Editor vc.ru spent a few weeks with a new Samsung smartphone model, to understand whether the company can create a phone that will change the market. Major technological shifts in the smartphone industry has always been directly associated with updates screens.
First, the engineers have increased the resolution, then changed the aspect ratio and then stretched their diagonal. Improving screen manufacturers every time were almost new phone because the display is what the buyer sees first and that is what often makes it every few years to buy a new smartphone.
New technological shift that we are witnessing now is again related to screens. Displays can now take almost the entire front panel of the smartphone from edge to edge. Because of this markedly changed the devices themselves. Even visually the smartphone — its not a rectangular “brick” with a screen in the middle and a button at the bottom. The smartphone is now is 90 percent or more and has a screen.
However, in an industry first, the display varies so much in the phone device. Under it adaptable housing design, the operating system interface, methods of user identification.
The latest news in the market suggests that in the coming months, each smartphone manufacturer will present its model with edge-to-edge screen. And most interestingly, each of the producers will answer questions in their own way.
Increase the screen or reduce the size of the phone, what to do with the changing proportions of a smartphone, how to solve the problem of fragility how to change the interface, what to do with speakers, sensors fingerprint and proximity, camera and other things. Galaxy S8 is the first smartphone released by Samsung after the scandal with the lighting Note 7. Then review and close the proceedings resulted in the loss of $5.3 billion for the first three quarters and, worse, the loss of confidence of consumers.
Journalists across the industry wondered how the company is going to recover after the loud failure. Because Samsung engineers could not just improve Galaxy S7, they had to make a leap forward. Despite the difficult situation of the company, the presentation of the device was not like a desperate attempt to regain market position. The impressions of attendees, the celebration was more modest than a year earlier.
It seemed that the company instead of establishing a bright show finally focused on the main product. Form Galaxy S8 is such that speaking about the screen, I mean the entire front panel of the phone, which is now almost all functional. The exception is a small strip at the top and bottom engineers has decided not to experiment with a hidden speaker and a thumbprint scanner is first raised above and the second was moved to the back cover.
The screen does not seem so fragile, as, for example, Xiaomi. Hidden behind the curving edges of the face gives your device a slight safety margin. Since the phone is missing the side frames, the smartphone was unusually elongated. This is not a “brick” and “bar”.
Getting rid of non-functional edges is allowed to increase the size of the screen, almost without changing the size of a smartphone. Changing the proportions of the screen — a controversial decision. First, you have to think about the adaptation of third-party applications. Here we must pay tribute to the developers of Android while testing the device, all services I have installed on the smartphone, automatically adjusts to the changed aspect ratio.
Second, content is often created under the resolution of 16:9, so when viewing Youtube videos, you have to look even on the black stripes at the edges. The situation is saved by the use of AMOLED screen that can switch off individual pixels, so the black strips on the screen is really black, not gray. Another advantage of AMOLED technology — the ability to continuously and without damage to the battery show on your phone screen any content.
Galaxy S8 in sleep mode, the smartphone display shows the time and icons for missed notifications. The solution is easy — at any time to look at the screen to see missed messages. In sleep mode, the screen only responds to a double tap — so almost everyone who took the phone in hand and tried to click on the notifications icon, asked. “Why is he not included?”.
Probably at this step, the engineers went because of some technical limitations, although used to such a behavior of the device for a few weeks and failed. In addition to the double tap, the screen responds to swipe from the bottom up — so you can call the checkout Samsung Pay. Engineers have abandoned physical buttons with an integrated fingerprint under the screen and moved it back.
However, the place not chosen very well. The scanner is located too high and difficult to reach, taking the smartphone in the usual way. Every time they have to spend a strange manipulation to pull the phone below your palm, or “call for help” the second hand. In addition, the scanner is located in close proximity to the camera, so every time when you unlock the phone first with your finger feel for the camera, and then look for the next similar recess for the fingerprint sensor.
Samsung engineers probably knew in advance about this issue, so while shooting smartphone often warned me about having to wipe the lens. Camera Galaxy S8 is a slightly improved version camera Galaxy S7.
Apparently, all the attention of the engineers went to a new screen. However, it makes quite good pictures in different lighting, and remains one of the best cameras in the smartphone market.
Galaxy S8 from four methods of user identification. The above mentioned thumbprint scanner, manual input of a password, face recognition and reading of the retina. On the latter, I immediately refused because of the fact that always wear glasses. But without them such an authentication method seemed too complicated and long.
You need to keep the distance from the camera to the face, but still good to have good lighting (Hello, St.-Petersburg). With unlocking in the face easier. It works, even if you just look at the smartphone. The main thing is that you didnt have a scarf, hat or cap.
In practice, most often using a fingerprint. While pull out his phone, finger on the machine finds the scanner and to the face recognition thing just doesnt get it. An unexpected disappointment was the vibration motor Galaxy S8.
Under such vibrant and innovative screen occupying almost the entire body, it was amazing to hear the old hum of a simple electric motor. From a modern smartphone you expect that it will vibrate at least not worse than the iPhone 7. The engineers were able to make a good feedback when you press the Home button — it is not as neat and crisp as Apple, but it gives a good sense of physical depression.
Samsung really wanted to hit the market, and a new curved AMOLED screen is a good way to do it. In everyday use smartphone such display does not give any advantages. It will not increase the speed of the phone and adds new features.
The purpose of the curved screen Galaxy S8 to produce wow effect on the consumer, to demonstrate the ability of the company to use new technologies. You can even draw a parallel with the second screen YotaPhone. A great demonstration of the technology, but unclear benefits for consumers.
Another sore subject Galaxy S8 — software. For example, the notification bar POPs up almost every time with a noticeable stutter in the animation, a new assistant Bixby constantly gives out error with strange characters when you enter your phone lock code you need to press separate OK. And change date and time on Galaxy S8 became a real quest for the whole edition. To activate this menu item in the settings, you need to insert the SIM card, but changes are flushed immediately after screen lock.
It is obvious that Samsung engineers can not change the situation — they just adapt Android for their device and cant control the entire process of creating software. Apparently, this Achilles heel and will pursue the smartphones of the company. However, the Galaxy S8 — if not a breakthrough for the brand, the challenge for the entire market.
With this task Samsung did really good. The new screen has impressed many journalists, it was vigorously discussed by the users in social networks, the company could not cope with the interest of buyers at the start of sales. Moreover, Samsung even without knowing it, warmed up interest to the future of the iPhone, which consumers now also expect edge-to-edge screen and smaller changes.
The main merit of the Galaxy S8 that the smartphone market has once again become interesting. Send columns, corresponding to the requirements of the editorial Board, [email protected]