back to article Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

The Galaxy S8+ is like a nine course meal of desserts – tiramisus, trifles, ice creams, one after another – that you have to eat with chopsticks and a straw. As you should expect from a phone that’s almost £800, much of the technology is sensational. The edge-to-edge display is not just pretty, it’s practical too, and the …

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  1. Rainman

    Pugh Pugh Barney Mcgrew ...

    Awesome handset but how fast will it go from 0 to 1000 degrees c ?

    After the last Samsung handset debacle their products are so far off my radar that I'm more likely to buy an poisonous snake to make phone calls on. It would probably be safer.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Pugh Pugh Barney Mcgrew ...

      You're right you know. It would be safer, unless you try to eat the snake.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: Pugh Pugh Barney Mcgrew ...

        I dunno. Hanging up a snake in a forceful manner can tend to induce, erm, irritation on the part of the snake.

    2. jgarbo
      Boffin

      Re: Pugh Pugh Barney Mcgrew ...

      A poisonous snake or a venomous one? As for Samsung stuff, I'll be sticking to my amazing Note 4 for the foreseeable future. My office away from home.

  2. SquidEmperor

    Never again

    A devote Note 4 fanboi I was devastated when the Note 7 forced me to buy a LG V20 instead....but now? After living free of the maddening Samsung UI and all its bloatware I'll never return. The finger sensor placement and Bixby underline how bad Samsung has become. They've literally become Apple - sacrificing usability and utility for pointless gimmicks that actually devalue the customer experience.

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Never again

      Note 3 here. First android phone I've had. Before that webos and before that (2008), blackberry.

      I have a note 4 too but see nothing in it that makes me want to switch. Mainly it's a backup to my two note 3s ( my daily driver is android 4.4 and my backup(also used as a burner phone for travel) is 5.0. Much prefer 4.x). Haven't seen any other phones since that make me want to upgrade.

      Happy with the new att unlimited plan(so far only 2gb of usage past month), cut my bill from 150 to 99/mo (company pays regardless ) .

      More importantly I have not turned on wifi since March. Having wifi on is dangerous, allows the carrier to upgrade me to android 5 which I do not want. Before this i turned wifi on when I needed it then turned off again. Though sometimes I would forget. Managed to keep android 5 away from my phone for maybe close to 2 years now. Had a few close calls in that time.

      I'd happily pay a subscription fee for actual android security updates to 4.4x though. Google was still putting them out there not too long ago (relative to the age of android 4 and 5 builds available to note 3 on ATT anyway). I am very careful with what i use my phones for so i feel pretty safe security wise. No social media, no banking, no mobile purchases outside of the very occasional google app store buy using protected virtual crefit cards.

      One time I tried to root my backup note 3 wanting to flash android 4.4 on it (i had the file to flash with), but it appears Knox stopped me. Came close to bricking it I think. Haven't tried again yet.

      About to go on a 3 week vacation. Put in a 256gb SD card in my backup note 3, works great, have another 128gig in my regular note 3 too. MHL to hdmi works well too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never again

        If the carrier wants to upgrade you they won't care about wifi. They're a carrier, FFS. Your phone is already on their network, and they'll upgrade you over that.

        But it'll always ask first anyway.

        1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

          Re: Never again

          No they won't. At least not ATT. The upgrade notice explicitly says wifi is required. And i have stopped the upgrade(downloading) on several occasions by disabling wifi.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Never again

      @SquidEmperor

      "They've literally become Apple - sacrificing usability and utility for pointless gimmicks that actually devalue the customer experience"

      You must know a different Apple to the rest of the planet. Apple's whole raison d'être is usability and utility (they frequently get bashed for focusing on this at the expense of functionality and customisation).

      And pointless gimmicks like.... Iris scanners? Photo unlocking?

      1. Naselus Silver badge

        Re: Never again

        "Apple's whole raison d'être is usability and utility"

        The 3.5mm headphone jack called. Apparently it thinks you're a liar.

