Galaxy S8 Reviews: Full-Front Display Scores Top Marks, But Rear Fingerprint Scanner is Awkwardly Positioned

Reviews of Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ hit the web today, and given each smartphone's potential similarities to Apple's rumored iPhone with an OLED display, we have rounded up some of the impressions below.

Galaxy S8's Infinity Display (Image: The Verge)

The vast majority of reviews praised Samsung's so-called Infinity Display, which takes up over 80 percent of the front of the smartphones. The design results in smartphones with large 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch screens that are still easy to hold in one hand or put in your pocket, according to reviews.

Dan Seifert, reporting for The Verge:

… I’m a fan of the new shape and the fact that it lets me have a much larger display without making the Galaxy S8 too unwieldy to use. On top of that, the Quad HD Super AMOLED panel is wonderfully vibrant and sharp, and it’s very bright, even outdoors under direct sunlight. It’s no exaggeration to say this is the best smartphone display I’ve ever seen.

Brian Heater, reporting for TechCrunch:

I’ve been carrying the Galaxy S8+ around for a few days now, and it fits in my pocket every bit as comfortably as the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. And you’re able to operate that phone with a single hand, so this device will be no problem.

Steve Kovach, reporting for Business Insider:

It’s an impressive feat of engineering. At 5.8 inches, the Galaxy S8’s screen is larger than the iPhone 7 Plus screen, but packed on a slimmer and more attractive body. The iPhone looks chunky and outdated by comparison. We’re getting closer and closer to the dream of having a phone that’s all display on the front.

Lance Ulanoff, reporting for Mashable:

A 6.2-inch smartphone sounds comically large. However, the Galaxy S8+ is unusually narrow, with a screen aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Plus, the edges are tapered — front and back — much in the same way the Galaxy S7’s back edge was. The result is a phone that looks a bit long but is comfortable to hold and, at least to my hands, doesn’t feel large at all.

Walt Mossberg, reporting for Recode:

Samsung has drastically altered the rule that big screens mean huge phones. Even this smaller of the new Galaxy S models has a larger screen than the biggest iPhone, but it’s much narrower and easier to hold and to slip into a pocket.

In order to achieve the larger display without significantly increasing the physical size of the smartphone, Samsung removed the home button from the front of the Galaxy S8. Samsung then relocated the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone, positioning it next to the camera.

Galaxy S8's rear fingerprint sensor (Image: The Verge)

Unfortunately, many reviews found the fingerprint scanner to be hard to reach and awkwardly positioned next to the camera.

Nicole Nguyen, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

The fingerprint unlock feature has traditionally been programmed into the device’s home button. Seeing as the S8 ditched the button, it’s now on the back of the phone. The S8’s fingerprint sensor and the camera feel basically the same, which means I kept smudging the camera lens and unlocking the phone at the same time.

Dan Seifert, reporting for The Verge:

The high placement of the scanner makes it difficult and awkward to reach with my index finger, even on the smaller Galaxy S8. I have to practically perform finger stretches before I can reach it with any sort of regularity on the Galaxy S8+. Second, because it is right next to the camera and has a similar shape and feel to the camera module, I frequently touch the camera lens instead of the fingerprint scanner, smearing the lens with all of my lovely finger oils.

Apple is rumored to be working on a completely overhauled iPhone, and a display taking up nearly the entire front of the smartphone is a widely expected feature. Apple is also expected to remove the Home button, so it may too relocate Touch ID to the rear if it can't integrate it under the display.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
45 months ago
Nobody likes it in the rear!
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

Nobody likes it in the rear!

You're dating the wrong people! =P
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

Nobody likes it in the rear!

Epic first post
[doublepost=1492535704][/doublepost]

Did I accidentally visit SamsungRumors.com?

No. But it looks like you accidently clicked on an article you weren't interested in then accidently commented and hit post reply. You have to be more careful to avoid accidents like this.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

Nobody likes it in the rear!

Speak for yourself.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
The 8+ is exactly why Apple's iCloud ecosystem is so important for lock in. I had the "misfortune" to see and hold one of these things and it makes my 7+ feel like an antique, not dissimilar from the way my first iPhone made my old Blackberry feel.

I know you can port everything over, and operate within an iOS environment (my family all have iPhones, we share calendars, iTunes sharing/accounts, etc.) but doing so is a PITA despite what many of the "easy" switching guides indicate.

Said another way - if I could use iCloud on this I'd buy an 8+ so fast it'd make your head spin.

Apple better deliver with the iPhone X or whatever it'll be called. They have real competition on the hardware side now.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago
Apple will eat Samsung's lunch if they can get a huge display on the front with Touch ID integrated into the display. If they put the button on the back, then they're no better than Samsung. Why bother? It goes against every design principle Apple has ever had about the iPhone to put the button on the back. I don't think it will happen. Either we'll get a redesigned iPhone this year or we won't, but it won't have that stupid button on the back.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...