Samsung Galaxy Note 8: A Look At The Latest Phablet

After the problems with the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung had finally decided they are over it and moved on to release the Note 8. I never expected Samsung to abandon its “Galaxy Note” brand as it’s one of the most recognized in the world, right after the “Galaxy S” brand. So why not just improve on the next installment for this brand instead of scrapping it, like a lot of tech bloggers told them to do? Thankfully Samsung didn’t listen to all the naysayers and we’re getting our hands and eyeballs on the new Galaxy Note 8. While the Galaxy Note 8 is extremely similar to the Galaxy S8, there are still a few things that make it different from the phone. Here is all you need to know:

Hardware on the Galaxy Note 8

If you have seen the Galaxy S8 or S8+, then you already know what the Note 8 looks like. Samsung knew they had a winner with this design, so the Note 8 is only slightly larger than the S8 or S8+. The Note 8 has larger bulb-style corners and is more squared than the S8, however it’s the same type of build that you’ll find on the S8. It’s the aluminum and glass build as the S8 that has gotten so much acclaim around the world. The frame is as seamless as you can get where it moves from glass to aluminum and back again, which aids your hands in several ways, from holding on to the big thing to using the screen for writing with the S Pen.

The screen is the biggest one Samsung makes right now, a whopping 6.3” and has the amazing Infinity Display. If you haven’t seen the Infinity Display in person, you need to. Like right now. It is downright amazing. In fact, the screen is big enough that you can do two things at once. The Infinity Display offers full edge-to-edge screen display that is spectacular. The glass is almost bezel-less and completely covers the front of the phone. Samsung has designed the Note 8 with the side-by-side capabilities to launch two apps at once since the screen is so amazing.

The phone itself measures 8.6 mm wide, is 162.5 mm long and 74.8 mm across, making it one of the largest phones out there.

Colors, Colors, Colors

Samsung knows that some of us just don’t want that plain old black phone any longer. So, they are releasing the Note 8 in four colors: Midnight Black, Deepsea Blue, Orchid Gray (which is a dusty light purple) and Maple Gold. Of course, I’ve seen that they aren’t releasing the Gold here in the US, but that could change as the Gold has been one of the popular colors here in past Galaxy phones.

What’s In the Note 8

So, I’ve already told you about the outside, let’s move inside, starting with the screen. The display has the Quad HD+ Super AMOLED with 521 ppi. Inside the Note 8, you’ll find an Octa-core, 64-bit, 10nm processor. Depending on the country you’re in and the carrier that you choose, the Octa-core will have a 2.3GHz Quad with either a 1.7GHz Quad or a 1.9GHz Quad in it. Samsung hasn’t released which countries and carriers will have what processor yet however.

It will come loaded with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) right out of the box. There will also be two versions of the phone for SIM cards, one will be a single SIM and the other will be a dual SIM. The single SIM will have one nano SIM and one microSD slot while the dual SIM will have one nano SIM and one hybrid slot that can hold either a microSD or a nano card.

All of the Samsung Note 8’s will come with 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB expandable memory.

Battery Life

One of the main things that matters to me on any new phone is the battery life. The Galaxy Note 8 offers a sweet 3300mAh battery. According to Samsung’s specs, here is what you can expect as far as battery life for the phone:

  • Talk time: up to 22 hours

  • Wi-fi internet use: up to 14 hours

  • 4G internet use: up to 13 hours

  • 3G internet use: up to 12 hours

  • MP3 playback with the AOD on: up to 47 hours

  • MP3 playback with the AOD off: up to 74 hours

  • Video playback: up to 16 hours

As far as charging goes, it looks as though Samsung has taken its huge win with the S8 and S8+ and added in the Fast Charging on both the wired and wireless chargers. This is one feature that I absolutely love on the new Samsung phones as it means you’re not tethered to a charger for hours at a time just to get a little bit of juice.

Camera Info

The camera is pretty damn nice as well. It offers a Front and Rear camera which both have the following: HDR (High Dynamic Range), Virtual shots, Live stickers, Location tags, Motion photos, Stamps, Timers, Grid lines, Filters and Quick launches. The front facing camera is 8MP AF with a pixel size of 1.22[]{#anchor}µm. It also has a wide selfie mode and has a sensor ration of 4:3. The rear facing camera has two different cameras: a telephoto camera and a wide-angle camera. Both have a resolution of 12MP AF, but the telephoto has a pixel size of 1.0µm where the wide-angle has a 1.4µm pixel size. Both offer digital zoom up to 10X, Live focus, Optical zoom at 2X and Dual capture. The wide-angle camera also offers a Pro mode, Panorama mode, Slow motion, Hyperlapse, Food mode and more.