    3. johnnybee
      Facepalm

      Re: Never again

      I can't believe you're accusing them of adding pointless gewgaws rather than paying attention to detail!

      As it states quite clearly on the promo visible on the screenshot of multi-panel (p2), 'Samsung Electronics has taken care to create a memorable expreience'.

      See? They've taken care! I don't know what an expreience is, but I'm sure it's memorable...

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: Never again

        "As it states quite clearly on the promo visible on the screenshot of multi-panel (p2), 'Samsung Electronics has taken care to create a memorable expreience'."

        Well, being electrocuted is a memorable experience, however, I don't recommend it.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Never again

      Never again for another reason.

      I have a Note 3 on my desk which is a hopeless brick.

      The reviewer asked the question of "Why not TouchWiz". There is a simple answer - if you by mistake disable some of the Samsung apps Touchwiz will go into an endless reboot cycle on the next reboot. The cretinous imbecile who wrote it did not include any error handling for an exception if you try and fail send an intent to another bundled Samsung app. It is an immediate reboot.

      That would have been fine if the software itself was sound, which it is not - the sole software update the tablet ever got from Samsung corrupted the recovery in such a way that it cannot be reflashed neither with stock, nor with clockworkmod. So the tablet is a brick. Thanks to f*** TochWiz which was written by someone who failed their sophomore CS class. The part called "handle errors".

      So sorry - no Samsung ever enters this house ever again. I actually like phones that do not corrupt their recovery partition the first time they update and phones which do not fail on first reboot if you disable some of the factory bundled crap.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hahahaha!

    Fingerprint reader more secure than facial or iris recognition? I doubt it, it'd take longer to print either picture than to lift a fingerprint to use from the phone itself. All crap forms of security for the terminally lazy.

    FFS is your time so precious that 2 seconds to type a PIN is world ending? As IT professionals we're supposed to be promoting security, not this shite. If this is OK how do we make Joe Public believe biometrics are only to be used as ID and not passwords for the serious stuff!?

    /rant

    I give up

    1. sal II

      Re: Hahahaha!

      >Fingerprint reader more secure than facial or iris recognition?

      With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes. You can fool most of the fingerprint sensors with an image of the fingerprint, but it has to be obtained with a high enough quality and printed to scale first. Whereby you can readily get a picture of a persons face from facebook, Photo ID and what not.

      The Iris recognition is more secure, but unreliably implemented here, so not really convenient for unlocking.

      As for your claim that PINs are more secure than fingerprint sensors, you would be amazed how easy is for someone to spy your PIN even from a low angle, then lift your phone on the spot, rather than having to procure print outs of your face/fingerprint in advance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

        Biometrics ARE NOT PASSWORDS FFS!11!!!!1! You.Cannot.Change.Them!! They.Are.I.D.Only!

        ARRRRRGH!!! The stupid, it burns....

        1. James 51 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

          This made me laugh so hard I got some looks in the office. Enjoy one of these and check your blood pressure.

        2. sal II

          Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

          Who is arguing that biometrics are passwords?

          Both are 1 factor authentications, both are inherently insecure for different reasons. In the case of a mobile phone that has to be regularly unlocked in public, where anyone can see your PIN, biometric option is more secure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: biometric option is more secure.

            Oh! Please go on... Explain to me how fingerprints are more secure than a PIN when I lose my phone?

            Confirmation bias, much? You seem somewhat delusional, with all your talk of "people watching over your shoulder as you input a PIN", which bit do you not understand, if you lose, or someone steals your phone they don't need to have "seen you input the PIN" they can simply lift your prints from the phone! FFS.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: biometric option is more secure.

              they can simply lift your prints from the phone! FFS

              They would have difficulty with mine - I use an 8 digit PIN with repeated digits. By the time they had tried all the various permutations, my phone would have wiped itself multiple times over.. I also clean my screen protector regularly.

