Is the Samsung Galaxy S8+ worth the extra $150?

Is the Samsung Galaxy S8+ worth the extra $150?

Samsung's just dropped two great new smartphones - but what sets the S8+ apart from the standard S8?

They say that brevity is the soul of wit, and since 'they' seem to usually know what they're talking about, the short answer to the above questions would be pretty simple:

  1. Depends on how much you consume media on your phone
  2. Not a lot.

Brevity, however, is not the soul of informative web comment, so let's dig down into this a little further.

The Galaxy S8 - you can read our full review here - is a stellar phone. It's powerful, its attractive, it's packed with great features and one of the best cameras in the market. It also boasts a fantastic 5.8in screen, with a 1,440 x 2,960 resolution. That equates to a super-sharp 570 pixels per inch. Admittedly, the 18.5:9 aspect ratio is a little odd, but that's really splitting hairs. It's a great phone.

It's also super expensive, coming in at $1199 outright.

The Galaxy S8+ costs you a further $150, and adds a larger screen. It's an impressive 6.2in, and shares the same 83 per cent body to screen ratio as the S8. It also shares the same resolution of 1,440 x 2,960, which means it actually has a lower PPI of 529. However, it's practically unnoticeable, even side-by-side.

And... that's really the only difference. Both phones are water-resistant and feature the new Bixby AI assistant. Both feature Edge-style curved edges (though they're not quite so pronounced), and both have an identical pair of front and back cameras. They charge super-fast, and come with nifty facial and iris recognition, and a tiny heartbeat sensor in back.

The S8+ does have a larger battery, boasting a 3500mAh cell compared to the S8's 3000. the S8+ I've been living with over Easter gets unplugged at  9am with a 100 per cent charge, and is usually around the 50 per cent mark when I go to bed. 

So the combination of larger screen and battery do make the S8+ the better device if you watch and stream a lot of video content, it's a great choice. Sure, with that odd screen ration, you do end up with black bars to the sides of most content, but that's kinda neat - it's more room for your fingers if you're holding your handset while you watch.

For me, at least, the S8+ is a killer device for reading on. I read a lot, and I mostly read on my phone these days, the taller screen on the S8+ can fit a lot more text. On smaller, older devices (my day-to-day phone is an S6 Edge) the constant flipping of pages can be distracting - reading on the S8+ feels much more like a 'proper' reading experience, closer to an actual e-reader.

For most users, the differences are really quite slight, and you may as well save the money - and it's not as if the screen on the S8 is particularly small, anyway. So the S8+ is really for media consumers, unsurprisingly, and if you're that dedicated to watching and reading everything on your phone, the $150 premium is almost certainly worth it to get a little more screen real estate, and better battery life.

Regardless, they're both very fine smartphones.


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