The successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4/5 is finally here – meet the Galaxy Note 8. Wait, what? Okay, Europeans didn’t get the Note 5 because, you know… Samsung, and we all know how the Note 7 lived a shorter product life than it deserved. So in a way, a few of us Note-lovers have been stuck with three-year-old Notes, looking at some poor S-Pen-less Galaxy S7 edges and S8s to fill the void.
Historically, Notes have been more or less identical to the Galaxy S-series flagship of the respective year, only with a bigger display and an S-Pen. Not this one, though – with the Galaxy Note 8 Samsung finally takes the plunge into dual camera territory. And not just any dual camera – it’s the best one there is, Samsung says. They might have a point, we theorize, looking at the specs.
It might be a controversial way of wording this, but Samsung went the Apple way with this dual camera setup – a regular wide-angle cam and a telephoto cam with twice the equivalent focal length. The former comes straight off the Galaxy S8 and S7 before that, while the latter is a new one – a 12MP Type 1/3.4″ sensor is placed behind a f/2.4 aperture lens. Both the sensor size and the aperture are larger than what you’d find on the iPhone 7 Plus, but the winning doesn’t end there – Samsung’s tele lens is stabilized, while the sensor comes with dual pixel autofocus. Dual camera with dual pixel autofocus and dual OIS, then.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 at a glance
- Body: Polished aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front and back; IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Deepsea Blue, Maple Gold color schemes.
- Display: 6.3″ Super AMOLED ‘Infinity Display’, 2,960x1440px resolution, 18.5:9 (2.06:1) aspect ratio, 522ppi; HDR 10 compliant (no Dolby Vision).
- Rear camera: Primary 12MP, Type 1/2.55″ sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length; Secondary 12MP, Type 1/3.4″ sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 52mm equiv. focal length; dual pixel phase detection autofocus and OIS on both; 2x zoom. 2160p/30fps video recording.
- Front camera: 8MP, f/1.7 aperture, autofocus; 1440p/30fps video recording.
- OS/Software: Android 7.1.1 Nougat; Samsung Grace UX; Bixby virtual assistant; Smart Connect, Smart Connect Home
- Chipsets: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835: octa-core CPU (4×2.35GHz Kryo 280 & 4×1.9GHz Kryo 280), Adreno 540 GPU. Exynos 8895: octa-core CPU (4x2nd-gen Mongoose 2.3GHz + 4xCortex-A53 1.7GHz), Mali-G71 GPU.
- Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64GB of storage; microSD slot for cards up to 256GB, UFS cards support.
- Battery: 3,300mAh Li-Po (sealed); Adaptive Fast Charging (same as S7/S8); QuickCharge 2.0 support; WPC (Qi)&PMA wireless charging.
- Connectivity: Single-SIM, Dual-SIM available in certain markets; LTE-A, 4-Band/5-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.16/13 (1Gbps/150Mbps); USB Type-C (v3.1); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac MU-MIMO; GPS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0.
- Misc: S-Pen stylus with 4096 pressure levels; fingerprint/iris/face recognition; single speaker on the bottom; 3.5mm jack; bundled AKG headphones.
- Huge, beautiful display
- Excellent, water-resistant build
- Great dual camera
- S Pen is now more useful and fun
- Very expensive
- Bixby can be flaky
- Not a huge improvement over the S8 Plus
- US version gets less storage than other regions