I love having a new phone (don’t we all), but I’m on a sim only contract so buy my phones outright and make them last 3 years. So I’m some way off being able to change to the Samsung Galaxy S8 that I was loaned by Three. I’m an Android girl through and through (can’t cope with no back button) and I’ve had 3 Samsung phones, so I know what I like…and the S8 I definitely like.
The S8 camera is the best phone camera I’ve seen.
One of the main things that is top of my essentials when choosing a mobile phone is a good camera. And when I say a good camera, I mean a camera that takes photos that most people can’t tell are from a phone vs a good camera. Generally I use my camera on manual, and I’m a big fan of my macro lens, but tbc a lot of the time using a phone is easier and faster when you’re taking photos of children. The phone is there, and I can whip it out and quickly take a snap, or very easily burst shots. Samsungs do have great photos, and unless you’re looking for bokeh and the depth of field blur you get from cameras, I’m happy with my phone camera.
But the S8 camera is something else. It’s easy to use and has lots of built in features. The front facing camera has a whopping 8MP – I don’t do many selfies, but when my brother tried the phone and accidentally switched it to front camera, he got a bit of a shock when he saw how clear it was. There’s also filters (no need to use the ones in apps before sharing to social media if you’re so inclined) and the fun overlays which N had fun with.
I don’t find the settings as intuitive as those on my current S6 phone. But every phone takes a bit of getting used to. There’s HDR and flash options, and more manual photography options than I have on my current phone. You can also shoot in RAW although I’d be paranoid I’d run out of space using that and don’t really need it when I do very little editing of my photos post shot.
I tried out the exposure and manual settings to try and snap a photo of the moon, but I really needed to go and check the best settings to use for that type of shot to get it right. But the zoom was pretty good on the phone and the camera copes well with low light shots in restaurants etc.
I’m also impressed with the close up pictures I can get. While I love my macro lens on my mirrorless camera I generally find I have to manually focus to get it right, so they take time. With the S8 I just get in close, maybe zoom in a touch if needed, and take the photo. They’re really clear photos. I’ve not tried to blur the backgrounds yet, but that’s easy enough with a phone camera assuming the background to subject are far enough apart.
Overall thoughts on the Galaxy S8
Away from the camera, the Galaxy S8 is miles ahead of my S6. We live in a poor area for mobile signal (it never used to be but has got shocking recently with emergency calls only every day), but I’ve not had the same problems with the Three signal. The phone itself is so fast to move between apps and the 4G was the superfast in the Welsh countryside. And a bonus, the battery is lasting me 3 days. Admittedly I’ve not got all the apps I usually would installed, but even halving that, it’s better than I was getting from my current phone in the beginning.
The only bugbear is the keyboard. I managed to turn on the punctuation so it shows on the standard keyboard, but all the punctuation is in totally different places to my current Samsung. I don’t know what the S7 is like, but I can’t understand why they changed it. Surely people upgrade phones generally to the next one, they don’t want to relearn how to type.
Once I’ve got the value out of my phone, the S8 will definitely be top of my wish list.
Disclosure: I was loaned the phone by Three for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are my own.