I’ve said it abounding times: Samsung’s Galaxy Agenda 7 charcoal one of my favourite smartphones of all time.
The accent embodied the absolute antithesis of price, appearance and substance, alms admirers of ample phones and styluses the acme of what an Android accent could be, both in agreement of architecture and hardware. At least, it did afore it started exploding.
Now, adjoin the assumptions of abounding industry analysts and what seems to be a small, but articulate accumulation of balked consumers, Samsung is aback with the Agenda 8.
This is an admirable move by Samsung. While the Galaxy S alternation charcoal the company’s better seller, the Agenda is a fan favourite and has become the accent bandage that Samsung uses to analysis its added envelope blame designs. These appearance afresh frequently crawl their way over to tech giant’s added accepted S alternation of devices.
So how does the Agenda 8 assemblage up to the Agenda 7? Acutely able-bodied — admitting some may accede Samsung’s latest phablet to be added of a cher added adventitious for the Agenda 7 than a absolutely redesigned device.
Depending on how you feel about the Agenda 7, as able-bodied as how Samsung handled the consecutive anamnesis that followed the phone’s release, this could be arresting for some.
As with the Galaxy S8 and S8 — two Samsung accessories appear abandoned a few months ago that the Agenda 8 shares a arresting affinity to — Samsung claims it has put a accurate array analysis arrangement in abode to anticipate damaging incidents from anytime occurring again.
While we accept to booty the capability of Samsung’s new array affection ascendancy arrangement at face value, one affair is clear, the aggregation is abundantly acquainted of what appulse a echo array adversity would accept on its future.
With that in mind, I’d altercate that it’s added than acceptable we won’t see letters of the Agenda 8 overheating and communicable fire, admitting it’s absurd for anyone to definitively apperceive this.
Now that the account of Samsung’s afflictive history with the Agenda 7 is out of the way, let’s booty a attending at what’s altered in this year’s Agenda 8. If you were acquisitive for a complete adapt architecture astute accompanying with a ablution of new features, you’re about to be disappointed.
Still, Samsung’s 2017 phablet alms is an absorbing accent and a cut aloft best Android accessories currently on the market.
Continuing with the affair of Samsung’s ‘8’ alternation of smartphones, the Agenda 8 appearance the company’s ‘bezel-less’ ‘infinity display.’ While far from absolutely bezel-less, admitting what Samsung’s business abstracts claim, the Agenda 8’s awning is beauteous and sits in a alliance of its own in the smartphone industry.
It’s abandoned challenged by the Essential Buzz and conceivably Apple’s still unrevealed but about leaked iPhone 8, as far as I’m concerned.
Seriously, aggregate from arena games, to browsing the internet, and aloof about abyssal the phone’s menus, is a joy to attending at acknowledgment to the device’s massive 6.3-inch Cool AMOLED console active at a Quad HD 1440 x 2960 pixel resolution.
The phone’s affectation is additionally alike HDR10 and HDR Premium accordant (there’s no abutment for Dolby Vision, unfortunately). Accomplish no mistake, the Agenda 8 is a ample buzz that feels about bigger than the Agenda 7, alike admitting its attenuate anatomy and 18:5:9 aspect ratio.
This agency that some, abnormally those with baby hands, may acquisition the accent a little too ample for their taste. I additionally begin it absorbing that due to the Agenda 8’s awning ratio, the accent sometimes angled advanced in my hand.
While I didn’t run into the accent absolutely falling from my anchor acknowledgment to the advice of a Spigen Attenuate Fit case (yes, I about put analysis accessories in cases), I could see this bound acceptable a botheration for many.
Overall, however, the phone’s anatomy is beauteous and doesn’t devious absolute far from the foundation congenital by this year’s S8 line, which isn’t hasty accustomed Samsung’s clue record.
The phone’s arced anatomy is complete from glassy metal and bottle and is one of the best-looking smartphones I’ve encountered, opting for a attending that feels agnate to the S8 and S8 , admitting additionally hardly altered acknowledgment to its added affecting edges and corners. Samsung is additionally quick to agenda that it has already afresh fabricated the Agenda 8’s arced ‘edge’ affection added arresting aback compared to the S8, a trend the aggregation started aftermost year with the Agenda 7.
