Do we have a good one for you today – The new Samsung Galaxy S8 takes on the powerful Honor 8 Pro. The Galaxy S8 with its Infinity Display and all-glass backing takes on a beefier, all-metal Honor 8 Pro that replaces its smaller all-glass Honor 8. With all of its hi-tech specifications and sexy design, does the new Galaxy S8 have what it takes to outclass the Honor 8 Pro with its powerful processor and dual cameras? Samsung completely revised its Galaxy S series while Huawei did about the same thing with the Honor 8 Pro. When it comes to their design and specifications, just how do these two smartphones stand up to one another. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Honor 8 Pro have a few things in common. The displays on the two devices are only 0.1-inches different in size, but the larger displayed S8 is smaller in physical size to the Honor 8 Pro and 29 grams lighter. The displays use a different technology, the same QHD resolution, and different Gorilla Glass for protection. Although both devices use different processors and GPUs, they are very comparable. They pack the same amount in-device storage at 64GB with the means to expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas could not be more different – the Galaxy S8 uses a single 12MP Dual-Pixel camera, and the Honor 8 Pro uses dual 12MP sensors – but both take great pictures. The Galaxy S8 and the Honor 8 Pro both use an 8MP sensor for their front-facing cameras (FFC). Both have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as NFC for authorizing mobile payments. They both have non-removable batteries with rapid charge capabilities, but the Galaxy S8 adds wireless charging. Both have Hi-Res audio for listening through earbuds and both have single speakers. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v5.0 on the S8 and v4.2 on the Honor 8 Pro), GPS, NFC, and the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung started fresh when they designed the new Galaxy S8. The flat display is gone from the Galaxy S7 and completely gone is the Edge model. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus come with their new Infinity Display – a dual curved display that seamlessly melts into the sides of the device. The Galaxy S8 has very small top and bottom bezels and Samsung dropped their physical ‘Home’ button, as they did with the ‘Back’ and ‘App’ keys. They are all located on the lower part of the display that has 3D Touch capabilities. Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back near the camera lens, and Samsung added a couple of easier ways to unlock the device to avoid using the fingerprint sensor – by way of facial recognition or an iris scanner. The physical appearance alone of the Galaxy S8 may be enough to win you over, but did Samsung upgrade the specifications enough, and just how does it stack up to the Huawei Honor 8 Pro.
In a long overdue act, Samsung increased the Galaxy S8 display from a small 5.1-inches to a much larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display. It still uses the excellent Super AMOLED technology but Samsung gave it a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that makes it taller and slightly narrower. The QHD+ display resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels generates 570 pixels-per-inch (PPI). This new display takes up 83.6-percent of the front of the phone, goes edge-to-edge, with very small top and bottom bezels. Samsung continues to use the ‘always-on’ display to help save battery life but also making it easier and quicker to check notifications. Samsung uses the newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the front and back of the device. On the inside, the Galaxy S8 uses the new 10nm technology found in the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and Samsung’s excellent Exynos 8895 octa-core. The SD 835 is clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU rounding out the model coming to the US. Other countries will use the Exynos 8895 with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and a Mali-G71 MP20 for graphics. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 expandable memory via a microSD card.
Samsung carried over the great camera from the Galaxy S7 series and concentrated on making advancements to their imaging software. The Galaxy S8 uses with a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.7 for those low light conditions, a 26mm lens, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung did make some improvements to the FFC by enlarging it from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor and even gave it its own autofocus. It still uses a wide-angle lens for group selfies or a conference chat, the same f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.
Samsung always crams a bunch features in the Galaxy S series devices. There are some good ones, but there are some you may never use. It continues to be IP68 certified against dust and water resistance, keeps its popular heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and for those that exercise, the new Samsung Health that replaces Samsung’s S-Health. The Galaxy S8 comes with a new Samsung Connect feature that will hook up with Samsung’s products so you have complete control of appliances, thermostats, and more. On the Galaxy S8, Samsung introduces its own personal assistant called Bixby. You can either ask Bixby simple questions or get information from a picture through the camera. Samsung added a DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to give you a near desktop experience. Besides using Android Pay, you have access to Samsung Pay, which allows Galaxy S8 users more freedom to make mobile purchases. The Galaxy S8 will arrive with Android Nougat 7.0, followed by a quick upgrade to 7.1. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for purchase at major retailers.
