Opinion: The Note 7 casts a shadow over the S8 - and the S8 doesn't deserve it

Why so big?

Screen size may also have partly been dictated by the Note mishap.

If, as seems likely, the Note range died with the 7, then it'd help explain why Samsung's given the smaller of its two phones a massive 5.8in display, and the bigger one a frankly ridiculous 6.2in screen.

Yeah, the 18.5:9 aspect ratio, curved edges and thin bezels help keep the handset's overall size down, but even the smaller of the two devices still towers over last year's S7, while the bigger one leaves the Note 7 looking like a pixie. That image above? It doesn't show the Samsung Galaxy S8+ next to the Galaxy S8; no, it's the S8+ next to the Note 7. Below you'll see the standard S8 next to the S7 - again, it's noticeably bigger than last year's model.  

Did Samsung need to put such huge displays on its phones? Would, say, 5.5in and 5.8in not have made more sense than 5.8in and 6.2in? Possibly - unless there's no Note coming later this year and Samsung still wanted to give fans of really big phones an option. 

And then there's the price. The S8 will retail at £689 (RM3825) and the S8+ at £779 (RM4325). Those prices are notably higher than last year's, when the S7 cost £570 (RM3165) and the S7 Edge £640 (RM3555). They're also higher than many other Android flagships, although not much more than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. 

That price hike will have partly been dictated by all that glass, and no doubt partly, in the UK, by Brexit - but did the demise of the Note have an impact here too? It's quite possible: Samsung lost billions on the Note 7 fiasco and needs to recoup some of it this year. Higher prices on the S8 and S8+ will be a good start.

Two wrongs don't make a right

So what we're left with is a phone with a battery that's probably a bit too small, a screen that's probably a bit too big and a price that's too high - factors which may well all have been the result of the Note 7 thing.

And that's a real shame, because there's so much to like about the S8. That curved screen is simply gorgeous. The camera is likely to be one of the best. Bixby may well be genius, the DeX Station could find a real niche and it has plenty of power. Hell there's even a headphone socket on the bottom. 

In short, the S8 is great - but if Samsung could have just got over the Note 7 a bit more quickly, it would have been even better.

1
2