Best answer: The Galaxy S8 is a fine phone that still feels modern despite its age. But it's too expensive to be a worthy purchase in late 2018. If you're going to spend $480 on a Galaxy S8, you're far better off spending a little extra and getting the latest-generation Galaxy S9 instead since it's has also been discounted. It has better specs, a better camera, a longer future of software updates, and tons of little improvements.

The Galaxy S8 is good, but it's getting old

The Galaxy S8 may be about 20 months old, but it still feels like a modern and capable phone. Its spec sheet doesn't feel drastically out of place for late 2018, and it has all of the same basic features and software as the latest and greatest Galaxy S9. It has the same charging speed, wireless charging IP68 resistance and more that are headline features on the newer Samsung flagships. Its cameras are a generation behind, but are still very capable and still set a level above the new value-focused phones available at a similar price today. The Galaxy S8 really only has two disappointments: its small 3000mAh battery, and its awkwardly-placed fingerprint sensor.

The Galaxy S8 is good, even at this age — it shares many specs and features with the S9.

Aside from a couple of small caveats, you can use a Galaxy S8 in late 2018 and still feel like you're keeping up with the crowd. But choosing to buy a Galaxy S8 at this point in its lifecycle is about more than what it's capable of. There are two main reasons why the Galaxy S8 isn't the best pick for a phone purchase in late 2018: age and price.

The first part is the reality of its future, not its present: the Galaxy S8 will be updated to Android 9 Pie and One UI, but isn't likely to receive any updates after that. Shortly after it gets its Pie update, the Galaxy S8 will be two years old and Samsung's software support will wind down. Some people may not value software updates, but if you do you'll be better off with a newer model.

If you can spring the extra money, get yourself a Galaxy S9 for about $100 more.

The second part of this equation is its price: the Galaxy S8 has retained a lot of its value over the last 20 months, and that makes it a less-enticing buy this late in its life. Even though it's now on sale for $480, that's a lot of money to spend on a phone this old. The Galaxy S9 has received many price cuts as it, too, gets older — and it's on sale now for $590 — that makes the newer model a far better buy for a relatively small price jump over the Galaxy S8.

If you really can't stretch the extra $100 to get a Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S8 is a fine phone to buy for $480 and use in 2018. It's a capable phone with high-quality components and good value. But it's just not as good of a value as the generation-newer Galaxy S9 for just a little bit more money, nor does it have much of a future ahead of it.

Our pick

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung's latest phone is affordable and a solid upgrade over the Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is a fine phone, but the Galaxy S9 is a considerable upgrade and isn't dramatically more expensive. If you want a Galaxy phone in late 2018, you're best of spending a little extra and getting a Galaxy S9 for its better specs, improved camera and longer future software support.

Budget option

Samsung Galaxy S8

A last-generation phone that still gets the job done, but has a dimmer future

When you buy a Galaxy S8 to use in late 2018, you're still getting a good experience and a solid device. It still gets the job done, and in many ways matches Samsung's newer offerings. But at this age, its future isn't bright — and its price is high enough that if you can spring a little extra cash you're better off with a Galaxy S9.

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