Honor 8 Pro
Huawei took one of their best phones, the Honor 8, and super-sized it with a larger display and up-to-date specifications. The display jumped from 5.2-inches to 5.7-inches, they increased the resolution from a FHD to QHD display, and increased the battery size from 3000mAh to a 4000mAh. It has an excellent all-metal build and its slightly curved edges make it comfortable to hold for long periods. Like other Huawei devices, the Honor 8 Pro is a GSM device so it will work on AT&T and T-Mobile and probably only receive 4G LTE on AT&T. Let’s see just how it stacks up to the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S8.
The Honor 8 Pro sports a nice-sized 5.7-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a respectable 515 PPI. Our review of the Honor 8 Pro gives it good marks for the display, which comes with “Eye Comfort” that removes some of the blue from the display for easier nighttime reading. For the processor, they chose their powerful 64-bit Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core model with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 2.4GHz. For any graphics thrown its way, Huawei included their accomplished Mali-G71 MP8 GPU. The Honor 8 Pro packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card. There is also a variation of the Honor 8 Pro with 4GB of RAM.
Huawei is one smartphone manufacturer that likes to include a good camera on their smartphones and it shows on the Honor 8 Pro with its dual 12MP cameras. There is one 12MP sensor for colored photos and another 12MP sensor that shoots strictly monochrome (B&W) photos. They added EIS, an f/2.2 aperture, both Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. Black and white photos have their own art form and the Honor 8 Pro’s secondary lens and software can help turn out some great pictures. With Bokeh turned on, you can get some great images with a blurred background. The Honor 8 Pro uses an 8MP sensor on its FFC with a larger f/2.0 aperture and wide-angle lens for group selfies and video chatting. The Honor 8 Pro packs a large 4000mAh non-removable battery along with rapid charge.
Huawei is concerned about saving battery life, but they still went with a QHD resolution. They claim the large 4000mAh battery will last you a full day and when you need a charge, their rapid charge system will get you up and running in no time. Huawei does include Hi-Res audio (DTS) to enhance its sound through earphones. On the Honor 8 Pro, Huawei place a rear-facing fingerprint sensor to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Honor 8 Pro is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and they kept its IR Blaster intact. The Honor 8 Pro measures 157 x 77.5 x 7 mm, weighs in at 184 grams and comes in Pearl White, Midnight Black, Navy Blue. Its pricing is coming in about $600.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
I am picking the Samsung Galaxy S8 as the winner of this comparison for the obvious reason - it is packing on more features and innovation than the Honor 8 Pro. However, it is also packing in a price that is $120 more. The Honor 8 Pro is a great device that has not yet been released in the US and only works on T-Mobile and AT&T, and even at that you will not get 4G LTE on T-Mobile and may get 4G LTE on AT&T.
While the Galaxy S8’s display is slightly larger, the physical size is smaller, making it easier to hold and work with one hand. It has the better AMOLED Infinity Display, Always-on display, it is IP68 certified, a better processor with its 10nm architecture, incorporates an iris scanner and facial recognition, faster battery charging and wireless charging. Samsung throws in a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, Samsung Pay, Samsung Connect, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Samsung Bixby, and Samsung DeX docking.
The Honor 8 Pro, like all Huawei hardware, is top-notch. They included a QHD display, a powerful processor/GPU, lots of RAM and expandable memory. Dual cameras will give you excellent pictures, and a 4000mAh battery will make it through an entire day. However, with its lack of US support and rather routine looks with large top and bottom bezels, it just seems as though the Samsung Galaxy S8, though it costs more, does offer more usability for the buck – at least in the US.