An analysis of the Smartphone Industry and their Flagships for 2017
In the current year, we saw a multitude of smartphones being launched. And, through the flagships of the various leading manufacturers, we can see the common language of all of them. Broadly, we can say that we are moving into different senses. One thing being the bezel-less and higher screen to body ratio which all started with Xiaomi MI mix last year but was brought into the main stream with the Samsung with the Galaxy S8. And the other being the rise of a new category which is the Ultra-premium segment which instead of being just the Note series by Samsung, now is taken by most of the manufacturers. Them being the Galaxy Note 8, LG v30, the iPhone 10, MI mix 2, Huawei Mate 10 pro, and the Google pixel XL 2.
Let us first get one major point out of the way.
This year we can finally say that every flagship smartphone is now at the same class-leading performance shown by the Snapdragon 835 or the Apple A11 Bionic chip or might be a different processor like the Exynos 8895 or the Kirin 970 NPU processors which are released in the Galaxy or Huawei flagships respectively. And with these handsets housing at least 3GB ram to even an insane 8GB in the One Plus 5/t or Huawei Mate 10 Pro, all the flagship phones are at the similar kind of all-round performance we all need (though the A11 chip having a strong headway in heavy applications since it has almost double the processing power of its Android counterparts).
We’ll be having the discussion in parts, starting with a look on Samsung here.
If you’ve been paying any attention to Samsung in the last year, it will probably come as no surprise that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 had a lot to prove when it was released in April 2017. Thankfully, the Galaxy S8 is a far cry from Samsung’s phones of the past and has set a new standard for Android phones of all brands.
For starters, the Galaxy S8 has an amazing 1440p AMOLED 5.8-inch screen that covers the whole front of the phone with small bezels at the top and bottom. Its performance can never leave you dry with its Octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64-bit, 10nm Exynos 8895 processor and 4GB of RAM. As for Cameras, the incredibly performing 12MP dual pixel shooter at the back which has awesome low light quality, and can record videos up to 4K 30FPS, and the front wide-angle 8MP camera is no slouch either.
The contentious point falls on the fingerprint scanner, as the location isn’t ideal, but that’s not a deal breaker since the phone supports iris scanning too. The real decision might just come down to how big you want your phone to be, with that taller screen meaning your phone doesn’t feel huge, despite the large display.
If you thought the Galaxy S8 was good, you’ll be blown away by the Galaxy Note 8. The S8’s older brother is very similar to the S8, it’s got a very similar 1440p display, the same processor Exynos 8895, and a familiar design. So, while the Note 8 is certainly a safe product for Samsung (who just wants to reaffirm the public that its batteries don’t explode), there’s a lot here to love.
The Note 8’s near-bezel-less 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio is one of our favourite parts about this phone. DisplayMate agrees with us too. It’s big, maybe too big for some people, but at least the company puts that screen to good use. There’s a new App Pairing feature that allows you to open up two favourited apps in multi-window at the same time and adding to that the good old which packs in as an extensive tool for the power users out there.
The Dual Camera setup on the back is an incredibly performing camera. While the primary shooter is the same as that on the Galaxy S8, the secondary 12MP telephoto lens having a 2X optical zoom with built-in OIS can give those perfect and impressive Bokeh shots there which can easily compete with the Portrait mode on the iPhones 8 and X. The Note 8’s camera is close to the Pixel 2 quality (tied with the Galaxy S8), but Samsung’s HDR processing isn’t as impressive and the camera app is more cluttered.
Okay, so, unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t released a perfect phone – there are a few small niggles – such as the weirdly placed fingerprint sensor next to the camera and poor Bixby implementation. But in a way, it still one of the best Android phones out there.