As far as behaviors and performance goes, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is smooth and snappy in its usage. The standard keyboard is easy to get accustomed to in both portrait and landscape modes, allowing for a comfortable typing experience. Opening apps, sliding panels and scrolling on screens feels very responsive, allowing for a very clean browsing experience. The octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM kept the Samsung Galaxy S8 at impressive levels of performance. Lag was negligible at worst when we tried the S8 on heavy duty 3D games whilst having multiple apps open.
The Android 7.0- running Samsung Galaxy S8 has a standard amount of customizability from what you’d expect from an Android phone. You can change the theme of icons, home and lock screens, icon grid layouts, and home screen tray icons. You can opt to have the traditional dedicated “apps” button for browsing your installed apps or you can simply swipe up or down on the home screen to get to the same place. You can also decide whether you want to have Samsung Edge functions on the side of your screen and whether you want a dedicated panel on your home screen for Bixby.
Thanks to the S8 ‘s various sensors, you have a handful of security options. You can stick with the old pins and patterns or you can use face recognition, iris scanning or your finger print as a means of security. Additionally, these security measures can be applied to safeguard your identity and purchases with Samsung Pay. Trying out the iris scanner was quite interesting as it serves to be the best security that doesn’t involve a pin or pattern. While the feature warns against trying it with either glasses or contact lenses, it seemed set up just fine with contact lenses. After which only the person who registered the iris scan was able to unlock the phone in this fashion, with or without glasses or even contacts worn.
As one would expect with Samsung devices, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is filled with a bevy of “S-tools”, “S-apps”, and “S-features”, as well as even more Samsung Apps. These tools and features intend to bring you all kinds of functionality without you have diving into the Google Play store to find your solutions. Of course, you’re welcome to install all of your favorite apps as you please. While the apps you use for any task is just a matter of preference, the Samsung Galaxy S8 does a pretty decent job of keeping you comfy with their Samsung Apps.
A good example of that comes in the form of Samsung Health, with makes use of the S8’s various sensors to track steps, heartbeats and progress across periods of time. You can use Samsung Health to track data on all sorts of exercises such as time spent for the exercise as well as before and after heartbeat rates.
The Edge Panels, introduced with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, give you quick access to your favorite apps or people while on any screen. It’s sort of like having the home screen’s docked apps with you everywhere, no matter which apps you have open at the time. The amount of Edge Panel apps have grown since Samsung first introduced this feature. Imagine watching a video and being able to check the score of a sports game in an instant, while not stopping the video or even unlocking your phone. Or perhaps you were reading an article when you wanted to call a favorite contact. Options like these and more are available with a simple swipe.
I actually still like the Edge Panels as much I did when we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. You have quick access to your favorite apps and people, and the curved screen makes tugging on the Edge Panel tab pretty easy. The Quick Tools panel caught me by surprise as I did like the quick access to practical tools like a ruler, compass and flashlight. As flexible as Edge Panels have become, I continue to wish there were more Sports panel options available outside of just Yahoo! Sports. Otherwise, it’s a handy function that continues to take advantage of the generally comfortable ergonomics of the Samsung Galaxy S8. If it’s not for you, then you can happily remove the Edge Panels tab all together.