Tech Guide

If you plan to buy Samsung's Galaxy S8, here's why you should get the larger model

Key Points
  • The Galaxy S8+ has a larger screen, but isn't too cumbersome.
  • The Galaxy S8+ has a bigger battery than the Galaxy S8, too.
  • You'll pay about $100 more, but we think it's worth it.
Galaxy S8 users seeing red

Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ officially launched in the United States today, and if you plan to buy one, you should splurge on the larger model.

Most of the time it's hard to recommend a big phone, mainly because they can be very cumbersome to use — especially with one hand. Samsung's unique design, however, allows the display to take up most of the entire front of the device. That results in a larger screen on a phone that's not too big.

The Galaxy S8+ is just 2.88 inches wide and 6.27 inches tall. By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus is 3.07 inches wide and 6.23 inches tall. Samsung managed to squeeze a 6.2-inch display in that space, however, while Apple's iPhone 7 Plus only has a 5.5-inch screen. That extra real-estate means more immersive movies and games. And since the Galaxy S8+ is narrower, it doesn't feel like you're holding a brick.

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Devin Hance | CNBC

The screen matters, too. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are capable of supporting HDR video from Amazon, which means they're running some of the highest quality content, including movies and TV shows, with technology that's typically only reserved for high-end TVs. Why not take advantage of that with a larger screen?

Sure, you could go for the normal Galaxy S8, but it also has a smaller bat

tery. In my tests, I found the battery life of the Galaxy S8+ to be much better. (Though both typically lasted through a day — I didn't need to rush the Galaxy S8+ to the outlet at night.) If you're a night owl, the Galaxy S8+ will stay up later with you.

The rest of the specs between the two phones are the same. You'll get the same zippy Qualcomm processor with support for faster wireless networks, the same 64GB of storage (you can always add more with a memory card), and the same great camera.

You'll pay more for the Galaxy S8+, though. On T-Mobile, for example, the Galaxy S8+ costs $850, or a full $100 more than the standard model. That price is well worth the difference to me and, as of last night, I'm the happy new owner of a Galaxy S8+.

Curious about the new Samsung device? Check out our Galaxy S8 review.

Watch: Enderle's take on Galaxy 8

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