Cover image credits – demystifyasia.com
The mere mention of the words Apple and Android sets off debates so vehement that they can make Arnab Goswami’s monologues seem calm and composed. The Android versus iOS debate rivals the Science versus Religion arguments of old, with both sides armed to the teeth with their own strengths and the opponent’s flaws. The fact that Apple can take on an entire generation of Android smartphones single handed, and still more than hold its ground is testament to how loved and widely accepted the brand is.
Ever since the advent of the Android generation, there has been one company that has consistently broken new ground and pushed the envelope when it comes to design and features. It has been the flagbearer for Android, and its rivalry with Apple over the past decade is one that has captured the imagination of techies and the general public alike. This company is Samsung!
The fact that both companies have similar ambitions has put them at loggerheads from the very beginning. While Samsung does have a slightly more inclusive mindset, which is evident from their range of products catering to people across all shopping sensibilities, its offerings in the premium smartphone segment are more than competitive. In recent years, their premium offerings have more than given Apple a run for their money, and in some quarters even surpassed them, both in terms of critical acclaim and actual sales.
Within the tide of conformism and blind acceptance of every product that Apple releases, recent years have seen more open dissent. Several users have questioned several of Apple’s less popular features that have irked users for years. Generic justifications such as “That’s how Apple is” and “Security concerns” have been dismissed, and users have begun to demand more from their phones.
Clash of Viewpoints
In a market flooded with cheap and powerful devices that guarantee performance and quality, several users have begun to question why they should pay so much for an iPhone when they can get the same levels of performance for a fraction of the price. These budget smartphones come without the constraints that iOS generally lays on its users. The gradual rise of this anti-Apple sentiment has played right into Samsung’s hands.
Samsung’s range of premium smartphones not only guarantees quality which is on par with Apple, but also the prestige quotient and admiring glances that an iPhone owner gets. Coupled with the user-friendly and customizable Android UI, Samsung has gradually been able to eat into Apple’s share with its incisive and focussed forays into the market. This is especially evident in the overwhelming reaction to its recent premium smartphone models.
The well-documented Note 7 debacle, which was preceded by Apple Inc. successfully winning a plagiarism lawsuit against them had been a setback of gargantuan proportions for Samsung. But the hallmark of any successful enterprise is to take any pitfall, no matter how bad, in its stride and come back stronger. After the literal meltdown caused by Note 7 last year, Samsung had to deal with the fact that their products had caused harm to life and property. The news was dominated by headlines stating that Note 7 devices were banned on airplanes and that Samsung recalled them by the million, desperately aiming to salvage something from the mess. The negative attention and subsequent perception of Samsung as an unsafe and unreliable brand could have ended most enterprises. But Samsung dealt with it as gracefully as they possibly could have. Details of their internal investigations were made public, and every individual who had faced any inconvenience due to this technical anomaly was adequately and visibly compensated. Samsung has gone a long way towards rebuilding credibility with the S8. This display of guts and honesty was appreciated by customers, even though Samsung incurred millions in losses and damage limitation. And if the reaction to the latest offering Samsung Galaxy S8 is anything to go by, Samsung’s woes are well and truly behind them!
Samsung Galaxy S8: Class REDEFINED
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been unanimously labelled as “the most beautiful smartphone on the planet” by several revered and respected names in the technology industry. Considering the sheer volume of good looking smartphones in today’s industry, that definitely is saying something. But do not be fooled, the S8 isn’t just another pretty boy. It packs monstrous performance under the hood. Given below is the list of major specs of the S8:
Display: 5.8 and 6.2in 2960×1440 Super AMOLED Display
Storage: 64GB internal, 256GB expandable
CPU and RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung Exynos 8895 Processor, 4GB RAM
Front Camera: 8MP with autofocus
Rear Camera: 12MP, 4K video recording, optical image stabilization.
Several smartphones have released in recent years which have looked impressive on paper, but absolute damp squibs when it came to actual performance. But within just a few weeks of its release in April, the absolute outpouring of positive feedback dispelled any lingering apprehensions. Both the S8 and its larger sibling the S8 Plus pack 4 GB of RAM, and the Indian version has the Exynos 8895 processor, which is an absolute beast! Even graphic heavy games such as Asphalt 8 run seamlessly on it, with the processor ensuring an optimum balance between performance and battery consumption.
The smaller S8 boasts a massive 5.8-inch screen, while its larger counterpart boasts 6.2 inches of super AMOLED viewing pleasure. Colors and hues are displayed in such exquisite detail and perfection, with the Samsung trademark “Infinity Display” well and truly living up to its pre-release hype. Samsung had earmarked the new display as a key point of differentiation from all its rivals, and looking at it, it is obvious why! The rest of the body is all clean lines and curves, with the glass body enhancing aesthetics while making it easy to hold and non-slippery.
The S8 comes with a 3000 maH battery while the S8+ has a 3500 maH power source. Both these phones come with both wireless charging and quick charging inbuilt, with charging cycles from 0 to 100% consistently less than 2 hours.
What the 12 MP back camera and 8 MP front camera lack in terms of number of megapixels, they certainly make up for with performance. The cameras in both the devices are good, if not better than, the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel cameras. They adapt quickly to changes in light, and focus almost instantaneously, allowing even newbie photographers to click pics worthy of pros.