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 2019. If you're going to spend $350 on a Galaxy S8, you're far better off spending a little extra and getting the next-generation Galaxy S9 instead since it's also been discounted. It has better specs, a better camera, a longer future of software updates, and tons of little improvements.
- Still solid: Samsung Galaxy S9 (opens in new tab) ($500 at Amazon)
- Budget option: Samsung Galaxy S8 (opens in new tab) ($370 at Amazon)
The Galaxy S8 is good, but it's getting old
The Galaxy S8 may be over two years old, but it still feels like a modern and capable phone. Its spec sheet doesn't feel drastically out of place, especially for its heavily-reduced price, and it has many of the same basic features and software as the latest and greatest Galaxy S10.
It has a good screen, wireless charging, IP68 resistance, a headphone jack and more that are headline features on the newer Samsung flagships. Its cameras are a full 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 major disappointments: its small 3000mAh battery, and its awkwardly-placed fingerprint sensor.
Aside from a couple of small caveats, you can use a Galaxy S8 in 2019 and still feel like you're keeping up with the crowd. However, 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 2019: age and price.
The first part is the reality of its future, not its present: the Galaxy S8 was updated to Android 9 Pie and One UI but isn't likely to receive any updates after that. The Galaxy S8 is over two years old, and Samsung's software support will quickly wind down. Some people may not value software updates, but if you do you'll be better off with a newer model.
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 $370 (opens in new tab), that's a lot of money to spend on a phone this old. The newer Galaxy S9 has received many price cuts as it, too, gets older — and it's now only $500 (opens in new tab). 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 $130 to get a Galaxy S9 (opens in new tab), the Galaxy S8 is a fine phone to buy for $370 and use in 2019. 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 offer as much value as something like the Google Pixel 3a (opens in new tab).
Samsung Galaxy S9
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 on a budget in 2019, you're better off spending a little extra and getting a Galaxy S9 for its better specs, improved camera, and longer future software support.
Samsung Galaxy S8
An older phone that still gets the job done
When you buy a Galaxy S8 to use in 2019, 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.
Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.
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