Here we are! I'm done learning about the newest Note from Samsung, and these are my final thoughts on the Galaxy Note 8. See if you agree with my review below.
Design: The Samsung galaxy Note 8 has an incredibly premium metal and glass sandwich design language, much similar to the Galaxy S8. It does feel a bit mote squared than the super comfortable S8 and S8+. The rounded corners of the S8 make it a bit more easier to handle than the Note 8.
It feels fine to hold onto, but you feel the bottom corners stopping you from comfortably reaching the top of the display.
It's totally understandable that they needed a flat side to store their S pen stylus, but the Note still feels bulky even with the bezel less display.
That said, the galaxy note has always been a two handed device. It's big because it's meant to be and is expected to be big!
If you want it to be a single handed device, you'll have to employ the single handed mode half the time. Just triple tap the home button, and the screen shrinks to your desired stretch.
The Note 8 is hefty, at 196 gm and is 8.6 mm thick. Not the sleekest phone, but like I said, it's not meant to be a barbie doll device.
Display: The display on the new Note is the biggest one of all the other galaxies released till now. It's a 6.3 inch QHD AMOLED panel of the same 18:9 aspect ratio. The edges are curved, bezels are absent and the display is just beautiful.
The peak brightness has increased in comparison total the S8+, from 1000 nits to upwards of 1200 nits. I don't know how they do it, but they keep getting better at it. Anyway, good for us!
The software still allows you to tone down the rendering from QHD+ to FHD+, all the way down to HD+. Should you find the need to downscale your crisp display, you can do it from within the settings.
Performance: The galaxy note 8 comes in two variants as usual. The Qualcomm variant runs on the Snapdragon 835 CPU and the international model has the Exynos 8895 Chipset.
Both models have 6 gigs of RAM and 64 GB as the base model. There's also a 256 GB variant in the news, so stay tuned for that!
The storage can be expanded, as expected. And the phone continues to be IP68 rated. Performance is satisfactory for a flagship though even this hardware is not exempted from the occasional lags of the Samsung Experience UI.
The phone supports bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.1 standard. There's UFS 2.1 storage standard across all storage variants, which is good news.
Let's talk about the new stuff, the S pen. Screen off memo is still here, with 100 additional pages to write on, while the screen is still sleeping. There's still that GIF maker and the ever useful scroll capture for long screenshots.
There's a new thingy called the Live message, which is the Samsung version of that cool scribbling GIF that you could send via iMessage. Only difference is that, once you share it to someone, it becomes an extremely low quality crap.
Seriously, it's just one of those old Samsung gimmicks which they used to make, to get people to talk about their phones more. Don't fall for it, because you won't use it for more than a week or so!
Other features like that GIF maker, you can do on the S8 using your bare hands, requires the S pen to do so on the Note. Like I said, they want you to use the S pen more.
But regardless of what I feel, the S pen is a great tool to have when you need that extra precision of 4000+ pressure levels. Yup, it's the exact same one which was in the late Galaxy Note 7. But it's perfectly fine, as it was a great S pen.
No, it doesn't go in backwards and get stuck in there, if you were wondering.
The fingerprint sensor remains in the same place, but is now easier to distinguish. It's next to the flash unit and is somewhat recognisable to your fingertip.
It has the same speed and functionality as the S8, with the swipe down gestures and everything. Good stuff!
Camera: here is another area where the Note 8 marks a Samsung's first. It's the dual camera system. What's interesting is that both sensors here support OIS, which happens to be a "world's first" for a smartphone.
The primary camera is the same 12 mp standard angle sensor at f/1.7 aperture and the secondary sensor is a telephoto lens with f/2.6 aperture. You can do pretty much the same things as you can with an iPhone 7 plus /8 plus.
The portrait mode is called the Live focus mode. It works really well for it's early days, detecting edges and corners exceptionally well.
What's awesome is that you can adjust the amount of blur before and after the shot was taken, and it also stores the original standard angle shot! It's pretty much a safe bet that you'll have at least one good version of a photo.
The front 8 mp camera has excellent EIS, just like its S8 counterparts. I really don't have to say anything about Samsung flagships. They've been nailing their camera game from ages!
Battery: Here is where things get a little bit unpleasant. The galaxy Note is no longer that vanguard device with an absurdly massive battery anymore. The onboard 3300 mAh unit lasts for pretty much one day and that's it. It is not a two day device at all!
Gone are the days where we could tell on out Notes to have juice even amidst the apocalypse. The Note 8 is just a regular old device now, with a pretty mediocre battery life.
Price and verdict: The Samsung galaxy Note 8 is the most expensive deuce Samsung has yet released. Being close to a 1000 USD, it's right up there with the upcoming iPhone X. So should you buy a Note 8?
I don't recommend that!
Now look, the galaxy note 8 is a fantastic phone. I love the thing! But that price tag with not too many selling points and a battery lesser than the S8+, really turns down a lot of people. And rightfully so!
Samsung made a really good device this year, as usual. But sadly, it fails to impress and doesn't justify the near $200 price hike from an S8+. So I suggest buying an S8+ instead.
But if you are all about that S pen and want the latest dual camera goodies from Sammy, then the galaxy Note 8 could make you a very happy customer.
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