The Galaxy S8 might very well be the best phone, nay the best hheld gadget ever made. From the stunning infinity screen to the sleek curves brilliantly compact design, Samsung’s latest flagship is truly in a class by itself will no doubt spawn a slew of imitators.
But it’s still a Samsung phone, so that means there are things that constantly bug us. And we’re not talking about Bixby’s failed launch. ’re not even talking about the fact that it’s still running Android 7.0. No, these are the things that start out small eventually grow to be constant irritations after we deal with them time time again. Don’t get us wrong, we still love the Galaxy S8, no phone is without its irritations. But we already have a list of annoyances we hope are addressed in the Galaxy S9.
1. The screen keeps lighting up
The Galaxy S8 S8+ have fantastic batteries, so more often than not, we don’t need to plug them in until right before we go to bed, usually in a dark room. And just like previous Samsung phones, it gets a little overzealous when its plugged in.
can’t quite figure out why, but Samsung phones have a weird habit of turning the screen on to celebrate when the battery is fully charged. And there’s no setting or toggle that will change it. It’s annoying enough that the screen needs to turn on when we plug the phone in, but does it really need to light up the room when it’s all done, too?
2. It favors right-hed users
Back when Samsung released the S6 ge variant, two things were clear: It was a glimpse at the future, Samsung was biased to right-hed users. Back then, the curved portion of the screen was only on one side, the right, which made it extraordinarily uncomfortable for left-hed users to hold operate. You’d think that wouldn’t be an issue now that both sides of the screen are curved, but you’d be wrong.
Even though the S8’s ge screen is extended to both sides, Samsung still makes it difficult for left hed users to change it. In the Display settings, you’ll find some options that let you toggle the panels the lighting, as well as install numerous tools shortcuts that really set the S8 apart from other slim-bezeled phones. The only problem is, the setting to move it to the left side of the screen is tucked away in a menu most people won’t find. Rather than prominently display a left or right option on the main ge screen page, Samsung makes you navigate to the ge panels settings, then to the overflow menu in the top right, then to Hle Settings, where finally you’ll find an option for left right. I wonder how many left-hed users are using their off h to access the ge panel just because they don’t know where the option to change it is. (Full disclosure: This setting is so well buried that we couldn’t find it at first thought Samsung didn’t allow you to change the position. It wasn’t until a reader tip when we learned where it is.)
The same is problem applies to the much-maligned fingerprint sensor. ed, accessing it is an issue for fingers of all dexterities, but the alignment on the right side of the camera once again makes it a little more difficult for left hed users. A centered, lower fingerprint sensor would make it easy for everyone to use, no matter which h is the dominant one.
3. Bloatware we can’t remove
’ve grown accustomed to Android phone makers forcing their own versions of common apps upon us, but Samsung takes it to a whole other level. There are some 20 Samsung versions of Android apps on the S8, while some of them are bearable, none rise to the level of something you’d want to use every day. And of course, you can’t delete most of them.
Mind you, things are actually a little better on the S8, but there are still way too many apps that duplicate the ones we’re already invested in. And this time around there’s a new one: Samsung Internet. In case you didn’t notice, Chrome is already the best mobile browser, so why on earth would we need another one?
4. A second store we don’t want
In addition to the apps Samsung bundles with the S8, there’s also a whole Galaxy Store where we can download new ones. Many of them are the same ones ones in the ay Store but with exclusive-sounding names, like Yelp for Samsung or Shazam for Samsung, but the differences are extremely minor, certainly not enough to justify a separate version.
There are also fonts themes to download, which understably require their own storefront, but Huawei offer something similar without need a ay Store competitor. For people who aren’t familiar with Samsung’s method of doing things, Samsung Galaxy Store is confusing annoying, two qualities you don’t want in a major smartphone feature.
5. Capitulating to carriers
Samsung is hardly the only Android OEM that plays nice with the Big 4 carriers, but the S8 continues the tradition of the company’s over-the-top compliance. And we’re not sure it’s all that necessary. Together with Apple, Samsung makes the most hyped heralded phones of the year, carriers absolutely need to sell them to stay relevant.
But instead of using its clout to top force a better experience from carriers, Samsung has once again allowed them to call the shots. For starters, there’s the usual bloatware, with several carrier apps that we have no reason to open but can’t delete. And then there’s the lack of an unlocked version. ile the S8 has already been on shelves for a week now, you’ll have to wait until May to get an unlocked version.
If can make Verizon sell the xel with only three carriers apps—all of which are installed when first activated can be fully uninstalled—then Samsung should be able to do the same with its vastly higher-dem Galaxy S Note lines.
6. Sub-optimal optimization
The Galaxy S8 should be the fastest Android phone around. It’s the only hset with the Snapdragon 835 processor, it’s packed with 4GB of RAM UFS 2.1 storage to boot. And when we were using it during the first week while writing our reviews, it was as buttery smooth as we expected it to be.
However, as we’ve been using it more, we’ve started to see some of the usual Samsung jankiness. ile it’s nowhere near as bad as Touchz of the past, the Samsung Experience on the Galaxy S8 still isn’t quite as responsive smooth as it is on our six-month-old xel. There are dropped frame rates when sliding the Bixby Home panel, occasional stutters when opening apps, some lag when scrolling. Again, it’s nothing that makes it unusable, but it’s definitely noticeable.
7. Horizontal app pages
There are a ton of ways to customize the Galaxy S8’s Nougat skin to personalize it for your tastes, but there’s one thing you can’t do: Change the paginated scrolling of the app drawer.
The vertical scrolling on most app drawers is far superior to the swipe-between-pages method Samsung utilizes, it would be even better on the S8’s tall screen.
8. Software that gets it half-right
There’s no denying that Samsung’s skin on the Galaxy S8 is better than ever. It’s not just how it looks—Samsung has taken a long, hard look at Nougat tried to improve on it without changing things just for the sake of it.
However, there are still a few things that irk us. For example, Samsung has included support for Assistant (which is good because Bixby can’t listen yet), but you can’t use it to wake your phone unless the phone is plugged in. en you’re charging, “OK, ” will wake your phone activate Assistant, but when it’s just sitting on your desk, it doesn’t. And we can’t figure out why—this sort of passive listening problem has been solved in phones for years.
so annoying is Samsung’s insistence on not including raise to wake or tap to wake. Since the S8 doesn’t include a home button, we’re constantly tapping the screen to wake it up, but Samsung forces us to hit the virtual home button when the always-on display is activated.