Stretching your fingers is well worth if you can physically manage it. Its expansive 6. That's a lot less screen for such big phones, at least until iPhone 8 arrives to change everything. Its maximum brightness, 3K resolution with Mobile HDR Premium, and wider color gamut are hard for anyone else to compete with.
It's Always-On Display continues to be an appealing feature in a smartphone. Combined with its size, this makes for one slippery smartphone. The added grip and peace of mind let us operate it with one hand, whereas we struggled with the pure glass body at such tall and wide dimensions.
There were very few Note 8 colors at launch.
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This vibrant blue and tempting Maple Gold colors were first launched in other regions. Samsung, annoyingly, refreshes its phones with new colors after a few months, much to the chagrin of loyal early adopters.
It's a multimedia powerhouse visually, but its bottom-firing speaker still had us cupping the bottom of the phone to get better audio. Maybe next year. The Note 8 is IP68 water-resistant, so it can survive up to 1. Both are new perks for most Note fans. Unfortunately, the fingerprint sensor has moved there, too. The offset fingerprint sensor and center-aligned camera are a few milimeters further away from each other. Samsung wisely moved the flash and heart rate monitor in between the sensor which requires your fingerprints and the camera which always gets fingerprint smudges all over it.
That built-in heart rate monitor you forget still existed on Samsung phones now serves a purpose again. Expect this to be a grand announcement for the Galaxy S9 or Note 9 — please act surprised. We also jotted down handwritten notes and took screenshots that we were instantly able to mark up. Plus the S Pen is also great for sketching with over 4, levels of pressure sensitivity. These features — usually reserved for pro-level tablets or 2-in-1 computers — are even handier on a phone. After all, the best note-taking device is the one you have with you all the time.
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Frequent note-takers will love the off-screen memo feature, which lets you jot down white-ink notes on the turned-off black screen as soon as you eject the S Pen. Off-screen memos, introduced with the doomed Note 7, enable you to capture your thoughts without having to unlock the phone first.
Current page: Introduction, design and S Pen. It's not a terrible feature, but it's always been a bit hit and miss for accurately sliding out, and it essentially adds steps to shortcuts you could place on your home screen anyway. It's not a must-have feature, but it does at least make sense of that larger display screen. I suspect over time, as I've done with the Galaxy S8, I'll disable the Edge Display entirely, but your experience may vary.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Note 8 is launching with Android 7. Samsung has generally toned down TouchWiz as the years have gone by, but in the current climate where many handset makers barely alter stock Android at all, it stands out as still having more of its own in-house software than most. As with any Android handset, you can customise the experience to suit your own style, whether it's heavy on the widgets or simply app shortcuts.
Here the Galaxy Note 8's larger display helps a lot simply because it gives you more space to personalise the Android experience to suit your desires.
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Samsung had to tread very carefully with the battery in the Galaxy Note 8 simply due to what happened with the Galaxy Note 7 battery. It's taken the interesting step of walking battery capacity backwards a little, with a sealed 3,mAh battery inside the Note 8.
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Using Geekbench 3's older battery test showed the Note 8 to be a capable performer for a device with a screen this large, ending up in the top echelon of battery performance for phones we've tested. Here's how it compares against the leading flagship phones:. The Galaxy Note 8 has a pretty easy claim on all-day battery life, given Geekbench 3's test is a linear test, and my own anecdotal testing backs this up.
A Note simply isn't a Note without its stylus. Years after the original Note's debut, very few competitor brands have even opted for an included stylus with their large screen phones.
The S-Pen that comes with the Note 8 has been subtly refined with what Samsung claims is a more responsive and accurate stylus tip as well as with a few software tweaks to make it a better productivity tool. Note users, in my experience, either fall into the camp of always using the S-Pen or the camp of never even giving it a second thought beyond clicking it out once to make sure it's there when they unpack their shiny new handsets.
Obviously, if you're in the latter camp you won't care, but the former should find the new S-Pen quite workable for annotations, sketching and taking multiple notes on the Note 8's always-on display. This includes animated messages, which aren't massively productivity centric, but they're fun for a limited while. Something tells me the more serious Note users will take a glance once and never return. Samsung has also beefed up the Note 8's translate ability. Where the Note 7 could manage language translations with a tap, this was one word at a time, which is a horribly clumsy way to parse any sentence.
You now have the option to capture whole paragraphs at once and have them run through Google Translate into a wide variety of languages. As always, that needs a present data connection to work, and it's operating as mechanical translation so some nuances of language won't always come through. Still, in a pinch it should suffice to order you a taxi or a meal in foreign climes.
It would still be unwise to sign a legally binding contract based on its translation, however. The challenge that the Note 8 has to face isn't, as some may put it, overcoming any issues related to battery fires because Samsung's more or less proven its battery technology with the Galaxy S8, and the Note 8 is essentially a larger, stylus-equipped version of those handsets. I can offer no personal guarantees, but Samsung appears to have learned its lesson there, at least on surface examination. Firstly, if you're enamoured of the S-Pen and its approach, then it's not only an obvious choice, but your only choice outside of tracking down a now-ageing Galaxy Note 5.
While the improvements to the S-Pen aren't immense, this is still the finest stylus-based phone on the market bar none Any of those phones could be in your pocket along with a fair chunk of change against the purchase price of the Note 8 because they're all markedly cheaper. If you love the whole Note ecosystem with the S-Pen, it's for you, especially as your Note 5 or earlier will easily be eclipsed by its performance. If you're performance-centric, it's a solid option, especially paired with the DeX dock, but as noted in its review , that's not quite the desktop solution Samsung thinks it is.
If you're in the wider market for Android handsets, I'd compare carefully, even if you want to stay within the Samsung family of Galaxy handsets. Read more…. Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra is a high-performance phone with a great screen and some of the best battery life we've seen from a Samsung flagship in some years. To ask a question simply log in via your email or Facebook or create an account. Click here to cancel reply. Subscribe to the Finder newsletter for the latest money tips and tricks.
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