Julie’s gadget diary – I just held a Samsung Galaxy S8+ and I liked it

Two days ago after Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones, I wrote that I’d be staying up and pre-ordering one at the crack of dawn the next day. As it turned out, I didn’t pre-order one because I found out that I would not be able to order an unlocked phone until May 9th.

I wasn’t that tore up about not being able to pre-order because I knew I’d be able to test drive one from Verizon at the end of April when they start shipping on 4/21. I also knew that a shiny new LG G6 loaner unit would be waiting for me on Thursday. New toys make it easier waiting for future toys.

Today I decided to stop by my local Best Buy after work because it was on the way to my accountant where I had to pick up my taxes. The reason why I wanted to stop at Best Buy was so I could check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 in person. But I got an even better surprise when I walked in and saw a big Galaxy S8 and S8+ display. It didn’t really occur to me that they would already have them in the store.

I got to try both sizes and was really surprised how similar they look and feel. I kept having to check the sticker on the back of the phone to see which one I had in my hand.

I never liked the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge devices because my palm would accidentally touch the curved edges of the display causing weird behavior. I didn’t notice that issue with the S8+ (shown above) or the S8 (shown below). At least not during the few short minutes that I played with each phone.

I will tell you that two things were immediately apparent to me upon holding the devices. One thing I love and one thing I hate.

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I love Samsung’s displays. They really do make every other smartphone’s display look anemic in comparison. Some people might not fancy the vivid, almost over saturated displays, but I kinda love them.

I love the displays but I hate the slimy, smeary, fingerprinty feel of the back of the phone. Ick. That said, the LG G6 that I started testing has the same issue. If I do end up buying an S8+ (that’s the one that I’m leaning towards now that I’ve actually held one), I’ll have to put a skin on the back like the “leather” dbrand skin that I have on my Nexus 6P.

Other than not liking the back of the phone, I found the S8 and S8+ to be comfortable to hold and oh so pretty to look at. Where the S8 devices feel like slab of glass in my hand, the Nexus 6P feels more like a slab of steel. I prefer the feel of the 6P, but that won’t keep me from probably buying an S8+.

I really am looking forward to using one for a few weeks when I get the chance to get one to review.

I was disappointed that Best Buy didn’t have a DeX dock because I’m really interested in trying one.

Oh, I also checked out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 which was my main reason for stopping at the store. Really thin and light. I’m tempted… I wish my current S Tab 10.5 would just die already so I wouldn’t feel guilty buying a new one!

Anyone else had a chance to see and touch one of the S8’s in the wild yet? Thoughts?

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6 comments… add one
  • David Ferreira March 31, 2017, 7:18 pm

    I pre-ordered the S8+ in Midnight black and had the chance to test drive it at Best Buy this afternoon. I made the right choice. The curve is less pronounced than the S7 Edge (or so it seems to me) and it just feels comfortable in the hand. I have to agree with you about the back, though: it seems odd that a phone that is obviously premium in every other respect would go so cheap on the back. In the 24 hours or so that it has been on display, the back looks badly smudged – like a much less expensive phone you’d buy your teenager.

    I also want the S3, but I am waiting for the LTE version. I am replacing an S2 and want the S-Pen – which makes more sense to me with a tablet than a phone.

    • Julie Strietelmeier March 31, 2017, 8:02 pm

      What’s with these shiny backs? The LG G6 has one too. Like I said, I’ll definitely get a dbrand skin for the back of my next phone. Since I don’t like cases, their skins really add grip and prevent the smudgy look.

  • 1000acres April 1, 2017, 12:10 pm

    I had convinced myself to wait for the refurbished Note 7 or the Note 8. Now want to find one to hold in my hand. Aargh!

  • 1000Acres April 1, 2017, 8:09 pm

    The closest Best Buy is 100 miles away. But traveling to Washington DC this week so will look around. Is Best Buy the place to buy unlocked? I bought from Expansys-USA for years but they are apparently out of business.

    • Julie Strietelmeier April 2, 2017, 8:44 am

      I don’t know if Best Buy is “the” place to buy unlocked phones, but it will be one place you can buy them. Note that the unlocked versions of the S8 phones don’t go on pre-order till 5/9.

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