Smartphone user manuals are often bland, textbook-like, and uninteresting — they're usually just thick books explaining features many already know, thanks to the internet. But the manual for the Galaxy S8, now published online, is filled to the brim with so much information and detail that it deserves its own attention.
The 234-page manual covers the bases, and then some. It goes pretty extensively on software and user interface customizations, the trove of camera features users can play around with, right down to Samsung's proprietary Health app, and much more. Here's a brief look at a few things you shouldn't miss.
A Look At Samsung's Bixby
The manual reveals that Bixby has two major components: Bixby Home and Bixby Vision. The former offers recommendations and information based on the user's smartphone usage, patterns, and routine. The latter is akin to Google Goggles, allowing the user to search for information by taking photos of an object or a location.
Bixby, as with any other digital assistant, will only perform its marquee features when connected to the internet, and it also requires the user to sign in with a Samsung account. To access the digital assistant, users can push the dedicated Bixby button. To close it, users need to push the button again. Alternatively, just swipe right from the home screen and it'll be there, a la Google Now.
Bixby Home is a standard affair, containing cards that show a trove of information relevant to the user. The real scene-stealer, however, is Bixby Vision, which can perform a number of things. With Bixby Vision, users can search for shopping information, detect and translate text, search for images similar to the one you took, search for nearby places, search for wine information, and read QR codes.
Users can access Bixby Vision from the Bixby Home panel or from Vision-supported apps.
Galaxy S8 Camera: A Look At The Features
While the Galaxy S8's camera is the same one used in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge of yesteryear, Samsung has improved the software working alongside it to create high-quality photos. Here's a look at its features.
The camera offers 10 modes in total:
• Auto - Camera adjusts the exposure and color automatically.
• Pro - Users can manually adjust the shutter speed, ISO, exposure value, white balance, focal length, and color tone.
• Panorama - Create panoramas by moving the phone either horizontally or vertically.
• Selective focus - Allows users to change a photo's focus after taking it.
• Slow motion - Allows users to record videos at a high frame rate.
• Hyperlapse - Allows users to create timelapse scenes at different frame rates.
• Food - A mode specifically for taking pictures of food.
• Virtual shot - Creates multi-directional photos of objects, rendering a 360-degree view.
• Selfie - A front-facing mode bundled with a number of beauty effects and filters.
• Wide selfie - Allows users to take wide-angle front-facing shots.
The manual explains that users can download even more modes from Galaxy Apps by tapping "+" on the shooting modes list.
Want To Avoid Battery Drain? Take Note Of These Tips From Samsung
Anything concerning the battery is a topic Samsung knows all too well about, given the fiasco it suffered with randomly exploding Note 7 units. The Galaxy S8 is seen as a comeback from Samsung, and the phone won't come with Note 7's fiery problems thanks to Samsung's rigorous battery safety checks and tests this time around.
But while battery explosion won't be a problem, battery drain might be. The Galaxy S8 has a 3,000 mAh battery, and the S8 Plus has a slightly bumped up 3,500 mAh capacity, both of which have been criticized for being too low for a flagship. This means saving every drop of energy is crucial, and Samsung's manual even goes into detail about the ways users can drain the battery without them knowing.
To avoid draining the battery, avoid metallic stickers on the device's antenna, and by extension, avoid attaching a cover made with metallic material. Also, try to avoid covering the antenna while using certain network features, such as phone calls or mobile data. Taking note of these tips will help you avoid unnecessary battery drain.
Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus
The features highlighted above barely even scratch the surface, so we recommend reading the manual yourself if you'd like to find out more about the flagships.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are Samsung's newest smartphones following the Note 7. They were announced late March and will hit shelves April 21.