All About Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with S Pen. Getty Images

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a version of Samsung’s phablet that also makes phone calls.

Samsung offered the Note 8 as part of a trio of smartphone offerings. The Galaxy S8, a Samsung flagship smartphone, has a 5.8-inch screen. The larger Galaxy S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen and is 2.88 inches wide. The Note 8 is just a little larger than that: 2.94 inches wide with a 6.3-inch screen. Aside from the larger screen, the Note 8 also offers a dual rear camera that its S8 and S8+ siblings don’t have, as you’ll learn below.

What’s Changed in the Note 8

The Note 8 isn’t just a Note 7 with a battery that works properly. The Note 8 has important differences in five areas:

  • The device and screen size
  • The cameras
  • Video recording
  • The Bixby virtual assistant
  • The battery

Though the Note 8 screen is a Super AMOLED as was the screen on the Note 7, Samsung improved the resolution on the Note 8 screen to 2960 x1440 resolution, which is a little better than the 2560 x 1440 resolution on the Note 7.

Even with the Note 8's increased size, Samsung kept its thickness to only 0.34 inches, which is slightly thicker than the 0.31-inch thick Note 7. The Note 8 is also slightly heavier – the device weighs 195 grams, which is only 26 grams heavier than the Note 7.

The front camera resolution has been upgraded to 8 megapixels. Unlike the Note 7, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S8+, the Note 8 has two rear cameras: one wide angle and one telephoto. Both cameras have 12-megapixel resolution. What’s more, you can now record in 4K resolution (as well as 1080p and 720p resolutions) and even take 9-megapixel still photos with the rear camera as you record a 4K video.

As with the S8 and S8+, the Note 8 comes with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, which is Samsung’s answer to competitors’ virtual assistants including Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and the Google Assistant.

Activate Bixby by saying, “Hi, Bixby”, and then start speaking commands to your Note 8.

Now for the bad news: The redesigned battery on the Note 8 is 3300mAh, which means it’s slightly less powerful than the 3500mAh battery that was on the Note 7 and is currently used on the Galaxy S8+. (The Galaxy S8 has a 3000mAh battery.)

Will you notice the difference? That depends on you and your use of the Note 8. As with any mobile device, the apps you use on your Note 8 (and the length of time you use them) plus how long you specifically keep the device on will determine how quickly your battery loses its juice.

What Hasn’t Changed

Many features of the Note 8 are the same as those in the Note 7. The most important features retained with the Note 8 include:

  • The Note 8 has an S Pen stylus as the Note 7 did, so you can use the stylus to interact with the screen.
  • You can unlock the Note 8 by having the front camera scan the iris in your eye or scan your fingerprint when you put your desired finger down on the Home button.
  • The device comes with 64GB of storage space and you can add up to 256GB of space by placing a microSD card in the Note 8 microSD slot.
  • You can wirelessly charge your Note 8 using Qi (pronounced “chee”) wireless charging. Apple is touting Qi wireless charging ability on its iPhone X, but Apple is rather late to the party as Samsung has offered wireless charging for years.
  • The latest version of the Android operating system.
  • Samsung’s infamous leisurely pace when it prepares updates to the next major Android version.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Note 8 began selling at an eye-opening $950, which was more than the $879 for the Note 7. However, the price was still less expensive than the 64GB iPhone X, which opened at $999.

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