Thanks to its nearly bezel-free Infinity Display and curved design, the Galaxy S8 is easily the most attractive smartphone yet, raising the bar not just for Android phone makers but also Apple and the upcoming iPhone 8.
The S8 isn't perfect, as placing the fingerprint reader on the back right next to the camera lens isn't exactly ideal. But, overall, Samsung deserves serious props for creating such a stunning handset.
"It is a beautiful design that feels terrific in your hand, and provides maximum screen area with minimal device width," says Avi Greengart, research director for platforms and devices at Global Data.
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There's just one issue. Actually, make that two. There are three colors to choose from, which can make it tricky deciding what to get, and Samsung is withholding two colors for the U.S. (at least not for now.)
If you're shopping stateside, Galaxy S8 shoppers can choose from Midnight Black, Arctic Silver and Orchid Gray. Of the three options, we prefer the Orchid Gray model, as it looks and feels newer than previous Galaxy phone hues. There's a subtle hint of purple in the glass back, which you'll see when the light hits it just right.
The Arctic Silver model looks kind of plain and conservative by comparison, while the Midnight Black S8 picks up fingerprints rather quickly, similar to the Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The Galaxy S7 was also available in silver and black.
There is something cool about the black S8, though. When the screen is off, the design feels more seamless, as the both the front and back are black. In fact, when I showed this model off on Fox Business, the anchor had a bit of trouble telling the front from the back, which is kind of the point to a 360-degree design aesthetic. All of the Galaxy S8 phones are black in front.
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The colors you can't get in the U.S. at launch are Coral Blue and Maple Gold, a somewhat perplexing decision because those are the most eye-catching options. " It’s a terrible idea, because the blue is the most attractive color and I want one, said Greengart. "The other reason to bring Blue and Gold to the U.S.? The brighter colors would stand out better at retail."
So why go this route? Greengart argues that Samsung knows what sells and what doesn't and that "OEMs repeatedly tell me that most U.S. consumers pick boring colors." So, maybe we're to blame.
Granted, a majority of Galaxy S8 shoppers will wind up putting a case on the device, as more than 75 percent of smartphone owners have been found to do just that. But there are plenty of clear cases now that offer protection while still giving you a full view of the back.
Over time, Samsung could very well release the two remaining hues in the U.S., but for now the company and its carrier partners are playing it safe.