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Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S8 and S8+ Wednesday in New York City. Starting today, both versions of the smartphone—in midnight black, arctic silver, orchid gray, maple gold, and coral blue—are available for preorder, and they’ll ship on April 21. At this point, you’ve probably read the specs sheet and seen the headlines, but there are a couple of key points that you might have missed. Here are five reasons you should purchase the company’s latest flagship phones. (If you’re curious about the other side of the coin, you can see our accompanying list of Samsung Galaxy S8 problems here).
5 reasons why you should buy the Samsung Galaxy S8
1) The screen is gorgeous
Samsung took what is probably the LG G6’s best feature and made it better. Not only are the top and bottom bezels of both the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch devices extremely small, but the Edge display returns for a stunning infinity-pool effect on both sides of the phones.
The Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display has every buzz word anyone could ever have asked for in its title, and Samsung packed these devices full of pixels—2960×1440 to be specific. That makes for an extremely high-pixel density to complement what we’ve come to expect will be one of the best panels around.
2) The screen-to-size ratio
The phone’s relatively compact size is another added benefit of getting rid of the home button and making the screen nearly the entire length and width of its frame. The Galaxy S8, which features a 5.8-inch screen, is 5.866 inches tall, while the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ is 6.28 inches tall. As you can see, the overall dimensions of the devices are nearly identical to the diagonal length of their screens.
For comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus measures 6.23 inches but only features a 5.5-inch display, and the Galaxy S7 Edge also has a 5.5-inch screen but in a smaller 5.94-inch body. Only the LG G6 comes close with a 5.7-inch display housed in a 5.86-inch frame.
But enough with the numbers. Here are some images to prove my point.
3) We still love our wired headphones
As somebody who is obsessed with audio equipment, I can’t help but cringe at every misguided adjective put before “wireless” to make you think they are better or even as good as wired headphones. Still, I can’t deny that they are now a “thing” (OK I own some, but only for due diligence and occasional gym use).
Still, there people like myself who will never give up their wired headphones. That was made evident when Apple received harsh criticism for being “courageous” enough to get rid of the helpless 3.5mm jack. HTC saw the backlash and continued its series of questionable decision by following Apple. Motorola did the same with its Moto Z.
Thankfully, South Korea came in to save the day. LG and Samsung not only kept the headphone jack, but they made their devices so impressively compact, it makes you wonder what Apple was talking about when it said it needed to free up some space in its already gargantuan, bezel-heavy devices.
So dig into your pocket and spend the next five minutes untangling cables; the headphone jack is here to stay.
4) Welcome, Bixby
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a dedicated button just below the volume rocker that lets you quickly call on your smartphone butler. Bixby has some heavy competition in Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant (seriously, can we give this thing a name), and Alexa. Unlike those assistants, Bixby focuses more on streamlining your smartphone experience than answering random trivia questions or repeating how hot it is in Texas until you’ve realized that asking over and over won’t change the weather.
Bixby comes with a Flipboard-like news feed called Bixby Home. Just swipe to the left of your home screen and you’ll be greeted with the news, weather alerts, and even reminders for tasks that need completing. Bixby Home is also compatible with third-party apps like Uber and Facebook.
The best way to think about Bixby’s capabilities is by considering, “What can I do with touch commands on my smartphone?” That is what the new assistant is all about: completing commands on your phone using your voice. These include “set screen brightness to 100 percent” or “Send my last photo to Jim Bob using Messenger.” At the Galaxy S8 announcement, Samsung showed how Bixby can take a screenshot and send it as an attachment to one of your contacts.
The voice assistant certainly has a lot to prove and will need to continue to grow, but its functionality is refreshingly pithy.
5) Same solid battery life but for longer
Let’s try to get through this without bringing up the elephant in the room (we’ll leave that for later).
We won’t actually know how long the two new devices last on a charge until we’ve tested them for several days, but things are looking promising. The bad news is that these devices won’t fix anyone’s hatred for how frequently smartphones need to be charged. The good news is that your phone shouldn’t die in a few hours a few years down the line.
There are a few factors balancing each other out here. First, you’ve got a larger screen, which will require more power. On top of that, you’ve got a device that is about as compact as it can be and therefore doesn’t come with a notably large battery. While that may actually put some people at ease, it doesn’t sound like it would offer good battery ratings.
Samsung is banking on its new 10nm processors to offset those limitations. The Snapdragon 835 is said to be 25 percent more efficient than last year’s chipset. The new units will also reportedly last longer before losing a charge. Samsung research and development boss Oh Boo-keun told CNET the Galaxy S8 should hold 95 percent of its charge after two years of use.
Not so fast: Here are five reasons why you should not buy the S8.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.