This past Friday, I dropped my previous cell phone service and upgraded my phone from a Galaxy S4 to the Samsung Galaxy S8+. I’ve had a few days to play around with the phone – making and receiving some calls, texting, trying out the different features, and downloading most of the apps that I had on the S4. Here are some of my first impressions:

Storage

I usually don’t store a ton on phones; the big storage items would be apps but I’ll also have songs, some taken and downloaded pictures, and maybe a video or 2. The S8+ comes with 64 GB of internal storage – that is plenty, unless you are developing apps or taking a lot of videos. I did not put my old external SD card in the S8+; instead, I transferred about 9 GB  of items over: 20-30 apps, about 120 songs, and some pictures. I shouldn’t need a SD card, at this time.

Battery

There is a Rapid Charger included with the phone. The battery seems to have a pretty strong life (3500mAh). I haven’t pushed the drain on it – by watching videos while surfing the Internet, for example – but I did leave it unplugged for over 12 hours on Saturday: even with Facebook, Internet, and scattered game usage, plus connected to WiFi that whole time, the battery was over 70% when I plugged it back in.

Speed

This phone is fast. Sending data out – texts, loading web pages, and apps starting, for example – takes very little time. Screen swiping feels smoother than every phone I’ve had, with the exception of *maybe* the LG V10 (they felt about the same). YouTube’s response and video-starting was pretty quick. Embedded videos on sites like Facebook and WWE didn’t seem to suffer from the jerkiness and lag that I saw on the S4.

Camera

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A sample picture: this was a picture of my TV on Monday afternoon. I was zoomed in about 3x. It took me a little bit to figure out that I couldn’t zoom in/out by using 2 fingers and ‘squeezing’ or ‘opening’ the screen; other than that, the controls are pretty self-explanatory. I’m not the selfie-type, so I didn’t bother looking at that feature. The picture colors didn’t look muted or overly bright (I didn’t try to adjust any visual settings).

Extras

  • The phone came with the standard 15-25 ringtones; some were good, most were average.
  • There are about 10-15 Samsung, Google, and carrier apps (Verizon, for me) that came with the phone. You’d probably use the carrier ones; I doubt the Samsung and Google apps will get much use from me.
  • I’d recommend a screen protector and case. According to the phone dealer, the phone is very fragile; seeing that I spider-webbed a third of my S4 screen by knocking it off of a desk (on to carpet), I took his advice. This was actually the first phone I bought a case for. The screen protector I bought was a glass one (I don’t remember the brand). Thankfully, I haven’t had to ‘test’ either the case or screen protector yet.

I am pretty impressed with what I’ve seen with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, so far. The phone has a very fast response time. The battery seems to have a long life and the camera seems to be pretty solid. There is plenty of storage for downloading apps, storing music, or taking and downloading pictures. The phone has a 6.2″ screen but it is narrower than phones of similar size; it doesn’t have that “phablet” feel to it… thankfully. I am fairly pleased with the S8+!