The Galaxy Note 8 is finally here, and Samsung is hopeful that consumers who love the Note series’ features and its signature stylus will be willing to give the brand another chance after the Note 7’s case. The name hasn’t changed. It is a Galaxy Note through and through, and it’s definitely the nicest phone Samsung has ever made.
The Note 8 will hit the stores on September 15th.
Samsung’s comeback strategy hasn’t been as flippant as simply moving on and making another phone.
In the aftermath of fires, customer injuries, and an avalanche of bad PR, the company has established a multi-point battery safety check, which is being used for the Note 8 just as it was for the Galaxy S8 released earlier this year. And Galaxy S8 and S8+ did good overall.
We can say the leaked photos and specifications for the Galaxy Note 8 have been accurate and it leans heavily on the design of the Galaxy S8 Plus, but features a display that’s just tiny bit larger it is 6.3 inches instead of 6.2 inches found on Galaxy S8+, corners that are more squared off, and less curvature to the front side edges. It’s still very much a curved screen, but you’ve got slightly more flat surface area to work with (and write on).
The Note 8 is noticeably heavier than the S8 Plus at 195 grams versus 173 grams.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes in various colour options which are black, gray, gold, and blue, although the latter two won’t be available in the United States.
Coming to Galaxy Note 8’s hardware.
The company says the phablet’d S Pen has more levels of pressure sensitivity and is water resistant too, so was the Note 7’s stylus – we can say it is true same stylus from the Note 7.
The Note itself has seen more worthwhile upgrades. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, paired with 6GB of RAM. It has 64GB of internal storage with microSD card support.
In the international market it is powered by Samsung’s Exynos Octa core processor and it has 128 GB and 256GB storage options as well.
Note 8 has 6.3-inch Quad HD+ (2960×1440) Super AMOLED Curved display.
The battery powering the device is of 3300mAh, so clearly Samsung is playing it safe for at least the Note 7’s direct successor.
That bump in RAM — the S8 and S8 Plus have 4GB — and a barely bigger screen are the main hardware differences between the Note 8 and Galaxy S8+ when you’re looking at it from the front.
It’s incredibly difficult to spot the display size difference with the two phones side by side, but there’s one big differentiator on the rear – the new dual-lens camera system.
Samsung has equipped the Note 8 with two 12-megapixel cameras. The regular / wide-angle lens has an aperture of f/1.6, and the telephoto lens is f/2.4. But in what Samsung claims to be an industry first, both sensors offer optical image stabilization.
To compare, the iPhone 7 Plus’ zoom lens doesn’t have OIS, but the primary camera does. That should allow the Note to utilize its telephoto camera more often instead of defaulting to the regular camera in low-light conditions, which is what the iPhone often does.
With a dual camera comes the plethora of new software modes you’d expect. Samsung has its own take on the portrait mode, which blurs the background behind your subject to mimic bokeh. You’re able to dial the effect up or down to your liking instead of being stuck with just on / off modes, which is nice. You also have the option of adding (or even removing) it after a shot has already been taken. And a “Dual Capture” mode stitches together photos from both cameras and saves them individually, too.
The Note 8 retains the same position for the fingerprint scanner as the Galaxy S8 smartphones. However, this time it is easier to feel and distinguish from the camera lens, but it’s still a stretch.
Like the Galaxy S8 smartphones it is IP68 water and dust resistant. It also has Wireless charging support.
Note 8 also got NFC and MST which is required for Samsung Pay.
Looking at the ports it has USB Type-C port and standard 3.5mm audio jack.
The Note 8 ships with Android 7.1.1, and the overall software experience is basically identical to what’s on the Galaxy S8. Bixby has a big presence, and yes, a dedicated physical button for Samsung’s digital assistant is also present on the device.
Plus, Samsung is also bringing DeX to the Note, so if you buy the required dock, you can plug it into a monitor for a desktop-like experience with a mouse and keyboard.
One new feature in the smartphone is that you can now pair two apps in Apps Edge so that they’ll always launch together in split-screen mode.
Among other useful and small software features, like the ability to easily create GIFs from videos, are also here. And the overall look, feel, and fluidity remains leaps and it is far better than the old Samsung software.
There are a few fresh S Pen tricks like you can now take up to 100 pages of notes in the Screen Off Memo mode, which activates when you pull out the S Pen with the display turned off.
A new Live Messages feature is like Digital Touch in iMessage. You can handwrite a message or picture with the S Pen, send it to someone in a message, and it’ll play back animated just as you drew it. Live Messages are saved as GIFs, so they are very easy to share across different apps and social media.
Lastly, the Translate feature that was introduced on the Note 7 now lets you highlight entire sentences with the S Pen to instantly translate into 71 languages.
But the many similarities between the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 mean that this year, more than ever before, Samsung will be relying on the S Pen and the company’s first-ever dual camera to upsell consumers on the more expensive Note. I have no doubt there are still many people loyal to the Note brand and its excellent stylus. The fact remains that there’s no other smartphone quite like it.
And Samsung Galaxy Note 8 released with good set of accessories along with it.
But the S8 Plus is often on sale for under $700, which is affordable in front of Note 8’s very premium price tag. If Samsung isn’t as aggressive about marking down the Note’s cost, there will be a wide price gulf between these two phones.
Samsung is about to face off against a redesigned iPhone, the Pixel 2 XL and LG V30. But Samsung believes there are still consumers who love the Note series. As we said earlier it is a good device overall with nothing we can say against it.