For the want of a fingerprint reader, all was lost. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the most beautiful phones I've ever seen. From all accounts, they are as sleek and gorgeous in person, and a joy to hold. Look out at the rest of the smartphone world -- the Galaxy S8 looks like it came from a sci-fi movie. Or the future. They have outshone Apple in the "art posing as technology" field. But the phone is flawed, and Synaptics ruined it. Samsung had contracted Synaptics to provide a fingerprint reader that would sit under the screen and allow you to do away with a separate sensor for that purpose. Here's what they made: http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/12/13/13939258/synaptics-fs9100-fingerprint-sensor-glass-galaxy-s8-samsung One problem -- it didn't work. Or, at least, Samsung couldn't get it to work well enough. Maybe with more time it might have come together, but they were running out of time and had to come up with a place for a separate sensor. That ended up being in the back, next to the camera module. Why there? Because the entire phone had been engineered to the micron. There was nowhere else to go without redesigning the entire phone. So why was that real estate even available? I believe that the fingerprint sensor occupies the space that Samsung had created for a secondary camera, either a wide angle, like the LG G6, or a telephoto lens, like the iPhone 7+. That would explain why there is no rumored secondary camera. It also explains why the existing camera is quite literally the same module as the S7 -- the real camera improvement was going to be a second camera, a camera that got bumped for the fingerprint sensor out of necessity. As a result, the fingerprint reader is awkwardly placed (even more so for the taller S8+) and no real camera improvements are offered, other than some better post processing and a higher MP selfie camera. These are not exciting features. I'm still enjoying the shit out of my S7 Edge -- it's got a bunch of things I'd always wanted in a single package: A great camera, fantastic battery life, one handed use, and the best screen on the market. What would I gain with the S8? Nothing. I'd lose battery. What would I gain with the S8+? Nothing. I'd lose one handed use. Oh, and here's the thing -- I love the hardware button. It comes in handy in all sorts of ways. I'd lose that too. In the S8, Samsung has delivered a beautiful phone with a step back in functionality. That's not my kind of trade off. So it looks like I'm going to keep the S7 Edge for another year. The last time I had the same phone for 2 years was... I don't even remember. Maybe never. I did hold on to my S2 for 18 months because I waited for the Note 2. I ditched that within 6 months because I couldn't deal with a phone that wasn't comfortably one handed. So there are two scenarios where I do get the S8: 1) The S8 battery actually lasts as long as the S7 Edge. Doubtful, as it is 20% smaller. 2) The S8+ is still usable with one hand. Again, doubtful, because... holy shit, have you seen the size of that thing? It's not mush wider, but the tallness of the screen makes pulling down the notification shade an exercise in manual gymnastics, and the position of the fingerprint sensor is just balls out crazy. There is a third scenario where I hold one and my lust for the new outstrips my desire for the practical. Let's be real -- I can TOTALLY see that happening. I am weak like that. Goddammit Synaptics, you really screwed me over.