MST built in and Target, Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot don't have NFC POS terminals. If Google adds MST to Android Pay and the next Pixel, I'm kissing Samsung goodbye. Waterproofing and a nice display mean nothing if my phone is constantly freezing up. Man, I wish Samsung would wake up about this. Yah, 1st world problems, I get it, but we are talking phones on a phone site so, yah, that.