It’s safe to say that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 was one of the most, if not the most, anticipated Android phones of 2017 – 2018. We didn’t really have to wait till its unpacked event to know its design and most of its features, as almost everything was leaked over the past month. The unpacked event kicked off yesterday and as usual, Samsung really knows how to put on a good show. But it isn’t about the spectacular show and presentation, it is about the phone. Before I get into it, I must say that I was pretty much looking forward to the Note 8’s release, especially that it’s the new iteration of last years phone, which was a great phone while it lasted. So, let’s have a look at the phone’s specifications and features, and then let’s discuss it all.
The gorgeous infinity display we saw on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is back and it looks just as good. The Note 8’s 6.3-inch display is the biggest Note screen ever. Note devices have always been great to use for multitasking (multi window) and having a bigger screen on the Note 8 makes it even better.
For a better multi window experience, the Galaxy Note 8 comes with a new “App Pair” feature that allows users to create a custom pair of apps on the Edge Panel and launch two apps with ease. Which when you think about it, could be a really great feature. Users will be able to set two apps they often use together to run by simply tapping on App Pair.
- Create a Note: Opens the new note section of the Samsung Notes app.
- View all Notes: Allows users to view all notes previously saved on the Samsung Notes App.
- Smart Select: Allows you to make a selection of what you are viewing to write notes on it, draw, extract text from the image (text is copied automatically to your clipboard), or create GIFs.
- Screen write: This feature will automatically take a screenshot of your screen, allowing users to jot down notes/draw on the screenshot.
- Translation: hovering over a sentence with the pen would translate provide you with a translation of the whole sentence.
- Magnify: Moving the S-Pen’s cursor over words to magnify them.
- Glance: Minimizes the window you’re working on which is then maximized every time you place the pen above its window.
- Screen off memo: Allows users to take notes (up to 100 pages of notes) on the phone’s switched off black screen.
The newest S-Pen feature is the Live Message, a feature that allows users to share animated texts written by them or drawings (GIF format) to any platform that supports it.
Samsung has at last introduced a dual camera setup. I’m not quite sure how to feel about the setup used in the Note 8 until I get to play around with the device when it arrives in Lebanon. The wide-angle camera lens used on the G6 was really nice and I was hoping that the Note 8 will come with one, but instead, the second camera is a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. Both camera lenses on the Note 8 come with optical image stabilization, which is supposed to produce sharper images.
The wide-angle camera lens used on the G6 was really nice and I was hoping that the Note 8 will come with one, but instead, the second camera is a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. Both camera lenses on the Note 8 come with optical image stabilization, which is supposed to produce sharper images.
Two great features that are added to the Note 8’s camera are the Live Focus and the Dual Capture features. The Live Focus feature allows you to control the blurriness around a subject, both in preview mode and after you’ve taken the picture. Whereas the Dual Capture mode allows both rear cameras to take pictures simultaneously. By doing so, users end up with two photos, a close-up photo with the telephoto lens and a wide-angle shot with the primary lens.
Additional Galaxy Features
- Water and Dust Resistance: The Note 8 comes with IP68 certification, with the ability to use the S-Pen even when the display is wet. It is worth mentioning that the phone is still water resistant and can be submerged in water, whether the S Pen was docked in or not.
- Samsung DeX: Just like with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung DeX provides users with a desktop experience, powered by your own Galaxy Note 8. What was impressive during the unpacked event, was the presentation they gave on DeX. While being docked into DeX, the Note 8 was running zoom (video conference app), editing a picture on Adobe Lightroom, and sharing the device’s screen within the video conference. If anything, this is definitely thanks to the 6 GB RAM and the 10nm processor.
What’s in the Box
What should you expect to receive in the box when you buy a Galaxy Note 8? Here’s a list:
- Note 8 with S Pen
- USB power adapter
- Micro USB connector
- USB Type – C connector
- USB cable
- Ejection pin for the Sim card and micro SD slots
- AKG tuned earphones
- Tweezer and pen nibs for the S Pen
So, how do I feel about the Note 8, and what it has to offer? Well, all I can say right now is that I’ve got some mixed feelings. I’ve been following up on the Note 8 leaks this past month and they were (mostly) spot on. I knew exactly what to expect and that is exactly what Samsung delivered, a great device with great features. Why the mixed feelings then? Well, they are caused by two reasons. The first is the 3300 mAh battery capacity. I’m not totally surprised by the reduction made but when it comes to smartphones, a battery capacity is one of the most important specs. The less I have to reach into my backpack for the power bank the better and a 3300 mAh battery will definitely not help with that. The second reason is the price tag placed on this device, as Samsung has priced the Galaxy Note 8 at around $930 (as seen after checking some pre-order deals). The device is a premium flagship, that is feature rich, but is it really worth a $900+ price tag? I’ll leave that up to you to answer, and I’ll make up my mind and come back with an answer right after I get the chance to play around with the device.