It was a year ago when many of us were excited with the Galaxy Note7 for its amazing performance and it would have been the best phablet in the market if it wasn’t for those concerning battery problems. That was then, and now, Samsung is back to reclaim their status for the best phablet in the market with the all-new Galaxy Note8 smartphone- bigger and faster than ever.
While Samsung’s Note series of devices have always been about large-sized displays and the smart S-Pen, it’s obvious that the company will transition most of the Galaxy S8's display features for the Note8. We are talking about the new Infinity Display that brings forth more screen estate with reduced and thinner screen bezels. The result is a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a gorgeous resolution of 2960 x 1440. And to reduce the power consumption, users will be able to change the resolution to Full HD.
And just as the stunning Galaxy S8, the Galaxy Note8 features an increased aspect ratio of 18:5:9. This means you get to use almost the entire screen to use for both images, video and camera and other applications, thanks to the thin bezels on the bottom and top portion of the display. You also get the Edge Panel functionality, as usual, a nifty feature for those who want to have an extra mode of shortcuts for their favorite applications. The screen produces solid and vivid colors and there is no doubt that the viewing angles are great too. However, the outdoor visibility of the Note8’s display is just decent, even at its maximum brightness. For a strong screen resistance, the display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
If you haven’t noticed, Samsung has moved away from the use of front-facing home buttons, that used to be the company’s traditional design since the start of the Galaxy smartphones. This time, you get capacitive touch buttons (similar to the 3D Touch) on the bottom that also produces a haptic feedback when pressed. The removal of the physical buttons is clearly to increase the screen estate. On the bottom is the usual USB Type-C port (middle), the 3.5mm audio jack (left), the speaker (right) and of course, the S-Pen port. Samsung says that the tip is only 0.7mm and you can draw your own emojis and create animated GIFs, which is a fun thing to do. You can also choose capture a particular clip and turn it into GIF with the S-Pen.
Using the S Pen stylus, the user can break into the world of creativity on the go. One can simply create an artwork, write messages on photos with your hand, or even make animated gifs. The S Pen has 4096 pressure levels. It has some interesting features like the Live message, Samsung Notes, Screen off memo, Smart select, Screenwrite, Translate, Bixby Vision, Glance, and Magnify.
Samsung also implemented the iris scanner which works very well for most of the situations. I was surprised that the smartphone is capable of scanning my eyes in pitch black room and the screen unlocked within a few seconds. What’s better is that the iris scanner also unlocked while I was wearing my shades in the sunny climate of Dubai. That said, the fingerprint scanner is placed on the glass rear side, next to the dual-lens camera. While it’s quite easy to reach the fingerprint scanner with my index finger, I prefer to use the iris scanner most of the time. It's impressive that the dual-lens camera module doesn’t protrude outwards. As for the button placements, the power button is on the right side and the volume rockers/Bixby button on the left. The Galaxy Note8 is also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. The device is 8.6mm thick and weighs 195g. One thing to remember is that the smartphone easily attracts fingerprints and dirt so we will need to always wipe and clean the front and back of the Note8.
Specification and Performance
With a stylish design comes powerful innards to keep the performance always fast and snappy. The Galaxy Note8 is powered by the Exynos 8895 Octa processor with plenty of room for multitasking (6GB RAM) with Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS and the TouchWiz skin with very less bloatware. After using the Galaxy Note8 for weeks, I can conclude that the device ran snappy without any noticeable lags. The extra amount of RAM should help to overcome any sort of slowdowns in the long run. The device also comes with 64GB of fast UFS storage and it can be expanded with a MicroSD card (You will need to use the SIM2 slot for the storage expansion). Our Antutu test score is 174394 points.
The Note8 is the first smartphone from Samsung to come with a dual camera. This camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel telephoto lens along with a 12 MP wide-angle lens. Both have an independent optical image stabilization (OIS) system to capture amazing pictures beating the challenges posed by shaking conditions. With the Dual Pixel Sensor, you are able to focus on the subject instantly. To click amazing pictures even at night Samsung will be integrating a Dual-tone flash in the device. Also, the wide-angle camera lets in more light having an aperture value of the F1.7 lens. There are many options that come pre-installed in the camera software interface- Pro mode, Hyper-lapse, Slow motion, Panorama, and Food mode. And for the selfie personas, you have an 8 MP front shooter with Wide Selfie Mode and Selective Focus. Other camera features are 4K and FHD video recording at 60 fps or 30 fps, VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilization), 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps, High CRI LED flash, Face detection, Playback zoom, and Video location tags.