              And yes - I use fingerprint too. No form of security is perfect and both have their flaws. If someone is determined to get at the contents of your phone, they will. And the fingerprint unlock requires you to use the PIN as well on first unlock after boot (and at random intervals thereafter) - which kind of indicates that the people who design these systems are well aware that none of them are a panacea.

              Much like IT perimeter security - it's there to keep out the simple attacks but won't keep out someone who knows what they are doing. Which is why you don't (if you know what you are doing) ever, ever rely on just perimeter security.

          2. streaky Silver badge

            Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

            Both are 1 factor authentications, both are inherently insecure for different reasons

            I love that the public debate has moved enough that we've got here - wonder when the phone companies will pick up on it.

            PIN plus iris. Password plus fingerprint. Fingerprint + iris + PIN + RFID fob for the terminally paranoid. Auth related things shouldn't be about pure convenience, especially in the climate we live in.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

              Fingerprint + iris + PIN + RFID fob for the terminally paranoid

              Which, if you are getting mugged, your attacker will have anyway (after all, you have to carry the RFID tag to unlock your phone). And if your attacker threatens to cut off your fingers if you *don't* unlock your phone then I suspect that you'd rather have all your finger and lose the phone..

              So - no precautions will satisfy all use-cases. 80/20 rule applies.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

          "Biometrics ARE NOT PASSWORDS"

          What if I use my balls as the biometric? Only I see them so they are pretty secure and it's not as if I'm going to go waving them about. I could even change them by shaving them every once in a while.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Only I see them...

            That's just sad. They need to get out and socialize more.

          2. Unep Eurobats
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Biometric balls

            So to unlock your phone you stuff it down your trousers?

            It's a method, I suppose.

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Private key

              *zip, click* Talk about flash photography...

              Also, heaven knows what you'll have to explain being smeared on the fingerprint sensor...

            2. SEDT

              Re: Biometric balls

              Down trousers. A deterrent to theft as well

            3. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: Biometric balls

              "So to unlock your phone you stuff it down your trousers?"

              Yes.

              Absolutely.

              That's what I was doing, I was .. unlocking my ... phone.

              officer

            4. Mooseman Bronze badge

              Re: Biometric balls

              And probably pretty safe from theft afterwards.......

          3. Wzrd1

            Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

            "What if I use my balls as the biometric?"

            I had actually considered that. It'd have an added benefit that few blokes are about to stick that phone to their face after I identify in.

            And maybe the cat won't lay on the bloody phone, like he does now.

          4. jgarbo

            Re: With the Samsung Galaxy 8 implementation - yes.

            Well, deary, you don't get out much do you?

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Perhaps -

        If I was designing a login-by-camera routine, I would make it able to tell whether the camera was looking at a bitmap JPEG instead of a face - this doesn't? No? Well then - let it be https://www.etsy.com/market/mustache_on_a_stick . ;-)

      3. jgarbo

        Re: Hahahaha!

        Yep, the head of MI6 tells me he always uses iris recognition when ordering coffee from Starbucks, just to be safe. The Russkies, you know.

        Children, you're not guarding the crown jewels. It's just a communicator.

    2. jgarbo

      Re: Hahahaha!

      Right! My Note 4's finger print thingy likes blow dried fingers, so I use the 9 dots puzzle thingy. Takes ~ 2 secs to open. Who's got such precious secrets on a phone? Keep them in safety deposit box at your bank.

  4. fissuria
    Coat

    Battery life from the 35000mAh pack

    "Battery life from the 35000mAh pack "

    I want one of those!

    1. LewFoo

      Re: Battery life from the 35000mAh pack

      Only one of DOZENS of spelling, grammar, and content errors in this pathetic excuse for information dissemination.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Battery life from the 35000mAh pack

      I want one of those!

      No problem, if that coat you're fetching has big pockets...

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Battery life from the 35000mAh pack

      That was the Note 7 I think.

    4. The First Dave

      Re: Battery life from the 35000mAh pack

      Isn't it about time we dispensed with the 'milli' designation for something with this many zeroes?

