The Galaxy Note 8 was announced today, the latest in the high-end Note lineup of phones from Samsung and Samsung was kind enough to give me a little time with the device before launch so here’s a quick hands-on video of the phone in all its glory.
First up, it’s easy to tell this device fits squarely into the same family as the new S8 and S8 Plus. We have the same, now unmistakable Infinity Edge display, slimmed aspect ratio, glass backing, and just overall design language.
The screen is a 6.3″ Quad HD+ AMOLED display which makes the screen 0.1″ larger than the S8 Plus. The body is taller than the S8 Plus but is only a hair wider giving it a slightly even more slim feel in the hand.
Some other similarities include the same home button in the display, same Snapdragon processor here in the States, headphone jack located at the bottom of the phone next to the USB 3.1 Type C port, and fingerprint sensor on the back.
A big change you will notice, however when looking at that fingerprint sensor, is the not one, but two cameras on the back of the phone.
These dual cameras are 12MP each. One is a telephoto f2.4 aperture and the other is a wide-angle f1.7 aperture that also has the dual-pixel AF tech that makes auto-focusing super fast. Each of which, by the way, are both optically stabilized making for much steadier shots and videos regardless of which lens you’re using (the idea that I can use both as if I was switching lenses on my real camera without losing any features is pretty useful in my opinion).
Because of the new two camera setup, Samsung now also has a portrait mode for those blurred background shots we all love for Instagram, and they also added a live focus mode to be able to adjust focus while taking the shot, a live preview that pre-renders the image so you can see what it’ll look like before you hit the shutter, and a neat dual capture mode that allows you to take the wide and telephoto shot at the same time as separate photos.
On the left side we have our volume buttons, on the right we have our power button, and at the top of the front of the phone we have an 8MP f.17 aperture selfie cam.
The phone is running Android Nougat with the same, thankfully toned down, TouchWiz UI that the S8 and S8 Plus have.
But what makes the note device stand out so much from the other two is, of course, the stylus.
The stylus is flush with the bottom of the phone and comes up by pushing on it to get it to click and eject itself which means it locks in and is less likely to get lost.
The device will automatically open the wheel of pen apps once it’s removed including a shortcut to take a note, view notes, take screenshots and draw on them, do live messages (a new feature that allows you to send drawings to friends through the messaging app and it’s drawn on their screen as they see it), use the pen to highlight text to be translated easily, etc.
My favorite new pen app though? The simplest one: screen-off memo.
If you take the pen out while the screen is off, hold the button on the pen and tap the screen, it allows you to take notes on the lockscreen which are then saved to the phone. Something so simple but what it does is it instantly lets you take notes which is sometimes as important as taking a fast photo and not having to open an app shaves off precious seconds. Also, considering the AMOLED screen the phone doesn’t use power to display black so taking notes this way will save some power technically, too. Bonus.
Speaking of power the device has a 3300mah battery which is 200mah shy of the 3500mah S8 Plus but 300 more than the S8.
The device supports Bixby voice, Dex, has a MicroSD card slot comes with AKG earbuds and will be available here in the States in gray and black on Sept 15th, and elsewhere in the blue and maple gold colors, as well. Pricing will start at around $930 and pre-orders will start on the 24th of Aug and if you pre-order you’ll also get the choice of a 128GB MicroSD card and Fast Charging Wireless Pad or a Gear 360 camera.
And there you go, everything you need to know about the new Note 8. I’m not gonna lie, I like it a lot. I think though that Samsung has a good lineup here though with a lot of overlap but enough differences to allow people to pick and choose between the three models depending on their needs and budget frankly.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments below though about the new phone and don’t forget to follow me on social for updates on the latest tech and, as always, thanks for reading.