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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review – A Phone With Lots Of Features

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

$929.99
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
9.6

Battery Life

9.0 /10

Camera

10.0 /10

Software

10.0 /10

Hardware

9.0 /10

Performance

10.0 /10

Pros

  • Large and attractive display screen
  • S Pen Features
  • Great Camera
  • Fast And Responsive

Cons

  • Very Expensive
  • The location of the fingerprint scanner

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has finally arrived. This phablet has retained some of the features of its predecessors but it also has a host of new features and functionalities.

 

We’re all aware of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that took place shortly after the Galaxy Note 7 was released last year. Which led to the Galaxy Note 7 being recalled twice.

 

Samsung was forced to stop the production of this phone when they realized that they were unable to stop the phones from exploding. At a later time, Samsung discovered that a faulty battery was the reason why the phones were exploding.

 

Many people will be cautious about buying another Galaxy Note phone after the disaster with the Galaxy Note 7. However, Samsung has developed a new 8-Point Battery Safety Check.

 

This was done to ensure the general public that their phones are safe and they will never have to worry about a Samsung phone exploding again as a result of this safety check.

 

Is this enough to regain the trust of the general public? Only time will tell, if a few weeks go by without any reported incidents of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding, then we will know it’s safe.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 is a combination of the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s first phone with a dual-lens camera setup.

 

I think it’s great that Samsung finally adopted this feature, this is a feature that we’ve seen on other phones in the past but for some reason or another Samsung never adopted it until now.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design:

 

The Galaxy Note 8 is nicely designed, the look and feel of the Galaxy Note 8 is a bit different from that of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. The Galaxy S8 phones have curved edges while the Galaxy Note 8 has square edges. The Galaxy Note 8 has thin bezels along with Samsung’s edge to edge display screen.

 

The display screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5.0. and it’s supposed to be durable. However, there have been reports of people who accidentally dropped phones with display screens that were made of Corning Gorilla Glass and the display screens shattered as a result of this.

 

So you have to be cautious when handling an expensive phone such as this one. The back panel of the phone tends to collect some fingerprints after using the phone for an extended period of time.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 is IP68-certified, which means that this phone along with the S Pen can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 mins.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 comes equipped with a fingerprint sensor,  LED flash, iris scanner, and a heart-rate monitor. The home button is a pressure-sensitive button which can be used to wake up the phone. Located on the left edge of the phone you will find the Bixby personal assistant button along with the volume rocker.

 

The power button is located on the right edge of the phone. At the bottom of the phone, you will find a USB-C connector, a 3.5mm headphone port, a speaker, and the S Pen Stylus which pops out. Located at the top of the phone you will find a MicroSD/SIM card slot.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 has a 6.3-inch display screen with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This phone has a metal frame but it’s made primarily of glass.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Display Screen:

 

The display screen is a 6.3-inch display screen with 2960 x 1440 pixels WQHD+ with 522ppi. Out of the box, the Galaxy Note 8 is in the optimized mode which is its default setting which renders photos at 2220 x 1080 pixels.

 

To take full advantage of the 2960 x 1440 pixels you must switch the mode from optimized to Performance. However, this will have a negative effect on the battery life.

 

This is more pixels than we need because when viewing the display screen in the default setting the picture quality is absolutely amazing.

 

The AMOLED display produces rich vibrant colors. As a result of the 18.5:9 aspect ratio you must set every app that you open to be stretched to the full length of the screen.

 

The majority of the videos online are in a 16:19 aspect ratio, so when viewing these videos on the Galaxy Note 8 you will see a black line on both sides of the video.

 

However, you can crop the video or stretch it out to get a better viewing experience and you will have to make this decision whenever you’re viewing a video.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 comes with Samsung’s always-on display screen. The AMOLED pixels only consume power when they’re not black, which works completely different from conventional LCDs that are always consuming power.

 

 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Software:

 

The software in the Galaxy Note 8 has come a long way, Samsung continues to improve the software in their premium phones to provide a better user experience. The Samsung voice assistant Bixby debuted earlier this year in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

 

Bixby wasn’t very useful because it couldn’t understand things contextually and only worked with a few pre-installed apps. And Bixby could not interact with any third party apps.

 

However, things have changed the latest version of Bixby can interact with the following third-party apps WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Gmail, Google Play Store, Google Play Music, Google Maps, Uber, Pandora, and Yelp.

 

Bixby supports U.S. English but not British English and Bixby has a tendency to make lots of mistakes especially in regards to names.

 

The Google Assistant is much more responsive than Bixby and it does a much better job understanding things contextually so it makes fewer mistakes. Bixby is a work in progress and there’s plenty of room for improvement.

 

Aside from Bixby the rest of the pre-installed Samsung software on the Galaxy Note 8 works extremely well. When you’re on the home screen you have the ability to swipe up or down to access your app drawer. The Edge Panel is great, it gives you the ability to customize app shortcuts and tools, this is a great feature.

 

The home screen is extremely customizable, it’s a grid and you can choose up to 36 apps to be displayed on the home screen. The icons will be small if you select this option. You also have the ability to choose a 4×5 grid which will display bigger icons.

 

You can also get frames around your app icons this feature is enabled by default. So you have several different options for customizing the look and feel of the homepage.

 

The split screen apps work great on the Galaxy Note 8. You have the ability to create Edge shortcuts which can open two apps simultaneously in the split screen mode.

 

There are quite a few different ways to unlock this phone. That’s great because it gives you the ability to choose your preferred method for unlocking the phone. The fingerprint scanner is located at the back of the phone to the side of the dual-camera setup.

 

This is bad placement because it’s very difficult to reach the fingerprint scanner when holding the phone in a natural way.

