12 months in the past, I wrote that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was the first-rate large phone ever made. It had amazing overall performance, a superb digicam, and a cultured layout that changed into noticeably conceivable for a device with a huge display. But that glory turned into quick-lived: as everyone is aware of, the Note 7 had a defective inner battery design that brought about it to randomly seize hearth. In the most embarrassing episode of modern tech history, Samsung was compelled to take into account the smartphone, no longer as soon as, but two times, and pull it from the market.
The upshot of all of this is Samsung turned into also forced to reevaluate the way it designed and manufactured smartphone batteries, and it now uses exclusive tactics and chemistries that produce greater durable batteries that also degrade less through the years.
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That’s proper, due to the fact now we’ve got the Galaxy Note eight and Samsung desires it to permanently put the Note 7 fiasco within the rearview reflect. The new Note is just like its predecessor in that it’s an awesome large-screened tool with few apparent faults. In fact, in all the critical regions, the Note 8 is a better tool than even the Note 7 turned into.
But the climate around huge telephones has changed dramatically given that ultimate 12 months. While the Note 7 turned into head and shoulders above the whole thing else earlier than its fall from grace, the Note 8 isn’t manifestly higher than a few of the other huge phones out this 12 months, consisting of Samsung’s own Galaxy S8 Plus. Further, the Note 8 is one of the maximum pricey telephones you may purchase, beginning at $930 for a model with 64GB of storage.
Ask Samsung, although, and it’s going to say Galaxy Note lovers don’t care approximately any of these things. They don’t need just any large telephone, they need a Note, whole with its over-the-top size, the most effective specs, and, of direction, its stylus. And due to what came about with the Note 7, those lovers were waiting a long term for this.
The Galaxy Note 8 wasn’t constructed for anybody. It turned into constructed for them
The Galaxy Note has continually been an unapologetically big phone, but the Note eight takes huge to new dimensions.
It begins with its 6.Three-inch Infinity Display that stretches to the very edges of the cell phone’s frame, leaving just a small bezel above and below the display. This HDR-capable display is everything you’d assume from a high-end Samsung panel: it’s crisp, colorful, and excellent vibrant, so it’s seen outside in direct daylight. The sheer size of it sucks you in whilst watching a video, and the 18.Five:9 issue ratio shall we it show lots of content material right away or easily run apps at the same time in split-display multitasking mode.
Samsung has performed the whole lot it could to make this giant screen fit in something that resembles a cell phone — shrinking the bezels, elongating its form, curving the sides — but there’s no averting the truth that the Note 8 is a large phone that incorporates giant phone issues. It’s nearly not possible to apply in one hand and it doesn’t healthy readily in any of my pants wallet.
In addition, the Note 8’s large size makes its fingerprint scanner even greater irritating to apply than it is on the S8. Like the S8, the scanner is at the again of the telephone, to the right of the digicam module. And just like the S8, it takes a few devoted finger gymnastics to reach it. I’ve been the usage of an S8 Plus for months and I’ve come to be incredibly aware of the traumatic fingerprint scanner placement. That could occur with the Note might as properly, but it’d had been easier for each person if Samsung just positioned the scanner beneath the digital camera like every different smartphone maker does.
Samsung offers each iris-scanning and face-scanning release systems at the Note 8, so you don’t always must rely on the fingerprint scanner as a good deal. The face unlock function is still now not as secure as the different method, however, Samsung has advanced it because of the S8’s launch, so it really works faster and extra reliably now. The iris scanner is brief and as at ease as fingerprint techniques, however, it nevertheless requires protecting the phone up awkwardly near my face and dramatically starting my eyes for it to paintings.
With such a lot of similarities between the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, the few differences turn out to be greater essential.
The largest distinction is the Note’s signature characteristic: the S Pen stylus. The stylus is what really unites the Note 8 other than any other large cell phone you can get, and the Note 8 is basically the best top rate telephone you could buy that has one. Samsung says that its Note customers love the factor, and it’s a huge cause why they stay with the smartphone, even after what passed off with the Note 7.
The S Pen can be used to take notes, mark up screenshots, doodle, choose text, or simply navigate the smartphone’s software program with a finer factor than your finger. You may even take notes on the lock display screen without unlocking the smartphone, after which pin them there for easy get admission to later on.
New for the S Pen this yr is a
What’s most interesting is how a whole lot bigger the Note 8 feels as compared to the almost-as-big Galaxy S8 Plus. The Note’s 6.3-inch display screen is only scantly larger than the S8 Plus’ 6.2-inch panel, but it has a greater square shape and the edges aren’t curved as aggressively, which makes it fantastically less comfy to address. The Note might also guidelines the scales at 195g, approximately 22g extra than the S8 Plus. That doesn’t sound like lots, but it’s obtrusive, mainly whilst the telephone is already this large.
