Are you on ios and wondering how difficult jumping ship to the android flagship phones would be? Well, that is what I did after 8 years on ios.
CONCLUSION: I love the hardware aspect of the Galaxy S8+ with very few exceptions. It's a beautiful phone. After a couple of weeks I have my phone usable with fairly similar apps and functions I used on iPhone. I like quite a bit of the additional customization offered but the tradeoff is having every developer trying to turn the phone into a personal billboard trying to sell something unless I'm willing to shell out $2 to $3 per app in most cases. To gain some of the higher end customization without ads can cost $5 or more in many cases. It is quite a bit less efficient in every day use due to lack of streamlined integration between apps and additional ads.
PHONE DESIGN: This phone design makes people drool. It is outright beautiful with great color options and a quality build. The size of the phone is great in the hand and decent in the pocket, however the height is tall for short pockets.
PERFORMANCE/BATTERY: Overall I found the OS response almost on par with ios. It doesn't outperform ios in my use but it felt capable in every way. Easy to change modes for increasing battery life or performance. The gaming folder has options to set the phone as a priority for gaming (no interruptions and high performance). Quick charging (about 2.5 hours) and wireless charging.
SCREEN: The screen resolution and large screen is great for streaming movies on my phone often. The curved edge is sexy. The screens edge does a great job of ignoring touches when holding the phone and offers many functions that are cool. Always On display with very little battery impact. I didn't realize how often I turn on my phone just to see the time or even date.
CAMERA: No camera bump! This phone will sit flat on the table - nuff said. The cameras (hardware) are best in class and in low light, it captures more light than competitors.
STORAGE: Respectable 64 Gig onboard and can add a standard 3rd party memory card to increase it at a reasonable price when you actually need it.
AUTHENTICATION/SECURITY: Eyescanner is great for unlocking phone. I've had better results than many reviews. Mine will usually scan me correctly from a reading position even in dim light.
PORTS/BLUETOOTH: Accessories are all generic. It is so nice to buy an extra cable for $2. I am no audiophile and have gone wireless for audio in most ways. By design, my car connects phones to the radio with an audio cable so the audio jack is appreciated. Handy when I forget to charge my wireless headphones.
CUSTOMIZATION: Out of the box, this phone is one of the most highly customizable phones available to change your experience for how the phone looks and behaves. The keyboard can be reduced in size and offset to the side of your prominent hand so that the keys are easy to reach with one hand.
FUNCTIONS: Best VR experience available on a phone. For under $10 you can get a VR headset and be immersed in some pretty awesome videos and the experience is 360 degrees so stand up and turn around to see behind you. Fun and costs very little. Be forewarned, you may get seasick. Audio over wireless just sounds better to me compared to iPhone 6; with same headsets I get more bass, etc.
APPS: Multiple app stores to download products. Because android allows more access to hardware and OS, there are apps for a whole different use than what Apple apps provide. There are many apps to add functionality like location based setting changes to the phone. The phone can go into silent mode when you arrive at work and much more.
MEH - Noteworthy but can overlook
PHONE DESIGN: Expected to be a fingerprint magnet - and it is.
PERFORMANCE/BATTERY: Customization can drain battery life. With many of the usb chargers, phone charges slowly. It is faster if you have the right hardware in place.
DURABILITY: I only carry the phone in my pocket by itself and I have a scratch after a couple of weeks. I have not dropped mine but videos online show that the back often cracks if dropped from the waist. Sometimes, not often, it survives drops from 5 feet. Front durability often survives a 5 foot drop and seems a bit more durable than the iPhone. Buy a cover for sure.
AUTHENTICATION/SECURITY: I generally don't feel as secure with my data in the apps, OS, and features of this phone and the android infrastructure. It is the same feeling when I use my windows computer, security is all on my shoulders and I better address it someway. And all the free solutions have ads.
CUSTOMIZATION: Speech of OS is good but Apple does relistic speech better.
FUNCTIONS: Phone calls are okay but I'm not impressed with the more difficult app that has weak integration between other apps. Items harder than iPhone - answering a call, finding and calling a contact, setting up a 3way call, adding a new call into a current call (still haven't gotten it to happen), selecting a phone number in another app and having phone app open and call. Bixby is Samsungs response to Siri (and Google Assistant - included on phone). In concept Bixby should develop into something more useful than Siri for chaining commands together, but it is not realized yet. Holding the button for the duration of the command feels unnecessary and I just don't like it. I have less favorable results with Bixby unless it is to locate a phone setting.
APPS: Apps are mostly as functional as what IOS equivilent provides, but they aren't streamlined for ease of use. I miss my iPhone apps quite a bit.
PHONE DESIGN: Hard to reach finger scanner on back-I enter the unlock code OFTEN due to placement. The dedicated Bixby button is in the way causing accidental pushes.
SCREEN: The screen seems dim in comparison to iPhone although it is capable of a comfortable brightness. Noticeablely dim in sunlight.
PORTS/BLUETOOTH: The usb c connection just doesn't feel tight to me. Also, I get errors from different chargers that the phone is not connected completely, possibly because the phone is expecting a fast charger, but it has me a little concerned about reliability.
AUTHENTICATION/SECURITY: I am used to a fingerscanner, it is an unatural action to unlock ANYTHING on this phone due to the awkward placement. Eyescanner does not log into apps (like paypal, etc).
CUSTOMIZATION: If new to android, it is overwhelming to use out of the box without some grounding. There are multiple applications for many functions. As you set these up, they'll prompt back and forth to change defaults. Some are similarly named and the placement to find settings of each have nothing in common. The OS has no wizard guiding you through the madness. You keep tinkering with creating accounts and settings until something works, then you move onto the next thing you want to work. It may take a week to get this phone to replace an iPhone completely if you use many apps at all. Using the keyboard drives me close to insanity because of how often the wrong word appears. It is functional (I've defaulted to a 3rd party keyboard) but it takes about twice the effort as iPhone. I distrust settings to take and work as expected. I've had this phone ring at work when I set do not disturb. I must click and look for check marks, okays, enable, save buttons that can be different in each app and setting. There is no standard across the platform so unless you exit and go back into a setting, I never know it took. Enabling handicap features can be painful. Ads, ads, everywhere. Do you like having your phone boot into a screen with a big ad displayed in the middle of it? Well android provides that functionality - in fact every developer over uses it in a way iPhone users do not experience. I almost returned this phone on day 2 because of an ad.
FUNCTIONS: One better like clicking okay and yes to use these apps. Android suffers from the same thing Windows does. You have to click an extra time or 2 to get a function to set. Even when logging in right now, I may have to push the home button, then swipe up, enter a code, and then click an ok to proceed. On my iphone, I pushed the home button and let my finger rest there and I was in. The majority of system settings and apps have similar unneccessary extra selections and swipes. Speech to text in voice assistants, text message or email is truly unpredictable. There is an emergency call button (it will dial 911) that is badly placed on the unlock screen. I conciously have to avoid hitting that stupid thing 20 to 40 times a day. Audio volume is ok for music apps but it has an annoying warning about excessive volumes damaging hearing that I want to disable forever and it won't let me. Audio in apps like podcasts are extremely low. Videos do not reliably go full screen by flipping screen sideways, often requiring a click or 2 extra.
APPS: Most free apps have ads and many of the underground app stores have viruses in many of their apps. Unless you are willing to download apps from 'risky' locations, apps without ads are double or triple the price on Apple.
NA - Provided headphones. They are marketed to be $100 street value but I use wireless audio and haven't had the need to test yet.