Even the phone’s software carefully resembles the bark Samsung featured in the S8 and S8 . This agency that while the Agenda 8’s bury is the company’s best basal yet, the buzz still includes an abounding bulk of bloatware and is far from a authentic Android experience, admitting this is no agnosticism article admirers of Samsung’s articles accept appear to apprehend from the company.
Accompanying the Agenda 8’s absorbing aesthetics are appropriately abounding specs, including 6GB of RAM — an admission from the 4GB in the S8 — an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor and Android 7.1.1.
It’s important to agenda that the Agenda 8 I activated for this analysis appearance an Exynos 8895 processor, which is included in the phone’s European variant. In North America, including Canada, the Agenda 8 comes able with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835. Both processors accomplish about the aforementioned and it’s acceptable that abandoned those who are cool into specs will apprehension a achievement aberration amid either adaptation of the smartphone.
In my attempts to advance the Agenda 8 to its limits, I ran assorted adeptness accelerated games, multi-tasked amid assorted apps and alike pulled out the S Pen on occasion, with all of these accomplishments consistent in aught instances of slow-down. This isn’t a account I’ve been able to accomplish about abounding Android accessories in the past, afar from the Pixel (though I eventually did run into arresting ‘Android lag’ with Google’s buzz afterwards a few months).
Other specs accommodate IP68 baptize and dust resistance, a affection that should be accepted from every high-end smartphone in 2017, a USB-C anchorage amid on the phone’s base, 64GB of centralized accumulator that’s abounding through a microSD slot, a 3,300mAh battery, and yes, a 3.5mm headphone jack for those anxious about the approaching afterlife of the crumbling alternation technology.
Given the adumbration Samsung has befuddled at Apple apropos the abatement of the accepted headphone jack in its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it’s unsurprising the aggregation has autonomous for this avenue yet afresh with the Agenda 8.
To my surprise, array activity has been solid with the Agenda 8, admitting the phone’s adeptness antecedent actuality 200mAh abate than the Agenda 7’s. With boilerplate use — web browsing, watching Netflix and sending the casual bulletin — I could calmly get through a abounding day with the Agenda 8.
Because of the Agenda 8’s $1,299 CAD absolute bulk in Canada (one of the accomplished prices anytime for an Android accent to hit the bazaar in Canada), it makes faculty that Samsung’s latest smartphone should be advised a high-end affluence accent awash with power. Still, alike with all this in mind, that big-ticket bulk tag is difficult to swallow, abnormally aback some Canadian carriers are alms the buzz for $500 added dollars on two-year contracts.
What’s added disappointing, however, is the actuality that the Agenda 8 doesn’t necessarily feel like a desperate accouterments advance over the Agenda 7, let abandoned the S8 or the S8 .
Those acquisitive for a cogent amend to the technology powering Samsung’s decidedly able and able S Pen, a affection that I’ve never had abounding use for, but that abounding acquisition basic to the Agenda experience, will be aghast to apprehend that the Agenda 8’s stylus is identical to the Agenda 7’s.
Once again, the Agenda 8’s S Pen is waterproof and is able of acquainted the aforementioned 4,096 levels of burden acuteness that its antecedent was. While still not absolutely as acceptable as doodling with a absolute pen and absolute paper, the akin of attention charcoal impressive, abnormally for a smartphone.
While the S Pen’s accouterments is identical to the Agenda 7’s stylus, Samsung has added a few new software features. For example, ‘Live Messages’ acquiesce users to accelerate abbreviate S Pen fatigued activated GIFs, complete with added furnishings like sparkles and neon lighting, to contacts via text.
While not the best advantageous feature, baby videos charge be rather short, but it’s still fun to accelerate these abrupt animations to accompany and family; I’m afraid the affection hasn’t been added to the Agenda bandage earlier. I’m additionally addicted of the Agenda 8’s screen-off announcement feature, acceptance users to jot bottomward quick notes, alike admitting the smartphone’s affectation is off (this affection additionally now includes assorted pages).
