Although it followed up on some features present on the older version of the device, it’s still the most amazing phablet so far this year with its amazing features, nice dual cameras and Gorilla glass coating all makes it more attractive. Although still lag behind in some aspects but in general its a very valuable device worth considering and not minding the price.
When I heard the name I knew something was up. And well it’s something great this time around. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a very good smartphone with a kit’s of features which makes it a true premium phone and in fact leads the line of Android phones this year.
Although the fact that it’s predecessor put the company into some chaotic situation doesn’t mean we should overlook this amazing piece if technology.
It’s beautiful and feature-rich but it’s extremely expensive.
Having to pay as huge as $930 USD isn’t a joke although iPhone X will cost way more than that.
But not minding the price instead considering the great premium features that are all packed together with the smartphone will make you overlook the pricing and just go get the best phablet FROM Samsung yet again.
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It’s 6.3-inch quad-HD+ AMOLED HDR display means a lot when you’re looking for a very crystal clear display especially when you’re doing things such as streaming 4k videos or playing very high resolution games on the smartphone.
It’s Snapdragon 835 (or Exynos 8895) processing unit means a lot of speed. I rarely had a little break while surfing the Web or switching between applications of high levels. 6GB of RAM and it’s tucked up 64GB of storage is a very good value for the money especially for those who are heavy phone users like myself.
Just one flaw I had while touring with the giant Note 8 is the battery. Okay don’t be scared. I wasn’t going to say it busted into flames again in my hands. Samsung claimed to have gotten that covered after hiring third party firms to make sure they battery components are fully functional.
But considering the reality that I usually press and use my smartphone might make me have to carry along with me a powerbank most times because the battery’s performance isn’t totally for that. Yeah it’s 3300 mAh for christ sake it doesn’t totally matter.
Aside the goodness I saw in the dual camera with its OIS feature making it work amazing in low-light environments, it’s front facing camera is very awesome too and the Stylus does way more than I’d expected.
Helping you keep up with those things that matters most or making gifs out of static images using the Stylus which can be converted to a message that can be shared across is another thing I think premium about the smartphone. Samsung really did this one though there are some flaws.
The Design looks way more attractive
Yeah it’s really a beautiful smartphone. Although little can be said to being th
e differences in the looks of the Note 8 and the Note 7. The absence of the home button and its fellow function buttons in both sides gave this a newer look than the traditional Samsung smartphones the year prior.
Although Samsung’s new adoption of Curved edges with nearly bezel-less frontal design is a trend on the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus just that the Note 8 didn’t follow that trend completely considering its slightly sharper edges and squarer camera module which might be a way of distinguishing the device from its lesser family members.
Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is expected to make the coating a strong one but well, a screen guide might still be required assuming you’d like your smartphone to retain its great look for a long time. While that’s not a real problem, I would say suddenly looking old-aged is something that won’t please many. After all, the colours are supposed to be amazing and last long enough. But let me analyse them way better.
Midnight Black is very good when you first come in contact with it but suddenly start showing some marks (not necessarily meaning it’s colors are oddly made). The truth is that other smartphone like the Infinix Note 4’s back colour for example would start pulling off in quality. That’s to say it’s not of entirely high quality like the Galaxy Note 8 which is a premium smartphone and way much expensive than the affordable Phablet.
What I’m driving at is that although the back might appear to be loosing quality it’s still doing way better than others even it’s league.
Also the so-called Gorilla glass coating is doing great even though with minimal dropping.
Although others have claimed that the Glass might not do well on the long term. My dropping strength might not be as aggressive as others which might make the judgement biased.
But all I could do was drop it from few heights away from the roughened tiled floor of the restroom. It did well coming clean as I’d expect. The camera module for example has a quite extruding border which helps in protecting the lenses from getting scratched out during falls.
Also, you might want to consider putting your SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 8 in the pocket where you won’t have things such as keys or sharp objects assuming you don’t want any scratches on it so soon. The Note 8 is at least IP68-certified, meaning it’s waterproof even when subjected to a half-hour submersion.
Sort of Redesigned
The front of the phone is well designed and the so-called infinity design makes it cool too. Each sides in the front slopes slightly from one corner to the other (Left and Right). That’s the new Samsung’s signature design since the release of the Galaxy S8 and S8 plus.
The Front facing camera and its Irish scanner are well embedded into the top bezel along with the earpiece and an LED notification light. There is also ambient light sensor which detects high or low light environments.
The device’s speaker or earpiece is also located right at the front. Well it’s supposed to be right there at the tip bezel area of the device.
So no more “Rectangular home button” alongside back and option button.
