Aside from the overall size, and of course price, the biggest difference between the two Galaxy S8 flagships are their batteries. However, I’ve found they both last about the same amount of time, so don’t pick up the S8+ expecting it to last multiple days without needing a charge.
The 3500mAh cell inside the Galaxy S8+ is a nice upgrade over the 3000mAh cell in the regular S8, but considering it has that much bigger 6.2-inch display, you’ll still be reaching for that charger every night.
You might be able to stretch it beyond that, though, especially since Samsung offers many different ways of tuning the phone to your requirements. If you want to eke out more juice, you can reduce the resolution (it’s set to 1080p by default) or the performance. There are some beefy power-saving modes on offer as well and they make a real difference if you can live with the sacrifices.
There are also modes that drastically reduce the battery life, so it’s probably best to use these sparingly or when you’re near a plug. The Video Enhancer mode, for example, boosts the brightness of the display to create a faux-HDR effect when you’re in certain apps such as YouTube or Netflix. With this on, an hour of video watching depletes the cell by nearly 20%. Turn it off and you’ll get double that.
Like the S7, the S8+ uses Samsung’s own Adaptive Charging rather than Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. This is one of the slower proprietary forms of charging, but it doesn’t require that you use the exact charger that comes in the box – like Dash Charge on the OnePlus 3T. A full charge from 0% to 100% takes about 1hr 40mins, whereas I can fully juice a OnePlus 3 in just over an hour.
Samsung has switched to the reversible USB-C port – making it probably the biggest phone so far to switch – but wireless charging remains an option. As always, Samsung has its own Fast Wireless Charging available, but using this will add another 30 minutes to your charging time.
Considering the Galaxy Note 7 burst into flames due to issues with batteries, I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that Samsung has been somewhat unambitious when it comes to the cells here. This is a phone with a sizeable screen and I haven’t yet been able to fully kill it in a day of moderate use – which feels like a win to me.
Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S8+?
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Picking between the Galaxy S8+ or the S8 is simply a matter of deciding upon you preference of size. If you’re coming from a Plus-sized iPhone or any previous Android phablet and are happy with that size, then the S8+ is for you. It’s big, yes, but you’re getting the very best screen packed into an super-attractive body.
All the other features between the two handsets are the same, and that’s a real win for Samsung. Unlike the iPhone 7, you don’t have to sacrifice features if you opt for the smaller model.
I truly believe the S8+ and the S8 are the best Android phones out there. The screen is amazing, camera stunning and ergonomics unmatched. I also appreciate all the little extras that others often leave off: water-resistance, wireless charging, 64GB base storage and microSD, to name but a few.
TrustedReviews doesn’t give out 5-star ratings regularly, but I’m convinced the S8+ deserves that score. Although this doesn’t mean the handset is perfect – I’m truly not a fan of the position of the fingerprint sensor and the addition of Bixby – but the S8+ is comfortably better than the competition is a number of areas.
I pick up the iPhone 7 now, or even the excellent Google Pixel, and both handsets feel old-fashioned – and it isn’t often that I’m of that opinion when I review a phone.