Otherwise, the Note 8’s fit and finish are precisely similar to the S8, with glass panels that elegantly curve into a metal frame. It has the same virtual, strain-sensitive home button at the bottom of the show, and it’s also IP68 water-resistant, so getting it moist isn’t a fear, whether or not you’re caught in a rainstorm, washing dishes at home, or worried approximately someone spilling a drink at the same time as out on the town.
The Note eight does have a headphone jack (in the suitable role: on the bottom of the , to the left of the charging port), and Samsung bundles in a hard and fast of first rate AKG stressed headphones inside the box. It also has a dedicated button to launch the Bixby digital assistant placed simply beneath the volume rocker at the left side of the telephone. It’s just as worrying and smooth to hit right here as it’s miles on the S8, and it’s nonetheless no longer without difficulty customized to do some thing extra beneficial. Bixby itself hasn’t changed significantly from while it debuted at the S8, and the devoted hardware button for it feels more like an unnecessary appendage than some thing specifically beneficial.
SPECS AND PERFORMANCE ARE VERY SIMILAR TO THE S8
Internally, the Note eight also has very similar specifications as compared to the S8 Plus. There’s Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB of a garage (inside the US; different markets will see 128GB or even 256GB options), and a microSD card slot. The Note does have 6GB of RAM versus the S8’s four, but I haven’t seen an appreciable difference in overall performance because of it. Both of those phones are rapid and fluid, and overall performance turned into now not a subject in my day-to-day use. It’s possible that the extra RAM aids in using the DeX desktop docking system Samsung sells, but I did no longer take a look at that with the Note 8 for this evaluation.
For obvious reasons, Samsung shrunk the battery ability in the Note 8 in comparison to last year’s Note 7. This time it has a three,300mAh battery that supports each rapid stressed out and wi-fi charging. That’s a little smaller than the three,500mAh mobile within the S8 Plus, however, in sensible phrases, the 2 phones have comparable endurance. Most people may be capable of pass a full day among expenses without fear; heavy energy customers may take gain of those speedy charging options of they plan on going out within the evening and don’t need to fear approximately strolling out of steam.
With such a lot of similarities among the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, the few differences grow to be extra critical.
The biggest difference is the Note’s signature function: the S Pen stylus. The stylus is what genuinely sets the Note eight aside from some other large phone you could get, and the Note eight is largely the simplest premium cell phone you could buy that has one. Samsung says that its Note customers love the thing, and it’s a massive reason why they stay with the phone, even after what occurred with the Note 7.
The S Pen may be used to take notes, mark up screenshots, doodle, select textual content, or just navigate the smartphone’s software program with a finer factor than your finger. You may even take notes at the lock screen with out unlocking the phone, after which pin them there for clean get admission to in a while.
New for the S Pen this yr is a finer factor and greater ranges of pressure sensitivity (in comparison to the Note 5’s stylus from 2015) and the identical degree of IP68 water resistance as the rest of the telephone. Samsung has introduced new coloring e-book capabilities in its S Pen software program, as well as the potential to take even longer notes at the lock display screen than earlier than.
The maximum amusing new feature is Live Message, which helps you to report lively GIFs of handwritten messages or drawings after which percentage them thru your app of choice. It jogs my memory a variety of the handwritten messages you could ship in Apple’s iMessage, however well suited with any app that supports trendy lively GIFs.
Despite its skinny diameter and brief period, the S Pen is great to jot down and doodle with, and it’s clear that Samsung’s refinements on this enjoy over the years are paying off. But that doesn’t mean the S Pen will mechanically end up a part of your routine. Most of the time, I forgot about using the pen and used the Note 8 much like I might another smartphone.
In quick, you both recognize you need the Note eight for the S Pen, or you don’t. And in case you’re not certain, you’ll possibly never use it and could be simply as satisfied with a few different smartphone.
But I can weigh in on the Note 8’s other standout feature, the brand new dual camera. The Note’s two 12-megapixel digicam setup is a primary for Samsung, and it’s very just like the system that Apple put within the iPhone 7 Plus. One of the cameras has a well known wide-attitude lens like you’ll locate on some other phone, at the same time as the other affords a short “telephoto” alternative that gets you a touch bit toward your subject. Both cameras have optical image stabilization, which Samsung claims present better photographs than the non-stabilized telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus. But in exercise, it doesn’t make a lot of a distinction, at least now not for stills.