All these have been tucked into the device’s screen as would other Android smartphone this days. It’s sort of a new adoption since the Android 5.0. Makers such as HTC, LG G6, Google PIXEL XL all have their navigation keys on the screen. Samsung probably follow suite.
So there isn’t anything specific at the bottom front of the device aside it’s smooth and quite curvy glass coating and also its Pressure – Sensitive “home button” which can be used to wake the device up all together makes it beautiful like I said earlier.
Like the iPhone X which had taken out completely the home button and then tuck up the entire 5.8 screen into a small frame and taken out the excessive bezels of the phone, the Galaxy Note 8 still rock slim bezels from the top and the bottom area of the front screen.
The volume and the Bixby button (Samsung personal assistant bot) all reside at the left edge of the smartphone while the right edge houses the power button. The lower edge is where the USB-C connector, it’s 3.5 mm headphone socket and the S-Pen port all reside. The loudspeaker is also visible and your SIM card/ MicroSD card all resides there too.
It’s not too big for small hands
Yeah it’s not. Although the word 6.3 inch might be discouraging for those with small hands but it’s sloped edges which also boasts of tiny upper/lower bezels stretching in an 18.5:9 aspect ratio makes it a compatible with those small hands.
Even despite this huge screen, it’s still going to fit well into your hands way better than the iPhone 7 Plus and those other phablets in the league.
So trust me you can grip the Note 8 with just one hand although the operation might be a bit chunky.
Functions like scrolling through a bunch of screens might not hurt but when you’re trying to perform more especially reaching the opposite sides of which hand you’re using to hold the device like pressing, tapping, etc.
But one hand mode can be activated which makes the screen displayed objects to become smaller and fits into the region if whichever hand you’re using to operate the device.
This feature is although deactivated by default. You can activate this by triple-tapping the home button or simply swiping diagonally up from the bottom corners.
Super AMOLED is good enough
When we talk of high resolution, the 6.3 inch isn’t just huge but boasts of a powerful 2960 X 1440 Pixels (‘WQHD+’, 522pi) isn’t just a bunch of numbers.
Assuming you’re trying not to use up power too soon which makes you want to activate the Optimised Power State, the HQ functionality might not be in total use.
The Galaxy Note 8 only renders apps and photos at 2220 x 1080 pixels (‘FHD+’, 392ppi), and 1480 x 720 pixels (‘HD+’, 261ppi) when in power-saving mode.
But when you want to use up your battery too soon, then you can activate the Performance Mode which will give you the full enablement of the incredible display capacity.
Another thing I noticed is the clean and rich colors and the fade through or blur out of texts while scrolling. The AMOLED has bit of disappointment where there is a bit of blue tinge when you view the phone off from the middle while the two curved edges loses some of its clarity and brightness. Not really a detriment.
Like I’ve said earlier, when you want to enjoy the ultra HD quality which means turning on the full WQHD+ resolution, texts, images, videos and everything appearing becomes a sort of crystal clear.
Although this feature is turned off by default which night be a point of questioning to some as to why having to reduce the so-called amazing feature which means not using the phone to its fullness. But it’s to the longevity of the battery per see.
Apps needs to be turned to use the full screen explicitly although that’s not a problem thus far. But you might have to use video applications to extend some the width of some videos with an aspect ratio of 16:9 else, there will be this black bar on the sides.
But wide screen movies with huger ratios are going to do just fine.
Another thing is the note’s always-on screen. Because AMOLED pixels are self-lighting (they only consume power when they’re not black, unlike conventional LCDs that are always on), you have the option of keeping the display on with a black and white clock, battery information and media buttons.
This is great, until you check out Samsung’s power options and realise that having it on can decrease battery life by over an hour a day. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to turn off even when the phone is in your pocket, wasting even more precious energy.
It’s a great feature on Samsung’s other phones, but when battery capacity is so tight, it’s the first thing you should turn off.
Android Nougat 7.1.1 is very amazing on the Galaxy Note 8
During the times of its predecessors, I ones complained about the issues with Bloatware, some abnormal sound effects or a bit of slow-mo performance which all come with the TouchWiz design by Samsung.
Those were past for the past. The Note 8 is well improved on those areas which makes it really an upgrade from its predecessor. Although some features were still ported into this one from the previous flaming Galaxy Note 7.
And when I mentioned that it’s feature-rich, it well is. Bixby for example is a really great mobile assistant using Artificial Intelligence to help you perform some tasks using voice commands.
Bixby is great although you’re going to have to always hold down its button and relay your commands. (contrary to other virtual assistants like Robin for example you just wave across your device and Robin responds). “Open Facebook and write new status ‘I’m so happy today’” are very simple tasks Bixby can perform without a hiccup.
