What Samsung didn’t tell you about the Galaxy S8

Some causes for concern and hope, as we witness 2017’s most important release

Samsung just about atoned for its sins. The Galaxy S8 rocks a mesmerising design that makes just about any other smart phone look dated, and software improvements that really set it apart.

There are plenty of other legitimate distractions too, such as substantial security improvements, a neat CPU-converter called Samsung DeX and its new commitment to high safety standards in view of 2016’s Note 7 tragedy.

However, I say “distractions” as these juicy features perhaps draw the attention away from significant details that Samsung seem to be shying away from, all of which suggest a lack of confidence in their latest release. As the Galaxy S8 prepares for its official launch, we at Stuff want to let you in on all the little details you might not have heard about, which may assist you in making an informed decision. 

Almighty screen on an average battery

It’s the best looking screen on a phone, period. However this beautiful display comes with an inevitable price: heavy battery consumption. Its predecessor, the Galaxy S7 Edge, boasted a 3600 mAh battery that powered a 5.5 inch display. The Galaxy S8 pales in comparison, housing a significantly smaller 3000 mAh battery that has to power a significantly larger display, at 5.8 inches.

Logically, battery life is going to take a big hit. It’s the cost of that sleek profile. If you’re coming from a Galaxy S7 Edge, or anything with substantial battery life, I’d say it’s time to dig out that old power bank and bring it along whenever you expect a long day ahead.

For obvious reasons, information like this was brushed over during Keynotes and publicity, but the specs are there - something to consider before you pick up your next phone.

It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy S8 is troubled by stunningly slow charging speeds. I’m talking 15% charged in 30 whole minutes. Shocking. 

Bixby won’t work right out the box

Something that Samsung is perhaps embarrassed by is Bixby not working right out the box. The infrastructure is there and it can still do some of the things it’s promised, like scanning images, suggesting useful information based on usage patterns, but you can’t speak to it and order it around. Of all things that A.I.s do, that is perhaps its defining feature.

It’s going to be fully operational with a software update in the upcoming months. Frankly, it’s an unfortunate start for a feature Samsung seems hugely enthusiastic about – so much so that they’ve included an additional button just for it (that I’ve clicked by accident many times).

Time will tell whether Bixby is a worthy replacement of Google Assistant, but perhaps Samsung should’ve played it safe like Apple, who tend to wait for technology to catch up and stabilise before an introduction. That way the product released is completely ready for use.

The way things look, users are going to be too used to Google Assistant on their Galaxy S8 to make the switch to Bixby when the patch is launched. It’s pretty much similar anyway.