Monday, 10 April 2017

It passed the handling test

As you might suppose, I've been on the lookout for a chance to handle the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ mobile phones. There is still about two weeks to go before they hit the shops, but here and there working examples can be seen. A few days back, I saw both phones in Carphone Warehouse in Barnstaple, and was able to get a good general impression, play with the screens, satisfy myself that I liked the look and behaviour of the Android Nougat OS, and didn't mind the absence of a 'home' button one bit.

But as to whether the larger S8+ would fit comfortably into my left hand, I couldn't do more than compare the relative sizes of the S8 and S8+ side-by-side, noting at least that the S8+ wasn't quite as large and unwieldy as I'd thought it would be. Both working phones were securely locked into position, and I couldn't pick them up to find out how each felt in the hand. If the shop had examples that one could handle, they were keeping them out of sight, and the place was too busy to hang around and enquire.

But today, in Wells, I did get a chance to ask. No, they weren't risking putting even a tethered working phone in anyone's hands just yet; but they had dummy models. Ah, I said, that's all I wanted. I just needed to see whether the S8+ was too big for my hand, or felt in any way odd. Well, as you can see, I got my fingers around it without any problem:


That was reassuring. So size wasn't going to be an issue. And if I could cope with the larger S8+, there was no point in considering the smaller S8. Here they are, side by side:


There was a £90 price difference between them, if buying outright - really, not a lot at this price level. The styling and capabilities were exactly the same. The S8+ had a larger battery and a larger screen - that was all. But to me those two things were important, and well worth paying for. I suppose some people might consider a large phone like the S8+ unpocketable, but for me pocketability wasn't an issue - the phone would be going in my bag. Nor did I think the S8+ oversized and clumsy: it was long and narrow, instead of short and wide, and that stopped it being awkwardly tablet-shaped.

So the only issue left now is how to afford one! It would definitely be sensible to pay for it outright (that is, SIM-fee), rather than on a two-year monthly contract, because that seems much the cheaper way. I am currently paying Vodafone £17 a month for my SIM-only bundle (a perfectly adequate 10GB of data, 500 minutes of calls, and unlimited texts). I'd be reluctant to pay any more per month - certainly not to revert to a monthly purchase plan costing anything up to £40 more. It's surely better to wait patiently until my savings have increased, and can safely take the hit needed. And by that time, some months ahead, it won't be £779 but something less: £700 perhaps.

At least I've now handled the S8+, and can confidently order one on the Internet when the time is right.

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