Beyond the aloft appearance though, the Agenda 8’s S Pen, both in agreement of accouterments and software functionality, charcoal identical to the Agenda 7’s S Pen.
Samsung has consistently positioned the Agenda cast as a professional, productivity-focused product. With the Agenda 8, the aggregation has confused its business focus to abode an accent on photography. Accustomed the smartphone’s bifold 12-megapixel sensors, both with angel stabilization — this is a aboriginal for the smartphone industry, according to Samsung — the change in administration makes sense.
One of the Agenda 8’s shooters is a 12-megapixel, 26mm lens with a f/1.7 aperture, while the added is a 52mm lens with a f/2.4 aperture. In total, the dual-camera is able of 2x optical zoom, agnate to the iPhone 7 Plus, as able-bodied as best added high-end dual-camera Android setups on the market. The Agenda 8’s advanced ballista comes in at 8-megapixels with a f/1.7 breach and auto HDR.
In my experience, the Agenda 8’s camera is absolute agnate to the one offered by the S8 and the S8 . This agency that the buzz shoots accomplished photos beneath about all circumstances, whether there is an abounding bulk of ablaze available, or beneath low ablaze conditions.
What sets the Agenda 8’s camera afar from competitors is the actuality that both lenses affection optical angel stabilization, authoritative it decidedly easier to get bright images beneath beneath than ideal conditions, abnormally aback demography advantage of the 2x optical zoom or up to 10x agenda zoom. With the iPhone 7 Plus, it’s difficult to get a bright photo aback utilizing the accessories 2x optical zoom affection or Account Mode. I did not accept this botheration with the Agenda 8.
The new ‘Live Focus’ affection is additionally an absorbing move by Samsung. While the affection at aboriginal seems absolute agnate to the iPhone’s Account Approach (or the OnePlus 5’s account feature), it’s absolutely decidedly added customizable and in some cases easier to use beneath specific circumstances. As a ancillary note, it’s account advertence that HTC has additionally experimented with agnate appearance in the past.
Similar to its dual-camera competitors, the Agenda 8 utilizes a aggregate of the phone’s zoom lens and software cheat to action adjustable depth-of-field, a photography address that makes altar bend out from the background.
It’s account acquainted that clashing the iPhone’s Account mode, you absolutely charge to be a abundant ambit abroad from your accountable for the affection to work. You’ll additionally charge to be in a ablaze area, admitting this is additionally the case with agnate appearance offered on added smartphones.
While I begin the affection advantageous and arguably the best depth-of-field functionality included in a smartphone, abnormally because you’re able to adapt the bokeh of images attempt with Live Photos in column assembly appropriate on the Agenda 8, the aftereffect still looks candy — admitting it does analyze to what DSLRs are able of producing.
As a ancillary note, addition acceptable blow is that aback in Live Photos mode, the Agenda 8 snaps a approved image, a advanced bend angel and additionally a Live Photo, which could appear in accessible for some users beneath assertive circumstances.
For example, conceivably you’re at a concert and aggravating to breeze a photo of aloof the advance accompanist of a band. Maybe the angel you attempt is a little too deeply circumscribed for your taste. Abyssal over to Samsung’s Gallery app will accord you admission to the advanced bend photo as well, giving you a altered angle of the scene. This affection is abandoned accessible in Live Photos approach though.
Overall, the Agenda 8 offers one of the best photography adventures accessible on any smartphone today.
Samsung has additionally added a few added software tweaks to the Agenda 8, including a dual-multitasking affection the aggregation calls ‘App Pair,’ acceptance two apps to barrage accompanying and be adored in the phone’s bend breadth (I brainstorm this affection will be added to the assured S9 if it’s well-received).
While I’ve consistently aesthetically admired the angled bend featured in Samsung’s added contempo flagship devices, I’ve never begin it abnormally practical. This has afflicted with the Agenda 8’s App Pair feature, which is additionally accordant with any app that supports Android’s multitasking framework.
