Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review
Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review takes an in depth look at, probably, the most innovative new smartphone on the market. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is available on pre-order now, with an expected delivery date of mid September.
Do Bigger Things
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a huge 6.3” Super AMOLED Infinity Display with Quad HD+ resolution (2960 x 1440 pixels at 521 pixels per inch). Although the screen is huge, the phone itself doesn’t reflect this as the elongated display has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, allowing for a phone body that has almost no screen surround, at the top and bottom.
The screen stretches from edge-to-edge and depending upon circumstances, such as how much battery remains, the screen can be run with Full HD+ or WQHD+ resolutions.
The Galaxy Note 8 employs Samsung’s Edge Screen, offering up Edge Panels for quick access to tasks and people. The Edge Panels includes options for showing the weather, calendar, reminders and other tools.
The Always On Display (AOD) is incredibly useful and can be used to show the clock, calendar, widgets, app notifications and reminders.
Design and durability
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has IP68 certification making it resistant to dust and water. The seamless body has nice curves, making it comfortable to hold, which is essential for offering a natural writing experience with the S Pen.
The home button does not break up the sleek design and this sits underneath the Infinity Display, only becoming visible when needed..
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is offered in four colour choices, Deepsea Blue, Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Maple Gold, allowing customers to pick their preferred look.
It is no big surprise that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has lightning fast performance. This is delivered through a 10nm 2.3GHz octa-core processor that is paired up with an incredible 6GB RAM. From graphics rich gaming to exploring the web, the experience is seamless and superior to nearly all other phones.
Phone Set Up
The fingerprint scanner sits almost flush with the back face, giving you just enough feel to find it with your finger. It is located next to the camera module, so some care will be needed so as to not leave fingerprint smudges across the camera lenses.
You can choose to use other biometrics to secure the phone, such as the iris scanner or facial recognition. Traditional security is also offered with PIN, pattern and password options.
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Should you want to let others use your phone then you could make use of the Secure Folder, to still keep your personal files, apps, photos and movies private. Security doesn’t exist to purely restrict access to your Galaxy Note 8. Knox protection monitors the device in real time and virus / malware protection is provided the McAfee.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has an ample 64GB internal memory and this can be used for transferring old content over from an old smartphone. To simplify this process, you can download the free Smart Switch app. Should you need to boost the memory, then a microSD card slot accepts memory cards with a value of up to 256GB.
The pressure sensitive S Pen is one of the key things that differentiates the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung’s other big offering, the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
The S Pen can be used to write messages over photos and share them with friends as a GIF. Rather handily, you can also use Screen-off Memo to take notes, even when the screen isn’t awake. With the Always On Display, you can pin this note to the lock screen, keeping it handy at all times.
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Creativity is limitless here, letting you do rather cool things such as drawing your own emoji. You can even use the S Pen Smart Select feature to cut out a section of a video to share on social media with your friends.
No matter what you are creating with the S Pen, the experience is versatile, with neat little tricks such as pressing the button on the side, in order to turn it into an eraser. The S Pen is so sensitive, with 4096 pressure levels, that it really is suited to the artists wanting to create broad through to fine brushstrokes.
The long display on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 makes it the ultimate way to make use of multitasking, running two apps side-by-side. Going one step further than other Multi Window Android 7.1.1 Nougat devices, you can use App Pairing to preset apps that should open together and simultaneously.
AKG tuned earphones
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with earphones in the box and these have been tuned by premium speaker manufacturer AKG. The Pure Sound by AKG earphones have 8Φ tweeters and 11Φ woofers, so get ready to be wowed.
The Bixby virtual assistant goes where other digital assistants have yet to tread. You can open the camera and have Bixby get information on places to eat, landmarks and translations. Bixby can also be asked to carry out tasks such as photo editing and photo sharing.
If you want to ditch your desktop, then you could purchase the Samsung DeX Station and connect the Galaxy Note 8 to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. Doing so creates a desktop PC experience.
Camera & Video
Dual camera with Live Focus
The 12MP dual camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 gives you a 2x optical zoom. This is great because most camera phones use a digital zoom and this looses quality when you zoom in close.
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The dual lenses work together in real time and with Live Focus you can see that desirable bokeh effect before you press the shutter. All photo data is saved though, so you can go back and adjust the level of background blur, post shot.
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In order to capture great low light photos, the camera has a Dual Pixel Sensor and f/1.7 aperture, both of which help to capture more light. Photo shooting modes includes Food Mode, Slow Motion, Panorama and Pro Mode.
The camera can record 4K video while making use of the optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. 9MP photos can also be captured while recording video.
8MP selfie camera
The 8MP selfie camera uses a Smart Auto Focus feature that locks onto faces and keeps them in focus, while they are in the shot.
The 3,300mAh battery gives up to 16 hours of video playback or up to 74 hours of music playback, 14 hours of internet browsing or up to 22 hours of talk time.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 supports wireless charging, so if you want to remove cables from your life, then a wireless charger should also be on your shopping list.
Next: Nokia 8 review
Written by: Michael Brown