Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the largest reimagining of Samsung’s greatest smartphones for productiveness, and greater than sufficient to proper the main wrongs of the recalled Note 7. It is a mega-sized mea culpa.
We have examined the brand new Be aware eight for practically three months now and it is much more attention-grabbing in the present day now that we’re headed into the vacations and this highly effective Android telephone has seen a worth drop. Plus, the brand new Deep Sea Blue colour got here out within the US and UK, simply in time for Cyber Monday 2017 offers.
Sadly, you possibly can count on that Android Oreo replace till early 2018. However, you possibly can, proper now, get our Be aware eight vs Google Pixel XL comparability particulars.
In spite of everything of our palms on time with the Be aware eight has has us satisfied: this can be a true redesign of not simply the Be aware collection, however of the common smartphone from top-to-bottom, edge-to-edge, and rear digital camera to, effectively, rear digital camera. There at the moment are two cameras on the again, a primary for a Samsung flagship smartphone. It takes good portrait pictures, and you’ll even edit the depth of discipline post-capture.
The S Pen stylus returns, and it has a bigger 6.Three-inch ‘Infinity Show’ to work with – however one which doesn’t enhance the size of the particular telephone an excessive amount of. The Be aware eight acts like a giant, borderless glass canvas in your vital handwritten notes and masterpiece doodles.
Watch our video evaluate of the Samsung Galaxy Be aware eight under.
Why purchase this as an alternative of the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus? The additional tenth of an inch is insignificant and doesn’t matter, however Be aware followers adore the S Pen performance and its extra sq. form, energy customers are going to learn from the 6GB of RAM, and we cherished the superior dual-lens digital camera in our assessments – you’ll too.
That is essentially the most highly effective Samsung telephone but. It does, nevertheless, value you in 3 ways. It’s too huge for some – it’s technically Samsung’s greatest, however not the very best for everybody. You’re going to want a Note 8 case to confidently maintain this unwieldy glass beast, and two palms to function it.
The massive display screen additionally comes at the price of the Be aware’s common oval-shaped fingerprint sensor dwelling button. It’s gone. The on-screen button that replaces it really works nice, however the fingerprint sensor is now positioned on the again of the system and off-center – it’s a textbook flawed design, and the choice iris scanner doesn’t at all times work whenever you need to unlock the telephone.
Then there’s the Note 8 price. In order for you top-of-the-line specs, the some of the superior cameras, a shocking show, and streamlined multitasking on a telephone, you’re actually going to pay for them. The Be aware eight prices greater than the S8 Plus, though should you’re going to sink some huge cash into a tool that you just use on a regular basis, it’s possible you’ll as effectively go all the best way.
Can your pockets, and the extent of your grip, deal with the Be aware eight? That’s just about all that you just – if in case you have religion in Samsung once more – have to ask your self earlier than shopping for this telephone.
The brand new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the largest Samsung Galaxy Be aware eight rivals. They already run Android Oreo and Google’s digital camera is barely higher however its display screen colours are worse, in our opinion. The Google Pixel 2 XL is having a couple of display screen burn-in issues, too. Apple has the all-new iPhone X launching on November Three with a borderless show, facial recognition and an equally sizable price ticket, however that requires switching over from Android to iOS 11.
The Be aware eight guidelines supreme within the big-screen, big-power, big-price area, as we’ll show in our full evaluate.
Worth and launch date
- At $929 (£869, AU$1,499), it is the most costly telephone you will purchase
- Offers have popped up earlier than Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Launched on September 15 in US and UK, September 22 in Australia
The Galaxy Be aware eight launch date was Friday, September 15 within the US and UK, whereas Australia will received the brand new telephone on September 22. It is available, in contrast to Apple’s latest smartphone.
The official Be aware eight worth is $929 (£869, AU$1,499), and US carriers have it for as a lot as $40 a month for 24 months, although we’d recommend getting the unlocked, carrier-agnostic model. The perfect deal we are able to discover is on Amazon US for $898, eBay for $749.
Both approach, it’s going to be the most costly smartphone you’ve ever purchased. The Galaxy S8 Plus, for comparability, value $829 (£779, AU$1,349) at launch, however now you can get Plus for around $739 within the US, whereas Galaxy S8 deals make the smaller model nearly half the value of the Be aware eight.
Excellent news, although: you possibly can already discover Galaxy Note 8 deals within the US and also in the UK. At launch within the US, it got here with both a free Gear 360 digital camera or a 128GB reminiscence card and quick wi-fi charger. We count on comparable repeat offers.
Within the UK the freebie was a DeX docking station, and there’s a dual-SIM model out there. Best Buy is also offering $150 off the telephone, and T-Mobile offers a $200 rebate by way of Samsung Pay provide and throws in a free Samsung pill.
Design and show
- 6.Three-inch ‘Infinity Show’ redefines the Be aware appear and feel
- However it’s 9mm taller than any Be aware telephone – it is the brand new huge
- Water resistant as much as 1.5m (5ft) for 30 minutes
- The perfect colour, Deep Sea Blue, solely simply launched within the US
The Be aware eight maximizes Samsung’s twin curved edge and practically bezel-less Infinity Show to the purpose the place this telephone seems like a mini pill from the long run. It’s impressive-looking, but in addition huge and heavy – 9mm taller than any earlier Be aware telephone, and 195g.
Stretching your fingers is effectively value should you can bodily handle it. Its expansive 6.Three-inch show – now and not using a bodily dwelling button – has an unheard-of 83% screen-to-body ratio. The iPhones have a 67% screen-to-body ratio for comparability. That is rather a lot much less display screen for such huge telephones, not less than till iPhone 8 arrives to vary all the things.