Whether I was accumulation Google Chrome and YouTube, Twitter and Clash of Clans, or a added beatnik admixture such as Pocket and Casts, I begin myself frequently utilizing this affection with the Agenda 8. In fact, I’ve never had an absorption in multitasking with a smartphone afore until I encountered App Pair.
While I raved about the Agenda 8’s architecture earlier, it isn’t absolutely perfect. Agnate to the S8 and arguably alike the S8, the Agenda 8’s fingerprint sensor is amid to the appropriate of the smartphone’s camera and is not pronounced.
This makes it not abandoned difficult to locate aback in a rush, but adamantine to adeptness as well. In some cases, I had to change my anchor on the buzz to such an awkward position in adjustment to alleviate the Agenda 8 with the phone’s fingerprint sensor, that I about alone the device. This may not be an affair for everyone, but I absolutely begin it to be one of the Agenda 8’s best cogent architecture flaws.
That said, aloof like the S8 and S8 , as able-bodied as alike the Agenda 7, the Agenda 8 appearance iris scanning technology that’s both accessible to set up and defended but additionally convenient. However, I autonomous to use facial acceptance with the Agenda 8, admitting it not actuality the best defended advantage (though I did aback it up with arrangement security). The adeptness to artlessly authority the Agenda 8 in advanced of my face and accept it instantly login, is difficult to beat, alike with aegis apropos in mind.
The Agenda 8’s facial acceptance affection is not abandoned fast, but additionally acutely acceptable — in about all lighting altitude it formed great. The abandoned instance area I ran into issues was aback cutting sunglasses, but this botheration is understandable.
Bixby is additionally present on the phone, as you may accept guessed, and yes, alike Bixby Articulation is accessible in Canada. Agnate to MobileSyrup agents biographer Sameer Chhabra’s thoughts on Samsung’s proprietary voice-activated, I feel like the belvedere is still absolute abounding a assignment in progress.
At its best, Bixby is abounding for abyssal the Agenda 8 via acutely simple articulation commands (though absolutely this isn’t article I’m absorbed in doing), and at its worst, the affection is an unresponsive, beneath able adaptation of Google Assistant, which is already congenital into the phone.
Other credibility of agenda about the smartphone accommodate the actuality that the Agenda 8 is additionally accordant with Samsung’s DeX dock and absolutely seems to assignment abounding faster with the accent than the S8 and S8 . Conceivably acknowledgment to the phone’s 6GB of RAM, jumping from buzz approach to desktop abandoned takes a few seconds.
The architecture gap is closing
It’s difficult to acquisition cogent issues with the Agenda 8. Samsung has taken the adapt it accustomed with the Agenda 7 and upgraded it in a cardinal of accepted ways. The phone’s bulk tag, however, which comes to $1,299 outright, is acutely expensive, alike for the high-end Android space. To put the bulk in perspective, the Agenda 7 amount $1049 outright.
When you absolutely attending at it, above the phone’s Snapdragon 835 processor, RAM bang and dual-cameras, the Agenda 8 isn’t absolutely a abundant jump over its antecedent in the way the bound amid the Agenda 5 and 7 acquainted about generational. The automated architecture of added companies is communicable up, with the Essential Phone, the LG G6 and acceptable Apple’s accessible iPhone, all actuality able to bend toe-to-toe with the Agenda 8.
For some, the accessory changes Samsung has fabricated to the Agenda 8 won’t be enough, while others will be agreeable with what about amounts to a hardly better-looking adaptation of the Agenda 7.
The Agenda 8 is priced at $1,299 absolute and $550 on a two-year plan with best Canadian carriers. For added appraisement and availability information, chase this link. The buzz is awash in two variants in Canada, ‘Midnight Black’ and ‘Deepsea Blue’.
Customers who pre-order amid August 23rd and September 14th will accept a chargeless 128GB Micro SD agenda and Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible, depending on area the buzz is purchased. The Galaxy Agenda 8 will be broadly accessible in Canada on September 15th.
“Samsung has taken the adapt it accustomed with the Agenda 7 and upgraded it in a cardinal of accepted ways”
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