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Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review: A big-phone lover's dream that's still a good buy

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The Good The Galaxy S8 Plus is a big phone that manages to make a 6.2-inch screen look graceful, even alongside the more current Galaxy S9 Plus.

The Bad You'll have to reach higher to get to the fingerprint sensor on the back -- a straight day of this gets annoying.

The Bottom Line Lovers of big phones will find this a slightly cheaper alternative to the Galaxy S9 Plus that doesn't sacrifice that phone's sleek design and most important features.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.8 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Camera 8
  • Battery 9

Review Sections

Update, 2018 

The Galaxy S9 Plus is Samsung's top phone right now (the Galaxy Note 9 could soon supplant it), but it's frightfully hard on the wallet. While the S9 Plus fixes the placement of this phone's fingerprint reader, the Galaxy S9 Plus is more about refining the S8 Plus than reinventing it. If you can get the S8 Plus on discount, it'll save you a little cash.


If you believe that more screen equals better screen, you're in luck. The Galaxy S8 Plus is exactly the Galaxy S8 with a larger display: 6.2 inches instead of 5.8.

The S8 Plus, left, and S8.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That makes it taller and wider, with a bigger battery (3,500mAh instead of 3,000mAh) and a higher price ($850, £779 or AU$1,349). And... what else?

That's it.

You get all the same core software features and hardware guts as the smaller S8. Like a vast, crystal-clear display, a superspeedy processor and a camera that takes great shots in bright daylight and low light. And upcoming support for Google's Daydream VR headset.

There's no second camera lens like the iPhone 7 Plus, no extra perk that comes in the box. As with the Google Pixel XL, the S8 Plus is simply a larger option for people who like big phones.

And as far as its dimensions go, the S8 Plus is a winner. It's slimmer than you'd expect for a phone with a bigger screen than the iPhone 7 Plus (£47 at uSwitch), Google Pixel XL and OnePlus 3T, all with their 5.5-inch displays. That gives you a way bigger canvas for typing, reading, watching movies and gazing at your photos. Plus, the Plus is dead sexy. And it's kind of amazing that it sticks out of pockets just a tad higher than the smaller-screened Google Pixel XL.

But the downside here is that you'll be stretching to reach the vertical fingerprint reader on the back of the phone -- it's awkwardly placed to the left of the camera lens (as you look at the screen; it's on the right if you look at the back, as below).

The fingerprint reader is that little pad to the right of the camera lens.

Ariel Nunez/CNET

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