If you’re interested in how good the videos are that you’ll be shooting, the Note 8 offers full 4K video at 30fps. It has 1080 HD video at 30 or 60 fps if you’d like and 720 HD at 30 fps as well. It also offers VDIS, video digital image stabilization – which is something I personally love. The video has an optical zoom of 2X and a digital zoom of 10X, just like the cameras. It also has the ability to take 9MP still shots while you’re recording in 4K.

Let’s Watch Some Videos

When it comes to videos and playbacks, you can expect nothing but the best here as well. The Galaxy Note 8 offers video playback in the following formats: MP4, M4V, WMV. ASF, AVI, 3G2, FLV, MKV and WEBM. You’ll also find that the Note 8 offers pretty good TV connections as well, both cabled and wireless. For the wireless connections, the Note 8 has Smart View, which is a miracast 1080p at 30 fps and has mirroring support for devices that can use Google Cast.

How About That Sound?

If you’re curious how your movies are going to sound as you watch them on that amazing Infinity screen, have no fear. Samsung is making sure that the sound quality is just a great as you’d expect. The audio includes UHQ 32-bit and DSD support, with the PCM up to 32 bits and the DSD at DSD64/128. Of course, depending on the file format of some videos, the sound may be a little different than others. So, if you’re watching a new movie, it will sound amazing. However, some home videos and older movies in lower file formats may not sound as good as those new movies.

As far as playback goes, you’ll have access to all of the following file types: MP3, WAV, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, APE, DFF, DSF, OTA, RTX, RTTTL and IMY.

The recording mic has also been bumped up a bit and has a high AOP mic that helps squash distortion in really noisy places.

And if you’re wondering about Bluetooth speakers or other devices, the Galaxy Note 8 allows you to hook up two devices at the same time. So, you can hook up two audio devices and play through them both simultaneously.

Security Features

Just like the S8 and S8+, Samsung has buffed up its security with the Note 8. You’ll find two different phone lock types: the normal lock and the biometric lock. Normal locks on the Note 8 include the password, pattern, and PIN. The biometrics locks include Face Recognition, Fingerprint Scanner, and the Iris Scanner. I’m sure these are all similar to the S8 biometrics features, which means that they are really awesome. I personally love the Iris Scanner as it seems to work the best with all of the different biometrics locks. I’ve actually had a little bit of problem with the Face Scanner not always picking up my face. So, we’ll see if the Note 8 has any better Face Recognition.

As far as security goes, you’ll find extra layers inside the phone. The Note 8 comes with Knox protection, which is real-time monitoring and protection of the device itself. It also comes with McAfee virus and malware prevention to help guard you against all the wonderful crud you can pick up surfing the web. The Note 8 also offers you a secure space on the phone for content that you can access by Iris or Fingerprint scanning – making it just a little easier to keep certain things safe.

Bixby

If you aren’t familiar with Bixby yet, it’s time that you are introduced. Bixby is Samsung’s answer to Siri and, in my opinion, I like it a lot better. There is so much that you can do with Bixby on the new Samsung phones that it can easily spoil you. From the old staples of voice calling and texting to looking up where to buy that shirt your friend has on just by a photo, Bixby can do so much it is insane. Plus, the mo[]{#anchor-1}re that you use it, the more points that you earn and can trade in for Samsung items. If you’d like a more in-depth look at what Bixby can do on the new Samsung phones, make sure that you check out my review on the Galaxy S8+ here on BeepWee.

Goodies In the Box

Ok, I personally hate it when you get a new phone and everything is different when it comes to the accessories – yet you have to buy all of the cords and crap all over again. Thankfully Samsung has put a stop to that with their Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 and S8+. Inside the box, you’ll find the following goodies (on top of the Note 8 and the S Pen): USB cable, USB power adapter, USB connector (which allows for USB to USB charging or syncing), Micro USB connector (so you can still use the tons of Micro USB cords you’ve bought over the years), Ejection pin, Tweezers and Pen nibs (so you can change them out if one has an issue), and pretty high quality earphones. I love the fact that they have put in adapters for the different types of cords into the boxes now. It makes life so much easier than buying tons of new cords for your car, office, bedroom, computer… you know what I’m talking about here.

My Overall Impression

I have had a few of the different versions of the Note and I have loved every single one of them. I’ve also been a Samsung fan for a long time. If you’re about ready for a new phone or upgrade, and you haven’t made up your mind yet, you might consider waiting until the Note 8 is released and see if you prefer it over the Galaxy S8 or S8+. (If you haven’t looked at the S8+ yet, make sure that you check out my review here on BeepWee as it truly is an awesome phone.) With the crazy success that Samsung has had with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, I can easily foresee that the Note 8 will be just as epic.

Trying not to melt away in the heat of Oklahoma, MD Weems has been a writer and artist for over 20 years. Her written works over all types of gaming have been used in college level game design textbooks as well as in US Patents over virtual character design. She has worked with gaming companies all over the world and is even cool enough to have her own Korean cartoon character.
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