The Samsung Galaxy S8 Note is the Korean tech company’s newest flagship, but more importantly, the successor to the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. The Note 7 was a great device with some many amazing features, but the exploding battery put a damper on everyone who owned or wanted to own one. That all changes today, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 coming to India. On the Note 8, you have the familiar 18.5:9 Infinity Display, but in a larger 6.3-inch format. There’s also the return of the stylus which was always the hallmark of the Note series. What puts this phone apart from the Samsung Galaxy S8 Duo is not just the S-Pen, but also the first dual camera implementation in a Samsung device. But is that enough to convince you to spend the extra cash and accept a bigger phone? Here are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Note to help you figure out if this device holds your fancy.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specifications & Features
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 10nm chip, along with 6GB of RAM. The Galaxy S8 Duo ran the same processor, but came with only 4GB of RAM, so Note users will get an extra 2GB of RAM for what it’s worth. There’s 6.3-inch Infinity Display with a resolution of 2960×1440 and hence, an effective pixel density of 517 ppi. There is 64GB of on-board storage which can be increased if needed thanks to the micro-SD card slot. The insides are not the only things to have been upgraded here though. The new S-Pen, for all its new software tricks, is now sensitive to 4096 pressure points. The S-Pen with its increased sensitivity offers excellent control over the width of the pen tip, for taking notes or sketching. Samsung has built a number of software features to leverage the S-Pen, which we will address in detail in our review at a later point.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design & Build
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 follows a very design language to the S8 Duo. The curved edge screen has now just become standard across their flagships, but unlike the Galaxy S8 or the S8+, the Note 8 has a slightly more rectangular frame. The top and bottom edges have sharper curves and as a whole, the smartphone with its Gorilla Glass 5 back and front feels a little less slippery when compared to the Galaxy S8. The botton of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is loaded with the USB-C port (with USB 3.0 speed), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a speaker grill and on the right edge, the home for the S-Pen. The pen uses a clutch mechanism to release and lock into its port. The back, unlike the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge isn’t plain, but instead, there is a nice texture that can be seen below the glass panel. Overall, the design of the Galaxy Note 8 feels a lot more industrial than the curve-heavy build of the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera Samples
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung smartphone to have a dual camera implementation. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Primary Camera was kind of a let down as it did not feel like much of an upgrade from its predecessor, but this is a whole different ball game. You get a 12 Megapixel pair but unlike the RGB+Monochrome pair every smartphone company seems to be going for, Samsung has put a wide angle and 2x telephoto lens on its flagship. The wide angle lens has an aperture of f/1.7 while the telephoto shoots at f/2.4. There’s a Live Focus mode which results in images with bokeh, and the gallery app allows you to re-tweak the effect after the photo has been taken. We took a number of camera samples which you can see in the gallery below. The AF seems impressive, as does the minimum focussing distance. Interestingly, only the sensor corresponding to the wide angle lens is equipped with Dual Pixel AF, but both the lenses have optical image stabilization on board. We reckon this is will be a great tool for people who like to shoot macro photos.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Display
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 houses a 6.3 inch Quad HD display in the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that we originally saw in the Samsung Galaxy S8. This new display also carries the HDR Premium certification from the UHD Alliance and while the Samsung Galaxy S8 Duo wait to get HDR support from Netflix, the Galaxy Note 8 is already capable of the higher fidelity playback. If there is one thing Samsung absolutely dominates the market in, it is displays. The Galaxy Note 8 can display HDR content through YouTube and Netflix, but HDR isn’t all that the phone does well. Day light legibility was excellent even at full brightness, where the display did not lose saturation nor the contrast levels.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Final Thoughts
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is everything we had hoped the Galaxy S8 would have been. In our brief time with the Galaxy Note 8, there’s very little to not like about this smartphone, maybe except that the large 6.3-inch form factor might not work very well for people with small hands. We will be taking a far more detailed look into the effectiveness of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and its specifications and features in our detailed review, so we recommend staying tuned for it.