Samsung retains topping itself, launching telephones with the world’s greatest show each six months. Its most brightness, 3K decision with Cellular HDR Premium, and wider colour gamut are onerous for anybody else to compete with. It is All the time-On Show continues to be an interesting characteristic in a smartphone.
Lit up, the all-screen Be aware eight seems like we’re carrying round a chunk of sunshine once we’re out and about. It is a lot better than the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL show, Google’s greatest weak point.
All the entrance glows with unimpeded info – so long as you don’t drop and crack it, and also you’ll must be additional cautious as the whole telephone is enveloped in glass wrapped round an aluminum body. Mixed with its measurement, this makes for one slippery smartphone.
Whereas we spent more often than not utilizing this telephone bare (that’s and not using a case), we did check a number of Be aware eight instances and immediately felt extra assured carrying it round. Why? The added grip (and peace of thoughts) allow us to function it with one hand, whereas we struggled with the pure glass physique at such tall and huge dimensions. Sorry – you’re going to want a case with this telephone.
There have been only a few Note 8 colors at launch. It got here in muted tones of Midnight Black and Orchid Grey and we solely lately noticed the Deep Sea Blue colour launch within the US. This vibrant blue and tempting Maple Gold colours have been first launched in different areas. Samsung, annoyingly, refreshes its telephones with new colours after a couple of months, a lot to the chagrin of loyal early adopters.
You additionally gained’t get the very best sound from the Be aware eight. It is a multimedia powerhouse visually, however its bottom-firing speaker nonetheless had us cupping the underside of the telephone to get higher audio. Samsung has but to ship twin front-facing audio system just like the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, or customizable Hello-Fi audio just like the LG V30. Perhaps subsequent 12 months.
The Be aware eight is IP68 water resistant, so it will possibly survive as much as 1.5m (5ft) underwater for 30 minutes, and it makes use of the reversible USB-C commonplace. Each are new perks for many Be aware followers. There’s additionally no digital camera bump, and that gaudy Samsung emblem has been moved to the rear, now not staring you within the face. Sadly, the fingerprint sensor has moved there, too.
The fingerprint sensor has marginally improved
- No bodily dwelling button means a rear fingerprint sensor
- It is additional away from the digital camera vs the S8 and S8 Plus sensor
- Iris scanner and face unlock are poor substitutes
We hate the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Be aware eight, simply as we did on the S8 and S8 Plus. Perhaps a tiny bit much less, however we nonetheless don’t like its off-center rear location for a similar purpose: we hold blindly smudging the far-too-close dual-lens digital camera. It’s actually troublesome to unlock the telephone.
What’s improved – barely? The offset fingerprint sensor and center-aligned digital camera are a couple of milimeters additional away from one another. Samsung properly moved the flash and coronary heart fee monitor in between the sensor (which requires your fingerprints) and the digital camera (which at all times will get fingerprint smudges throughout it). That in-built coronary heart fee monitor you overlook nonetheless existed on Samsung telephones now serves a goal once more.
Samsung’s unlocking options don’t work as marketed. Face unlock has confirmed to be much less safe, a lot in order that we don’t even recommend utilizing it. And when you gained’t idiot the iris scanner, it gained’t acknowledge you carrying sun shades, or strolling and holding the telephone on the improper distance.
It’s ironic that now we have a telephone that appears prefer it comes from the long run, but it’s been designed with a fingerprint sensor that’s turn into a textbook design misfire on smartphones. Samsung might repair this difficulty with an in-glass entrance fingerprint sensor, however the expertise isn’t prepared but. Anticipate this to be a grand announcement for the Galaxy S9 or Be aware 9 – please act stunned.
The S Pen is stuffed with new and outdated methods
- Simple to signal paperwork and write instantly on screenshots
- Be aware-taking expands with handy off-screen memos
- Stay Messages, GIF Seize add enjoyable to this productiveness instrument
There are two forms of folks on this planet – those that will use the Be aware eight’s S Pen, and those that suppose they’re going to make use of it, however will cease taking it out of its holster after a few week. It’s like everybody’s need to personal a Fitbit – you had good intentions whenever you got down to purchase it.
Anybody who sticks with the S Pen, nevertheless, will get their cash’s value from the Be aware eight. We signed a PDF contract final week with out having to print or scan it – in reality, we didn’t even have to go away the e-mail app. We additionally jotted down handwritten notes and took screenshots that we have been immediately in a position to mark up.
Plus the S Pen is also great for sketching with over four,096 ranges of stress sensitivity.
These options – normally reserved for pro-level tablets or 2-in-1 computer systems – are even handier on a telephone. In spite of everything, the very best note-taking system is the one you’ve got with you on a regular basis.
Frequent note-takers will love the off-screen memo characteristic, which helps you to jot down white-ink notes on the turned-off black display screen as quickly as you eject the S Pen. Off-screen memos, launched with the doomed Be aware 7, allow you to seize your ideas with out having to unlock the telephone first.
The Be aware 7 additionally debuted S Pen options like GIF Seize and Translate, however these will likely be new to most Be aware eight customers. And new to the Be aware eight is the flexibility to put in writing out ‘Stay Messages’, creating sparkly animations which you can ship to anybody in GIF kind.
If the S Pen permits you to skip a couple of archaic steps – like printing, discovering a working pen, and scanning a doc – the Be aware eight could also be value the additional $105 over the equally sized S8 Plus if you cannot discover a whole lot.