      3.5Ah is surely more correct? (and less easy to mis-type)

  5. Dabooka Silver badge

    How much?!

    I'm still amazed folk pay these kind of prices. My last mainstream was a newly released Galaxy 5, and very nice it was too, but a free upgrade from retentions. Now I pay for my handset outright and although they're not 'cutting edge' I'm failing to see what I'm missing out on. Or rather, I now CAN see what I'm missing out on (i.e. Bixby etc).

    Mine's the one with a Wileyfox on the back.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: How much?!

      Much the same here. The WileyFox has done me well for 18 months or so, I've got a spare battery for it as well, and it takes SD cards and dual SIMs.

      Not quite so good since it "upgraded" to Android Nougat from Cyanogen though so when I do replace I'll consider alternatives.

      1. Radio Wales
        Trollface

        Re: How much?!

        I wholeheartedly agree. I cannot understand people who pay top dollar for a singing and dancing top-of-the-line phone then admit that they don't use it for anything sensitive in case....

        I stepped out of the line and bought a Windows phone, Yes it's still a phone.

        Now I am reliably and repeatedly assured that there isn't anybody in the world who'd even want to steal it.

        Odd really, since it does everything I want from a smart-ish-phone.

        And it was really cheap too.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: How much?!

      "My last mainstream was a newly released Galaxy 5, and very nice it was too, but a free upgrade from retentions."

      Just curious - did retentions actually give you a handset, or did they 'give' you a handset in return for voluntarily handcuffing yourself to their contract for another year?

  6. Jay 2
    WTF?

    Pure hipster wankery

    I could hardly believe my eyes when I read "force users to revert back to old habits (eg the touch interface)". If it's one thing I can't stand it's jumped up UI/wizards/etc that will force you to do something its way or some bastardisation of not-at-all/as inconviniently as possible. See the fuckup that was Windows 8's TIFKAM for another example.

    Surely Samsung, as a TOUCH SCREEN PHONE, the user may expect to be able to do what they require via the fucking great big touch screen that is touted as one of the main USPs of the phone in that it is big and doesn't have those pesky bezels to get in the way. If I'm going to talk in the presence of a phone it's beacuse I'm making a phone call, not talking to the sodding device itself.

    This sort of thing is pure hipster wankery that comes when someone doesn't remember that just because you can do something, it doesn't mean that you should!

    </rant>

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Pure hipster wankery

      Samsung managerial techniques leak out to the customers in the real world. I'm surprised they didn't say you had to learn Korean too.

    2. Shugyosha

      Re: Pure hipster wankery

      "I could hardly believe my eyes when I read "force users to revert back to old habits (eg the touch interface)"."

      I raged too when I read that, but for me it was the tautology 'revert back'. Makes me want to go full Bill Bixby.

    3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Pure hipster wankery

      You could have put that post in all caps and I'd have still upvoted you.

    4. Colin Ritchie
      Windows

      Re: Pure hipster wankery

      I only logged in to upvote your comment. Shame we can't plaster it across Samsung's site.

      £800 for a phone? I'll stick to a Moto 4G for a fifth of the price and be happy to spend a similar amount, about 2 years later when the Android patches run out. How long will Samsung support the S8 with updates, I wonder?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Pure hipster wankery

        How long will Samsung support the S8 with updates, I wonder?

        Right up until they release the S9.

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Pure hipster wankery

        "How long will Samsung support the S8 with updates"

        Well, if I might draw your attention to the charging cradle for my Gear 2 Neo:

        11 months after I got it, I managed to lose the charging cradle. Not to worry, there's a Samsung store just down the road from the office.

        "I'd like a charging cradle for this please"

        The salesdroid looked at my Neo, pointed to the S2 display in the window and sneered "Oh, we don't do *those* anymore. Have you tried eBay?"

        So I imagine the S8 will be supported right up to the moment you walk out of the shop with it.

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