The Galaxy S8 review you’ve been waiting for: Ringtones – CNET

Samsung‘s Galaxy S8 is one of the best phones ever made, and it took a lot of scrutiny on our part to determine that. In addition to our general review, we tested its camera against the iPhone 7 Plus and we dropped it on the sidewalk in a durability test. But now, I wrote the review you’ve been waiting for: the Galaxy S8’s ringtones.

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A ringtone’s true meaning can only be gleaned by listening to it over and over.

John Kim/CNET

I spent hours in various aural environments playing and replaying all 31 of the S8’s stock ringtones. Sometimes I listened to the ringtones while the phone was inside a bag or pocket. Other times, I held the S8 and played each ringtone in a quiet room. The testing was thorough and at times emotionally draining. (I mean how many times can you listen to the T-Mobile Jingle ringtone before going crazy?)

But when my testing was done, a couple things became clear. First, a majority of the ringtones have a decidedly ’80s vibe. Next, a ringtone has never won a Grammy. Perhaps one of these repetitive masterpieces can change that.


Aqua

This jaunty collection of rhythms feel like the menu music in a Sega game. “Aqua’s” repetitive soft rock keyboard vibe lets everyone know that you don’t let life slow you down — at any cost.


Basic Bell

As one of the more annoying tones, expect to hear this at a movie theater when someone forgets to silence their phone. The manic “beep-beep-beeping” raises such questions as: Whose phone is that? Why do they keep letting it ring? Will this call ever go to voicemail?


Beep Once

It sounds like Samsung just recorded a heart monitor.


Beep-Beep

This is the sequel to the ringtone “Beep Once.” And though it’s faster and has double the beep budget, it’s still not as good as the original. Much like “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.”


Bellboy

The dazzling arpeggio lets everyone know that life is nothing but a repetitive farce. The ascending and descending melody never seems to stop. Also, I’m making the rule that only actual bellboys, Tim Roth and Jerry Lewis can use this ringtone.


Blues

Head on down to the crossroads and be prepared to trade in your eternal soul for these quiet blues chords that would make Buddy Guy ask, “Hello? Who is this, and why are you calling me?”


Chamber

If Arcade Fire and DeVotchKa recorded a song and then left it in a bathtub, you’d have this ringtone. You’ll want all calls to go to voicemail so “Chamber” can underscore your ironic sips of PBR while you type away on your mom’s old typewriter.


City Lights

This ringtone is right out of an ’80s movie. The two characters you want to get together finally do. This music transitions from their first steamy night together to the pillow talk the morning after. It could also underscore a sweaty male beach volleyball scene.


Coffee

Hey, Daddy-o! Snap your way through your dreary cubicle life as you dispassionately pour a cup of office coffee and hope to score the last everything bagel before Darryl eats it.


Constellation

The descending vibes of this diddy is right out of the Ryan Gosling film “Drive.” Its spacey repetitive echoes give you perspective before you answer calls to drive people around.


Donkey

Samsung basically took every western musical cliché and put them into one ringtone.


Friday

No it’s not that Friday song. The whiny synth and meandering notes remind you just how dorky dad has gotten since he got those hair plugs. Yep, it’s another Friday night dinner of fish sticks and catsup.


Holiday

This ringtone has some serious Elton John/Charlie Brown music (Vince Guaraldi) vibe happening and it’s actually pretty damn good. Too bad there’s no chorus.


Ice Cream

This is a whistling cover of “Ice Cream (I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, For Ice Cream).” The song has been updated with a quiet funk guitar strum and a new age brightness that would make even Yanni bop his head.


Lullaby

This xylophone melody feels like a leftover musical bridge from the Tom Waits’ song “Black Box Theme” that he wrote for the play “The Black Rider.”


Mood

Welcome to the Japanese spa. Please undress and use the robe provided for you in the locker. Relax with this cup of tea until your massage is ready to begin.


Morning Glory

This screams “I’m a morning person!” If you want to wake up 50 percent rested and 100 percent angry at the world, use this ringtone as an alarm. Is the nightmare clown gone?


One Step Forward

The combination of optimistic chimes and soulful chords greet you with a yearning embrace. Remember, your life coach says it’s OK to cry.


Orange

Unfortunately, this is not from the album by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. If you like fuzzy synths and long intros, you’ll love this ringtone.


Over the Horizon

This terrible hot mess of doo-wop vocals and high-pitched planetarium sounds will make you question how this ever got past the ringtone focus group.


Pianist

Samsung seems to have recorded someone taking a piano lesson.


Rose

It’s only a matter of time before this tune is used in a pharmaceutical commercial. Side effects include: growing extra ribs, disco knee and hotdog fingers.


Rush

The metallic sounds scream dystopian future, but the Philip Glass melody points to our analog past. Are you Sarah Connor?


Shimmer

It’s an instrumental version of “Three Blind Mice,” but just the first line. All musical build. No musical release.


Skyscraper

The synthesizer harmonica in this tone will make you regret getting that condo in a high rise.


Sparkle

The playfulness harkens back to minimalist composer Angus MacLise and his shadow collaborations with the Velvet Underground.


Stairway

Light quirky chimes define this Mark Mothersbaugh-esque ringtone. It’s easy to imagine this underscoring a Wes Anderson film.


Sunset

If you are a fan of the late-Japanese electronic composer Isao Tomita (because who isn’t?!) you’ll be thrilled to have your incoming call greet you with this passionate and expressive synth.


T-Jingle

Samsung has to give the people at least one of the classics. This was before T-Mobile was the “Uncarrier,” back in the days when it was just a carrier.


Time Up

Legend has it that originally Samsung had a darker version of this that used five notes. But too many people got sad hearing it.


Wood

This Afro-Cuban ditty is a musical commentary on our always on-the-go lifestyle. Yet its rhythm is very much that of the pee-pee dance.

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