 

You can unlock the phone with the iris scanner, this is extremely fast. However, it will not work if you wear glasses. You can also unlock the phone with the facial recognition feature which allows you to register one version of your face.

 

The success rate for unlocking the phone using this method is high but it doesn’t work every time. If you scanned your face with glasses on and try to unlock the phone without the glasses the success rate isn’t very good.

 

If you decide that you don’t like any of these methods you can opt for unlocking your phone manually by punching in your password.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen:

Samsung Galaxy S8 S Pen

 

The S Pen is Samsung’s signature stylus that’s located within the phone. This is a great pen because it allows you to write on the display screen in a natural manner.

 

The display screen supports over 4000 pressure sensitivity points. Which means that the amount of pressure you apply when writing will determine the way your handwriting looks on the screen.

 

With the S Pen, you can take notes while the phone is on standby. When you remove the S Pen from the phone the display screen will automatically turn on. This will give you the ability to write on the display screen without having to unlock the phone.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Dual Cameras

 

The Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a dual camera setup. The primary camera is a 12MP camera with a wide-angle, f/1.7 aperture. The second camera is a 12MP camera with a zoom lens which provides 2x optical zoom and a f/2.4 aperture.

 

Samsung has a history of making phones with great cameras and they continue that trend in the Galaxy Note 8. The primary camera is great, it produces high-quality, detailed photos with vibrant colors.

 

There are quite a few different modes to choose from and there’s a Pro mode which will allow you to modify the shutter speed.

 

The primary camera also comes equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) which works really well at neutralizing motion blur while taking photos.

 

The second camera in the dual camera setup has twice the focal length of the main camera. This camera gives you the ability to zoom in on a subject that’s further away.

 

The primary feature of the zoom lens is Live Focus. This feature allows you to take photos with the zoom lens while the main camera is blurring the background which allows you to create some great portrait photos. This is very similar to the Portrait Mode that we see in the iPhone 7 Plus.

 

When it comes to recording video, this camera is capable of shooting slow-motion video at 720p at 240fps. When shooting video at normal speed this camera has the ability to go above and beyond Full HD.

 

However, the file size can get extremely big when shooting beyond Full HD. So it would be best to shoot in Full HD.

 

The Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) works extremely well because the videos are extremely smooth. The front-facing camera is an 8MP camera which takes great photos.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Battery Life:

 

The battery life on the Galaxy Note 8 is good. It will generally last through one day of use due to the efficiency of Samsung’s power-saving software.

 

However, the battery in the Galaxy Note 8 is a 3,300mAh battery, while the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8 Plus are 3,500mAh batteries.

 

Samsung continues to improve the cameras on their smartphones and they’re constantly adding new features and functionalities. But the capacity of the battery isn’t increasing, I think it would have been better if this phone had a bigger battery.

 

Samsung continues to improve the cameras on their smartphones and they’re constantly adding new features and functionalities. But the capacity of the battery isn’t increasing, I think it would have been better if this phone had a bigger battery.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 comes equipped with fast charging technology it takes a little over an hour and a half to charge the phone from 0 to 100% via USB-C cable.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 also has wireless charging capabilities, wireless charging is a great feature but it takes too long. To charge the phone from 0 to 100% via wireless charging will take roughly two hours and a half.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Performance:

 

The Galaxy Note 8 which is available in the US is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This phone performs very similar to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

 

The Galaxy Note 8 performs very well when multitasking, it’s fast, responsive and it will not slow down. The Galaxy Note 8 supports Samsung DeX which enhances the capabilities of the phone by giving you a PC desktop experience.

 

My Final Thought:

 

The Galaxy Note 8 is an extremely powerful smartphone that has more features than the average person will ever use. This is a great phone that performs very well, however, it has a hefty price tag.

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is available at samsung.com for $929.99. If you don’t mind spending this much money on a phone and you’re looking for a powerful smartphone with lots of great features you should consider getting this phone.

 

Reviews

  • Battery Life9
  • Camera10
  • Software10
  • Hardware9
  • Performance10
  • 9.6

    Score

User Rating: 0 ( 0 Votes )



10 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review – A Phone With Lots Of Features

  1. Josh Ellery

    Great review, I’ve got a google pixel and many people have been saying this is the phone which is better than it, I can see why these are good tbh. My question is, which of the cameras are better, the pixel or this samsung? A lot of people have been saying the pixel is better but this seems pretty good, the battery life is also a plus, definitely worth the money

    1. Marvin

      Thanks Josh, the camera on the Google Pixel is great but the camera on the Note 8 is better. We’ll see how well the camera on the Note 8 stacks up against the camera on the Google Pixel 2 when it arrives in 2 days.

  2. mrsdehm

    Wow – there’s a lot of information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to ease the minds of the people that were worried about the battery issue with the previous Samsung battery issue. It seems that the new battery check would take care of any worries about the new phone. The rest of the review also proves that the phone is awesome in its overall performance and features. I would not hesitate to purchase one of these phones myself!

  3. Sandman

    That’s a great write-up on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. That is one super sexy phone. I would definitely pick it up if I wasn’t so invested already in the Apple iPhone infrastructure.
    I’m curious on the trend of the bezel-less edges. While it looks nice I wonder how my fat fingers will be able to hold the phone without clicking on apps or settings?

  4. Medevac1

    The Samsung Note 8 is the Swiss Army knife of phones: just a beautiful, feature-packed monstrosity of fun and functionality. I purchased mine from Samsung Direct and received a $300 discount for trading in my trusty LG G4 and got a free Gear 360 to boot. I have an LG V20 to cover the wide angle thing while my Note’s dual camera set up nicely covers the zoom shots. This is just an all around great piece of technology and I’m so glad I purchased it. Hats off to Samsung.

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