30/04/2018 – 2:36pm
What is the best Samsung phone? As with any manufacturer, it’s probably tempting for many to just assume the latest flagship is the very best handset available – in Samsung’s case that would be the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. However, this isn’t always the case.
While for some users the Galaxy S9 series may be the best option, for others it might be too expensive, or you may be paying all that extra for a ton of added features you never use. For this reason Samsung produces quite a wide variety of different handsets – not as many as it used to, mind, at one point the firm’s catalogue was needlessly and confusingly large and overcomplicated. These days Samsung has honed in on a much more carefully curated array of devices, but still, there is an option for most any consumer’s needs.
Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+: Best Camera Phone
On the whole the Samsung Galaxy S9 series isn’t a huge change from its preceding Galaxy S8 series – design wise it’s very similar, and also in terms of the major features and display tech. It’s also a LOT more expensive, and, annoyingly, the battery life isn’t as good as some of 2017’s models.
However, where the Galaxy S9 series absolutely rules the roost is in terms of the camera capabilities.
Samsung’s last handful of flagships have all had incredibly impressive camera hardware which has only improved over time. It not only delivers excellent images, but it’s also incredibly easy to use, so that even complete beginners can easily, quickly, reliably and consistently achieve great snaps with minimal effort.. Samsung has honed in on utilising core technologies such as dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus and optical stabilisation (OIS), together with wider apertures, larger sensor sizes, and larger pixel sizes, all of which allow its phones to draw in tons of light and detail, while focusing and capturing the image insanely fast to avoid noise and overexposure. The result is incredibly crisp and vibrant snaps.
With the Galaxy S9 this has been enhanced even further with the introduction of an industry first; a variable aperture. The Galaxy S9 imaging hardware is able to dynamically switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture sizes according to the amount of light present, to either allow more or less in and help ensure the image is spot on. This functions quite similarly to the human eye, with an iris that expands and contracts, except here it’s a series of mechanical sliding components that allows the process to occur.
Mostly with the Galaxy S9, this is automatic, but you can choose the aperture size in Pro shooting mode. The effect on image quality is dramatically noticeable, and the variable aperture is present on both the Galaxy S9 and the larger Galaxy S9+ with its dual-sensor array. Which of the two is best? Well the Galaxy S9 will save you a little bit of money over its larger brother, and we can’t say the benefits of the dual-sensor were particularly compelling, as it only offers re-focusing abilities post capture and a limited 2x optical zoom. Nice, but non-essential features.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Deals
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Deals
Samsung Galaxy S8+: Best Battery
The Samsung Galaxy S8 series handsets are still plenty viable in the current marketplace, and although Samsung flagships tend to not lose their value particularly quickly, there’s no arguing with the fact it is cheaper than the current Galaxy S9.
What’s more, the larger Galaxy S8+ in particular, has the best battery life of any Samsung phone around, indeed, it is better than most any other handset on the market. It still has tons of power, an amazing display, and one of the best cameras around (even if the Galaxy S9’s does pip it slightly).
Flagship class. More affordable. A must have if battery life is your top priority.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Deals
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Best Productivity & Display
The Galaxy Note 8 remains a bastion of the characteristic features that have made the Galaxy Note series so popular over the years. It’s at a flagship level, but is essentially an upscaled edition of the Galaxy S8 series in terms of feature set, specs, and size – though it’s actually not much bigger than the Galaxy S8+. The real trick, however, comes in the form of the S-Pen stylus – which really needs to be experienced to be believed. It’s undoubtedly one of the best digital writing setups on the planet. Samsung’s put years of work into the S-Pen and now it’s virtually like writing or drawing on real paper, such is the responsiveness, fluidity and accuracy.
Couple this with the superb multitasking and productivity features, including split-screen capabilities, and you have what amounts to a mini-PC with a graphics tablet in the palm of your hand. Basically, this is the PDA bought right up-to-date for 2018.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Deals
Samsung Galaxy A8/A8+: Best A-Series
The Samsung Galaxy A8 series is brand new and carries on where the Galaxy A7 left-off. This time there are two models, the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+, and in many regards they could be considered to be the Galaxy S8/S9 Mini in all but name, being slightly smaller and slightly cheaper (though still around the £500 mark) than the flagships but with a few key premium-style features.
Chief amongst those is the design and build, which is very much in keeping with the current top-end crop, plus the waterproofing and an edge-to-edge 18:9 Infinity Display. Some consider this to be the best A-Series phone Samsung has produced to date.
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