Just as the Galaxy S8, you can use the device’s camera to get the prices of a product by simply taking a picture and then relaying it to Bixby who then make search for that type of content you just snapped. Making phone calls, opening other apps, camera etc are all things Bixby can help you with.
Robin can perform nearly those tasks too. Google Assistant is another good one. Though it has its little bit of limitations.
Now if you’re too British in your accent, Bixby might hiccup understanding what you’ve got to say since it sort of supports US English too well. Bixby understanding an African accent might need a hit of training or extremely clear pronunciations which I don’t think is sexy again. Having to repeat words while Bixby still making some silly errors might be a serious turn off to an average African person without the US Accent.
Although Bixby is still new so let’s not really bother it yet. Android Nougat 7.1 is what comes with the device. Although Android Oreo is the newest, we’d expect an update later on.
Using the home screen you can swipe up or down to open your app drawer, and the notifications pane and quick options. The Edge Pane is just terrific, allowing you to put all manner of app shortcuts and other tools within a swipe’s reach, no matter which app you have open.
The home screen can be filled up with as much as 36 applications since it’s easy to customise. Depending on how you’d like it, if you want large icons to fit into the 4X5 dimensions or just smaller which are way numerous. Well it’s a large display so nothing to really worry about here. It’s just customization.
I don’t really like the built in launcher so I tried Go-launcher and Windows 10 Launcher and all work awesomely. It was clearer unlike it usually appear on my Galaxy S6 even though I had to tune up the resolution.
Samsung Experience is a very customizable feature with components such as icon sets, fonts, themes and many more which are downloadable from the Samsung App store.
The Stylus is a great tool for those who love being creative especially while making texts or notes. You can create animated gifs, save memos nearby at the screen pinning it to your reach. What this Stylus really does is making sure those things you want are easy to access at a good point of contact.
The device also handles split-screen apps really well, and it’s even possible to create Edge shortcuts that open two apps simultaneously in split-screen mode.
The process of unlocking your phone can be done in many different ways. This is a good thing, because the fingerprint scanner is in such an illogical and hard-to-reach place, I did tried it in some instances.
It was very fast and reasonably easy just that it’s way too high if you’re using one hand. Hey, don’t expect the Iris to work when you’re putting on a glasses especially the dark ones.
But aside that, the feature is fast and okay. It although allows only a version of your face to be registered which you might not be pleased with if you try putting on your glasses for another registration.
Although if you had done it the other way round meaning putting on your glasses while Registering then pulling it off while unlocking, it will most likely not work but “might” work. It’s security credibility is what I question in some cases just as the case with the iPhone X ‘s Face ID function.
Amazing Dual Camera is OIS enabled
Two rear camera lenses that does exactly work together to shoot a very fine photograph all based on some sophisticated design which makes it worthwhile for those who wants to use the smartphone for anything like photography of whatever sort.
For example, the first rear camera is a 12MP sensor behind a wide-angle f/1.7 lens. The other lens is just another 12MP sensor behind a zoomed lens that provides 2X optical zoom behind a f/2.4 aperture.
So aside Instagram and Flickr, the images you take from the main camera is worthwhile.
There are loads of modes to choose from, and there’s even a Pro mode for adjusting settings such as shutter speed to your exact liking. It has optical image stabilisation (OIS) and it’s exceptionally rare for any photo to be unusable because of motion blur.
The other second sensor does work amazingly too. So capturing a particular object which is quite farther away, the 2X optical zoom is just well there for this.
Because the aperture isn’t as wide as the main sensor, you do lose some flexibility, but in certain situations having this zoom is extremely advantageous.
If you want to unfocus your camera from its background but centering the attention on the main object you’re snapping, then it’s Live Focus tool is just the right choice.
This allow you to shoot images on the zoom lens while the main sensor is being used to understand what’s in the background which enables you to create a nice portrait photograph.
Although you’ve gotta be about 1.2M away from your object to achieve this but it’s still achievable after all. I didn’t mind that.
Also, you can adjust how much you’d like the blurred background to be after completing your photo shoots.
At some points, I didn’t totally enjoy what I’ve created due to the manual adjustments I had to make to the backgrounds. Although at some point, these imperfections might not be really visible especially on images with normal sizes.
But the fact that the Trusty wide-angle lens camera would also take a shot at the same time I was taking others means I can actually select those normal ones taken aside the retouched shots I took.
Camera can also shoot slow-mo videos at around 720 Pixel at 240fps. It’s full HD video shooting is an extreme space waster but you can take regular video shots which would still be amazing. It’s OIS is also very amazing. You don’t have to worry even when your hand move or you are shaken a bit while in the middle of videos shooting.
