SAMSUNG GALAXY S8
SAMSUNG REVEALS ITS TWO NEW SUPER-SIZED SUPERPHONES, WITH SUPER SCREENS AND SUPER POWER. THAT’S A LOT OF SUPER…
S8 $1,199, S8+ $1,349 samsung.com/au, available now
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of those phones that just has to do well. After all, last year’s best phone was the Galaxy S7, so it should do. But with some impressive competition from the rest of the industry, Samsung needs to pull something special out of the bag to be sure it stays number one. The good news is that this is shaping up to be one hell of a phone.
And it’s not just the one kickass device – there are two of them to contend with. The Galaxy S8 is Samsung’s mainstream handset – the one that’s going to sell by the bucket-load – with a 5.8-inch screen, while the plus-sized S8+ features a whopper of a display: a massive 6.2 inches of screen real estate, making it one of the biggest smartphone screens on the planet. But the key is Samsung’s new screen tech, which dominates almost the entirety of the handset. Both phones aren’t actually that big, and that’s down
On the back, Sony has chosen to dial back the pixel count of its camera from its previous 23MP silliness down to 19MP, packed in a larger sensor for more light, and improved its Motion Eye feature, which now processes images five times faster and captures pictures before you even press the shutter.
New Sony phones ooze potential with so many capable components making up the phone – but previous attempts at a superphone have been lacking. However, the XZ Premium looks to be a solid handset underneath the glitzy headline features. We hope the price is right to take on the Galaxy S8, though.
If you’re yearning for a physical keyboard on your smartphone, then BlackBerry’s latest – the KEYone – could be your new best friend.
Your feelings of nostalgia will peak when you thumb the QWERTY button basher which offers the kind of tactile feedback a touchscreen can only dream of. You can also scroll through pages by gliding your fingers over the keys, a bit like a giant trackpad. New to the KEYone is a fingerprint sensor, and it’s so neatly tucked into the keyboard’s space bar, it’s barely noticeable.
Though the keyboard design is positively retro, the software powering this modern BlackBerry is anything but, with Android 7.0 Nougat on show. And this isn’t won’t be some nasty bloat-fest – the KEYone is running lovely stock Android, for the pure experience.
A real selling point of the KEYone is, unsurprisingly for BlackBerry, the highly secure encryption that’s good enough for world-leading governments. Enterprise users rejoice.
Thanks to the physical keyboard, the screen size is a mere 4.5 inches, which is small by current standards, but with the keyboard, the phone is a standard size. Realistically, the KEYone is something you’re only going to appreciate if you really like typing a lot.
The Huawei P10 is a culmination of everything the company has been doing right, with a few minor tweaks from the P9 to make sure it keeps up with the big guns such as Apple and Samsung.
There are two phones available – the P10 and larger P10 Plus; the bigger handset offering extras such as a larger, higher-quality screen, a slightly more potent Leica camera system, more RAM and a bigger battery (3750mAh), and a wider choice of colours. Otherwise, both phones are the same thickness, and look similar.
The P10 and P10 Plus are set to go toe-to-toe with big guns like the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, but Huawei is keen to emphasise the P10’s camera capabilities over anything else. As with the outgoing P9, the P10 and P10 Plus feature Leica-branded snappers around the back: a 12MP colour and 20MP monochrome variant. When you take a shot, both cameras fire, and the phone combines them for a better shot in all lights. There’s a new Portrait mode, which adds wicked bokeh around people; the blur looks convincing. The front camera is also much improved, for sharper selfies.
If your priority is taking great shots wherever you go, over having all the latest tech powering a phone, then the P10 and P10 Plus will certainly appeal.