How much screen can you squeeze into a large phone without it feeling uncomfortably, unusably big?
That's the question Samsung is trying to answer with the Galaxy S8 Plus, a flagship Android handset that crams a 6.2-inch display into a body that's about the same size or just a little larger than handsets with 5.5-inch or 5.7-inch screens. I'm looking at you, iPhone 7 Plus. How does Samsung do it? Slash the bezels, pull the phone into a taller, narrower shape and curve the sides to complete the feeling of a trim, tidy package.
Some phonemakers use the larger model as the pro device, giving it features like a better camera or more impressive hardware, features the smaller phone misses out on. Not so with the S8 Plus. This phone is simply the Galaxy S8 with a larger screen -- 6.2 inches versus 5.8.
Its bigger size means slightly more weight, a bit more battery capacity to light up the display and, of course, a higher price -- $850 over $750 for the S8. (In the UK it's priced at £779, and AU$1349 in Australia.) All other specs between the two phones -- including the camera, processor and features -- are totally identical.
Sure, the S8 Plus will have a slightly lower pixel density that you may not even notice if you were to hold the two S8s side by side. That's because the S8 puts the same resolution as the S8 on a larger screen, which means slightly larger pixels and a slightly smaller number of pixels per inch. Regardless, I'd expect the S8 and S8 Plus to perform very similarly once we get them both in for side-by-side testing.
From what I experienced in my hands-on time with the S8 Plus, the proportions work, though the Plus definitely feels bigger than the S8. For some people, the more screen, the better. And I am a sucker for those curved sides in Edge and Note phones, even if they might be more prone to breaking on that axis (I strongly recommend getting a case for any phone).
As for the near bezel-less trend kicked off by Xiaomi's Mi Mix and the LG G6, which Samsung now adopts on both the S8 and S8 Plus, it's easy to see a battle forming around which company can put the largest screen in the smallest package. It'll be a game of millimeters.
So far, the Galaxy S8 Plus seems like a phone capable of bringing even more screen real estate to buyers who just can't get enough, but we'll have to wait for the final review unit to see how well it really fits and feels day to day, especially against big-screen rivals like the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL.
What's different than the S8:
- Screen size: 6.2-inch versus 5.8
- Phone dimensions (a little taller, wider and thicker)
- Larger battery (3,500mAh versus 3,000mAh)
- Price: We don't have this yet
Galaxy S8 Plus and S8 versus the other guys
||Samsung Galaxy S8||Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus||Google Pixel XL||LG G6||Apple iPhone 7 Plus||OnePlus 3T|
|Display size, resolution||5.8-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels||6.2-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 2,560x1,440 pixels||5.7-inch, 2,880x1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.9 x 2.9 x 0.31 in||6.3 x 2.9 x 0.32 in||6.1 x 3 x 0.34 in||5.9 x 2.8 x 0.31 in||6.2 x 3.1 x 0.29 in||6 x 2.9 x 0.29 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||149 x 68 x 8 mm||160 x 73 x 8.1 mm||155 x 76 x 8.6 mm||149 x 72 x 7.9 mm||158 x 78 x 7.3 mm||153 x 75 x 7.35 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.5 oz; 155g||6.1 oz; 173g||5.92 oz; 168g||5.7 oz, 162g||6.63 oz; 188g||5.57 oz; 158g|
|Mobile software||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 7.1 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat||Apple iOS 10||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Camera (megapixels)||12||12||12.3||13 (standard), 13 (wide)||12 (telephoto), 12 (wide)||16|
|Front-facing camera (megapixels)||8||8||8||5||7||16|
|Processor||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz) or octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz + 1.7GHz)||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz) or octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz + 1.7GHz)||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821||2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 with Adreno 530 GPU||Apple A10 chip (64-bit)||2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Storage||64GB||64GB||32GB, 128GB||32GB||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Expandable storage||Up to 2TB||Up to 2TB||None||Up to 2TB||None||None|
|Battery (all nonremovable)||3,000mAh||3,500mAh||3,450mAh||3,300mAh||2,900mAh||3,400mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back||Back||Back||Back||Home button||Home button|
|Special features||Water-resistant (IP68); wireless charging; Gigabit LTE-ready||Water-resistant (IP68), wireless charging, Gigabit LTE-ready||Google Assistant; unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready||18:9 aspect ratio; wireless charging (US-only); water-resistant||Water and dust-resistant; portrait image mode||Dual-SIM, Dash Charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$750||$850||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB)||AT&T: $720, Sprint: $708, T-Mobile: $650, Verizon: $672, US Cellular: $597.60||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB); $969 (256GB)||$439 (16GB), $479 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£689||£779||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB)||TBA||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB); £919 (256GB)||£399 (16GB), £439 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$1199||AU$1349||AU$1,269 (32GB); AU$1,419 (128GB)||TBA||AU$1269 (32GB); AU$1419 (128GB); AU$1569 (256GB)||Converts to AU$590 (16GB), AU$652 (128GB)|