Selfies from the front lens is as wide and can successfully capture about 3 individual. It also produce a nearly natural shots which is well, clear and way better than those on competitors.
Battery not for heavy users but it’s speedy
This is another point that of interest to some. But well we’re all over the Note 7’s battery nightmare. The Note 8 is powered with a 3300 mAh battery which sounds nice but the lists of amazing features above might be a serious detriment to its longevity.
Like I said earlier, if you’d like to use the device to it’s fullest, you’ve gotta consider pocketing a powerbank along with your wherever and considering the fact that electricity is still a bit of problem in Nigeria and other sub-sahara African nations.
Unlike the way older Notes which boasts of amazing and huge batteries, Samsung is probably scared of not wanting to mess this up again with lavish battery.
Considering the fact that that even the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a bigger battery cells than those on the Note 8 makes me wonder what’s up.
Surfing the Web, streaming videos on YouTube and playing high resolution games like DREAM League, Modern Combat, while using the battery in its normal power mode will easily drain its capacity before the day gets to its half.
That’s why I said assuming you’re an Heavy phone user like me. Although actions such as typing text contents and using the Stylus to create some doodles doesn’t really seemed to be a bad result though but I bet you’d want to do more than just that.
5 – 7 hours won’t really be a problem assuming you’re in with your cables and your utilisation is very obsessive which means continuous use for that period. Come on the device is a huge piece of screen with hundreds of features.
The so-called fast charging is doing fine here. But you’d have to wait for about 1hr:30min for an emptied battery to go full. It’s still faster than conventional phones that takes more than 3 hours to charge.
The Optimised mode is a realistic battery saver. You can get through the day even using the phone heavily but only using this mode. Just that the device becomes a bit slower just that it’s faster than regular phones or let me say, you won’t really get pissed off with this kind of slowness.
You can also customise the battery’s power saving modes to suite your wants and needs. Although a phone that with so much features and that can still last all day long would have been a best buy though.
If you’re the corporate person that stays in office most times which means you’ve got less times to use your phone (which is even plugged in at times) then the little time you’ve got to use it won’t be a bad thing. But let’s say you are this adventurous person that go skiing or biking through the long forest or you’re planning an holiday camping in the woods during the weekend, then you need a powerbank alongside.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 8895 system on chip. So you’d expect a performance in the region of its fellow teammates like the S8 and S8+.
In GeekBench 4 it managed 2003 and 6666 in the single- and multi-core tests respectively, while in AnTuTu it managed 171,413. All of these are within a rounding error of the Note 8’s smaller siblings.
Switching between apps and games are way quick. 3D games such as Asphalt is very vibrant and no unnecessary skipping out. I also tried out Modern Combat and Dream League 2017 all which were crystal clear.
Downloading period for this is way fast. For example, the Dream League 2017 is around 300MB and that took as little as 2 min under fast 4G network.
You remember DeX, well it’s supported which means you can turn it into a desktop just as it is with the S8+. Phone calls are way nice. Well this is an expensive phone and I think Samsung did well about that.
Is it the right choice for you?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 sells for $930 USD which is quite huge. Although it’s got all the premium features we’d hope for in a pack of plastics but practically this is the best Android phablet so far this year.
It’s still a bit cheaper than the iPhone X which costs upward in the region of $999.99.
There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing if this would be the right choice for you or not. But if you’re the corporate type that needs a device that can do more than just taking selfies, then you’ve got one.
The fact that it’s 3300 mAh battery might not swipe up through the whole day in a very heavy duty mode might be a detriment to those who want a device they can call a tool.
But still, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can use this but even with other alternatives, you can always get the best values of your money.
Although it’s said that you can add up some cash with your old Galaxy Note 7 to get a Note 8. THIS can be advantageous to those who still use the older phone which will get you this newest at a discounted price.
Small hands or big hands, you can still get a good grip of the Note 8 despite its design. It’s Stylus is very useful almost to everyone seeking such feature while it’s powerful cameras are all doing good.
The sleek design makes huge screen more good looking with amazing components and its nearly bezel-less infinity display grants it a place amongst other top devices. Blending longer battery and the not so intelligent Bixby along with the oddly placed fingerprint scanner aren’t going to make you fret.
The LG G6 appears to be the most relevant LG G Series of all times with the amazing design and it’s huge piles of features. Powered by the latest Android 7 Nougat, the device is the best suitor for those seeking a really feature-rich Android smartphone which isn’t as expensive as the Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone X. Although it might not be able to beat this two competitors, it’s still at it’s best form ever.